BY: HARAKUMARA DASA
Aug 24, TORONTO, CANADA (SUN) - A Vyasa-puja Offering to His Divine Grace.
[This offering was found in a file in a Temple computer. Having edited it a bit, I am submitting it. It seems to convey, if possible, an accurate impression of Srila Prabhupada's factual position.]
nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine
namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani pracarine
Dear Srila Prabhupada: On this day of your Vyasa-puja, our attention is drawn in a special way to your lotus feet, the source of all our transcendental attachment. According to the mundane or bodily conception of life, the feet are regarded as the lowest parts of the body and therefore are not honored.
For example, when Lord Balarama, Who is the original Guru, attempted to liberate Samba, who had been arrested for kidnapping the daughter of Duryodhana, the infatuated Kurus, puffed-up with material opulences like unto those of Indra, offended His feet by refusing His divine request on behalf of the Yadus, and saying that it was due to the influence of Kaliyuga, an age when "the shoes befitting the feet want to rise to the top of the head where the helmet is worn". Ordinarily, also, the feet are the parts of the body which habitually contact the earth, and therefore become dusty and in need of cleansing.
These considerations do not apply to your feet, however, because your feet are lotus feet. That is to say that they are transcendental members of your nitya-siddha-deha, your spiritual body and personality which is eternally, knowledgeably and blissfully engaged in the pure devotional service of the divine feet of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna and Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In fact, you are a bhagavat-parsada-deha-prapta-maha-bhagavata and the sampradaya-acarya who is the spiritual master of us all. Your lotus feet walk on the cintamani ground of lotus-like Goloka, Vrndavana, for the sake of the nanda-gopala-nitya-lilas of Sri Krsna, Govinda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore the dust which adheres to your lotus feet is spiritual.
It is not mundane dust, but the fine rare dust of Vraja, Vrndavana---much of it raised up by the slow-moving hooves of the happiest herds of all the grazing milk-giving kama-dhenu cows among the shading fruit-bearing kalpa-vrksa groves echoing the calm mooing milk-sprinkling moving cows and the loud blissful horn-blowing cowherd boys running through sun-golden green-growing pasture grounds with lotus feet of Krsna-Balarama printing pleasurable sands near river-rushing krsna-varna nectar-flowing lotus-filled Yamuna water-waves--- which is retained upon your lotus feet by an eternal spiritual blissful connection sealed by drossless para-bhakti-yoga. Indeed, this vraja-rajas dust adhering to your lotus feet is a potent treasure even more valuable than cintamani, having been made much more accessible to us by you, who have kindly delivered it by extending down your lotus feet for our shelter.
You did this by following the disciplic line descending via Narottama dasa Thakura, who wrote in his Sri Guru-vandana that the lotus feet of Sri Guru are the abode of pure bhakti and that strong attachment to his feet is the highest goal.
He also sang:
ei chaya gosani yara, mui tara dasa / tan' sabara pada-renu mora panca-grasa --
"I am the servant of the six Gosvamis, and the dust of their lotus feet provides my five kinds of food."
You surrendered fully to the fragrant lotus feet of your Guru, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, taking his order to preach in English the sunlike message of the spotless purana, Srimad Bhagavatam, as your life and soul. In that beautiful Bhagavatam, there are so many references to the quintessential importance of the dust of the realized devotees' lotus feet that it is hard to list them all.
In the 2nd Canto, Saunaka Rsi tells Suta Gosvami: jivan chavo bhagavatanghri-renum na jatu martyo 'bhilabheta yas tu--"The person who has not at any time received the dust of the feet of the Lord's pure devotee upon his head is certainly a dead body."
In the 3rd Canto, Svayambhuva Manu exclaims to Kardama Muni: distya pada-rajah sprstam sirsna me bhavatah sivam--"I am all the more fortunate to have touched with my head the blessed dust of your feet."
In the 5th Canto, JadaBharata teaches: "My dear King Rahugana, unless one has the opportunity to smear his entire body with the dust of the lotus feet of great devotees (vina mahat-pada-rajo-'bhisekam), one cannot realize the Absolute Truth. ... There are many other processes to understand the Absolute Truth, but the Absolute Truth is only revealed to one who has attained the mercy of a great devotee."
In the 7th Canto, Bhakta Prahlada answers Hiranyakasipu: "Unless they smear upon their bodies the dust of the lotus feet of a Vaisnava completely freed from material contamination, persons very much inclined toward materialistic life cannot be attached to the lotus feet of the Lord, who is glorified for His uncommon activities."
In the 10th Canto, Lord Brahma prays to Sri Krsna: "My greatest possible good fortune would be to take any birth whatever in this forest of Gokula and have my head bathed by the dust falling from the lotus feet of any of its residents. Their entire life and soul is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Mukunda, the dust of whose lotus feet is still being searched for in the Vedic mantras."
And Lord Krsna's intimate friend and intelligent advisor, Uddhava, sang: "O, let me be fortunate enough to be one of the bushes, creepers or herbs in Vrndavana, because the gopis trample them and bless them with the dust of their lotus feet. ... I repeatedly offer my respects to the dust from the feet of the women of Nanda Maharaja's cowherd village. When these gopis loudly chant the glories of Sri Krsna, the vibration purifies the three worlds."
Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami wrote in Caitanya-Caritamrta (Antya 16): "The dust of the feet of a devotee, the water that has washed the feet of a devotee, and the remnants of food left by a devotee are three very powerful substances. By rendering service to these three, one attains the supreme goal of ecstatic love for Krsna. ... Therefore, my dear devotees, please hear from me, for I insist again and again: please keep faith in these three and render service to them without hesitation. ... This is the greatest mercy of Lord Krsna."
It is this divine dust that falls on our heads via our service, however imperfect, to your lotus feet by serving you in your mission of propagating worldwide the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Nityananda Prabhu. In Bhagavad-gita 3.38, Lord Krsna warns us to watch out for that jiva-covering dust of lust which obscures the surface of the mental mirror. Unlike that kind of dust, this divine dust from your lotus feet enlightens with the knowledge by which nescience is destroyed, that knowledge which reveals everything, as the sun lights up everything in the daytime. (Bg 5.16) Cakhu-dan dilo yei, janme janme prabhu sei, divya-jnan hrde prokasito: therefore you are our lord birth after birth. And when the consideration is meditation on the dust of your lotus feet, as your disciples we can only aspire for more dust on the mirrors of our minds. When our consciousness is dusty in this way, then we are Krsna-conscious indeed. Golokera Prema-Dhana Hari-Nama-Sankirtana in the line of Lord Caitanya, while clearing the mirror of the mind, can only increase the deposit of this kind of dust.
Because you travel so much in your preaching mission, your lotus feet are much dustier than usual. That is our eternal good fortune. If it is necessary to wash your auspiciously dusty lotus feet, then the divinely surcharged waters flowing down to us purify your microcosmic disciples, helping them to see Nanda-Gopala within as you always see Him, just as the holy waters of the Ganga-nadi flowing down from the lotus feet of Lord Visnu Trivikrama purify within the macrocosmic universe.
As your aspiring disciples wanting to avoid the error of the addled and cantankerous Kurus who could not recognize the lotus feet of the Adi-Guru, Lord Baladeva, help us to always remember and desire the all-auspicious vraja dust of your transcendental lotus feet.