“Dear Lord, the dust of Your lotus feet is very wonderful. Any person who is fortunate enough to achieve this dust does not care for heavenly planets, lordship over all the planetary systems, the mystic perfections of yoga, or even liberation from material existence. In other words, anyone who adores the dust of Your lotus feet does not care a fig for all other perfectional stages.” (Naga-patnis, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 10.16.37)
na nāka-pṛṣṭhaḿ na ca sārva-bhaumaḿ
na pārameṣṭhyaḿ na rasādhipatyam
na yoga-siddhīr apunar-bhavaḿ vā
What do you want from this world? What is it you want to do with your life? If you’re going to work, there will be some results. You can cash those results in for different kinds of enjoyment. Which direction will you turn? Wives to the serpent Kaliya many thousands of years ago stated that of all the different things one can obtain in this world, nothing compares to the dust of the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Careful analysis validates their opinion.
Let’s say that you want good food. This is your purpose for living. You want to eat nicely, and you want this every single day, for every single meal. For breakfast, let there be the tastiest dishes in ample variety. For lunch the same, and for dinner let there be a different extravagant meal prepared every night. Will this route provide satisfaction? For starters, we know that weight will increase. With that comes a more unpleasant appearance, and who actually wants to look bad?
Then there is increased risk for disease. With overeating, the air within the body cannot flow properly, which then leads to malfunctioning of different parts. So from the option of trying to enjoy food as much as possible, we see that the end result is misery. The same dishes don’t provide the same satisfaction each day, either. If I eat an entire pizza pie for dinner tonight, tomorrow that might not suffice. If one aspect of the pie is prepared incorrectly, then I will be angry, whereas normally I would be pleased that I at least have pizza in front of me.
Another option is to buy so many things. Get a nice car. Purchase a large house and fill it up with expensive furniture. Will this provide lasting satisfaction? Once the car comes, it needs to be protected. If you take it anywhere outside, you’ll have to park far away from other cars. You won’t want it to get dinged by another car door accidentally. Then you have to maintain the car. What if a newer model comes out? You’ll have to get that one too. And the house requires constant maintenance. There is so much attention needed. Thus this option also brings misery instead of enjoyment.
Another route is to enjoy sex life as much as possible. So as to limit the amount of work necessary for finding a partner each time, you stay in a committed relationship with one person. But then the enjoyment will not always be the same. Through time, appearances change, as do outlooks. You may not view your significant other the same way and vice versa. You may need more variety to keep your enjoyment going. And if things don’t go right, there’s concern that the relationship will end.
Misery exists in all areas of material enjoyment. The enjoyments mentioned by the naga-patnis cover everything available. There is the enjoyment of life in a heavenly planet. Think of your favorite place in this world. Now imagine living there for a very long time. That’s sort of what it’s like in a heavenly planet, a place you can reach through pious deeds devoid of true devotion to the Supreme Lord. There is also lordship over all planets. Think of it like being king of the universe. You could then get whatever you wanted. You could enjoy the material things previously mentioned.
There are mystic perfections and liberation itself. With a mystic perfection you can do amazing things, like fly through the air leaving your body behind and become very small in an instant. With liberation, you don’t have to take birth again. You remain stateless, without form. Without any material interaction, you become free from the sources of misery.
The naga-patnis say that the dust of the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord far exceeds any of these rewards. The reason is simple. This dust brings devotion. It comes from very beautiful feet that can be worshiped day after day. One way to worship them is to think of the time they danced playfully on the heads of the serpent named Kaliya. The owner used those feet to launch Himself into the water to deal with the dangerous situation of the poisoning of the Yamuna river. This was caused by Kaliya, and there was no other hope except these lotus feet.
If you remember these feet once, you’ll want to remember them again. Whereas material enjoyment has diminishing returns, with devotion to these feet the experience is ever-expanding. The enjoyment continues to increase, as the worshiper makes their way up to the beautiful waist, the blue-complexioned skin, the wonderful flute, and the enchanting face belonging to that all-attractive Lord of the universe, Shri Krishna.
He already owns the enjoyments mentioned previously. He can have anything He wants at any second. He is the master of all the planets. He is the supreme enjoyer of all sacrifices. He is everyone’s best friend, so He witnesses everything they do and takes joy in their happiness once they have found bhakti-yoga. This means that the dust of the lotus feet, which brings devotion, makes God happy as well. You can ask for so many other things, but none of them will bring you this gift. And when you make Krishna happy, you will make yourself happy to a level previously considered unattainable.
Other rewards in benefit not to last,
Satisfaction from them to wane fast.
As Lord of all anything He can give,
Money or with renunciation to live.
So many things from Him can get,
Yet on one thing only naga-patnis set.
Dust of lotus feet to achieve,
Better than anything to receive.
Categories: krishna pastimes