“Kuntidevi says, yesham na chanyad bha vatah padambujat: ‘We have no means of protection other than Your lotus feet.’ This is full surrender.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Teachings Of Queen Kunti, 20 Purport)
Friend1: I think I want to move.
Friend2: Away from me?
Friend1: Well yeah, that too [smiling].
Friend2: Trust me, the feeling’s mutual [sarcastic].
Friend1: I think I’m getting sick of the climate.
Friend2: This winter has been pretty bad.
Friend1: That’s an understatement. I always tell people, it’s a little scary when the high temperature outside is the same as what a freezer is set to.
Friend2: It’s remarkable, if you think about it.
Friend1: If you get stuck outside during that time, after a while you won’t be able to survive. In the summer, it may be a little uncomfortable at times, but you’ll at least live. In the winter, there is no way. You need to get indoors, where there is heat.
Friend2: So you want to move to somewhere warmer?
Friend1: I’m thinking about California, but it has its problems too.
Friend2: Yup. There is the chance of an earthquake at any time.
Friend1: Florida is an option also, but you know what happens there.
Friend2: Carry your umbrella wherever you go. Plus, remember all those hurricanes? You might have to evacuate your home every now and then.
Friend1: The Midwest seems nice. They get winters like here, but at least they are landlocked. It’s called the heartland for a reason.
Friend2: True, but you have the risk of tornadoes. Some of the most ridiculous rainstorms I’ve ever been in were in the Midwest.
Friend1: Darn. Then there’s the Asian countries, like India.
Friend2: True. You get monsoons, though. Also mosquitoes will be around you. Not sure if you could handle that.
Friend1: England? I know, I know. It rains all the time, and the sun hardly comes out.
Friend2: [laughing] Yeah, it’s like Seattle.
Friend1: There really is no good place to live.
Friend2: You know what the Vaishnava would say?
Friend2: Krishna’s lotus feet. That is the safest place to live.
Friend1: Let me guess, you live there by serving. Bhakti-yoga, devotional service, that’s all you talk about.
Friend2: Thank you. You’re paying me a compliment. And you’re correct, of course. One of the methods of bhakti-yoga is vishno-smaranam. This is remembrance of Vishnu, who is the same as Krishna. It basically means remembering God all the time.
Friend1: Pada sevanam, that is also one of the methods, right?
Friend2: Yes. This means “serving the lotus feet.” You can either remember those feet or serve them directly. Both have the same effect. Those feet are soft, like the best cushion you’ve felt in this world. They are beautiful, more beautiful than anything you’ve ever seen. Anything that comes in contact with those feet becomes purified, like the Ganga river.
Friend1: So you’re saying I can live anywhere, as long as I’m clutching on to those feet?
Friend2: Well, think about it. Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita that when there is birth there must be death [Bg 2.27]. As far as I know, you were born at some time. You haven’t proven to me yet that you are superhuman. I’ve also taken birth. This means that both of us must die.
Friend1: That’s obvious.
Friend2: Death is guaranteed, but nothing is stipulated about where and when it must take place. This means that death can occur anywhere. Continuing with the logical deduction, this means that the worst event possible can happen in any city, in any country.
Friend1: So no place is actually safe?
Friend2: Exactly. Make your home the lotus feet belonging to Krishna. That is the supreme shelter. The Vaishnavas take shelter of those feet. This allows them to live anywhere. Members of the highest order following the rules and regulations of spiritual life actually don’t have a fixed home. They continuously travel. This affords the freedom to spread the message of bhakti to every town and village.
Friend1: That’s true. It’s not like they can stay away from a place because they don’t like the weather. They continue to move on.
Friend2: They can do this because they’ve made Krishna’s feet their home. They remember that safest of homes, the cure for birth and death, by always chanting Krishna’s names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Of this winter cold I’m sick,
To plan of moving now I’ll stick.
But where to go?
Problems everywhere I know.
Vaishnavas with lotus feet stay,
Of Supreme Lord Krishna, the only way.
Protection to them always giving,
Village to village with bhakti living.