Ornament your body with the dust of Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s lotus feet and you will attain Giridhārī, the lifter of Govardhana Hill, without difficulty. I glorify such a great person who takes shelter of the lotus feet of Rādhikā, by saying, ‘Sādhu, Sādhu,’ ‘Well done!’
Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura is praying for the dust of the lotus feet of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. This dust is the ornament for the eleven senses. This dust gives the senses a strong inspiration for spiritual sevā. Only Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s foot dust or that of anurāgī Guru-pāda-padma will give sevonmukha–vṛtti, or the inclination for transcendental service.
Ādi-guru Brahmā, Uddhava, Bhīṣma, Nārada, Śukadeva, or any mahā-bhāgavatas, all smear this dust of Rādhā’s feet upon their heads and bodies. The dust of Her feet is rasa–kāmadhenu. Her foot dust in this case refers to those dear associates who, like dust particles, are always attached to serving Her lotus feet. They constantly render humble, menial service to Her. This is the mañjarīs and sakhīs.
hā modataḥ kanaka-gauri padāravinda-
samvāhanāni śanakais tava kiṁ kariṣye?
Śrīmatī Rādhikā is tired from performing amorous pastimes and is laying with Her head in the lap of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. He is softly stroking Her head, and Rūpa Mañjarī is gently massaging Her legs and cooling Her with a fan. Rati Mañjarī is watching this scene with longing eyes and aspiring to obtain the remnants of Rūpa Mañjarī’s service.
If anyone takes the shelter of this dust then Giridhārī Śrī Kṛṣṇa will be happy and pleased. Why has Ṭhākura Mahāśaya here used Kṛṣṇa’s name Giridhārī? Giridhārī is that Kṛṣṇa who is holding Girirāja upon His finger. This Giridhārī is always very happy. Why? Kṛṣṇa lifted Girirāja in order to protect the Vrajavāsīs from the danger of Indra’s storm outside. Under Girirāja all the Vrajavāsīs were present together. There was no restriction for the vraja-gopīs to see Kṛṣṇa. No one was suspicious or doubtful at this time. There was no fear of Jaṭilā, Kuṭilā, Govardhana-malla, or Abhimanyu. This is called Giri-nikuñja, and here Kṛṣṇa as Giridhārī is happy and Śrīmatī Rādhārānī is also very happy.
Anyone who is under the guidance of Rādhārānī will serve Giridhārī. Rādhikā-caraṇāśraya ye kare se mahāśaya. Those who have taken shelter of Rādhikā’s lotus feet are great personalities. Life becomes auspicious simply by remembering them. Even personalities such as Uddhava prayed for this shelter. He prayed—gulma-latauṣadhīnām—I aspire to become a creeper, blade of grass, or herb in Vraja-dhāma. Why? Because they carry on their heads, smear over their body, and carry in their hearts the foot dust of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. When will that fortune come that I may be like them? Latanām means sakhīnām. If it is not possible to be a creeper, meaning sakhī, then may I be a mañjarī. Gulma means mañjarī. If that is not possible then may I be auṣadhīnām, meaning a kiṅkarī or a humble servant.
Where will this anurāga come from? This treasure can only be received by taking this dust on one’s head and within one’s heart. Everything is present within this dust. Dāsa Gosvāmī tells—anārādhya rādhā-padāmbhoja-reṇum— if one has not taken shelter and guidance of Rādhārānī’s mañjarīs and kiṅkarīs they can never attain Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Here it advises to take shelter of Śrī Vṛndāvana-dhāma. Why? Because this is the dhāma of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī and it is covered by the auspicious marks of Her feet. Those who have taken Her shelter are ready for eternal service and are truly fortunate.
The foot dust from the lotus feet of Rādhārānī should be the ornament of your body. Mahāprabhu says, “I cover My body with the anurāga, or the foot dust, which is decorated with kuṁkum, from Rādhārānī’s feet. I will not wear anything not colored with the dust from Rādhārānī’s lotus feet.”
Kṛṣṇa also showed the value of this dust. He brought all the sakhās to Varṣāṇā and smeared His body with Śrīmatī’s foot dust. Then His color also became golden. This is called holī–līlā or dhūla–khela. Also in Dvārakā, Kṛṣṇa, with the help of Nārada, smeared this dust on His body, and showed the value of this treasure. Why do we wear white also? White is meant for the paramahaṁsas. Mahāprabhu says, “The saffron colored cloth of anurāga, like Rādhārānī’s foot dust, is a protective barrier, so that no one can come and acquire one’s love.” For Gauḍīyas, this cloth signifies one as being a maidservant of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī.
Rādhikā-caraṇa-renū bhūṣana kariyā tanū. Take shelter of the lotus feet of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. Then you are very great. Why should you go to anyone else for shelter?
In this way, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura advises the rāgānugā–sādhaka. How can you meet with Kṛṣṇa? How can Kṛṣṇa be pleased with you? Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura tells us to only take Rādhārānī’s foot dust.
Śrī Bharata Mahārāja said:
rahūgaṇaitat tapasā na yāti
na cejyayā nirvapaṇād gṛhād vā
na cchandasā naiva jalāgni-sūryair
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 5.12.12 552
O King Rahūgaṇa, perfection in devotion cannot be achieved unless one bathes in the dust of the feet of great devotees. It can never be gotten by tapasyā, grand worship, renunciation, household dharma, Vedic hymns, or penance under the hot sun, surrounded by fire, or by submerging within cold water.
Śrī Prahlāda Mahārāja said in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (7.5.32):
naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghriṁ
spṛśaty anarthāpagamo yad-arthaḥ
niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yāvat
The lotus feet of Bhagavān Urukrama, who is praised for His uncommon activities, destroy all unwanted things in the heart (anarthas). However, mundane persons cannot be attached to His lotus feet until they cover their bodies with the dust from the lotus feet of great personalities who are absorbed in love of God and who are completely free from material attachments.
The foot dust of pure devotees is supremely powerful. One who does not smear his body with this dust can never become purified and clean.
In the Bhakti-sandarbha, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī tells us to slowly practice. Take this bhakta–pada–dhūli and the pada-dhūli of the mahā-bhāgavatas and the Vrajavāsīs. Then pray for the foot dust of Rādhārānī. Prabhodānanda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura writes in Rādhā-rasa-sudhā-nidhi (4):
ālakṣito na sahasā puruṣasya tasya
sadyo vaśī-karaṇa-cūrṇam ananta-śaktiṁ
taṁ rādhikā-caraṇa-renum anusmarāmi
Brahmā, Śiva, Śuka, Nārada, Bhiṣma, and all pure devotees revere the lotus feet of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. They say, “How can Vrajendra-nandana be controlled by us? Only the foot dust of Rādhārānī can bestow this power.” Always remember Her foot dust. This alone can control 553
Kṛṣṇa. This is like a desire-fulfilling cow which will bestow prema–siddhi.
The foot dust of Rādhārānī alone is helpful. First, take bhakta–pada–dhūli. You will gradually advance by smearing yourself with the foot dust of the devotees. And then, you will have a desire to take Rādhārānī’s foot dust.
Kṛṣṇa told Uddhava to go to Vraja-maṇḍala. Kṛṣṇa specifically told Uddhava, “When you get prema-bhakti you will understand Me. Stay with My vraja–premi-bhaktas and then you can understand Me.” When Uddhava returned, Kṛṣṇa asked him, “How are you now?” He said, “I understand now.”
āsām aho caraṇa-reṇu-juṣām ahaṁ syāṁ
vṛndāvane kim api gulma-latauṣadhīnām
yā dustyajaṁ sva-janam ārya-pathaṁ ca hitvā
bhejur mukuṇḍa-padavīṁ śrutibhir vimṛgyām
The foot dust of the Vraja-devīs is enough for our life. Uddhava says, “The Vraja-devīs are very powerful. I only desire their foot dust.” Giridhārī will bestow everything on one who aspires for the foot dust of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī.
Śrī Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī shows the necessity of taking shelter of the lotus feet of Śrī Rādhā as expressed in his Śrī Sva-saṅkalpa-prakāśa-stotra (1):
anāśritya vṛndāṭavīṁ tat-padāṅkām
kutaḥ śyāma-sindho rasasyāvagāhaḥ
Without worshiping the lotus feet and dust of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, one cannot enter Vṛndāvana. One will not be able to meet with Rādhārānī’s followers or receive their mercy. One who smears the foot dust of Rādhārānī’s lotus feet on his body will have no problem in his life.
Kṛṣṇa carried Girirāja Govardhana for seven days and nights because of being worried about the welfare of the Vrajavāsīs. They all came under the shelter of Girirāja and Indra, Candra, Varuṇa, and all the demigods were defeated by Kṛṣṇa. But this was only by the power of Rādhārānī. Kṛṣṇa said, “Girirāja, by serving the Vraja-devīs you will be famed throughout the three worlds. You will be respected and worshiped.”
Srila Narottama das Thakur ki Jaya! (Excerpted from a Bhaktabandhav book publication, Sri Sri Prema-Bhakti Candrika. Available from: [email protected] )