Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!


If you have faith in the Guru’s feet
If you have deep feeling for the Guru’s feet,
If you attune your mind to the Guru,
Then you don’t have to look for God
God will come looking for you
- Sant Tukaram

What is Guru Paduka Puja?
Why do we do it?
What is the significance of it?

Of the most beautiful examples contained in Ramayana tells the story of Bharata, the younger brother of Lord Rama, who refused to accept the kingdom of Ayodhya during Rama’s exile in the forest, because his own mother’s ambition for him had been the cause of Rama’s banishment.

Bharata went to the forest in search of Rama, hoping to perform the coronation ceremony for him there and afterward to bring him home to Ayodhya. But Rama, faithful to the laws of Dharma, would not break his promise to go into exile and declined to accompany Bharata back to Ayodhya.

Bharata grabbed a pair of costly sandals and said, “Here are sandals inlaid with gold. I beg you to stand on them for a moment. Blessed by the touch of your holy feet, these sandals will become sanctified, and they will bear the burden of ruling the kingdom.”

Rama smiled at Bharata and stood for a moment wearing the golden sandals. Then he gave them back to his brother. Bharata prostrated before the sandals and said, “My beloved brother, I will dress like a sadhu in coarse tree bark and deer skin, and will wear matted hair until your term of exile is over in fourteen years. I will wait for you to come back, and I will live outside the city of Ayodhya, in Nandigrama. I will place these sandals on the throne, and they will rule the kingdom as your symbols. I will merely serve as your representative.”

Bharata took the sandals in his hands, placed them with reverence on his head, and did pradakshina, walking clockwise around Rama three times. Still carrying the padukas on his head, Bharata ascended his chariot. Eventually he reached Nandigrama, where the coronation of the padukas would take place.

Bharata addressed the elders and said, “I have been appointed guardian of the country by my revered brother. His sandals represent him and I will rule the kingdom on his behalf until he returns.”

He bowed to the sandals and spoke again: “To me, these are the blessed feet of my brother. The white umbrella indicating royalty will be held above them, and they will inspire me to walk on the right path and never to swerve from it. I will guard them with my life. One day, I will see them adorning my brother’s feet, and I will find peace of mind.”

Dressed in tree bark and deer skin, Bharata lived outside of Ayodhya. He would speak to the sandals and report to them about the various happenings in the kingdom as though they were human. He did nothing without consulting them. And they, in turn, granted him the insight and wisdom he needed to resolve every situation in a just and righteous manner. Dedicating everything to the padukas, Bharata ruled the kingdom for fourteen years, until Rama returned victorious from the forest, having defeated the mighty demon Ravana.

“The Guru’s feet are worshipped or revered because all the Guru’s energy dwells in the feet. If you did research into this, you would find that the vibrations of the inner self, or kinetic energy, constantly flows out through the feet. The nerves that come from the Sahasraara (the top of the crown on the head) reach right down to the feet.

The feet serve as the support for the whole body. This is the reason the feet are given so much importance. More shakti flows from the feet than any other part of the body.  The glory of the Guru’s feet or the Guru’s shoes or padukas is great indeed.

Kularnava Tantra says: “Remember the Guru’s sandals … They provide protection against great diseases, great disturbances, great evils, great fears, great calamities, and great sins.”

According to Chinese system of medicine, the body contains many acupuncture meridian or channels which will congregate around the feet. By treating the feet, the Chinese physicians adjust the flow of energy to different parts and organs of the body.

Additionally, there is a particular acupuncture point in the sole of the foot called yongquuan, which means gushing spring. When a person needs energy, he is taught to focus his mind on this point. Sooner or later there is energy charge that goes from the mind to this point in the sole of the foot, and from there energy shoots up to the crown of the head. It is the major point for meditation and acupuncture.

The feet of the Guru are no ordinary feet. Gurupaddangre paadodakam ganga. All holy rivers and tirthas, including Mother Ganga, live at the Guru’s feet. This is what we should think in our heart when worshipping the Guru. All holy pilgrimage places, all Devatas, and all sacred hills abide in the Guru’s lotus feet. One should have firm sankalpa (intention, determination) to behold all gods in guru’s feet.

The Trimurti – Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva – dwell in Guru’s feet. These three Divine Forms symbolize the removal of the three modes of nature that keeps the soul in bondage. The three qualities are tamas (sense of ego), rajas (passion, desire) and sattva (goodness and purity).

When these three qualities are removed, then the soul becomes free or mukt. In this state, one renounces desire and becomes enlightened – chinmaya (full of light). So, after Guru Pada Puja, it is to surrender the three qualities to the Divine Trinity. This is the significance of self surrender to the Guru’s feet.

For the sake of His disciples, the formless Guru takes the form in Padukas. Guru lives in Padukas. A devotee should pray “O my Guru, wherever my mind goes, may your form be there. Wherever my head bows in salutation, may your feet be there.”
The Guru continuously tests the disciples. It is very dangerous for the devotees to look on the Guru as an ordinary person. The devotee must realise that the Guru is higher than Shiva, Vishnu or Brahma – he is Para Brahma.

If one thinks that the Guru is the physical form and activities, then it becomes very easy for doubts to infiltrate the citadel of devotion, and after a while, to completely overcome it. Nothing the Guru says or does is ordinary; there is always a higher reason.

The Guru Geeta also says that the Guru’s feet have two different lusters – one is white and other is red – representing Purusha and Prakriti or Shiva and Shakti. Purusha is associated with the white colour, and Shakti, the divine energy with the red colour.

In these feet of Sri Guru, Purusha and Prakriti (or Shiva and Shakti) live as one and through them the disciple realizes the unity beyond the duality of material nature. The Guru’s feet should be worshiped every day, for by their means one easily realizes the immanent and transcendent aspect of Bhagavan (form and formlessness aspects). Their effulgence radiates in the upper spaces of Sahasraara Chakra.

The Paduka Panchaka also mentions that the Guru’s feet are cool like the nectar of the moon. In other words, just as the moonbeams cool us of after the heat of the day and nourishes all the flora and fauna, in the same way devotion to the feet of the Guru extinguishes the fire of sorrow and suffering and gives us peace.

Verse 6 of the Paduka Panchaka says: “I adore the two lotus feet of the Guru in my mind. The jewelled foot stool on which they rest removes all sin. The Guru’s feet are pinkish-red like young leaves. The toe nails resemble the full moon shining in all its glory. The Guru’s feet are radiant with the beautiful lustre of lotuses in a lake of nectar.”

When the Guru Gita speaks of the water of the Guru’s feet, it is referring to this lake of nectar. There are number of verses that explore this image. For example, verse 13 of the Guru Gita says: “the water of the Guru’s feet has the power to dry up the mire of one’s sins, to ignite the light of knowledge, and to take one smoothly across the ocean of this world.”

In the words of the Maharashtrian poet-saint, Eknath. “ By the dust of my Guru’s feet all the work was accomplished. Eknath has merged his mind in Shri Guru’s feet… By holding the feet of the Guru, all ignorance disappeared. I have not performed severe austerities, offered sacrifices, or wandered to sacred places. The means of all means is the feet of the Sadguru.”



Jai Guru !

Jai Sri Radhey !