Wednesday, January 12, 2011

worship of the Feet of the Lord..

Patha sevanam – worship of the Feet of the Lord:
in the bhakti route there is always a special place for the Feet of the Lord. Normally we consider the feet very low in the order of pecking things. We go out walk run, go to several places and it is the feet that mainly get dirty. We go out and come home and the first thing to do is wash our feet.
While we consider the feet dirty if they belong to the Lord we consider them Holy! Just like wee touch the feet of elders while paying respects to them devotees wont even hesitate to bear the feet of the lord on their heads! In fact we go to the vishnu temple and having performed the pooja the arcaka brings out the holy basil water along with kunkum and bail. But before handing over them prasad he brings out the satari that looks like a crown and places it on our head. Since our head is beneath it we are not usually aware of what is on top of it. If we take our next chance to inspect it we can find a pair of feet engraved on it. They belong to the Lord presiding in that temple.
Vedanta Desika who spent his entire life in the service of the Lord wrote a book titled “pathuka sahasram” singing the praise of His lotus feet through out the book.
In Ramayana we find that Bharata asked for and got Rama's footwear and placing them on the throne, ruled the nation as Rama's representative. Ahalya too got rid of her curse as Rama's feet came in contact with her. Seeing this Viswamaitra exclaimed,

mai vaṇṇattu arakki pōril
maḻai vaṇṇattu aṇṇalē uṉ
kai vaṇṇam aṅku kaṇṭēṉ
kāl vaṇṇam iṅku kaṇṭēṉ

[மை வண்ணத்து அரக்கி போரில் மழை வண்ணத்து அண்ணலே உன் கை வண்ணம் அங்கு கண்டேன் கால் வண்ணம் இங்கு கண்டேன் ]

meaning "Oh! The one who has the complexion of the rain bearing cloud, I saw the power of your shoulders when you fought the dark she-demon and the power of your feet here and now!!”

Battles between the asuras and devas was a common occurrence. Once lead by MahaBali the asuras won the battle and ruled the world including the heavens. Atiti, the mother of the devas observed a austere ritual called “payo vrat” and got a boon from Vishnu to restore the rights of the devas.
Vishnu took the form of a midget brahmacari and came to MahaBali.
Bali was so pleased to see a brahmacari with a shining countenance and welcoming him asked what he desired.
Vishnu replied that just three feet – measured by his own legs- of space was enough for him. Bali was surprised. “ I am the Lord of the three worlds and all you desire is just three feet, that too with your little feet, of land?”
“sure, that would suffice!” said Vishnu.
The guru of the asuras – sukracarya – divined what would happen. He told Bali not to grant that request.
“What can this midget do?”
“Oh, king, don't be fooled. The one who seeks is no ordinary person. He is Vishnu himself. He will always support the devas. So if you grant the request it will not do you any good.”
But Bali wont be put off.
“If the Lord Vishnu himself should seek alms from me, how fortunate I must be?” saying thus he lifted the vessel with water to give dhana.
Sukra could not bear it any more. Thinking, “How I have toiled to expand the kingdom to this extent. This fool will lose them all in a few seconds” he took the form of a beetle and flying to the water vessel blocked the outlet.
Vamana laughed. He took a dharba grass and poked at the outlet. Sukara's eye was punctured and he flew off in pain.
As the water poured out Bali offered the boon and vamana took it.
As the King asked Vamana to measured out the land Vamana started growing and to the astonishment of everyone around kept growing to enormous proportions. With his first step he measured the whole earth. With his second he measured out the heavens. Then he looked at Bali and said,”Well, where can I place the third step?”
Bali in all humbleness said, “ Swami, the only place left is my head. Please place your foot on it. With a smile Vamana put his foot on the head and pushed him to the sutha loka – the place underneath the earth. He made him the ruler of that place and gave him all the good things one would desire.
In Srimad Bhagavatham it is written that the bhagavan said, “ if I want to save someone I take away all his wealth. For it is due to the pride of wealth that man does not think of the rest of the world or me.” having taken away all the wealth of Bali and when he became humble, his ego as well, the Lord gave him all that one would desire.

1 comment:

  1. திருவடி சரணம்!
    குருவடி சரணம்!


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