DECORATIONS OF THE EARTH
- Sri Vishnu Padam, The Foot Prints of Sri Krishna
in 1951 at the Menlung glacier-mountain, on the border of Nepal and
central Tibet in China, Eric Shipton and his companion Michael Ward took a
photo of giant footprints purported to be a Yeti's, the news about it
became spread like wildfire. From
this, it is obvious that people like spectacular things although most of
the time they are not beneficial for spiritual advancement. This essay is
an attempt to describe the most spectacular, unbelievable fact for all of
us, which is, that time to time the Supreme Personality of Godhead comes
to this earth planet and in order to increase the devotion of those
devotees who did not see Him and moreover to leave evidence of His advent
He leaves His own footprints in various places of this planet. If you are
curious where are these footprints, have a nice reading. And if you decide
to visit the holy places where those footprints are found, the Garga
Samhita is encouragingly declaring: "A person who sees the handprint and
footprint of Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and bows down
to offer respects to them, will certainly attain Lord Krsna's
FORTUNATE EARTH PLANET
the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His various incarnations comes to
this earth planet, marking the earth with His lotus footprints the whole
world becomes fortunate. Because of His auspicious footprints the burden
of the earth is diminished and all good is performed. In many places the
lotus footprints of the Lord's incarnations are carefully preserved and
worshiped by different devotees. Since they constantly like to keep His
lotus feet within their hearts, the water that washes their feet can
destroys all sins. Thus the Vedic scriptures say that the whole
earth-planet becomes purified by the touch of the feet of the members of
the four disciplic successions, who worship the various incarnations of
the Supreme Lord like Krishna, Rama, Vishnu etc.
the beginning we would like to mention some holy places where the
auspicious footprints of Lord Visnu are found.
there is no much information about the decent of lord Vishnu in Haridwar
and how did He left there His footprints, we would like to say few words
about this very auspicious holy place. Haridwar (literally, Vishnu's gate)
is sanctified by Lord vishnu's footprints and so, it is one of the seven
most important pilgrimage places in India - the land of the Aryan
civilization. Through this city, the India's most famous holy river -
the Ganges - purifies the land flowing up from the Himalayas and making a
journey of more than 2000 km down to the bay of Bengal. Every evening at
7pm at different ghats of the Ganges and especially, where the holy
footprints of Lord Vishnu are found, thousands of people come to take bath
desiring to become purified and thus attain liberation from this material
world. They all offer lamps in the auspicious arati ceremony and put those
lamps to float on the Ganges. The meaning of this simple ceremony of
offering of lamps is to worship mother Ganges and Lord Vishnu what will
ultimately awake devotion or bhakti. It is said that even one who just
observes this auspicious ceremony also gets benefited. All in all, the
atmosphere is very auspicious and pleasant being surcharged with the
devotional mood of the worshipping devotees. Out of few other interesting
places like Kapilasthan - where the sage Kapila meditated in Satya yuga;
the holy ghat called Brahmakunda; the local Har-ki-pauri temple is
especially significant for Visnu bhaktas. Har-ki -pauri
literary means the feet of Lord Vishnu. Interestingly, very close
to the temple is the bathing place called Charan or footprints of Lord
Visnu which actually became imprinted on stone situated on the upper wall
of the ghats. This bathing place is the most important ghat on the river
Ganga, where a holy dip, by many people is considered to be a must.
Especially during the Kumbha mela festival that takes place every 12
years, millions of people take a dip to get rid of their sins and to
attain either liberation or devotion according to their particular desire.
the Harihareshvar Mahatmya there is an interesting mantra that describes
three holy places in this earth planet where the incarnation of Lord
Vishnu, Vamana, left His footprints. The mantra goes as follows:
Divyam Muktyai Shuklasya Sannidhau"
this Verse it is not so surprising that the Lord left His footprints in
Gaya and Shukla Tirtha but it is very amazing that it is also there in
Mecca - the most holy pilgrimage place of all the Muslims. This can
suggest that although, the Muslims consider that the divine footprints are
the footprints of Mohamed, according to the above Vedic reference they
actually worship and bow down to the lotus footprints Lord Vamana. A
further nice explanation is given by Sri Nandanandana. "Worshipping such
carved, holy foot impressions is a holy Vedic custom which convert Muslims
are inadvertently perpetuating. But in doing this they delude themselves
and mislead others that these foot-impressions which are on reverential
display in several mosques and tombs around the world are in fact
Muhammad's own. There are several snags in this argument. Firstly
worshipping a foot -impression amounts to idolatry and should therefore be
taboo for a true Muslim. Secondly Muhhamad disclaimed having performed any
miracles. Therefore there can be no foot-impression of his on stone.
Thirdly foot-impressions must always be in pairs like shoes. Yet in most
of these shrines, it is usually a single footprint which suggests that
Muhammad walked on only one foot. Another question that crops up is
whether the foot-impression is of the same size and foot in all the
shrines. The fact appears to be that when the Vedic Kaba shrine in Mecca
was invaded by Muhammad, the pairs of foot impressions of Vedic deities
there were plundered and later traded to the gullible and devout as
Muhammad's own footprints for some favour, reward or personal gain by
unscrupulous muslims. That is why they are single and not in pairs".
from all over the world pay homage to this shrine. This shrine is actually
the pedestal of Brahma. Notice that the word, Ibrahim is actually a
corruption of the word, Brahma. The octogonal grill which is a Vedic
design, protects the holy footprints which represent the start of the
creation nearly 2000 million years ago. Before it was captured by the
Muslims it was an international shrine of the Vedic trinity.
few puranas like Vayu, Agni and Garuda puranas but especially in the Gaya
Mahatmya there is a story of the demon called Gayasura who acquired so
much divine powers that anyone who saw or touched him went straight to
heaven. Because this interfered with the duty of Yamaraja, the Lord of
death and because other demigods began to suffer too due to Gayasuras
required power, Lord Vishnu requested by the demigods decided to kill the
demon. He, however, also granted a boon to Gayasura that the ground
covered by his body-some ten miles in extent-would become the holiest
place on the earth and be known as Gaya Ksetra. At the time of killing
Gyasura, Vishnus footprint remained in the block of basalt that is now
called Dharmasila and is the object of worship. Performing Sraddha
ceremony or offering oblations to the ancestors at this place frees the
ancestors from the cycle of repeated birth and death. It was at this place
that Lord Caitanya met Isvara Puri, His spiritual master thus considering
His coming to Gaya completely successful. Lord Caitanya said: "Now my
visit to Gaya has really been fruitful, as by coming here I have had the
chance to see your lotus feet. By traveling to a holy place and offering
pinda one may deliverer one's ancestors - that is the person who offers
the pinda may deliver only his ancestors. But one who sees you
automatically delivers millions of ancestors, and not only will they
become free from certain of their sins, but they will all attain eternal
deliverance from material bondage. Therefore this pilgrimage I have
undertaken is unparalleled, because of your holiness having rendered
everything perfectly auspicious."
thirteenth chapter of Skanda Purana describes the place of Shukla Tirtha
to be the place where the great sage Bhrigu muni together with other
bramanas and sages were chanting the four Vedas. Close by is the river
Reva which is established through the middle of the entire universe.
By remembering it once, one can obtain happiness lasting for seven
kalpas or 7x 4.300.000 years; and one who glorifies this river becomes
sanctified by it.
tirtha destroys all the sins
is one interesting story related to this place that is given in the Skande
Purana. Once a washerman who was responsible to wash the cloths of
important brahmanas, mistakenly put their cloths in the indigo after which
the cloths became unwashable. Being very much afraid from the curse of the
brahmanas he decided to leave with his whole family to some other place.
When her daughter visited her girlfriend to tell about the reason of
leaving and to say the last good-bye, she was told about one pond in the
nearby forest. By the touch of the water from that pond everything
immediately becomes white. Moreover, even the grass growing around that
pond grows white or shukla. Giving to her father the proposal to try to
wash the clothes in that pond, although doubtful about the outcome the
washerman decided to go there since there was nothing to lose anyway.
Without using here too many words, the whole story turned out to be true
and the news about the miraculous water of that pond quickly spread far
and wide. The benefits of taking bath with faith in the water of this
Sukla Tirtha are many. One can attain purity; get the benefit of bathing
in all holy places; deliver his forefathers from hellish condition. The
benefit of performing a horse sacrifice or Shraddha ceremony at Gaya is
also easily attained at Shukla Tirhta and ultimately one can attain
liberation. How it came that the Shukla Tirtha is so powerful place for
purification? The Skanda Purane says that Shvetadvipa was brought here by
the powerful Lord Vishnu because He was concerned that this holy place
doesn't lose its whiteness due to the influence of Kali. The color of
Shvetadvipa doesn't become dark although in contact with Kali Kala. So,
at this amazing holy place Shukla Tirtha one can have a darshan of Lord
Vishnu's footprints, praying to which one can attain the His spiritual
Badrinath at Vishnu's footprint
this earth planet there are five most important holy places that were
known already in ancient times. Badrinath in the north; Jagannath Puri in
the west-coast; Rameswaram in the south; Dwaraka in the east-coast of
India and approximately in the middle of them Vrindavana. About Badrinath
the Skanda Purana says: "There are several sacred places of worship in
heaven, on earth, and in the hell; but there is no one of them like
Badrinath." It is the place where the sages Nara-Narayana performed
austerities; it is the place which was visited by the dear friend of
Krishn, Uddhava before 5000 years ago; and it is the place that was
visited by many saints like Gautama Rishi, Kapila, Kasyapa, Sankaracharya
who even established a temple at this place. Ramanujacharya and
Madhvacharya also visited this important holy place. Amazingly, Badrinath
is one of the eight self-manifested holy places in India and because of
that, it is every year visited by many pilgrims that desire either to
attain mukti or bhakti - liberation or devotion to Lord Vishnu. At
Badrinath there is a place called Charanpaduka where a huge boulder bears
the footprints of Lord Vishnu that were imprinted when he descended from
Vaikuntha. Unfortunately, we don't have information which incarnation of
Lord Vishnu left here His footprints. We hope that somebody in the future
will supply this information to us.
Varanasi, close to Manikarnika, the place where people are cremated, is
another place where Lord Vishnu's footprints are preserved. According to
the local tradition, here Lord Vishnu performed tapasya - penance for
not less then 7,000 years. His footprints are seen on a boulder called
'the Caranpaduka', a slab of stone between the well and the bathing
place. The footprints were personally imprinted by Lord Vishnu. Close by,
there is a temple in honor of Ganesh who is worshipped to remove all
obstacles on the path of spiritual practice.
FOOTWEAR AND THE FOOTPRINTS OF LORD RAMA
we mention where the footprints of Lord Rama can be found, here is an
interesting story about His footwear. When Lord Ramacandra returned from
his exile, people happily greeted him and said: "in your absence your
younger brother Bharat was an exemplary, good and praiseworthy ruler of
the kingdom. "However, Bharat immediately replied: "Things went
on smoothly only due to the holy footwear of my dear brother Ramacanbdra,
which he had placed on the throne."
of the divine footprints that Lord Rama left in this earth planet are
found near Himalayas at the Gandhamadana hill that is the favorable abode
of Hanuman - Gandhamadana saila-sthainai- namaha. The reason how this
happened is very interesting. In the Rama lila when Laksmana got a great
wound and needed a healing sanjiva herb, Hanuman brought the whole
Gandhamadana hill at the place where Laksmana was lying. At this time
Siushena collected the required healing herb and Lord Rama left His
footprints there as well. After some time Hanuman brought back the
fortunate Gandhamadana hill to its previous place close to the Himalayas
where only three kilometers away, Ravans's brother, Vibhusana
surrendered to His eternal, real muster Lord Ramacandra.
South India where the Gandhamadana hill was brought temporarily there is
still a place called Gandhamadana Parvatam a kind of replica of
Gandhamadana hill. There on the top Lord Rama's footripnts are preserved
and worshiped in a small temple. According to the tradition, this was the
place where Lord Ramacadra consulted his army and decided to occupy Sri
more place to be mentioned where Lord Ramacandra's footprints are found
is Rameswaram a holy place that any faithful devotee of Lord Ram must
visit at least once in His life. At this place, Lord Rama worshiped the
shiva-linga or Lord Shiva as his best devotee. The worship was certainly
not performed for getting blessings from Shiva to destroy Ravana because
this would be controversial - namely why would Lord Siva give blessings
to Lord Rama so that Ravana become defeated, if Ravan was one of his most
devoted worshippers. Further, because not even Lord Shiva could protect
Ravana from destruction, Lord Siva is certainly not the Supreme Lord but
only the best devotee of Lord Rama. The Shrimad Bhagavatam declares -
vaishnavanam yatha shambhu - Shiva is the best of all the Vaishnavas.
Thus, Lord Rama worshiped Lord Shiva just to show an example how one
should glorify and worship an elevated devotee. This place Rameshvaram is
a place dear both to the Vaisnavas and the Shaivites.
top of the Kamadgiri hill is a place called Sita Rasoi meaning Sita's
Kitchen Shrine where she was cooking for the first years of the exile. It
is quite interesting that in the Ramayana there is no mention of Sita's
cooking and moreover, that this is not the only place at Kamadgiri where
She was cooking for Lord Rama and Laksmana. Close by to Sita Rasoi is the
place where one can see the life-size statue of Tulsidas, the writer of
Ramayana and the footprints left by Lord Ramacandra.
FOOTPRINTS OF KRSNA AND BALARAAM
the Srimad Bhagavatam 10.38.30 we can find the following wonderful verse:
two great personalities, Krsna and Balarama, had both made the land of
Vraja extremely beautiful by decorating it with Their footprints, which
had many auspicious markings, such as the flag, thunderbolt, rod for
controlling elephants, and lotus flower.
With great mercy, They cast Their smiling glance upon Akrura."
Jiva Goswami gives an interesting comment on this verse writing
that both Krsna and Balarama are described as having the markings of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead on the soles of Their feet that not any
sakty-avesa incarnations (empowered living entities) have such as Prthu
Maharaja and others. These
auspicious markings are seen only on the feet of the Supreme Personality
of Godhead Himself.
before we proceed to mention some auspicious places where Krishna left His
divine footprints let see which marks are on His sole that are the sign of
His position as the Supreme personality of Godhead. In the following
verses the Skanda Purana states the particular places on His feet where
Krishna carries the mark of the flag and also other marks, and the reasons
for these marks:
the base of the large toe on His right foot, the unborn Lord carries the
mark of a disc, which cuts down the six (mental) enemies of His devotees.'
the bottom of the middle toe of that same foot Lord Acyuta has a lotus
flower, which increases the greed for Him in the minds of the beelike
devotees who meditate on His feet.'
the base of His small toe is a thunderbolt, which smashes the mountains of
His devotees' reactions to past sins, and in the middle of His heel is the
mark of an elephant goad, which brings the elephants of His devotees'
minds under control.'
joint of His right large toe bears the mark of a barleycorn, representing
all kinds of enjoyable opulences.'
Skanda Purana also states,
thunderbolt is found on the right side of His right foot, and an elephant
goad below that.'
acaryas of the Vaisnava sampradaya explain that since the particular feet
under discussion are Lord Krishna's, we should know that the thunderbolt
is at the base of His small toe and the elephant goad below the
thunderbolt. An elephant goad on the heel belongs rather to Lord Narayana
and other visnu-tattva expansions.
the Skanda PuršŽa describes six marks on Krishna's right foot-the disc,
flag, lotus, thunderbolt, elephant goad and barleycorn. And the Vaisnava-tosani
mentions even more marks-a vertical line beginning at the middle of His
foot and continuing as far as the juncture between His big toe and second
toe; an umbrella below the disc; at the base of the middle of His foot, a
group of four svastikas in the four cardinal directions; at the four
points where each svastika meets the next, four rose apples; and in the
middle of the svastikas, an octagon. This makes eleven marks on Krishna's
Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura describes the marks on Krishna's left foot
the base of the large toe is a conchshell with its mouth facing the toe.
At the base of the middle toe are two concentric circles, representing the
inner and outer sky. Below this mark is Cupid' s unstrung bow, at the base
of the bow is a triangle, and surrounding the triangle is a group of four
waterpots. At the base of the triangle is a half-moon with two more
triangles touching its points, and below the half-moon is a fish.
together, then, there are nineteen distinguishing marks on the soles of
Lord Krishna's lotus feet."
it is unavoidable to mention something about the divine footprints of
Shrimati Radharani since She is the eternal consort of Shri Krishna, just
as Sita is to Rama or Lakshmi to Lord Narayana. Shrila Vishvanatha
Cakravarti Thakura quotes the following detailed description of Shrimati
Radharani's footprints, as given by Shrila Rupa Gosvami in his Shri
Ujjvala-nilamani: "At the base of the large toe of Her left foot is
the mark of a barleycorn, below that mark is a disc, below the disc is an
umbrella, and below the umbrella is a bracelet. A vertical line extends
from the middle of Her foot to the juncture of Her large and second toes.
At the base of the middle toe is a lotus, below that is a flag with a
banner, and below the flag is a creeper, together with a flower. At the
base of Her small toe is an elephant goad, and upon Her heel is a
half-moon. Thus there are eleven marks on Her left foot.
the base of the large toe of Her right foot is a conchshell, and below
that a spear. At the base of the small toe of Her right foot is a
sacrificial altar, below that an earring, and below the earring a spear.
Along the base of the second, third, fourth and small toes is the mark of
a mountain, below which is a chariot, and on the heel is a fish.
all together there are nineteen distinguishing marks on the soles of
Shrimati Radharani's lotus feet."
the verse of Srimad Bhagavatam 10.16.18 Shrila Sanatana Goswami gives a
following amazing purport:
Lord Krishna had passed along the path some time previously, why weren't
His footprints, which were surrounded by those of cows, cowherd boys and
so on, smudged over and brushed away? Why hadn't His footprints been
obliterated by those of the beasts and birds of Vrindavana forest? The
answer is indicated by the word vis-pati, master of the cowherd community.
Since Lord Krishna is actually the wealth of all living beings, all the
inhabitants of the forest of Vraja would carefully preserve His footprints
as great treasures, the very ornaments of the earth. Thus no creature
within Vrindavana would ever walk upon Lord Krishna's footprints. All
the living beings in Vrindavana, including even the forest birds and
beasts always carefully preserved the Lord's footprints as their greatest
treasures, the very ornaments of the earth, and they were never walked
over by anyone".
BLESSED BY KRISHNA'S LOTUS FEET
when the Kaliya snake demon was poisoning the Yamuna river so much that
the fishes begin dying; the vegetation around the river to dry out and
even the birds flying above the river to fall down dead due to inhaling
the poisonous fume, Krishna decided to punish the nasty demon and jumped
into the Yamuna. Seeing this, one cowherd boy immediately run to the
village to inform the residents of Vrindavana that Krishna is in danger.
Suddenly, the people of the whole village immediately decided to go on the
spot to help Krishna running like corpses, following Krishna's footprints
to the part of the Yamuna where the Lord's pastime was taking place. Once
again, being under the influence of Yogamaya - the spiritual illusory
potency of Krishna - they could not realize that there is no danger for
only the land of Vrindavana was blessed by the Lotus feet of Lord Krishna
but others as well whoever was touched by them. Devotees they always pray
for the shelter and protection at the lotus feet of Shri Krishna and
amazingly, Kaliya, although a demon also attained that blessing by
Krishna. Dancing on the many hoods of the Kaliya snake, who was polluting
the Yamuna river by its poison, Krishna almost killed the snake demon and
it was only because of the request of the wifes of Kaliya that Krishna did
not kill him. Promising to Krishna that he will never again poison the
Yamuna river and never again return to this place, Krishna blessed Kaliya
in the following way: "Because you are now marked with My footprints,
Garuda will no longer try to eat you".
AND MOTHER YASODA
more than 5000 years ago Shri Krishna and Balarama displayed Their
wonderful pastimes, throughout the whole Vrndavana Their footprints and
the footprints of the gopis were visible. Every day Krishna and Balarama
were happily traversing Vrndavana, purifying thus the land with Their
lotus footprints. These sacred footprints of Krishna and His eternal
companions are the main reason why is Vrindavana glorified by Krishna
bhaktas as the most important holy place in the whole universe. Actually,
if the footsteps of an elevated devotee makes any place purified and thus,
equally good as a holy place, what to say then about Krishna? Even those
places where He was steeling butter as a small child, became certainly the
most holy, worshipable place. Mother Yashoda, the most fortunate mother in
the universe, was able to trace Krishna by following His butter-smeared
footprints. Most of the time, when she saw her naughty Krishna, how
cleverly He invented different ways to reach the high ceiling to steal
butter from the pots that were hanging there, she would just smile.
AND DHRUVA MAHARAJA
is described, that when Narada Muni advised Dhruva to meditate on and
worship Lord Vishnu, Dhruva started for Madhuvana forest. Even at that
time, in Madhuvana there were many footprints of Krishna from His previous
pastimes, thus making the whole forest very auspicious for Dhruva's
practice of austerities and meditation. He diligently worshipped and
glorified Lord Krishna by chanting the 12-syllable mantra - om namo
bhagavate vasudevaya. Accept
of the forest of Madhuvana, there are many other places where Krishna's
footprints are imprinted and preserved even nowadays. Let's now continue
with our pilgrimage.
Pahari is situated in the land of Vrindavana, 2 kilometers outside of the
village Kaman, in the top of a small hill. This place was visited by many
acaryas and Lord Caitanya as well. Lord Caitanya, Lord Nityananda, Advaita
Acarya, Madhavendra Puri, Madhvacarya, Vallabhacarya and the Gosvamis have
all come to this place to have darshan of Krishna's footprints.
is said, that when Krishna played His flute at this place the hill started
to melt. Actually, Krishna's flute playing is so amazing that the trees
immediately begin to shed tears of honey; the river stops to flow and
becomes like a stone or begins to flow in opposite direction; the stones
begin to melt; the dears become stunned and the grass falls out from their
open mouth. The cows all hear their particular names in the sound of the
flute. So, the impressions of Krishna's footprints can be seen here at
Charan Pahari. At this place Krishna used to have many wonderful childhood
pastimes and it was also here that Krishna performed a sacrifice for
atonement of killing Vyomasura who was a son of a brahmana.
to Charan Pahari is one more place called Pichel Pahari (Pichalini-shila),
another place where the footprints of Krishna and Balarama are imprinted
in the stone. All these different places of Krishna's pastimes: Charan
Pahari, Pichel Pahari, Vyomasura's cave, and Bhojana Sthali are
surrounded by the Kamyavana forest. In the Adi Varaha Purana it is said:
'The fourth forest is Kamyavana, the best of all. O goddess, a person
who goes there is glorified in My abode.'
king, next is Kamyavana, where Lord Hari stayed in His childhood. Simply
by bathing here, any person will attain all his desires." (Skanda Purana,
Vrindavana close to the Govindaji temple there is a cave in which the
Deity of Govinda was found. It is said that this was the preferred place
where Rupa Goswami liked to perform his japa meditation. Here, also at
this place, one can have a darshan of eight armed Yogamaya sitting on a
lion and the stone slab with the footprint of Shri Krishna.
SALAGRAM SILA OF SANATANA GOSWAMI
more then 450 years ago Due to danger from the Muslim invaders many
deities in Vrindavana were moved to Jaipur. Among Them are the original
Radha Damopdara Deities that were worshiped by Jiva Goswami and the
Govardhana-sila of Sanatana Goswami, which is here especially interesting
for us to be mentioned because it has Lord Krishna's footprints on it.
The story how Sanatana Goswami got this wonderful Govardhana-sila goes as
follows. He used to stay at Chakra Tirha that is close to Govardhana hill
and from there he daily went on Govardhana parikrama (more than 21 km)
considering Govardhana to be Lord Krishna. As he became old going for
parikrama became quite difficult for him and thus out of compassion
Krishna came to him disguised as a small boy holding a fan in his one
hand. The boy began to fan Sanatana Goswami and said: "Swamy it is
very difficult for you to go round the mountain daily walking more than
twenty-one miles. Please accept my good advice. This is Sila has Lord
Krishna's footprints on it and the pujari can tell you where you can see
the walking stick, a flute, and the hoof-print of a calf imbedded. I have
brought this Sila for you from the top of this mountain and
circumambulating it is as good as circumambulating the whole Govardhan
Hill". After saying this good advice the charming boy disappeared.
Sanatana Goswami felt very much happy and accepted His good advice.
DIVINE FOOTPRINTS OF LORD CAITANYA
His childhood, the name of Lord Caitanya was Nimai who in many different
ways was an extraordinary child. In the Citanya Bhagavata we can find the
He tried to walk, in His small footprints the specific marks of Lord
Vishnu were visible, namely the flag, thunderbolt, conchshell, disc and
all these marks, neither His father nor His mother could understand whose
footprints they were. Thus struck with wonder, they could not understand
how those marks could be possible in their home'.
MiÁra said, "Certainly child Krishna is with the shalagrama-shila.
Taking His childhood form, He is playing within the room."'
time, obeying the orders of His parents, Nimai was going into the other
room when the tinkling sound of the anklets was heard from the bare feet
of the child. When the child went out to play, the parents, to their great
astonishment, found their son's footprints to be the footprints of Lord
Vishnu. So they prostrated before him".
Lord Caitanya went to Gaya to perform shradha ceremony for his decayed
father he also met there his spiritual master - Ishvara Puri and took
initiation from him. Form that time He completely became transformed
experiencing deep love of Krishna. On the way back to Navadvipa at the
place Kanai Natshala that is situated on a top of a small hill close to
the Ganga, He manifested His love for Krishna in separation seeing the
lotus footprints of Krishna.
the place where Lord Krishna's footprints are, not so long ago there was
a small temple under the care of one sadhu form Ramanuja sampradaya. After
he donated the temple to ISKCON, the devotees now built a nice temple
there with the deities of Radha-Krishna and Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
reason why is Ramakeli significant for the Gaudiya vaishnavas because this
is the place where Lord Caitanya met and delivered Sri Rupa And Sri
Sanatana Goswamis. The Caitanya Caritamrita mentions that the two brothers
did not only have taken up Muslim names and worked as officials in the
Mohammedan government but they also adopted all kinds of Muslim customs,
dress like Muslims and speak in Arabic and Persian. Working for the king
of Bengal, Hussain Shah, Sanatana was given the title Sakara Mallik, which
means Prime Minister and Rupa was given the title Dabir Khas, which means
Private Secretary. They were so important - right and left hand men of
Hussain Shah that he would not do anything without consulting them.
Interestingly, they would behave like Muslims only during the day but in
the evening they would purify themselves by taking bath and engage in
their religious duties of chanting the holy name on japa, studying the
scriptures and engaging in religious discourses.
When Lord Caitanya visited Ramakeli both brothers with a straw in
their mouth - what is the sign of humility - surrendered to the Lord
asking Him a blessings to be delivered from their awkward position. It is
at this place, Ramakeli that the divine footprints of Shri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu are preserved. Here, one can also have the darshan of Shri Shri
Radha Madan-mohan, the deities of Shrila Sanatana Goswami, and see the
place where he was kept under arrest by Nawab Hussain Shah.
CAITANYA'S AND NITYANANDA'S FOOTPRINTS AT RADHA-KUNDA
Lord Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited Vrindavana he discovered the lost
places of the most sacred and most dear places of Radha-Krishna's
pastimes - Radh-kunda and Shyama-kunda. First, asking the local people
where are these Kundas, nobody could tell him. It is only because He is
the all-knowing Supreme Lord that he on the middle of paddy fields he
recognized Radha-kunda and Shyama-kunda. At that time they were only a
small water but still He took His bath in them and Offered the following
all the gopis, Radharani is the dearmost. Similarly, the lake known as
Radha-kunda is very dear to the Lord because it is very dear to Shrimati
'Shrimati Radharani is most dear to Lord Krishna, and Her lake known as
Radha-kunda is also very dear to Him. Of all the gopis, Shrimati Radharani
is certainly the most beloved.'
that lake, Lord Krishna and Shrimati Radharani used to sport daily in the
water and have a rasa dance on the bank.
Lord Krsna gives ecstatic love like that of Shrimati Radharani to whoever
bathes in that lake even once in his life.
attraction of Radha-kunda is as sweet as that of Shrimati Radharani.
Similarly, the glories of the kunda [lake] are as glorious as Shrimati
'Because of its wonderful transcendental qualities, Radha-kunda is as
dear to Krsna as Shrimati Radharani. It was in that lake that the
all-opulent Lord Sri Krishna performed His pastimes with Shrimati
Radharani with great pleasure and transcendental bliss. Whoever bathes
just once in Radha-kunda attains Shrimati Radharani's loving attraction
for Sri Krishna. Who within this world can describe the glories and
sweetness of Sri Radha-kunda?' "
the bottom right-hand corner of Shyamakund there is a sitting place of
Lord Caitanya where He was chanting the holy name - Hare Krishna. This is
one more place where His Divine footprints are preserved in stone.
Interestingly, and at the bottom of Radhakunda there a sitting place of
Lord Nityananda where He stayed for some time, and leaving His divine
footprints there as a source of great mercy for all visiting devotees.
THE FOOTPRINTS OF KRISHNA
might ask now "Why at all this discussion about the footprints of Shri
Krishna, Rama, Lord Caitanya? What is the use to know about them?" The
reply is that when our Love for God is not yet developed we are asking
this kind of questions but when it will be blossomed our question will be
"Can you tell me more about the glories of Krishna's footprints? Oh,
when I will meet Krishna and see Him face to face".
Radharani to Visakha: My friend, whose footprints are these, marked with
the signs of the chariot-wheel, lotus flower, and thunderbolt? These
footprints on the shore of the Yamuna agitate My heart and make the hairs
on the creeper of My body blossom with happiness.
a sannyasi, Lord Caitanya glorified the pure love of the gopis in the mode
of separation. They were searching Krishna by looking after His footprints
and discussing all the details about them just like expert detectives.
Sometimes groups of ten to fifteen gopis sat around a set of prints and
discussed to make sure they belonged to Krishna.
in the middle of rasa-dance, Krishna left with the most fortunate gopi,
Radharani. As They did not come back the other gopis began to search where
did Krishna go, looking carefully where might be Their footprints. When
ultimately they traced out the footprints they sow that there were two
different sets of footprints - one of Krishna and the another of
Shrimati Radharani. Some of them became morose, thinking, "He must be
walking with His arm on Her shoulder." Later when they sow that there
were only one set of footprints, they started to speak in many different
ways. Chandravali addressed the other gopis: "O friends, just see?! At
this particular spot we do not see the footprints of that gopi. It appears
that because there were some pin-pricks from the dried grass, Krishna took
Her on His shoulder. O, She is so dear to Him". One another gopi said:
"What has happened to Radharani? Aha! This is where Krishna carried
His beloved to protect Her tender feet from these sharp grasses and
sprouts... Look, see. Because of the extra weight, Krishna's footprints
are pressed more deeply in the ground... Here, He put Her down to pluck
some flowers to decorate Her hair. The front part of His footprint is much
deeper. He must have had to reach up on His tiptoes to get the flowers up
Krishna was enacting His wonderful pastimes with Shrimati Radharani, at
once He sow some pride in Her and thus He decided to disappear. The main
group of gopis then came across Shrimati Radharani, alone and completely
bewildered. Seeing the other gopis She spoke the following devotional
va pada-ratam pinastu mam
adarsanan marma-hatam karotu va
yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato
mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah
I know no one but Krishna as my Lord, and He shall remain so even if He
handles me roughly in His embrace or makes me brokenhearted by not being
present before me. He is completely free to do anything and everything,
for He is always my worshipful Lord unconditionally.
THEM AWAKES COMPASSION
his Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu, Shrila Rupa Goswami gives two wonderful
examples how just by seeing the footprints of Shri Krishna the quality of
compassion is awakened.
the gopis requested Hamsaduta to search after the marks of Krishna's lotus
feet and to accept them as Lord Brahma had accepted them on his helmet
after he had stolen all Krishna's cowherd boys. Regretting his challenge
to Krishna, Lord Brahma had bowed down before the Lord, and his helmet
became marked with the footprints of Krishna. The gopis reminded Hamsaduta
that sometimes even the great sage Narada becomes very ecstatic by seeing
these footprints, and sometimes great liberated sages also aspire to see
them. "You should therefore seek very enthusiastically to find the
footprints of Krishna," they urged.
instance of devotional service in compassion mentioned by Rupa Goswami is
when Sahadeva, the younger brother of Nakula, became greatly gladdened at
seeing the effulgent glowing of Krishna's footprints. He began to cry and
call out, "Mother Madri! Where are you now? Father Pandu! Where are
you now? I am very sorry that you are not here to see these footprints of
this way, through these examples we can see how beneficial is to see the
divine footprints of Shri Krishna. Actually, all the different symbols on
Krishna's soles have their particular meaning and purpose. For example,
the disc is a weapon that cuts down the six mental enemies of the devotees
namely lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness and envy. And, for example,
the other symbol, the lotus, increases the greed for Krishna in the minds
of the bee-like devotees. Thus, whoever takes shelter of Krishna's lotus
feet becomes fully protected by the Supreme Protector - Govinda.
SEES KRISHNA'S FOOTPRINTS
see the Krishna's footprints is the cause of great ecstasy for an
elevated devotee, who has pure love for Krishna. In the Srimad Bhagavatam
it is described that when Akrura came to Vrindavana in search of Krishna,
he saw the footprints of the Lord on the dust of Nanda-grama. As his eyes
became over-flooded with tears due to increasing ecstasy of transcendental
love for Krishna, at once he jumped on the land of Vrindavana and rolling
about among those footprints, he exclaimed, "Ah, this is the dust
from my master's feet! How wonderful this is! How wonderful this is!"
feelings were experienced by the gopis of Vrindavana when they were going
to the bank of the Yamuna and saw Krishna's footprints in the dust. When
Krishna walked on the ground of Vrindavana, the marks of His sole (flag,
thunderbolt, fish, a rod for controlling elephants and lotus flower) would
be imprinted upon the dust of the land. The gopis became overwhelmed
simply by seeing those marks on the ground.
when Krishna went away from Vrindavana the Gopis could not forget their
most beloved Krishna. And actually how they could when all the lakes of
Vrindavana, the banks of Yamuna, the Govardana hill, the pasturing grounds
still had the impressions of Krishna's footprints on the surface of the
earth. The gopis said to Uddhava: "We remember Him playing in those
places, because He was constantly visiting them. When His appearance
within our minds becomes manifest, we immediately become absorbed in
thought of Him...On the land of Vrindavana are the impressions of His
footprints, that are the residence of the goddess of fortune, and because
of such signs we cannot forget Krishna.
just by seeing Krishna's all-attractive footprints, the gopis
immediately remembered many other things about Krishna. They remembered
Krishna's having a helmet with a peacock feather and wearing earrings on
His ears and the yellow-gold colored garments covered with jewels and
pearls. They also remembered Krishna's blowing His flute and all the
cowherd boys' singing the glories of the Lord. Sometimes the gopis would
remember and think about His soft nails, moving eyebrows and His teeth,
which were catechu colored from chewing pan.
THE PAIN OF THE EARTH
devotees know that bhumi - the mother earth is blessed by every step of
Krishna's lotus feet, and thus she experience great relief and
happiness. One of Krishna's confidential devotees said: "My dear
friend, when Krishna returns home with His cows, the footprint of the
soles of His feet relieves the pain the earth feels when the cows traverse
it. He walks in a stride which is so attractive, and He carries His
of Krishna's presence and His footprints, every place where He went
became blessed, prosperous and beautiful. When Krishna was in Hastinapura,
Queen Kunti was praising Him with the following respectful words:
You are now walking in our kingdom, and the impressions of Your footprints
are making everything beautiful. There is sufficient water and fruit, and
everything looks beautiful, but when You leave us it will not look
Queen Kunti's words apply to our present moment is very nicely explained
by Bhaktivedanta Swami Shrila Prabhupada, making her words to sound not a
mythology but a reality. He writes:
is not that this applied only when Krishna was present and Kunti was
speaking. Rather, the truth is always the same. Despite the advancement of
our civilization, if we cannot bring Krishna and Krishna consciousness
into the center of everything, our civilization will never become
beautiful.The newspapers often describe the devotees as
"bright-faced. Their countrymen remark, How joyful and beautiful
these boys and girls have become." At the present time in America and
all over the world, many of the younger generation are confused and
hopeless, and therefore they appear morose and black-faced. Why? Because
they are missing the point; they have no aim in life. But the devotees of
Krishna look very beautiful because of the presence of Krishna".
therefore, the whole purpose of this essay was that we think about
something positive, Krishna, Vishnu, Lord Rama. To remember that they
really came to this planet to save the materially conditioned souls from
this material world and by leaving Their divine footprints, They are still
reminding us of the supreme spiritual goal of life, to go back to the
spiritual abode where we can eternally reside. To do this we need to
follow a simple but sublime formula of the Bhagavad Gita:
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo 'si me
think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me.
Thus, you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are
My very dear friend".
whenever we get an opportunity to go on the places where we can see the
divine footprints of various incarnations of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, bowing down to Them we will certainly get the supreme benefit.
And which is that benefit, that is very nicely described in the Garga
person who sees the handprint and footprint of Sri Krishna, the Supreme
Personality of Godhead and bows down to offer respects to them, goes to
Lord Krishna's transcendental abode".
by Avadhuta Raya das -