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Sri Krsna

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Çré Kåñna's Lotus Feet (19 signs)

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Right Foot - 11 Signs

Jon 1) BARLEYCORN (Jon) - This mark signifies that Their devotees receive all enjoyable opulences of prosperity by serving Their lotus feet. It also means that once one finds shelter at Their lotus feet, then the devotee's former journey through many, many births and deaths is actually very tiny, just like a single grain of barley. It further demonstrates that just as the barley grains are sustenance of life for living beings, similarly it is widely celebrated that Their glorious feet are the nourishment of all souls.

Chakra 2) DISK (Chakra) - This mark cuts down the six enemies of their devotees - lust, anger, greed, illusion, envy and bewilderment. It indicates teja-tattva, or the principle of brilliance by which They destroy the darkness of sin within

Urdhva-rekha 3) UPWARD-CURVING-LINE (Ürdhva-rekhä) - This mark signifies that the devotees who cling to Their feet, as if holding a life-line, will be transported to the higher realms. Indeed, they will not fall down. It shows that such devotees need never be doubtful of their upward passage; they cannot be held captive within this small egg-like material universe. It also indicates that the path to Their feet, being free of external designations, is very direct. It also reveals that Their feet can reach down to the lowest of fallen souls and deliver those who have taken shelter of Them.

Padma 4) LOTUS (Padma/Kamala) - This mark increases greed for nectar in the minds of the bee-like devotees who meditate on Their feet. The lotus also signifies that just as a lotus grows out of water, similarly, those whose eyes swell with tears upon holding the Divine Couple's lotus feet to their heart receive the highest benefit. This mark also shows that the goddess of Fortune, Çré Lakñmé Devé, always resides on Their feet rendering humble service. It also reveals that just as a lotus blooms by day and contracts by night, similarly those who remain steeped in meditation on their feet; always feel the blossoming unfolding of brilliant sättvikä ecstasies that dispel the darkness of ignorance. This mark signifies that Their feet are so soft that they can only be compared to lotus petals; indeed, upon 1st glancing of Their lotus feet, you would think you are directly seeing fresh lotus blossoms. This mark also indicates that just as bees live inside lotus flowers, similarly the minds of the Gopés always reside in the nectar of Their lotus feet. It also shows that this lotus, (or consciousness of Their lotus feet), will not grow unless there is profusion of Prem-jal, or the water of pure divine love. It also means that the bee of the devotee's mind cannot fly beyond the bondage of dry jnana and vairägya (renunciation) without the temptation offered by the superior nectar of Their lotus feet. It denotes that Their feet always live in Våndäs forest, which is shaped like a lotus; thus the mark is indicative of Their Supreme Lordship over all creation. Even Lord Viñnu knows that Their feet are the abode of happiness, and in His eternal service to Their lotus feet He holds the four signs (beginning with the lotus, disc, club and conch). Rädhä and Kåñna bestow benedictions by use of the lotus and other items like Lord Viñnu does, and therefore, Their lotus feet are also marked with these symbols.

Ankusa 5) GOAD (Ankuña) - This mark indicates that meditation on Their lotus feet brings the elephants of their devotees minds under control and keeps them on the right path. It also shows that those who thus stay on the path toward Their feet, become superior among men, just as one riding on top of an elephant travels far above the rest.

Dvaja 6) FLAG (Dvaja) - This mark announces that for the devotees meditating on Their feet, They give security and safe protection from all sorts of fear.

Vajra 7) THUNDERBOLT (Vajra) - This mark reveals that meditation on Their feet smashes to pieces the mountain of their devotees karmik reactions to past sins. It also indicates that whoever holds on to Their feet becomes as exalted as Lord Indra (whose weapon is the lightning bolt). This mark also shows that the glories of Kåñna's dynasties were established by His own Grandson Vajranabha, who preserved the many places of His pastimes, built temples, installed various deities, and initiated regular festival celebrations.

Chatri 8) UMBRELLA (Chatri) - This mark proves that those who take shelter of Their feet are shielded from the incessant rainfall of material miseries. Furthermore, this mark on Rädhä's feet indicates that Her feet provide relief for Her beloved from the scorching heat felt in Her separation. It also refers to Kåñna holding Govardhana Hill up like an umbrella to protect Vraj from the angry Indra. It also denotes that those who sit in the shade of Their feet becomes exalted just like Maharajas who usually have umbrellas held over their heads.

Asta-Kona 9) OCTAGON (Añta-Kona) - This mark signifies that those who resort to Their feet are well-protected in the eight directions. It also shows that nothing within the kingdom of the eight directions is unattainable for the devotees. Further, Their devotees automatically and easily achieve the use of the eight mystic perfections in the course of performing service to Their feet.

Swastika 10) SWASTIKA - This mark signifies that those who resort to Their feet, all is well. It also indicates that nothing inauspicious could possibly remain for one who holds Their feet to their heart.

Jambu Phala 11) ROSEAPPLE (Jambu-phala) - This mark is indicative that Their feet are the only worshipable objects for all those who are residents of this region of Jambudvipa ('island of the rose-apple') according to Vedic cosmography.

Left Foot - 8 Signs

Conch 12) CONCH (Sankha) - This emblem indicates that those who take shelter of Their lotus feet are always rescued from all sorts of distress. Just as during the Arati ceremony the conch shell is used to hold water that is offered directly after the ghee-lamp, similarly, their feet hold transcendental water that sooths Their devotees from the blazing fire of material miseries. Also, this symbol proclaims ultimate victory for the devotees, since the conch shell mark on the feet contains the entire ocean of material existence that may now be easily crossed. This mark is also symbolic of the Jäla-tattva, or principle of water, that since from Kåñna's foot has manifested the River Ganga, purifier of all worlds. This mark also shows that those who resort to Their feet become completely fearless.

Akasa 13) SKY (Ambara/Akaña) - This mark of two circles, one within the other indicates that Their feet are all pervading throughout the entire universe both within and without all manifestations. It also shows that even though Their feet are everywhere, They are unattached just like the sky.

14) BOW (Dhanuña) - This mark reveals that those who take shelter of Their feet will perpetually be freed from all worries and difficulties. It also shows that those who are stupefied in the material world remain motionless like a target and do not come to Their feet; whereas those who come to (the ultimate goal of) Their feet remain there never to go back to the material world. Furthermore, when the minds of the devotees meet the target of Their feet, then prema condenses as a result and overflows as the tears showering from their eyes.

15) CALF'S HOOFPRINT (Goshpad) - This mark signifies that those who have taken full shelter of uninterrupted meditation on Their feet, the great ocean of material worldly existence becomes very small and insignificant like the water held in a calf's hoofprint, and thus easily crossed over.

Tri-kona 16) TRIANGLE (Tri-kona) - The meanings of this mark are: That the devotees who resort to Their feet will be saved from the snares of the three-fold modes of nature (Maya). That Their feet are the first and the last refuge for the inhabitants of the 3 worlds; That Their feet are the safest sanctuary for the Devas, humans and animals as well; That Their feet are the sole desired object of the muktas (liberated), mumukñus (those desiring liberation), as well as the viñayas (sense enjoyers); And that Their feet should be resorted to by everyone with full concentration of their body, mind and speech. It also shows that Kåñna, the conqueror of Cupid, is the Lord and husband of all women, whether they are in the category of sviya (married), parakiya (unwedded lovers) or ganika (prostitutes). It also shows that Kåñna is the original source of His three expanded manifestations of Brahma, Viñnu and Siva. Kåñna also bears this mark on His foot to indicate that the three energies: Çré, Bhü, and Lélä are His maidservants. It refers to His stepping over the three worlds: Svarga, Bhumé, and Patala with one step (Vamana Dev). Also that His feet remove the three miseries: Adhyatmik, Adhyabhautik and Adhyadaivik. It further signifies that His feet may be attained by worshippers performing any of the three sadhanas: Bhakti, Jïäna and Vairagya. It denotes that He never goes anywhere other than Vrndavan, Mathura and Dwarka. Also that whether one is a sura (godly), nara (human), or asura (demon), He sees everyone equally and bestows the same bhakti. Also that His feet have attracted the fixed gaze of the three eyes of Çiva.

Water Pot 17) PITCHER/WATERPOT (Kalaña) - This mark shows that Their feet hold the golden pitcher full of purely nectarean ambrosia to be freely consumed by the surrendered souls; indeed, they will never be bereft of nectar, for this pitcher always remains full. This mark also indicates that Their feet can pour out nectar that extinguishes the burning fire of separation felt by the Gopés as well as blazing three fold miseries of Their separated devotees. It also refers to His feet as the source of the Ganga River, which is supremely purifying. Further, the full pitcher is a symbol to show that no inauspiciousness can come near Their devotees, but rather that Their feet brings ripples of happiness emanating from divine auspiciousness. Also in order to hear the joking statements of the Gopés, He bears this emblem of Their jug-like breasts upon His feet.

Ardha Chandra 18) Half Moon (Ardha Chandra) - This mark symbolizes how Their feet truly accomplish the desired objectives of the devotees. It signifies that even gods like Çiva have decorated their own heads with the soles of Their feet. It also shows that devotees who likewise decorate their own heads with Their feet can become exalted like Çiva. Just as the moon showers nectar with its cooling rays, similarly Their feet shower nectar upon Their devotees, extinguishing the 3-fold miseries. So that the minds of the devotees may reside at Their feet, They bear the symbol of the moon (which is the devata of the mind) upon Their feet. Just as the moon is one, yet destroys the darkness seen by many people simultaneously, similarly the Lord is one yet by His cleverness can deliver many souls at the same time. The 1/2 moon also indicates that since Their toe nails appear as 10 splendrous full moons, the real moon has shrivelled up in shame and appears in 1/2 form. It also indicates that the 1/2 hearted attempts of those who are A-bhakta (improperly devoted), ku-rasika (relishing transcendental topics with the wrong attitude) and kutila (crooked or duplicitous) cannot approach Their feet. Also, just as the 1/2 moon is in the process of increasing, similarly the benefit for one who is day by day expanding the glorification of Their feet in a spotless manner certainly increases.

Matsya 19)Fish (Matsya) - This mark shows that just as a fish cannot without water, similarly, the surrendered devotees cannot live without directly associating with Their feet. This mark on Çré Rädhä's feet shows that She, like fish out of water, cannot live for a moment without her Beloved. It also shows that all the most cherished desires and longings of these who resort to Their feet will be truly fulfilled. It also means that the mind is very fickle, just like fish who wavers this way and that, and so only after much meditation do Their feet finally come into the heart. It also indicates that Their feet will come to live in one's heart only if the heart has been liquefied by soft loving emotions; Their feet do not thrive where it is dry. Further, it shows that His foot bears the mark of the fish, which is the emblem flying on the banner of Cupid, just to excite the desires of the Vraja gopés. He also has this mark on his feet to indicate that He has conquered Cupid, thereby displaying Cupid's flag of surrender on the soles of His feet. And it is a reminder that during the great universal devastation and flood, He assumed the form of Matsya, the fish-incarnation, and thereby saved His devotees.

(Sources : Çrémad Bhagwat, Särärtha-darsiné (Visvanath's Bhagwat commentary), Ananda Chandrika (Visvanath's Tika on Govinda Lélämåta), Visvanath's Rüpä Cintamani, Jivas Çré Kara-päda-yugula-samähåti, Skanda Purana, Matsya Purana, Garga Samhita, and other places)

Srimai Radharani

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