Click here to load whole tree
NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Essays and Articles > Other Essays > Nityananda-gauranga-kara-pada-yugala-dhyana

Title: Nityananda-gauranga-kara-pada-yugala-dhyana

User: Damodara Svarupa dasa      Date: 2005-04-01 17:51:35

 

NITYANANDA-GAURANGA-KARA-PADA-YUGALA-DHYANA -- By Swami Gaurangapada

 

The Meanings of the Auspicious Marks on the Lotus Feet and Hands of Their

Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga

 

These beautiful meanings should be meditated upon while chanting the Nityananda

and Gauranga Mantrarajas

 

Sources - Shrimad Bhagavatam, Saratha-darshini, (Visvanatha Chakravarti's

Bhagavatam commentary), Ananda-chandrika (Visvanatha's tika on Govinda-lilamrita), Visvanatha's Rupa Chintamani, Jiva Goswami's

Shri-kara-pada-yugala-samsmrti, Skanda Purana, Matsya Purana, Garga Samhita and numerous other quotes and compilations.

 

gaurangera duti pada, jara dhana sampada,

se jane bhakati-rasa-sara

 

Shrila Narottama Dasa Thakura sings: “Anyone who accepts the two lotus feet of

the Supreme Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu as one's only treasure and wealth in life,

becomes qualified to understand the essence of the pure mellows of devotional

service to the Lord.”

 

nitai-pada-kamala, koti-chandra-sushitala,

je chayay jagata juray

nitaiyer carana satya,tahara sevaka nitya

nitai-pada sada koro asa

 

“The lotus feet of Lord Nityananda Prabhu and more soothing, cool and mollifying

than millions upon milions of moons. The whole spiritual and material creation

simply rests on the shelter and under the shadow of His two lotus feet. The only

eternal truth in this world is the two lotus feet of Lord Nityananda and the

servants of These feet are the eternal and immortal associates of the Lord.

Therefore please always aspire to achieve the two lotus feet of Lord Nityananda

Prabhu through the chanting of His Holy Name.”

----------------------------------------------

 

Conch (shankha) - This auspicious mark indicates that those who take shelter of

Their Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga's lotus feet are always rescued

from all sorts of distress. Just as during the arati ceremony the conchshell is

used to hold water that is offered directly after the fire of the ghee-lamp,

similarly Their feet hold transcendental water that soothes Their devotees from

the blazing fire of material miseries. Also, this symbol proclaims ultimate

victory for the devotees of Their Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga, since

the conchshell mark on Their feet contains the entire ocean of material

existence that may now be easily crossed. This mark also shows that those who

resort to Their feet become com-pletely fearless. And furthur, the mark is also

symbolic of the jala-tattva or principle of water since from Gauranga's feet has

manifested the river Ganga, purifier of all the worlds. On Gauranga's foot, this

mark also indicates the water-principle that soothes Krishna so that He feels no

burning pain whenever He is separated from Radha's company or while feeling the

mood of separation.

 

Flag (dhvaja) - This mark announces that for the devotees meditating on the feet

of Their Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga, the Lords give full security

and safe protection from all sorts of fear. Furthermore, this mark on Gauranga's

foot indicates that there will be supreme victory for all the associates of Lord

Gauranga who are aware of the glories of His lotus feet.

 

Fish (matsya) - This mark shows that just as a fish cannot live without water,

similarly the surrendered devotees cannot live a moment with-out directly

associating with The lotus feet and the Holy Names of Their Lordships Shri Shri

Nityananda Gauranga. This mark on Gauranga's foot shows that Lord Gauranga is

like a fish out of water, cannot live for a moment without relishing His own

love and chanting His own Names. It also shows that all the most cherished

desires and longings of those who resort to the lotus feet of Their Lordships

Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga will be truly fulfilled. It also means that the

mind is very fickle, just like a fish who wavers this way and that, and so only

after much medita-tion on Their lotus feet while chanting Their Holy Names it

will finally become steady and fixed of the Lord.

It also indicates that Their feet will come to live in one's heart only if the

heart has been liquified by soft loving emotions; Their feet do not thrive where

it is dry. Further, it shows that Lord Gauranga's foot bears this mark of the

fish, which is the emblem flying on the banner of Cupid, so His lotus feet are

the seed and bestower of pure conjugal love for Their Lordships Shri Shri Radha

and Krishna. He also has this mark on His feet to indicate that He has conquered

Cupid, thereby displaying Cupid's flag of surren-der on the soles of His feet.

And it is a reminder that during the great universal devastation and flood Lord

Gauranga assumed the form of Matsya, the fish-incarnation, and thereby saved His

devotees.

 

Lotus (kamala) - This mark increases greed for nectar in the minds of the

beelike devotees who meditate on The lotus feet of Their Lordships Shri Shri

Nityananda Gauranga. Furthermore, this mark on Gauranga's foot refers to the

services of His devotees who massage His feet with their lotus hands. The lotus

also signifies that just as a lotus grows out of water, similarly those whose

eyes swell with tears upon chanting the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas

receive the highest benefit.

This mark also shows that the goddess of fortune, Shri Lakshmi Devi, always

resides at Their feet rendering humble service. It signifies that Their feet are

so soft that they can only be compared to lotus petals; indeed, upon first

glancing at Their lotus feet. you would think you are directly seeing fresh

lotus blossoms. It also reveals that just as a lotus blooms by day and contracts

by night, similarly those who remain steeped in meditation on the Lotus Feet and

Holy Names of Their Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga always feel the

blossoming unfoldment of' brilliant spiritual ecsta-sies that dispel the

darkness of ignorance. This mark also indicates that just as bees live inside

lotus flowers, similarly the minds of the Gauranga Bhaktas 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 prema-jala or the

water of pure divine love.

It also means that the bee of the devotee's mind cannot fly beyond the bondage

of gyana (speculative knowledge) and vairagya (renunciation) without the

temptation offered by the superior nectar of Their lotus feet. It denotes that

Their feet always reside in the Navadvipa forest, which is shaped like a lotus;

thus the mark is indicative of Their Supreme Lordship over all of creation. Even

Lord Vishnu knows that the Lotus Feet and Holy Names of Their Lordships Shri

Shri Nityananda Gauranga are the supreme abode of happiness, and in His eternal

service to Their feet He holds the four weapons (beginning with the lotus, disc,

club and conchshell). Their Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga bestow

benedictions by use of the lotus and other items like Lord Vishnu does since

They are the original Vishnus, and therefore Their lotus feet are also marked

with these symbols.

 

Bow (dhanu) - This mark reveals that those who take shelter of the lotus feet of

Their Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga 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 and

Their Holy Name; whereas those who come to the ultimate goal of Their feet and

Holy Name remain there and never go back to the material world. Further. when

the mind of the devotee meets the target of Their feet, then pure love condenses

as a result and overflows as the tears showering from their eyes.

 

Goad (ankusha) - This mark indicates that meditation on The lotus feet of Their

Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga 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 and Holy Names become superior among

men, just as one riding on top of an elephant travels far above the rest. This

mark when on Gauranga's foot, indicates that even though Krishna's elephant-like

mind attempts to have like many different kinds of heroines, the lotus feet of

Radha are still powerful enough to easily conquer Him and bring Him under

control and force Him to assume the golden complexion of Radha to become

Gauranga.

 

Triangle (tri-kona) - The meanings of this mark are: that the devotees who

resort to The lotus feet of Their Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga will

be saved from the snares of the three-fold modes of maya; that Their feet are

the first and last refuge for the inhabitants of the three worlds; that Their

feet are the safest sanctuary for demigods, human beings and animals as well;

that Their feet are the sole desired object of the muktas (liberat-ed),

mumukshas (those desirous of liberation) as well as vishayi (sense-gratifiers);

and that Their feet should be resorted to by everyone with full concentration of

their body, mind and speech. It also shows that Krishna, the conqueror of Cupid,

is the Lord and husband of all women, whether they are in the category of wedded

wives, unwedded lovers, or prostitutes. It also shows that Gauranga is the

original source of His three expanded manifestations of Brahma, Vishnu and

Shiva. Gauranga also bears this mark upon His foot to indicate that the three

energies of Shri, Bhu and Nila are His maidser-vants. It refers to His stepping

over the three worlds Svarga (heavenly planets), Bhu (earthly region) and Pata!a

(lower planets), with one step (in His incarnation as Vamana Deva). Also that

His feet remove the threefold miseries of adhyatmika (caused by one's own body

or mind), adhidaivika (caused by demigods, such as natural disasters), and

adhibhautika (caused by other living beings). It further signifies that Lord

Gauranga's lotus feet may be attained by worshippers performing any of the three

methods of sadhana-bhakti, gyana and vairagya. It denotes that Lord Gauranga

never goes anywhere other than Navadvipa, Jagannatha Puri and Vrindavana. Also

that whether one is sura (godly), nara (human) or asura (demon), Lord Gauranga

sees everyone equally and bestows the same bhakti. Also that His lotus feet have

attracted the fixed gaze of the three eyes of Lord Shiva.

 

Barleycorn - This mark signifies that the devotees of Their Lordships Shri Shri

Nityananda Gauranga receive all enjoyable opulences of prosperity by serving

Their feet. It also means that once one finds shelter at Their feet and Holy

Name, 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 the sustenance of life for living beings,

similarly it is widely celebrated that Their glorious feet are the nourishment

for all souls.

 

Altar (vedi) - This mark proclaims that the sins of those who meditate upon The

lotus feet of Their Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga are burned up as if

on the altar of sacrifice. Further-more, it indicates that just as the universe

is nourished by the brahmanas offering fire-sacrific-es, similarly those who

offer their minds in sacri-fice to Their lotus feet stimulate universal

nourishment that affects all of creation. The universe is the form of Gauranga,

and the offering is the form of Nityananda; this perfect union is indicated by

the mark of a sacrificial altar.

 

Half-moon (ardha-chandra) - This mark symbolizes how The lotus feet of Their

Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga truly accomplish the desired objectives

of the devotees. It signifies that even gods like Lord Shiva have decorated

their own heads with the soles of Their feet and their mouths by Their Holy

Name. It also shows that devotees who likewise decorate their own heads with

Their feet can become exalted like Shiva. Just as the moon showers nectar with

its cooling rays, similarly Their feet shower nectar upon Their devotees,

extinguishing the three-fold material miseries. So that the minds of the

devo-tees may reside at Their feet. They bear the symbol of the moon (which is

the devata or presiding deity of the mind) upon Their feet. Just as the moon is

one, yet destroys the darkness seen by many people simultaneously, similarly the

Lord Gauranga is one and yet by His cleverness can deliver many souls at the

same time. The half-moon also indi-cates that since Their toenails appear like

ten splendrously full moons, the real moon has shriv-eled up in shame and

appears in half-form. It also means that the half-hearted attempts of those who

are abhakta (improperly devoted), kurasika (relishing transcendental topics with

the wrong attitude); and kutila (crooked or duplicious) cannot approach Their

feet. Also, just as the half-moon is in the process of increasing, similarly the

benefit for one who is day-by-day expanding the glorifica-tion of Their feet and

Holy Names in a spotless manner certainly increases.

 

Upcurving-line (urdhva-rekha) - This mark signifies that the devotees who cling

to The lotus feet of Their Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga and Their

Holy Names, as if holding on to 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 the

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.

 

Pitcher (kalasa) - This mark shows that The lotus feet of Their Lordships Shri

Shri Nityananda Gauranga hold the golden pitcher full of purely nectarean

ambrosia to be freely consumed by the surren-dered 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 buring fire

of separa-tion felt by the gopis as well as the blazing three-fold miseries of

Their separated devotees. It also refers to Their 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 bring ripples of happiness emanating from divine auspiciousness. Also

in order to hear the joking statements of the gopis, Lord Gauranga bears this

emblem of their jug-like breasts upon His feet.

 

Disc (chakra) - This mark cuts down the six enemies of The devotees of Their

Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga - lust. anger, greed, illusion, envy,

and bewilderment. It indicates tejas or the principle of brilliance by which

They destroy the darkness of sin from within Their own devotees' hearts.

Furthermore, this mark on Gautranga's feet shows that He is the ruler of His own

kingdoms formed by the circle of Navadvipa-mandala and Vraja-mandala.

Sky (ambara) - This mark of two circles, one within the other indicates that the

The lotus feet of Their Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga are

all-pervading throughout the entire creation, both within and without all

manifestations. It also shows that even though Their feet are everywhere, they

are unattached just like the sky.

 

Umbrella (chatra) - This mark proves that those who take shelter of The lotus

feet of Their Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga are shielded from the

incessant rainfall of material miseries. Furthermore, this mark on Lord

Gauranga's feet indicates that His feet provide relief to His devotees from the

scorching heat felt in His separation. It also refers to Gauranga in His form of

Krishna holding Govardhana Hill up like an umbrella to protect Vraja from the

devastating rainfall caused by the anger of Indra. It also denotes that those

who sit in the shade of Their feet becomes exalted just like maharajas (great

kings), who usually have umbrellas held over their heads.

 

Cow-hoof (gospada) - This mark signifies that for those who have taken full

shelter of uninterrupted meditation on the lotus feet of Their Lordships Shri

Shri Nityananda Gauranga, the great ocean of material worldly existence becomes

very small and insignificant like the water held in a calf's hoof-print, and

thus is easily crossed over.

 

Thunderbolt (vajra) - This mark reveals that meditation on The lotus feet of

Their Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga smashes to pieces the mountain of

Their devotees' karmic reactions to past sins. It also indicates that whoever

holds on to Their feet becomes as exalted as Lord Indra (whose weapon is the

thunderbolt). This mark also shows that the glories of Krishna's dynasty were

established by His own grandson named Vajranabha, who preserved the many places

of His pastimes, built shrines, installed various Deities and initiated regular

festival celebrations.

 

Chariot (ratha) - This mark symbolizes the universe as a chariot and The lotus

feet of Their Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga show in which direction

for all souls to travel. It further indicates that Lord Gauranga is so merciful

to His devotees that He even becomes the chariot driver for them. It also shows

that the supreme goal may be easily attained, just as there is no trouble when

one rides on a chariot to visit the forest. Whoever sits upon the chariot of

Their feet emerges victorious in the battle with maya or the illusory energy.

 

Auspicious symbol (svastika) - This mark signifies that for those who resort to

The lotus feet of Their Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga, all is well. It

also shows that nothing inauspicious could possibly remain for one who holds

Their feet to their heart.

 

Octagon (ashta-kona) - This mark symbolizes that those who worship The lotus

feet of Their Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga are well-protect-ed in the

eight directions. It also shows that nothing within the kingdom of 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 and Their Holy Names.

 

Rose-apple (jambu-phala) - This mark is indicative that The lotus feet of Their

Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga are the only worshipable objects for all

those who are residents of this region of Jambudvipa (island of the rose-apple,

according to Vedic cosmogrophy).

 

Club (gada) - This mark is to show that The lotus feet of Their Lordships Shri

Shri Nityananda Gauranga are capable of chastising the elephant of sinful lust.

It further indicates that for whoever takes shelter of Their feet all their

ancestors will also receive benefit.

 

Earring (kundala) - Gauranga's lotus feet hold this emblem to indicate how

Krishna's ear is always listening for the tinkling sound of the charming

anklebells of Radha's lotus feet; thus Lord Krishna lives for the shelter of Her

feet, which give Him all happiness. It also shows that Lord Gauranga's two lotus

feet are the theorum that is proven by the system of sankhya.

 

Mountain (parvata) - This mark on the lotus feet of Lord Gauranga reveals that

even though Giri Govardhana is worshiped by all of Vraja as the best of

mountains, stilt Govardhana Hill in turn serves the feet of the Divine Couple in

the form of Lord Gauranga in Navadvipa.

 

Bracelet (valaya) - This mark, unique to Gauranga's feet indicates that His feet

are always present on the hands of His devotees who are massaging His feet after

His sankirtana dancing pastimes, just as a bracelet always accompa-nies the

hand.

 

Spear (shakti) - This mark assures those who wish to have the miserable bonds of

the mundane sphere cut, and who take shelter of The lotus feet of Their

Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga immediately slash all entangle-ments and

difficulties. It also indicates that They are shaktimana or the natural

possessors of all divine potencies, whereas Their servants are not endowed with

separate, independent power but are completely dependent on Them.

 

Flower (pushpa) - This mark, unique to Gauranga's feet, shows that the divine

fame of His feet spreads everywhere just like the fragrance of a flower. It also

shows that His feet are not hard, but soft as flower petals. And it means that

just as every fruit comes into being after the plant blooms, similarly all

spiritual fruits come into being after first blossoming at the soles of Lord

Gauranga's lotus feet.

 

Creeper (valli) - This mark unique to Lord Gauranga's foot, symbolizes how the

desire-creeper of the devotees grows and grows and gradually seeks refuge at His

lotus feet. It also shows that His feet are always found in the forest of

Navadvipa, where many vines and creepers thrive. It also proves that Lord

Gauranga Mahaprabhu is the supreme Lord of herbal medicine, and that His lotus

feet are the ideal cure for healing the disease of materialism. Further, it

means to show that Radha is like the creeper wrapping around the tree that is

Krishna and thus combining to manifest the form of Gauranga. And it also shows

that Lord Gauranga's lotus feet traverse ground that abounds with groves and

vine-laden bower-houses. It further indicates that intelligent persons hold on

to Lord Gauranga's Lotus Feet and Holy Name just as a creeper firmly grasps

whatever it is ascending.

 

Plow (hala) - Lord Nityananda Balarama being the Original spiritual master

cultivates the field of our heart with his golden plow and makes it fertile for

planting the seed of pure devotional service to Lord Gauranga and Their

Lordships Shri Shri Radha and Krishna. He also removes the unwanted weeds of

material desires in this process and thus grants us qualification for chanting

Gauranga's Holy Name.