The Fish of Sri Krishna’s Lotus Feet
Just like a fish, the lotus feet of Radha and Krishna cannot exist in a dry place. The heart must first become liquid with loving feelings to attract the fish of Their feet.
Cupid also has the fish symbol on his flag. However, when the fish appears on Krishna’s foot it shows that Krishna has conquered cupid, who laid down his flag in full surrender. Thus, the fish appears on the sole of Krishna’s left foot.
If a devotee meditates on Krishna’s lotus feet, by Krishna’s mercy he or she will be victorious over mundane attractions. –Sacinandana Swami
After a long day of fasting, kirtan, and chanting I read this post and it made me smile. The author is a monk who has dedicated his life to the path of Bhakti Yoga or devotional service, particularly, to Lord Krishna. He often has very sweet things to post and this was just one of them.
I’m sure this raises a lot of questions. Firstly…why the feet? For me, the feet hold a lot of symbolism. They are that step toward ultimate surrender. Where you love a person so much that you are willing to do anything for them, you just want to be near any part of them and if they were to even try and walk away from you, you’d grab hold of their feet and stop them for as long as you could. In this way, the feet are the beginning of devotion. That is the start. Service begins with the feet and ends with the beautiful, adoring face of the Lord of one’s heart.
Sri Krishna’s feet are described as being particularly soft, reddish with auspicious markings on his soles, cooling like the moon, with toenails that glisten like pearls. Why cooling? Because let’s face it, we’re all on fire. Adele got a grammy for pointing out that there was a fire burning in her heart…but she isn’t the only one. There is a fire within all of our hearts. We try to pacify it with things. Objects. People. But there is always a duality. No one and nothing can be perfect because we are all in contact with this imperfect place. That Supreme being is the only thing that is perfect…guaranteed. And so his feet are cooling like the moon, and soft, and wonderful, and basically, they feel like home.
So, Sacinandana Swami has already acknowledged that there is a fire in our hearts, and that in trying to fill it with things there is misery at every step. Just as we get something, something else goes wrong with it. It costs too much…or breaks and we have to spend more money to fix it…or anything. But the lotus like feet of Radha and Krishna are different. They don’t break down, or cost too much, or cause us untold misery once we’ve got them. They are the answers to the problem. Now the only problem is that our hearts aren’t ready. How can they be? often times we feel as though we have been too hurt in life to depend on a God that we can neither see nor hear. How is it that we will put our faith into someone that we are so unsure of. It takes an enormous amount of courage that we may not be sure that we have.
I recently came to an interesting conclusion about this. In an anti-gravity yoga class we sat in the harness, placed as a swing. If you’ve ever tried to balance yourself in a stretch of fabric, it’s harder than it looks, even though they tell you that the thing can hold somewhere around 2,000 lbs and that you are perfectly safe. They had us swinging in the harness. Then they asked us to let go of the sides and swing free. Then they asked us to close our eyes. The instructor explained that intuitively the body knows exactly where it is. It’s all about trust. Trusting yourself. I feel it’s the same with faith. Intuitively, the heart knows exactly what will make it better. It’s about trust. Trust what your heart feels first. Then go based on that. If you feel wonderful after a kirtan, if you feel exhilarated after having seen the divine forms of Radha and Krishna whether in a painting or in a temple, go with it. Trust that your heart knows. Intuitively, you know. The rest will come. The more you connect, the more you will see the answers to your questions.
Once our hearts become a fit and loving place for their Lordships…they will be attracted. Apparently, it works…just like that. I am still trying, so I’ll let you know the try day I have succeeded. For now, we’re on this journey together Sacinandana Swami says that we want to make our hearts liquid with love. What a beautiful statement. So sweet and loving that it just melts. Not only melts, but overflows. When that happens, our friends may think that we have finally lost it, or they will see that we can now see the Lord that lives within everyone’s heart. We can extend those loving feelings everywhere we go.
“For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me.” –The Supreme Personality of Awesomeness Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6 Verse 30
Even he made a promise. Once we have captured the Lord in our heart of hearts, not only are we always thinking of the Supreme Lord, but the Supreme Lord is always thinking of us. We no longer feel as though that certain something is missing in our relationships. We no longer feel as though we are forgotten and struggling for no reason. The person who has attracted Cupid, is finally with us always. We have caught their attention.
Lastly, we come to victory over mundane attractions. Honestly, what seems so bad about a little attraction once in a while? We do live in this world after all, and this world is full of attractive things. So, why would we need victory over them? The answer comes when they are never enough. We always seem to need more of whatever it is, or a variation of whatever it is to make us happy. I need a better computer and then things will be better. I need a bigger wedding ring and then I’ll feel happier. I need to lose 15 pounds and then I’ll be happier. By all means, do these things. But know that they will not be the ultimate cause of your happiness nor were they the ultimate cause of your distress.
What do we do when we have all of these things finally that we have worked so hard for, and we still aren’t happy? Loads of people are still trying to figure it out. Just as others have dedicated their lives to investment banking and all sorts of other things to find what makes them happy, Sacinandana Swami has devoted his life to devotion to find what makes him happy. It seems as though his happiness doesn’t come with an expiration date, and if you have ever met Sacinandana Swami I don’t think I’ve ever seen him UNhappy.
I offer food for thought along the journey. That’s all. As things come to me, I try and write them down and present them because my heart tells me that writing is a service of mine. I’ve been experimenting with this path of Bhakti my entire life and it hasn’t let me down yet. Whenever I need guidance the most, it has come. Whenever I have wanted to celebrate the beautiful forms of Radha and Govinda have been there with me. When I have wanted to cry they have listened patiently. I am still trying to make my heart liquid with love…but the point is that I want to try. After all this time, I still want to try. The process hasn’t become dull and stale yet. So I think I’ll trust my heart and keep going.