Take Refuge at The Holy Feet of a Mahatma
As long as one is not able to bathe the head with the dust of the feet of His devotees who are free of all possessiveness, the mind does not turn towards the feet of the Lord; and the disappearance of worldliness does not come about until the mind is thus turned towards the Lord.
Points for Introspection
Throughout the day, man is constantly engaged in activities such as to acquire more and more wealth, position, and resulting comfort. His thoughts always revolve around himself and everything associated with him – his wife, children, house, property, name, fame, etc. He seeks unbroken happiness and peace in life and keeps on running from one activity to another thinking that all those activities and their results would bring peace and happiness in his life.
He fails to see that perishable objects (like one’s body and possessions) can never produce eternal happiness. Man’s happiness is always interspersed with unhappiness and misery. The root cause of all unhappiness is desires and expectations. The desire to get what one likes and not wanting to face what one dislikes. Because of desires, man’s mind ever remains selfish and narrow, dwelling unendingly on meaningless and unnecessary thoughts and imaginations.
Only when one develops one-pointed devotion to the Supreme Lord, and keeps Him in his heart, does the mind transcend all pettiness and agitations. As love for the Supreme Lord grows, dispassion towards worldly affairs also increases. The Supreme Lord is the one Real existence. He is infinite and universal. He is taintless, changeless and Imperishable.
When a devotee develops deep devotion to the Lord, spontaneously his mind too gets a touch of Infinitude and purity. Consequently one transcends happiness and misery. It is understood that in order to transcend worldliness, in order to transcend the cycle of happiness and sorrow, one must have deep devotion and love for the Supreme Lord. But, the question is, in the midst of intense worldly allurements, how to grow one-pointed devotion towards the Supreme Lord who is invisible and unknown?
This shloka points out that close association with a holy Mahatma is indispensable for growing one-pointed devotion to the Supreme Lord, leaving behind all worldly allurements. A devotee must humbly take refuge at the holy feet of the Mahatma and get drenched by the dust of those holy feet in all humility and reliance.
What kind of a Mahatma? The one who possesses nothing as his own, who is free of possessiveness. He has no desire for anything, not even for moksha. His eternal treasure is the Lord Himself.
When a devotee takes refuge at the holy feet of such a Mahatma, he is constantly reminded about the perishable and impermanent nature of the worldly objects. He keeps on hearing about the Supreme Lord – the One, Universal, Imperishable being. He understands how devotion towards the Lord makes man transcend all fear and misery, resulting in unbroken bliss and peace.
Through the association of the Mahatma, the devotee grows viveka (discrimination) to discriminate between what is supremely auspicious and what is not. In the loving association of the Mahatma, the devotee’s mind always remains fixed on the path of auspiciousness. He imbibes desirelessness from the holy Mahatma and his mind too becomes peaceful.
Chanting this shloka makes one long for the association of holy Mahatmas and get drenched in the dust of his holy feet and develop intense devotion for the Lord.
न (na) = not; एषां (eṣāṃ) = of these; मतिः (mati:) = the mind; तावत् (tāvat) = until then; उरुक्रमाङ्घ्रिं (urukramāṅghriṃ) = holy lotus feet of Lord Vishnu; स्पृशति (spṛśati) = touches; अनर्थापगमः (anarthāpagama:) = disappearance of worldly attractions; यत् (yat) = which; अर्थः (artha:) = purpose; महीयसां (mahīyasāṃ) = of mahatmas/great souls; पादरजः (pādaraja:) = dust of the feet; अभिषेकं (abhiṣekaṃ) = anointing, consecration by sprinkling; निष्किञ्चनानां (niṣkiñcanānāṃ) = of those who are free of possessiveness; न (na) = not; वृणीत (vṛṇīta) = may accept; यावत् (yāvat) = as long as.
निष्किञ्चनानां महीयसां पादरजः अभिषेकं यावत् न वृणीत, तावत् एषां मतिः उरुक्रमाङ्घ्रिं न स्पृशति । यत् अर्थः अनर्थापगमः ।
niṣkiñcanānāṃ mahīyasāṃ pādaraja: abhiṣekaṃ yāvat na vṛṇīta, tāvat eṣāṃ mati: urukramāṅghriṃ na spṛśati. yat artha: anarthāpagama:.
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