Friday, December 30, 2011

Dust of the Feet

Tonight I meditate upon Radha, of which whose devotion was so great to Her Lord Krishna, that if we had a tenth of that devotion, I believe we'd be instantly liberated.

There's a story regarding Krishna that, having such a terrible headache, his entire kingdom was in turmoil because they couldn't figure out how to cure it. After all, what mortal medicine could cure God? The problem, however, wasn't the medicine. The issue was the element of self-deceit even among His greatest bhaktas. No one felt they were good enough to serve their Lord— to give back for all the wise counsel He had given them.

Tiring of the headache, Krishna sent some men to gather the dust from the feet of the gopi, the milkmaids. Applying this, said the Lord, will be a cure for the headache. When His advisors found a couple of milkmaids and made the request, they were more than happy to help their Lord. Collecting the dust, the men returned, only to discover the headache having already been cured. Krishna taught the men it was the selfless service of the women that cured the headache. One cannot be selfless if one's self-image is one extreme or another. Both self-conceit and self-deceit are harmful in both living physically and spiritually.

Conceit, thankfully, has never been an issue with me. The other, however, has been a plague to me since I was quite young. I've had many a time when I have been low, even to the point of being self-destructive. There's even been times that, like most of those in the story, felt that what I am and have was never good enough for Devi. I was too contaminated from my selfish iniquity to properly serve Her. This was similar to the "filthy rag" complex apparent in Christianity, where one feels one does not deserve the grace of God.

However, I do. We are all deserving of living a good life in communion with the Divine. Moksha, liberation, is one of the four things which all seek and it's the only one guaranteed. Some of us just take a few more incarnations than the next person to get it right. However, it is something that everyone, because we all hold the infinitum of the Divine within, deserves and will get. The beginning of it? Bhakti. Devotion.

The gopi also show us that faith the size of dust (or mustard seed if you will!) is a sufficient start in working towards the Divine and, ultimately, liberation. It doesn't take much. Just believe. Study. Meditate. The roadway to Deity might be dirty at times, but it is by our very feet that we get there. After all, if dust was all it took to cure God of a humanly ailment, imagine what just a little more can do! Just believe. Do. Find liberation.
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