Why worship the Feet of the Master?

Gurupurnima at The Ashram 
Shree Peetha Nilaya, 16 July 2019

During the evening celebrations of Gurupurnima, Paramahamsa Vishwananda explained the reasons and the deeper meaning of why we worship the Feet of the Master. Guruji also explained that when one is truly humble and ready to surrender to God, everything will come effortlessly, just like it does in Nature.


Jai Gurudev,

Firstly, a blessed Vyasa Purnima to all of you! We say Gurupurnima because of the Guru, but in reality, this Purnima is called Vyasa Purnima because it is the Lord Himself who incarnated and compiled all the scriptures, especially the Vedas. As you know, the Vedas are the most important scriptures in the Hindu tradition. Then after that are the Puranas. Veda Vyasa compiled the Vedas, and due to that, this Purnima praises him, and also all those who give you knowledge, who remind you of something that is eternal, something that is beyond. 

When we look at the Vedas, they are about how one must live and how one must attain the Supreme. How would that happen? That would be only when you realise yourself, and continuously the Lord comes as a reminder. He takes the aspect of the Guru to remind you of His relationship with you. 

When one’s mind is at the Feet of the Master...One becomes humble.

Paramahamsa Vishwananda

We worship the Feet of the Master, and somebody asked, ‘Why do we worship only the feet?’ Because the Feet of the Master hold the essence; they hold the Master Himself. The same as you worship the Shiva Lingam, it’s Shiva, no? Like the Shaligram is Narayana. So, the Feet of the Master is the Master Himself. Actually, one’s mind must always be at the Feet of the Master. When one’s mind is at the Feet of the Master, one has possibilities to assimilate. One becomes humble. Because if you are proud, you can’t assimilate things because it’s all about you. This is one thing: what do you know about you? You know only this body. But what is deep inside is what the Master perceives. And that’s what the Master wants to come out. That’s why it is only when your mind is at the Feet of the Master that this is possible. It’s not just to say, ‘Okay, I bow my head to Your Feet, that’s it.’ No.

Raghavendra Swami
Sri Raghavendra Swami

Story of Sri Raghavendra Swami

There was a beautiful incident in the life of Sri Raghavendra Swami. Raghavendra Swami was an incarnation of Hanumanji, you know. Once he was passing by a field, and there was a shepherd with goats, grazing grass. So, as he was passing, of course, the shepherd bowed down to him and Raghavendra Swami was so pleased with his simplicity that he blessed him. He said, ‘All knowledge shall come to you.’ The shepherd said, ‘But I am illiterate. I don’t even know how to read Telugu, how would I read all the scriptures?’ So, he was worried.

But Raghavendra Swami just blessed him and walked on. He didn’t answer how the shepherd would have that knowledge. So, the shepherd didn’t think about it anymore. A few days later, a sheik of the Mogul Empire was passing by and they had a paper written in Telugu. They stopped there and asked the shepherd, ‘What is written here?’

He said, ‘I don’t know. I can’t read!’

The sheik said, ‘You better read it, otherwise we’ll kill you!’

So, he said, ‘Okay, let me try.’

They put the paper in front of him and he started reading everything automatically. His mind could not comprehend what was happening, but he could read and he could understand everything. Then he remembered the blessing of Sri Raghavendra Swami.

So, like that, you see, when one is ready, everything will come effortlessly. Just like in Nature itself. The bees will fly from wherever they are. They will come to the flower when the wind spreads the smell of the flower, without any effort. If there is a lump of sugar, without any effort the ant will come. So, like that, you all are called on the spiritual path, on this path of Bhakti, because you have smelled that scent which is coming from Sriman Narayana Himself. He has pulled you towards Him. He has pulled your mind towards Him. This is His job to do. But your job is to make your effort towards that. When you make your effort, you will see that what He wants for you is actually what you really need in your life. Maybe you don’t perceive it right away now, but later on, you will. And this is the fusion of the Divine Will and the individual will. And the Guru is standing there as a witness to that.

You all are called on the spiritual path, on this path of Bhakti, because you have smelled that scent which is coming from Sriman Narayana Himself.

Paramahamsa Vishwananda

You see, when the mind is so centred in the world, there is such a gap to bring it back again. But nevertheless, through Grace, everything becomes possible. That’s why in the Bhakti path we always ask, ‘Lord, give us Your Grace.’ We don’t ask Him for anything. He knows what is best for each one of us. But due to the lack of trust that is in our minds, we think that we can do everything ourselves. And this is a mistake that people often make. 

Allow Him to be part of you. Allow Him to take control of your life. Let Him drive your vehicle, like He drove the chariot of Arjuna. He is waiting! How happy He will be when you say, ‘Yes, drive me.’ Because He knows the destination. He knows that aim. He knows what you truly want. Why not give your hand to the person who knows the aim and will bring you safely home? Give your hand to the hand of the Master and you’ll be sure to reach your destination.

So, Jai Gurudev, everybody! And blessings to all of you. (It’s lovely, look how packed full it is! Even this place is getting smaller!) So, spread the Love of God to all. It doesn’t matter if people tell you you are crazy, or people judge you, or criticise you. This is their business. It is not your business, you know. Contaminate this world with love.  All other contaminations are not that good, but this is a good contamination!

Jai Gurudev!