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Shri Vraja Dhama

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2.27 Bathe in the dust of the residents of this supremely effulgent realm

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A108-AI

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Completely enveloping your entire body with the dust
from the feet of the residents of Sri Vrindavan,
seeing Sri Vrindavan as the one
supremely effulgent realm above all,
and remembering that Sri Sri Radha and Krishna
are constantly absorbed in the sweetness of Sri Vrindavan,
please reside in this their holy abode.

 


śrī-vṛndāvana-vāsi-pāda-rajasā sarvāṅgam āguṇṭhayan
śrī-vṛndāvanam ekam ujjvalatamaṁ paśyan samastopari |
śrī-vṛndāvana-mādhurībhir aniśaṁ śrī-rādhikā-kṛṣṇayor
apy āveśam anusmarann adhivasa śrī-dhāma-vṛndāvanam||2.27||


Braj-Vrindavan is the highest abode because the highest manifestation of the Supreme Person abides here. Those who dwell here are therefore not to be seen with ordinary eyes. Indeed, the mercy of the Brijvasis is necessary for anyone who wishes to share in the good fortune of residence in the Dham. The proof of this is given by Lord Brahma himself.

In Vraja-vilāsa-stava, Raghunath Das Goswami shows how this is so when he humbly and attentively praises each and every person who lives in Vraja, arguing from Lord Brahma’s own example:

mudā yatra brahmā tṛṇa-nikara-gulmādiṣu paraṁ
sadā kāṅkṣan janmārpita-vividha-karmāpy anudinam
kramād ye tatraiva vrajabhuvi vasanti priya-janā
mayā te te vandyāḥ parama-vinayāt puṇya-khacitāḥ

“Although engaged in offering up all his worldly tasks to the service of the Lord, Brahmā every day blissfully expressed his aspiration to take birth as one among the blades of grass or shrubs of Braj. Those dear devotees who have subsequently come to dwell in that very land of Braj are the object of my veneration, which is offered with the greatest humility, for they are decorated with great piety.” (VV 100)

Brahmā is born in the navel-lotus of Lord Narayan. He has reached this topmost post as the universal creator due to being Lord Narayan’s beloved devotee. A fortunate soul may become qualified to occupy the post of Brahmā only after performing selfless activities for one hundred births.  But even such an exalted soul as Lord Brahmā recognizes the good fortune any person who lives in Vrindavan and so in his stava, he submitted the following prayer to the lotus feet of the Lord:

tad bhūri bhāgyam iha janma kim apy aṭavyāṁ
yad gokule’pi katamāṅghri rajo’bhiṣekam
yaj jīvitam tu nikhilaṁ bhagavān mukundas tv
adyāpi yat pada-rajaḥ śruti-mṛgyam eva

“I would deem it my greatest good fortune if I could take even a lowly birth here in Gokula whereby I could be showered by the dust of the feet of any one of its residents, for their life and everything else is Lord Krishna, the giver of liberation, the dust of whose feet is sought by the Shrutis even to this day.” (Śrīmad Bhāgavata 10.14.34)

In the Vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī commentary on this verse, Sri Jiva Prabhu writes:

The intention of saying “even in Gokula” is that Brahmā covets any kind of birth in Vraja, even that of dūrva-sprouts and soft blades of grass, because only then would he be able to have a full showering of the Vrajavasis’ footdust.

So one might ask him, why do you not pray directly for reincarnation as a Vrajavasi, instead of for such a trivial birth?

In answer, Lord Brahma speaks the second half of the verse: The Supreme Lord Mukunda is everything in this Gokula, meaning he is everything to every single inhabitant of Gokula. It is impossible to directly propitiate or attain the Supreme Lord and highest truth, and even if it were possible, he usually gives only liberation, but not pure unadulterated devotion (muktiṁ dadāti karhicit sma na bhakti-yogam, ). But that pure devotion is something without which the Vrajavasis cannot remain alive for even a moment. This shows how Mukunda is the highest object of love.

Leave aside that Mukunda is hard to propitiate and the Vrajavasis’ love for him rarely attained by others, but even now when the Lord has personally descended into the world, his foot dust is still being sought by the revealed scriptures, meaning that the Vedas are trying to understand the extent of even one speck of this dust’s glories, but cannot find its limits. As it is said in the Upaniṣads:

yato vāco nivartante aprāpya manasā saha |
ānandaṁ brahmaṇo vidvān na bibheti kadācana ||

“That from which words along with the mind return, being unable to attain it; one who knows the bliss of Brahman is never fearful of anything.” (Taittirīya Upaniṣad 2.4)

Therefore [Brahma says] it is greatly improper for me to pray for Krishna’s foot dust, which is unattainable even for the Vedas, who bestow all their knowledge upon me at the time of creation. How much more improper it would then be for me to pray for birth as one of these cowherds, whose great love has completely subdued the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord?

Is it therefore so astonishing that Brahmā prayed for birth in Vraja even as a blade of grass or a bush so he could become showered by the footdust of any person from Vraja?

Those who are desirous of residing in Vraja should keep this in mind. It is a matter of great fortune to place oneself in a relation of humility to those who simply reside here, even now in the present day, whatever their superficial material character or qualifications.

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