Chakra Discussions

Foot Water

by Dhira Nitai das

Posted October 21, 2004

For the pleasure of Ashokamrita prabhu, all Vaishnavas and our guru-varga ("Drinking Guru's bath water"), I am submitting a few quotes from the sastras:

The Lord bathed Narada's feet and then put the water on His own head. Although Lord Krsna is the supreme spiritual authority of the universe and the master of His devotees, it was proper for Him to behave in this way, for His name is Brahmanya-deva, 'the Lord who favors the brahmanas.' Thus Sri Krsna honored the sage Narada by bathing his feet, even though the water that bathes the Lord's own feet becomes the Ganges, the ultimate holy shrine. (Bhag., 10.69.15)

My commentary: Putting the water on the body or drinking it, where is the actual difference?

"A person who drinks the water that has washed the feet of Lord Vishnu and the Vaishnavas, supremely purifying water that contains within it all sacred rivers, need never drink any other sacred water to become purified." (Hari-bhakti-vilasa by Gopala Bhatta Goswami, 9.91)

In the Garuda Purana it is said, 'A person who first sips and then foolishly spits out the water that has washed the feet of Lord Vishnu or the Vaishnavas is sinful like the killer of a brahmana'." (Hari-bhakti-vilasa, 9.94)

The mantra for taking the spiritual master's caranamrta is:

asesa-klesa-nihsesa-karanam suddha-bhakti-dam
guroh padodakam pitva sirasa dharayamy aham

"Having drunk the water from the lotus feet of the spiritual master, which bestows pure devotional service and causes the destruction of unlimited troubles, I take that water on my head."

From the above quotes, it is clear that the water which has touched the lotus feet of the guru is as sacred as the water which has touched the lotus feet of Vishnu or Krishna.