Bhakta Paada Dhuli

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva. 

There is a saying in Hindi - 'yathaa raaja tathaa prajaa' meaning that the behaviour of the king reflects in the behaviour of the citizens. In Ramayan, we find that after Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, Hanumanji goes in search of Sita. When Hanumanji visited Lanka, he could find all the citizens of Lanka behaving in a demoniac manner and engaging themselves in all kinds of illicit sense gratificatory activities. Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita verse 3.21, 'yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ' - "Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow." Prthu Maharaj who is incarnation of Supreme Lord very nicely instructs His subjects in Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 4 chapter 21 about the importance of devotional service and more importantly on serving the Vaishnavas and brahmanas who are dear to the Lord. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 4.21.43 Prthu Maharaj says,

teṣām ahaṁ pāda-saroja-reṇum
āryā vaheyādhi-kirīṭam āyuḥ
yaṁ nityadā bibhrata āśu pāpaṁ
naśyaty amuṁ sarva-guṇā bhajanti

Maharaja Prthu spoke, I beg the blessings of all of you that I may perpetually carry on my crown the dust of the lotus feet of such brahmanas and Vaishnavas until the end of my life. He who can carry such dust on his head is very soon be relieved of all the reactions which arise from sinful life, and eventually he develops all good and desirable qualities.

It is significant to remember here that when how Lord Krishna received His friend Sudhama, when Sudama went to meet Lord Krishna at Dwarka. Lord personally went to the door-steps, invited him, did pāda pūja and sprinkled the water on Himself as well as on Srimati Rukminidevi. Lord has personally shown us how His devotees should be served and honoured. Now here we have to understand a very important point. Carrying the dust of lotus feet of Vaishnavas should not be done for an external show alone. Srila Prabhupada very nicely explains in the purport to the above Bhagavatam verse what is the significance of dust of lotus feet of Vaishnavas and what it means to carry it on one's head. "Unless one takes the dust of the lotus feet of a pure Vaishnava on one's head, one cannot understand what the Supreme Personality of Godhead is, and unless one knows the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one's life remains imperfect. A great soul who has fully surrendered to the Supreme Lord after understanding Him fully and after repeatedly undergoing austerities and penances for many, many lives is very rare. The crown of a king is simply a big load if the king or head of the state does not actually bear the dust of the lotus feet of brahmanas and Vaishnavas. In other words, if a liberal king like Prthu Maharaja does not follow the instructions of brahmanas and Vaishnavas or does not follow the brahminical culture, he is simply a burden on the state, for he cannot benefit the citizens." 

It is also worthy to remember the beautiful lines of Srila Prabhupada in his purport to verse 1.9.12 of Srimad Bhagavatam. "So long a person is fully in co-operation with the wishes of the Lord guided by the bonafide Brahmins and Vaishnavas strictly followed in terms of religious principles, one has no cause for despondency, however, trying may be the circumstances of life." So carrying the dust of Vaishnavas means to submissively surrender unto them, serve them and follow their instructions and by doing so, our lives will become blissful.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Shyamsundar das