India Design Motifs, Part 10

BY: SUN STAFF - 10.7 2017

Srimati Radharani's Lotus Feet

A study of the historical, spiritual and cultural elements of Vedic design.

Among the 25 transcendental qualities of Srimati Radharani is the fact that "She possesses all auspicious marks on Her body". (Teachings of Lord Caitanya, 14). In the 10th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam there is a verse about Srimati Radharani, walking about Vraja with Nanda Maharaja. In his purport, Srila Prabhupada quotes a passage from Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti's Sri Rupa Cintamani, wherein he describes the 19 auspicious marks on Radha's lotus feet.

On Her Left Lotus Foot:

barleycorn (jou) 
disc (chakra/ari) 
umbrella (chatra) 
bracelet (valaya) 
vertical line 
lotus (kamala) 
flag (dhvaja) 
creeper (valli) 
flower (pushpa) 
elephant goad (ankushva) 
half-moon (ardha-chandra)

On Her Right Lotus Foot:

conchshell (shankha) 
spear (shakti) 
sacrificial altar (vedi) 
earring (kundala) 
spear (shakti) 
mountain (parvata) 
chariot (ratha) 
fish (matsya)

 

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.30.27-28 

kasyah padani caitani
yataya nanda-sununa
amsa-nyasta-prakosthayah
karenoh karina yatha

anayaradhito nunam
bhagavan harir isvarah
yan no vihaya govindah
prito yam anayad rahah

"[The gopis said:] Here we see the footprints of some gopi who must have been walking along with the son of Nanda Maharaja. He must have put His arm on Her shoulder, just as an elephant rests His trunk on the shoulder of an accompanying she-elephant.

Certainly this particular gopi has perfectly worshiped the all-powerful Personality of Godhead, Govinda, since He was so pleased with Her that He abandoned the rest of us and brought Her to a secluded place.

PURPORT

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti explains that the word aradhitah refers to Srimati Radharani. He comments, "The sage Sukadeva Gosvami has tried with all endeavor to keep Her name hidden, but now it automatically shines forth from the moon of his mouth. That he has spoken Her name is indeed Her mercy, and thus the word aradhitah is like the rumbling of a kettledrum sounded to announce Her great good fortune."

Although the gopis spoke as if jealous of Srimati Radharani, they were actually ecstatic to see that She had captured Sri Krsna.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti quotes the following detailed description of Srimati Radharani's footprints, as given by Srila Rupa Gosvami in his Sri Ujjvala-nilamani: "At the base of the large toe of Her left foot is the mark of a barleycorn, below that mark is a disc, below the disc is an umbrella, and below the umbrella is a bracelet. A vertical line extends from the middle of Her foot to the juncture of Her large and second toes. At the base of the middle toe is a lotus, below that is a flag with a banner, and below the flag is a creeper, together with a flower. At the base of Her small toe is an elephant goad, and upon Her heel is a half-moon. Thus there are eleven marks on Her left foot.

"At the base of the large toe of Her right foot is a conchshell, and below that a spear. At the base of the small toe of Her right foot is a sacrificial altar, below that an earring, and below the earring a spear. Along the base of the second, third, fourth and small toes is the mark of a mountain, below which is a chariot, and on the heel is a fish."

"Thus all together there are nineteen distinguishing marks on the soles of Srimati Radharani's lotus feet.'"

 

"Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi" by Srila Prabhodananda Sarasvati Thakur"

"Oh, Supreme Goddess of the Vrndavana forest! Your lotus feet are brimming full of flowing rasa extract, the essential honey of full-blown love nectars. Holding such feet to His chest, Madhupati (Krsna), the Lord of all sweetness, extinguishes the burning fever of Cupid. So supremely cooling, I now take shelter of them.

That which is present deep within the heart of all the Upanisads is the most well hidden secret; this pair of Sri Radha's divine lotus feet is my refuge - simply full of Her own feminine dancing playfulness."