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Gill Harley
15 May 2006, 07:35 AM
As I'm sure many of you know, the devotee loves to experience 'Padnamaskar' (or touching the feet) of the guru. Not only is this ultimate act of bhakti (or devotion) the height of bliss but it also burns up karma and fast tracks the devotee further along the spiritual path.

I myself was very lucky indeed to receive Padnamaskar from my guru, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, in 1998 and it was a 'beyond words' experience. So you can imagine my dismay, a few years ago, to hear that he'd stopped the practice. He said that it was because he and the devotee are One, and on one level, and therefore, there shouldn't be any bowing down from the devotee. But he also mentioned, further on in his discourse about it, that it was also because it was causing jealousy among some devotees.

I felt so upset about this that I sat down and wrote a poem about it, and I thought that I might share it you with you all here in this thread about bhakti:

Padnamaksar

What? No Padnamskar, Swami?
Surely, this cannot be!
Because we are One, You say,
Because we are free.
But Swami, my dear aadhi-kavi
I know we are the same...yet
You are the playing the Lord and myself, the supplicant,
In this, Your Divine Game.

Of course there is jealousy, Lord
But that is not Your mistake.
The fault lies with us ...so sorry!
Along with anger, pride and hate.
We know we're not yet perfect, Swami
In fact, a long way removed.
But without Your Holy Feet, Lord
How on earth can we improve?

Where else can the devotee lay her head
If not at Your Nectarine Feet?
Wither would the Ganga be
Should Vamana have uttered such a decree?
How could the world keep turning
Should such devotion be proscribed?
What would be the point of life?
We may as well as just die.

What would Lord Hanuman have said
If Rama had instructed him thus?
Would a pearl necklace have done instead?
Anajaneya would have spat it into the dust.
And what about Sri Arjuna?
Would have been satisfied
To regard his Lord Krishna as a mere charioteer
On that battlefield of strife?

My Dearest Sweet Lord Swami
Please don't remove this boon!
At least in our dreams together
Let your Lotus Feet be my home.
And when you come in meditation
To help with my samskaara
Please accept my humble request, Lord
And grant me Padnamaskar!