What’s with all the references to the Guru’s feet throughout the Guru Gita?
15 of the 108 stanzas have references to feet, like these:
The source of devotion is the Guru’s feet.
If you sprinkle water on your head while remembering the lotus feet of Shri Guru…
Bow to the Guru’s feet …
The Guru’s lotus feet emanate the great Truths…
Mark Griffin was asked this question while on the 2009 India retreat in Ganeshpuri/Nimboli – here is his answer:
“All of the nadis, which are the meridians of the subtle body, terminate in the feet and go to all the essential organs, the elements of the nervous system, the architecture of the anatomy, the bones, etc. In an awakened person, there are also the prana streams and nadis that flow from the crown of the head down through the heart, down to the base of the spine, and down the legs – on the inside of the legs, between the legs, and on the outside of the legs. These terminate in the feet and go into the earth. The energy of grace tends to descend from the higher circuits of the sahasrara, which are the universal circuits, and move down into the relative circuits of the supracausal, causal, subtle physical, and physical bodies. That energy moves through those streams.
When a person has undergone spiritual training and has begun to go into samadhi, the thunderbolt of pure consciousness is moving through all of the four bodies, including the physical body and the subtle physical body where the nadis come down the three central rivers – ida, pingala and sushumna, and the ten pranas. The feet of an awakened person are said to be sacred because the ocean of consciousness is moving through the unconscious structure consciously, and that energy is being expressed at the feet.
Where the feet strike the earth, the energy will actually descend into the earth very deeply, from five to ten feet, even down to fifty or sixty feet, and capture an arc of earth shakti. The throb of the seventh plane is actually moving through the four bodies of an awakened being very much like a lightning rod. The seventh plane is being conducted down through all the planes and actually strikes the firmness of the earth, by grace of the awakened human being. The feet are the conducting point where the formless and empty awareness of pure consciousness is actually striking the earth – thus it’s a focal point of incredible, essential spiritual energy.
The Guru Pada, the feet of the Guru at the crown of the head, are the focal point from the higher sahasrara down into the four relative bodies. All of the spiritual activity that’s going on inside the awakened person terminates in the feet. It is a very complex spiritual center. There are at least thirty-seven chakras on each foot and each of them have nadis that descend into the earth. There are certain nadis that go down on the outside of the legs, certain nadis that go down between the legs, and a set of nadis that go down through the legs. All of them are enlivened in an awakened person. Because they’re open, you may experience a subtle or sympathetic vibration when you get near them. From the second chakra down, there is a quality of mechanical operation in the mandala of the medicine wheel that ties you onto the wheel.
The right channel, the pingala, terminates on the right side of the second chakra; the left channel, the ida, on the left side, goes down past the second and the first chakra, and terminates in the space underneath the first chakra. These activate all of these nadis. The nature of the chakras, the first and second chakra and the space in between them, is a diamond-shaped chakra in women and an egg-shaped chakra in men. The nadis that are present there tie us into time and tie us into the world. The nadis that flow from this junction point at the base of the spine through the pelvis and down through the legs, carry all of the karma that ties us to the world.
So there is a very powerful blessing that passes from the Guru to the disciple, in that the karmic knots that take place in this lower structure between the pelvis and the earth have lots of subtle knots that are binding in their nature. Being in proximity to a person who has opened all of those channels produces an opening impulse in all of those channels within the student. All those karmic seeds and subtle knots become opened and unbound.
This is very important – when the legs are still kind of caught in their bound condition, it keeps the kundalini kind of trapped in a moderate level or signal. As it begins to clear, it actually breaks down and connects to the earth; and then that gives it extraordinary power. That’s when you start to have these famous experiences of the kundalini firing up the spine and you get the benefit of all of the reflexes of power that the kundalini structure at the base of the spine and the second chakra have to offer. Until all of these knots are unbound, there are mitigating and conditioning factors that slow it down. You actually need the magnetism of the earth to draw the kundalini into full power.
The bottom of the feet of an unenlightened one leave a signature of your karmic condition, like a footprint. There’s a saying that the enlightened person leaves no footprints, because there’s nothing to print, there’s nothing there. It’s just energy interchanging. But as long as these streams contain the signals of bound and contained karma, then the footprint that is left is of the quality of that person’s energy.
When you bow your forehead to the casts of feet at Nityananda’s samadhi or Baba Muktananda’s samadhi shrine, you’re touching your head, which carries your brain, to one of the strongest spiritual focal points at the feet of the Guru. Because the feet of the Guru are at the crown of your own brain, when you touch your own head to the feet of the Guru, they strike on them. It’s not symbolic, it’s electrical.”
~ Mark Griffin, Nimboli/Ganeshpuri, India 2009
(Read the complete transcript)