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The Significance Behind the Lotus Feet of Shri Krishna
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The Significance Behind the Lotus Feet of Shri Krishna

Hinduism highly speaks of the powerful gods and goddesses who always stood up protecting the universe and restoring Dharma. Amongst these, Lord Vishnu, the preserver among the holy trinity is the most revered deity. 

It is believed that Lord Vishnu took 10 avatars to save the universe whenever it was in chaos and things went out of order. And among these 10 incarnations, the 8th avatar was Lord Krishna.

Lord Krishna is widely known for his playful tactics and the most miraculous doings. But that’s not all, his divine aura extends way beyond, surpassing his flute that plays the most soothing melodies, Mor Pankh that adds to his surreal beauty, and his lotus feet (charan kamal) that are loaded with many different spiritual symbols and are highly worshipped by devotees all around the world. 

This blog will guide you through the significance behind Krishna’s Lotus feet and the symbolism they hold.

Why Krishna’s Feet are Called Lotus Feet?

Significance of Krishna’s Lotus Feet

Krishna’s feet signify purity and grace. It is believed that just like the lotus flowers remain untouched by the filthy waters that surround it, Krishna’s feet remain unaffected by worldly affairs and attachments.

More so, legends have it that Krishna's feet were so soft and feeble that they just felt like the petals of the lotus flower. Many devotees consider them as Mahapadam and are of the belief that everything in this world lies at the feet of Krishna which means everything starts and ends with Krishna only.

Significance of Krishna’s Lotus Feet

If you look closely, Krishna’s feet hold many distinct symbols each with its own special significance:

Right Foot  

The right foot of Krishna carries 11 distinct symbols:

  • Barleycorn (Jon)
  • Barleycorn signifies that serving Krishna’s feet is the ultimate means to gain prosperity and spiritual nourishment in life. Finding a refugee in the feet of Krishna can make the long and endless journey through birth, rebirth, and death seem tiny and trivial, just like a grain of barley. 

  • Disk (Chakra)
  • Chakra is the classic weapon of Lord Vishnu that represents the power to cut through any evil forces and energies like anger, lust, greed, envy, illusion, and more. In short, Chakra holds the ability to destroy the darkness within us. 

  • Upward-Curving Line (Urdhva-rekha)
  • The symbol signifies a straight and reliable path for those seeking to connect with Lord Krishna. It shows that those with whom Lord Krishna himself stands will never have to fear a fall.

  • Lotus (Padma/Kamala)
  • Lotus symbolizes the presence of Goddess Laxmi who is said to bring good fortune and prosperity. Just as the lotus grows out of the water, those whose eyes swell up vialing and crying will rise and grow upon chanting the name of Krishna. 

  • Goad (Ankuna)
  • The goad signifies meditating on the Lotus feet of Lord Krishna can help bring the elephant-like wandering thoughts under control and guide oneself to the right path. More so, it also represents that those who stay true to the path directed towards the Lord’s feet stand superior among men, just like the man riding on the top of the elephant travels far and beyond unlike the rest. 

  • Flag (Dhvaja)
  • The flag stands as a symbol announcing that Krishna grants security and protection to all those devotees meditating at his feet. 

  • Thunderbolt (Vajra/Pavi)
  • This symbol reveals that meditating on the lotus feet will help cut off the mountain of Karmic reactions of one’s past sins and set them free from all the grudges that hold them. It also indicates that those who hold onto the feet of Krishna become superior just like Lord Indra whose weapon is Vajra (thunderbolt). 

  • Umbrella (Chatri)
  • The symbol of the umbrella signifies that those who take shelter at Krishna’s lotus feet remain all shielded and protected from the miseries of the materialistic world. Alongside, it also conveys the fact that the devotees worshiping the lotus feet of Krishna are deemed to become exalted just like the Kings or maharajas who mostly walk under an umbrella. 

  • Octagon (Anta-Kona)
  • The octagon, a symbol with eight directions/edges represents Lord Krishna offering shelter and protection in all directions for those who seek his blessings.

  • Swastika: The swastika, a symbol of auspiciousness and well-being in Hinduism, is often found etched under the right Lotus foot of Lord Krishna. It signifies good fortune and prosperity for those who take solace in Him.

  • Rose Apple (Jambu-Phala): This symbol holds special significance for worshippers in the region of Jambudvipa (island of the rose apple), highlighting their unique spiritual connection and the importance of their worship.

  • Left Foot

    The left foot of Krishna carries 8 distinct symbols:

  • Conch (Sankha): Etched onto Lord Krishna's Lotus feet, the conch mark represents His role in rescuing devotees from distress. It symbolizes His protective and nurturing nature, akin to the conch holding soothing nectar.

  • Sky (Ambara/Akaña/Kham): The sky mark depicts Lord Krishna’s prevalent presence across the universe. It symbolizes His omnipresence and detachment, indicating that His influence and reach extend everywhere.

  • Bow (Dhanusha): The bow mark signifies freedom from worldly worries for devotees who take refuge in Lord Krishna. It symbolizes how devotion leads to liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

  • Calf's Hoofprint (Goshpad): Lord Krishna's love for animals is symbolized by this mark. It signifies that for those who meditate on His feet, the vast ocean of material life becomes insignificant, like water held in a calf's hoofprint, making the ocean easy to cross.

  • Triangle (Tri-Kona): The triangle mark assures protection from the influences of material nature (Maya) for devotees. It signifies that his feet are the ultimate refuge for beings across the three worlds, offering safety and sanctuary.

  • Pitcher/Waterpot (Kalaña): The pitcher mark symbolizes the continuous flow of divine blessings from Lord Krishna's feet to nourish devotees. It also indicates protection from inauspiciousness, as His feet can extinguish the Gopis' fire of separation.

  • Half Moon (Ardha Chandra): This mark represents the fulfillment of devotees' desires and their exalted spiritual state. It symbolizes that those who honor his feet are elevated, akin to the adornment of Shiva's head with the crescent moon.

  • Fish (Matsya): The fish mark symbolizes the inseparable bond between devotees and Lord Krishna. It signifies the fulfillment of cherished desires and protection from suffering, while also highlighting the need for steadfast devotion to receive His blessings.

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

    Q. What do the lotus feet symbolize in Hinduism?
    The Lotus feet symbolize spiritual wisdom and divine serenity. It is believed that one who surrenders to the feet of Krishna attains ultimate salvation and protection from the divinity.
    Q. Why are Krishna's legs crossed?
    Krishna’s crossed legs represent the sense of detachment from all worldly and materialistic affairs.
    Q. What are the marks on Krishna's lotus feet?
    Krishna’s lotus feet are laden with 19 spiritual symbols all of which are explained above in the blog
    Q. Why did Brahma wash Vishnu's feet?
    According to the legends, it is believed that when Lord Vishnu killed Bali as a Vamana, Brahma came forward to wash Vishnu’s feet. Later on, the water used to clean his feet was stored in Brahma’s Kamandal.
    Q. Did Ganga originate from Vishnu's feet?
    According to the legends, it is believed that Ganga, before descending into this universe touched the lotus feet of Vishnu which was known as Bhagavat-Padi or Vishnupadi, meaning ‘emanating from the feet of God.

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