"Bottoms up?" no, not exactly. . .


When party people toast one another, drink in hand, they often say “Bottoms up!” in their enthusiasm, indicating to lift the glass all the way, draining every drop from their glass. All the better to enjoy, I suppose, if you allow the intoxicant to enter your bloodstream in a hurry, blurring the rough edges of the inevitable miseries accompanying material life. But the devotees of Lord Krishna have another way of seeing from the bottom up.
I heard it in this morning’s class on the Srimad-Bhagavatam, in which the speaker was describing the marks on the lotus feet of the Lord. She told in detail, from the statements of various acharyas (teachers) in our line, how Krishna’s feet are distinguished by certain symbols, delineated in ancient scriptures, and how each of the symbols is spiritually significant. You can hear the whole class, if you like, by clicking this link: http://alachuatemplelive.blogspot.com/2013/02/atl-2013-2-19-nanda-devi-d...
I had seen pictures of Krishna’s lotus imprints before, but one thing struck me as Nanda was speaking. She had read that the marks of the conchshell, bow and fish (among others) are on Krishna’s left foot, and that on his right foot are such marks as the lotus, flag and umbrella. Yet when we see the picture of Krishna’s feet, they are in the opposite order. Why is that? It’s simply that we’re viewing Krishna’s feet from the bottom up.
When you think about it, it makes sense. Our position is that, although we are spiritual by nature, we are infinitesimal. Krishna, God, is spiritual—but infinite. So our constitutional position is to be tiny. And, just as naturally, we small living beings serve the great. Great sages pray to become a particle of dust at the lotus feet of the Lord. So, seen from below, Krishna’s right foot is on the left, and vice versa. Get it?
Those who are ‘making merry’ with wine, women and song—the ‘bottoms up’ people—can never know the sweet taste of looking at Krishna’s feet ‘from the bottom up.’ Unless, of course, they receive some special kindness from Lord Caitanya, the deliverer of fallen souls, and His brother, Lord Nityananda, who once showed special favor upon a pair of drunken brothers. And their followers are continuing the tradition. I should know. I’m among the group of fallen souls, grateful for having been given a hand up.