continuation of ...
Naam or Word

Book Ten

Charan Kamal

II. The Dust of the Lotus Feet
(Charan Kamal Dhur)

    The phrase "Charan Dhur" has also been used in the scriptures alternately with "Charan Kamal" and both signify the same thing.

The dust of the feet of living Masters

    As the need of a living Master is of supreme importance so is the need of the dust of his feet. Whatever comes in contact with the Divine human pole is indeed very blessed: the hem of his garments, the chair or carpet he sits on, the horse he rides on, the things he uses for one purpose or another. Many a person cured himself of leprosy or blindness by touching the hem of Christ's robe.

The entire world is Thine, my Lord;
Everyone eagerly seeks for the Dust of Thy Feet. 92
                                                                   GURU RAM DAS

The service of Thy Feet is a panacea for all ills,
Even the angels and seraphim wish for Thy Dust. 93
                                                                    GURU ARJAN

Blessed indeed is the place which a Saint treads upon,
The Rishis like Shankara and Narad pay homage to it. 94

Wherever a Sadhu walks the land,
The entire region becomes purified. 95
                                      GURU RAM DAS

Shamas Tabrez, a Muslim Saint, tells us:
With the Dust of a Saint, enlighten thine eyes,
Then shalt thou see all from end to end;
Make for thee a collyrium from the Dust of the Elect;
It shall make thee pure and also renovate thy sight
  (enabling thee to see God).

Wherever God's elect sets up his habitat, that place becomes sanctified and in course of time grows into a place of pilgrimage. In fact, all sacred places owe their origin to the sanctifying influence of one or another holy man of God. The sanctity of Nankana Sahib, Panja Sahib and Kartarpur, for instance, is due to Guru Nanak who was closely associated with these places. Amritsar or the Pool of Nectar owes its origin to Guru Ram Das and Guru Arjan. Similarly, Mecca and Medina owe their spiritual influence to the Prophet Mohammed. The importance of the holy city of Jerusalem is because of King David, the Hebrew prophets, and Jesus Christ. Banaras, Hardwar and Allahabad on the banks of the Ganges, where the Rishis of old sat in meditation, have captured the imagination of Hindus who throng these places from year to year to gain religious merit. Sarnath and Bodh Gaya are still honored because of Lord Buddha. The relics of these various holy places are revered even by the heads of states, and monuments are raised to preserve them. But God's elect never stand in need of holy places. On the contrary, the sanctity of all such places is due to them. Truly a Godman is a moving place of pilgrimage.

It is not the places that grace men but men the places.
                                                                              ST. AGESILAUS

All the places of pilgrimage set up after the various gods and goddesses
  pine for the dust of the Sadhu's feet,
All, all wish for a devotee of the Lord so as to be
blessed with the feet of a Sadhu. 96

The sacred Ganges, the Jumna, the Godavari and the Saraswati
  all strive for the dust of Sadhus' feet,
As this dust alone can purify them of the enormous number of sins
  left over by the sinners. 97
                 GURU RAM DAS

In the dust of the Saints' feet, one can find all the merits of the sixty-eight places of pilgrimage:

Through the mercy of the Saint, infatuation and delusion are swept off,
A smearing with the dust of the Sadhus is the most meritorious. 98
                                                                                             GURU RAM DAS

With the true Word there comes in perfect satiety,
In the dust of a Saint there is the merit of all pilgrimages. 99

The sight of a Saint grants one perfect vision,
The dust of a Sadhu has the merit of ablution at sacred pools. 100
                                                                                                GURU ARJAN

The light of myriads of crest jewels is of no consequence,
And so also is the luster of millions of suns and moons of no value,
As compared to the scintillating light of him in whom He dwells,
And this happens only when countless merits earned in past lives
  fructify together;
Siva, Sanakadic and Brahma also wish for the company
  of such a noble soul,
And he obtains the merit of all the pilgrimages
In whose forehead shines the light of His sight,
The sight of His Lotus Feet flaming in his forehead. 101
                                                                        BHAI GURDAS

The merit of visiting all the holy places comes of itself to a person who bows in humility to a living Saint. It is because of the dust of the feet of such a Saint that a person is able to rise in cosmic awareness and become a theist in the true sense of the word.

The Kind and Gracious Lord has become visible,
And Nanak lives by the dust of His Saints. 102
                                                        GURU ARJAN

Nanak ever prays for the gift of Saints' dust,
Nothing else does he want from the Giver. 103
                                                   GURU RAM DAS

It is a great good fortune to have the dust of Saints,
O Nanak! By devotion to the Master one worships the Lord. 104

Make me of lowly mind, my saintly friend, your mercy
  has made me fortunate enough,
I have had extreme bliss ineffable;
Nanak is now gifted with the dust
  (light emanating from the feet of the Master). 105
                                                                   GURU ARJAN

In the world of Thy creation, my Lord,
All seek the dust of Thy devoted Sadhus.
O Nanak! He who is so destined
Gets the dust of the Sadhu (light of his feet)
  and is safely carried across. 106
                         GURU RAM DAS

Thou art the support of Thy devotees from Time out of mind,
Nanak ever craves for the dust of their feet;
O grant it, Munificent Lord. 107

O Knower of all the hearts, complete within Thyself,
Grant unto me the boon of Sadhus' dust. 108

The dust of Thy devotee is wondrous sweet,
He alone gets it who holds the writ from Thee. 109
                                                                  GURU ARJAN

With a great good fortune one gets from the Saints the gift of dust (light),
It is by devotion to the Master that one gets absorbed in the Lord. 110
                                                                                                     GURU RAM DAS

Fortunate is he who secures the dust of a Satguru,
Nanak would ever like to sacrifice himself unto such a Master. 111

Blessed is he who makes friends with a Sadhu,
Nanak seeks the dust of such devotees, may He grant him that dust. 112
                                                                                                             GURU ARJAN

I would like to adorn my forehead with the dust of devotees
  of the perfect Satguru,
O Nanak! The gift of dust from them comes through a great good fortune
  to those alone who remain absorbed in the Holy Word. 113
                                                                           GURU AMAR DAS

Inner dust of the Master's Radiant Form

    The Holy Light that emanates from the feet of the Radiant Form of the Master on the astral plane is often described as the dust of the feet of that form.

 Partake of the Bread of Life in the precious immortal Naam,
And smear thy forehead with the dust of the Saints. 114
                                                                       GURU RAM DAS
Sant Tulsi Das Ji speaks of it thus:
Take care to retain attention within the two eyebrows,
Purifying the mind and body fix thy gaze at one center;
Then shalt thou penetrate into the Beyond,
  seeing the Reality face to face,
O Tulsi! The dust of the Saints spreads before thee
  a carpet of Light.

Inner dust: What it is

    In the Sikh scriptures it is described as Eternal and Everlasting Naam or Word--the Sound Current.

Nanak prays for the Sadhus' dust,
It is the precious Naam of God. 115

I would like to make my hair a tasseled fly-drive for the Saints,
And bow in adoration unto them at the Til
  (still point in the body where his Radiant Form appears)
  and adorn my face with their Dust (Light) . 116
                                                         GURU ARJAN

The dust of the Saints is in every one of us. We live by the Light of God within, technically known as Charan Dhur or the Dust of the Feet. It has in it the Sound Principle or Harmony--the active life principle that grants life everlasting.

    The dust of the Lord's feet is a peerless gift that one can pray for and seek. The gods, goddesses, Rishis and Munis long for it.

I have adorned my forehead with the Dust of the Lord (Heaven's Light);
Even the Rishis, Munis and gods are far removed from it. 117
In the Dust of the Sadhus lies the merit of myriads of pilgrimages, fasts and vigils, and countless yogic disciplines.
One can acquire the merit of myriads of pilgrimages
  and yogic practices if one is able to secure the gift
  of dust from a Sadhu (Inner Light). 118
                                            GURU ARJAN
In addition to these references to "the dust of the Saints' feet," there are also references to "the dust of Gur-sikhs' feet;" that is, the dust of the true Sikhs or devoted disciples of the Master.
The lowly Nanak asks for the dust of the devoted disciples
  of the Master (Gur-sikh)
Who himself practices the Holy Word and instructs others
  to do the same. 119
This dust (the Light and Sound of God) is an elixir of life that grants salvation--a life of bliss both here and hereafter.

Charan Dhur: Its merits

1. It rids one of all pains and sorrows, and the grief of separation.

They alone are rich, O Lord (complete and perfect as Thou art)
  who practice the Word under the guidance of a Master,
Poor Nanak asks for the Dust of a Sadhu, for it rids the mind
  of all pains, sorrows and grief. 120
                              GURU RAM DAS
All ills vanish, pains and sorrows depart,
When one is purified by the dust of the Saints. 121

All ills have taken leave, now that I have tasted the Dust of a Saint;
It sanctifies the sinner in no time by dispelling the darkness of ignorance. 122
                                                                                                                      GURU ARJAN

2. It casts off lusts and egotism.

Take a daily dip in the dust of the Master,
It will wash off the egotism of ages on ages. 123

Besmear your face and forehead with the dust of a Sadhu
  and rid yourself of the filth of lust and fury,
See the Light of God even in the pariah and wish well to all. 124
                                                                                           GURU ARJAN

3. It sanctifies the mind by destroying sins and removing the accumulated filth of ages.
My perfect Satguru, I have taken shelter with thee;
The mind gets rarefied with the dust of the Saints. 125

The eyes are purified by Thy sight, and the hands
  when they are engaged in Thy service;
The heart is purified by Thy presence within
  and the forehead by the dust of the Saints. 126
                                                             GURU ARJAN

The sacred waters of the Ganges, Jumna, Godavari and Saraswati
  strive for the dust of the Sadhus (outer);
We, filled with all ills and egotism, can also be purified
  by the dust of the Sadhus (inner). 127
                                   GURU RAM DAS

A dip in the dust of the devotee's feet washes down the ills of ages upon ages. 128

Besmear the dust of Saints on your forehead,
And cleanse yourself of the ills of past ages. 129
                                                              GURU ARJAN

4. It fulfills all wishes and desires and even the innate latencies of the mind.

The contact with the feet of the Master awakens Reality
  and fulfills all desires;
The dust of the Saints is wish-yielding and brings about
  union with the Lord. 130
             GURU ARJAN

In His great mercy, God has brought me to a perfect Master,
All my heart's desires have now been fulfilled with the dust of the Master. 131
                                                                                                                    GURU RAM DAS

5. It is the harbinger of peace and bliss, grants freedom from the cycle of births and deaths, and saves one from the Angel of Death.
After long and ceaseless wanderings I have come unto Thee,
  Hari Rai, the Destroyer of all fear;
The devotees get bliss through the dust of a Sadh and Nanak too has been so blessed. 132

Be in communion with the Holy Word, for that is the true devotion;
The company of the Saints puts an end to births and deaths,
O Nanak! This is the virtue of their dust. 133

Obeisance unto the Saviour, who got us absorbed in Him,
A bath in the dust of a Sadhu, O Nanak! bestows innumerable blessings. 134

Their (Saints') very sight is the source of great bliss,
And their dust rescues one from death. 135

Nanak says: He who secures the Saint's dust within,
Even the Angel of Death cannot come near him. 136
                                                                   GURU ARJAN

6. It helps in saving millions of souls and one becomes Jivan Mukta or liberated in life.
Besmear the face and forehead with the dust of a Sadhu,
O Nanak! Thus saved, sing the praises of the Lord. 137
                                                                        GURU ARJAN

Grant unto me the devotion of the Master, O Satguru,
  so that I may remain absorbed in the all-pervading Word;
Grant me the dust of a perfect Master, O Lord,
  so the sinners like me may also rest in Thee,
  freed from all bondage. 138
             GURU AMAR DAS

Dyed in the color of the Lord, my mind sings of the Lord,
Salvation comes from the dust (the Word) of a Sadhu. 139

God be merciful to poor Nanak!
Grant unto him the dust of the Sadhus so that he may be saved. 140
                                                                                                   GURU ARJAN

7. It opens the inner vision wherewith one sees and witnesses the all-pervading Power of God everywhere.

I crave the dust of Thy devotees;
By practice of the Word, O Nanak! God Himself becomes visible. 141

In the dust of the Sadhu, one witnesses the presence of God around him. 142
                                                                                                                      GURU ARJAN

8. It gives bliss here and hereafter and one is honored at His Court.

Whoever dedicates his life to the service of the Lord (Hari)
And with full faith has besmeared his face with the dust of a Sadh Guru
Shines in the glory of the Lord both here and hereafter
  and is imbued with intoxication to the core of his heart. 143

Those who adorn themselves with the dust of a Sadhu,
Turn their back on the world and turn to the Word,
They are honored in His Court and their faces shine with glory. 144

In the Court of God they sit in honor and glory,
Lowly Nanak prays for the dust of such devotees of the Master. 145
                                                                                                GURU RAM DAS

9. It grants the bliss of Sehaj.

O Nanak! In the dust of the devotee there is the bliss of Sehaj
  and extreme ecstasy;
All things get straightened by themselves by devotion to
  the perfect Master. 146
               GURU ARJAN

10. It effects union with Truth.

Live in devotion to the feet of a Sadh,
Besmear your body with the dust of his feet,
Serve him with all your mind and soul,
Then shall you reach the True Homeland. 147
                                                      GURU ARJAN
It grants conquest over death and all the deadly sins drop off by themselves. Nature, the handmaid of God, becomes a bound slave. With the inner vision opened, one sees God everywhere and spends his days happily in His beneficent presence, a conscious co-worker with Him.