‘So how is it attained?’
It maybe attained in serving the deity. In the Nectar of Devotion Book, it is said that one of the form of deity worship is that the pujari must touch the Lotus Feet of the Lord, while he is on the alter. So that is a prescribed duty of worship. It is a nice prescribed duty where you have to touch the Lotus Feet of the Lord. It’s there in the scripture. So in that way pujari service is quite special – there’s no doubt about it!
The dust of the Lotus Feet of the Lord is transcendental. Everything about Krishna is spiritual, and therefore the dust of His Feet is totally spiritual! Now within the concept of approaching the feet of the Lord is also the concept of approaching the most humble part of the Lord – not the face, but the feet. In order to approach the Feet, one must bow down. So therefore it is said in the Bhagavad Gita:
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī mām namaskuru
mām evaisyasi satyam te
pratijāne priyo ’si me’. (BG.18.65)
That devotees must bow down to Krishna, and such a devotee that bows down attracts the mercy of Krishna. In other words, it is through humility that one attracts the mercy of Krishna. So in the concept of the dust of the Lotus Feet of the Lord is a concept of humility. The humility is included there which one can attain the dust from the Lotus Feet of the Lord.
Another concept – it is said that besides taking the dust directly off the Lord, which is difficult for us, because where do we have access to the dust of the Lotus Feet of the Lord? We cannot directly see the Lord, face to face, so where do we get that dust if we take this literally in the physical sense? As I mentioned the deities is the one option, because the deities are mostly the manifestation of the Lord, and is available to those who are even not capable of seeing the Lord.
The other place where the dust of the Lotus Feet of the Lord is available is in Vrindavan, because it is mentioned that in the story of Kaliya – we may recall, that it is described in the beginning of the story of how all the residents in Vrindavan were moving around in Vrindavan, which was covered by the Lotus Footprint of Krishna that even the animals would never step on the Lotus Footprints of Krishna. So, in this way the entire dust of Vrindavan was marked by the Lotus Footprints of Krishna, and therefore very clearly transcendental – and the dust of the Lotus Feet of Krishna. So Vrindavan dust is of that nature, that it is the direct dust of the Lotus Feet of Krishna, and as such – there we can collect as much as we can get. We can take that dust in various ways – either on our head.
I have seen devotees who came to Vrindavan and who fell down in that dust, and were bathing in it! They were lying there and throwing all the dust on themselves, as much as possible – rolling around, put a little more….stand up again…pay obeisance again…and do it again! They did this as a means to attain the mercy of Krishna.
We also know that when Akrūra came into Vrindavan, and that when he saw the Footprints of Krishna, there in Vrindavan – that he fell down on the ground and rolled in the dust of those Footprints immediately, when he dived off his chariot. It is very aristocratic – right… driving a beautiful chariot….nicely decorated….. a royal chariot….beautiful royal clothes and he just dived into the dust! So this spirit is the glorified spirit! So we can get the dust of the Feet of the Lord, from the Lotus Feet of the deity in Vrindavan!