Srinatha carana dvandvam
Yasyam disi virajate,
Tasyai dise namaskuryad
Bhaktya pratidinam priye
O beloved, everyday you should bow with devotion in whichever direction Shri Guru’s two feet rest.
Lord Shiva, in this shloka, is instructing Mother Parvati on how a disciple must begin his day. However, for sometime let us concentrate on the word Priye. Why is Lord Shiva addressing Mother Parvati in this manner? Isn’t it colloquial to address Mother Parvati so? The word Priye has a lot of meaning, the one who has the power to remain untouched by anything said or done, the one who is completely unruffled is known as Priya. Such a person does not shake in any situation.
Priya or Priye is mostly used to address Goddess Lakshmi. That is why she is known as Padma Priya or Hari Priya - the one who loves Lord Vishnu. Likewise we address Mother Parvati as ‘Ishwara Priya’- one who is dear to Lord Shiva. Parvati is the seat of unconditional love. But we don’t address Goddess Sarawati as Priya since she is the embodiment of wisdom. Wisdom is difficult to attain.
Through several shlokas of the Guru Gita, we come to know that the Guru is certainly Ishwara Priya. That is why, if we go against the Guru, Ishwara will not forgive us. At the same time, Lord Shiva goes on describing the glories of the Guru and the key role the Guru plays in our life. In this shloka, Lord Shiva tells Parvati that in whichever direction the Guru resides, we must bow down in that direction, as soon as we wake up in the morning. It is enough to look in that direction and bow down. This should be done because we are not always able to obtain the Lotus feet or sandals of the Guru. Guru’s sandals are like the antennae that keep us connected to the Guru Chaitanya or consciousness. Perennial grace in the form of Ichcha, Jnana and Kriya Shakti that is the power of will, power of knowledge and power of action flow to us from the Guru’s sandals. That is why whenever a disciple carries the Guru Paduka or Guru’s Sandals, he or she places them it on the top of his or her head. This tradition not only depicts reverence but also symbolises transfer of energy of all 33,000 crore forms of divinity, into our being through our fontanel.
Excerpt from The Force of Nirvana by Shri Shri Nimishananda