I’m going to narrate a story of an ardent devotee who attained the glance of the Lotus Feet of the Divine Mother. This is a story from the famous Aithihyamala. There was a Namboothiri in North Kerala. He was well settled, but a sudden poverty stuck him and he was ousted from his home by relatives. He didn’t know what to do next. He walked into a nearby forest. He walked for the entire day and was tired. It was late in the evening by then and he searched for a place to rest. He found an ashram of a great rishi and thought he could take refuge there. The compassionate rishi welcomed him, gave him fruits to eat and a place to sleep. The next day morning, the sage asked his whereabouts and he narrated all his life and the problems he faced. He said “ All my relatives now hates me, I’ve been ousted from my own home and no refuge.” The rishi replied, “Do not worry. You can stay here along with me as long as you wish”.
He started to stay with the rishi. The rishi understood with his divine vision that it is because he didn’t do his spiritual practices properly, he has attained this state. He had chanted all the mantras in a wrong way all these time! The master taught him the proper way of chanting and doing the sadhana. He started to do his practices properly under his master’s guidance. He became a good disciple of the rishi.
After many years, he found that his master never sleeps in the night. Also he could hear strange sounds from the master’s room. He became eager to find out what was happening. One night, he went to the master’s room at midnight. To his surprise, he found that a lot of celestial beings are visiting his master every night and are conversing with him! He focussed on what they were talking about and could find that the devatas were inviting his master for a festival in Kailas.
The next day morning, the namboothiri went to the rishi and confessed, “I had committed a grave mistake. I peeped into your room yesterday night. I saw the devatas inviting you for a festival in Kailas. Please take me also along with you. I too have the desire to attend that festival.” Hearing this, the rishi replied “Only a very few selected and divine beings were allowed to attend such events. I don’t think you are ready yet.” But the disciple was not ready to hear that. He insisted on taking him along. He pleaded to the master to show mercy. The master replied “Ok. But there are some strict guidelines you should follow. You have to always hold to my little finger throughout our visit. Never ever raise your head, always look down. Whatever you may see, do not utter a word”. The disciple agreed.
Thus, with the divine power of the rishi, both of them went to Kailas. There were celebrations at every corner. People were chanting Vedas on one side. The sounds of conch and drums could be heard. The entire place was decorated. Celestial dancers and musicians were performing on the other side. Lord Vishnu himself is standing and receiving the guests at the entrance! Everywhere one could see great celebrations. Chantings were going on in one corner, people were debating on scriptures in other, what to say! It was a divine sight to behold. It was noontime, a special lunch was prepared to serve everyone. Our Namboothiri also went along with his master to have lunch. Lord Vishnu, Shiva and other god and goddesses themselves were serving the lunch. Devi was serving payasam and reached near our Namboothiri. As he was not supposed to look up, he could only see Mother’s feet.
LalitaSahasranama describes Mother’s feet as follows
Om gūḍha gulphāyai namaḥ
[whose ankles are hidden.]
Om kūrma pṛṣṭha jayiṣṇu prapadānvitāyai namaḥ
[whose feet have arches that rival the back of a tortoise in smoothness and beauty.]
Om nakha dīdhiti sañchanna namajjana tamoguṇayai namaḥ
[whose toenails give out such a radiance that all the darkness of ignorance is dispelled from those devotees who prostrate at Her feet.]
Om pada dvaya prabhā jāla parākṛta saroruhāyai namaḥ
[whose feet defeat lotus flowers in radiance.]
Seeing the beautiful feet of Devi, Namboothiri couldn’t resist. He looked-up but couldn’t see Mother. The Lord’s servant Nandi understood that there is an uninvited guest among the crowd and kicked him. He fell back to a pond named Peringode (in Palakkad, Kerala). People who came to take a bath in the pond the next day saw him lying in the pond unconscious and took him. Since he got the divine vision of Mother’s feet, he later became very famous. Whatever he prescribed as a medicine for ailments started to work. Everyone started to revere him as a great devotee of the Mother.
Aithihyamala says that just a glance of Mother’s Feet uplifted the stature of this person. Let us remember that Divine Feet of Devi.