puṁsāṁ tad-aṅghri-rajasā jita-ṣaḍ-guṇānām
citraṁ vidūra-vigataḥ sakṛd ādadīta
yan-nāmadheyam adhunā sa jahāti bandham
na — not; evam-vidhaḥ — like that; puruṣa-kāraḥ — personal influence; uru-kramasya — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; puṁsām — of the devotees; tat-aṅghri — of His lotus feet; rajasā — by the dust; jita-ṣaṭ-guṇānām — who have conquered the influence of the six kinds of material waves; citram — wonderful; vidūra-vigataḥ — the fifth-grade person, or the untouchable; sakṛt — only once; ādadīta — if he utters; yat — whose; nāmadheyam — holy name; adhunā — immediately; saḥ — he; jahāti — gives up; bandham — material bondage.
My dear King, a devotee who has taken shelter of the dust from the lotus feet of the Lord can transcend the influence of the six material waves — namely hunger, thirst, lamentation, illusion, old age and death — and he can conquer the mind and five senses. However, this is not very wonderful for a pure devotee of the Lord because even a person beyond the jurisdiction of the four castes — in other words, an untouchable — is immediately relieved of bondage to material existence if he utters the holy name of the Lord even once.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī was speaking to Mahārāja Parīkṣit about the activities of King Priyavrata, and since the King might have had doubts about these wonderful, uncommon activities, Śukadeva Gosvāmī reassured him. “My dear King,” he said, “don’t be doubtful about the wonderful activities of Priyavrata. For a devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, everything is possible because the Lord is also known as Urukrama.” Urukrama is a name for Lord Vāmanadeva, who performed the wonderful act of occupying the three worlds with three footsteps. Lord Vāmanadeva requested three paces of land from Mahārāja Bali, and when Mahārāja Bali agreed to grant them, the Lord immediately covered the entire world with two footsteps, and for His third step He placed His foot upon Bali Mahārāja’s head. Śrī Jayadeva Gosvāmī says:
keśava dhṛta-vāmana-rūpa jaya jagadīśa hare
“All glories to Lord Keśava, who assumed the form of a dwarf. O Lord of the universe, who take away everything inauspicious for the devotees! O wonderful Vāmanadeva! You tricked the great demon Bali Mahārāja by Your steps. The water that touched the nails of Your lotus feet when You pierced through the covering of the universe purifies all living entities in the form of the river Ganges.”
Since the Supreme Lord is all-powerful, He can do things that seem wonderful for a common man. Similarly, a devotee who has taken shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord can also do wonderful things unimaginable to a common man, by the grace of the dust of those lotus feet. Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore teaches us to take shelter of the Lord’s lotus feet:
patitaṁ māṁ viṣame bhavāṁbudhau
kṛpayā tava pāda-paṅkaja-
“O son of Nanda Mahārāja, I am Your eternal servant, yet somehow or other I have fallen into the ocean of birth and death. Please pick me up from this ocean of death and place me as one of the atoms of Your lotus feet.” Lord Caitanya teaches us to come in touch with the dust of the Lord’s lotus feet, for then there will undoubtedly be all success.
Because of the material body, every living entity in material existence is always disturbed by ṣad-guṇa, six waves — hunger, thirst, lamentation, illusion, invalidity and death. Furthermore, another ṣad-guṇa are the mind and five sense organs. Not to speak of a sanctified devotee, even a caṇḍāla, an outcaste, who is untouchable, is immediately freed from material bondage if he utters the holy name of the Lord even once. Sometimes caste brāhmaṇas argue that unless one changes his body he cannot be accepted as a brāhmaṇa, for since the present body is obtained as a result of past actions, one who has in the past acted as a brāhmaṇa takes birth in a brāhmaṇa family. Therefore, they contend, without such a brahminical body, one cannot be accepted as a brāhmaṇa. Herein it is said, however, that even vidūra-vigata, a caṇḍāla — a fifth-class untouchable — is freed if he utters the holy name even once. Being freed means that he immediately changes his body. Sanātana Gosvāmī confirms this:
dvijatvaṁ jāyate nṛṇām
When a person, even though a caṇḍāla, is initiated by a pure devotee into chanting the holy name of the Lord, his body changes as he follows the instructions of the spiritual master. Although one cannot see how his body has changed, we must accept, on the grounds of the authoritative statements of the śāstras, that he changes his body. This is to be understood without arguments. This verse clearly says, sa jahāti bandham: “He gives up his material bondage.” The body is a symbolic representation of material bondage according to one’s karma. Although sometimes we cannot see the gross body changing, chanting the holy name of the Supreme Lord immediately changes the subtle body, and because the subtle body changes, the living entity is immediately freed from material bondage. After all, changes of the gross body are conducted by the subtle body. After the destruction of the gross body, the subtle body takes the living entity from his present gross body to another. In the subtle body, the mind is predominant, and therefore if one’s mind is always absorbed in remembering the activities or the lotus feet of the Lord, he is to be understood to have already changed his present body and become purified. Therefore it is irrefutable that a caṇḍāla, or any fallen or lowborn person, can become a brāhmaṇa simply by the method of bona fide initiation.