Question: Dust of Pure Devotee's Lotus Feet
What is the meaning of smearing the dust of the lotus feet of a pure devotee on one's body? Is it symbolic or literal? If it is literal, how can one collect the dust from the lotus feet of a pure devotee and smear it on his body to advance in Krishna bhakti?
Answer: Necessary to Realize the Absolute Truth
It is both literal and symbolic because the dust of the feet of the pure devotee is also manifested in the form of his instructions. By holding fast to those instructions you are placing that sacred dust on your body. And literally when you are in the presence of the pure devotee you can take the dust from his feet or the water from when his feet are bathed and place it on your body. This is an essential item for those who want to achieve spiritual perfection. In this connection it is stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam:
"Unless one has the opportunity to smear his entire body with the dust of the lotus feet of great devotees, one cannot realize the Absolute Truth."