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Sri Sri Shikashastaka by Lord Caitanya July 21, 2009

Posted by Stephen Knapp in Sri Sri Shikshastaka.
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Sri Sri Shikshashtaka

by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not do much writing, but was widely renowned as a scholar in His youth. Nonetheless, He did leave these eight verses known as Sikshashtaka. These explain the essence of His mission and the philosophy of devotional service to Lord Krishna. See the article on Lord Caitanya to learn more about Him. Two more songs/prayers follow that elaborate on the sacredness of the Lord’s holy names.


cheto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam

shreyah-kairava-chandrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam

anandambhdhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamritasvadanam

sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate shri-krishna-sankirtanam

Glory to the Shri Krishna sankirtana (congregational chanting of the Lord’s holy names), which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. That sankirtana movement is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious.


namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-shaktis

tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalaha

etadrishi tava kripa bhagavan mamapi

durdaivam idrisham ihajani nanuragahah

O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names, like Krishna and Govinda. In these transcendental names, you have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach you by Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them.


trinad api sunicena

taror api sahishnuna

amanina manadena

kirtaniyah sada harihi

One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.


na dhanam na janam na sundarim

kavitam va jagad-isha kamaye

mama janmani janmanishvare

bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi

O almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor do I desire beautiful women, nor do I want any number of followers. I only want your causeless devotional service, birth after birth.


ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram

patitam mam vishame bhavambudhau

kripaya tava pada-pankaja-

sthita-dhuli-sadrisham vichintaya

O son of Maharaja Nanda [Krishna], I am Your eternal servitor, 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 at Your lotus feet.


nayanam galad-ashru-dharaya

vadanam gadgada-ruddhaya gira

pulakair nichitam vapuh kada

tava nama-grahane bhavishyati

O my Lord, when will my eyes be decorated with tears of love flowing constantly when I chant Your holy name? When will my voice choke up, and when will the hairs of my body stand on end at the recitation of Your name?


yugayitam nimeshena

chakshusha pravrishayitam

shunyayitam jagat sarvam

govinda-virahena me

O Govinda! Feeling Your separation, I am considering a moment to be like twelve years or more. Tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain, and I am feeling all vacant in the world in Your absence.


ashlishya va pada-ratam pinashtu mam

adarshanan marma-hatam karotu va

yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato

mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparaha

I know no one but Krishna as my Lord, and He shall remain so even if He handles me roughly by His embrace or makes me brokenhearted by not being present before me. He is completely free to do anything and everything, for He is always my worshipful Lord, unconditionally.

Sri-Harer Namastakam

In the above prayers by Lord Caitanya, there is the mention of the importance of the chanting of the holy names of Lord Krishna. This prayer/song on the glories of the holy name of Lord Hari, Krishna, elaborates on that sentiment and is a great source of knowledge and meditation for our spiritual advancement.


madhuram madhurebhyo’ pi

mangalebhyo’ pi mangalam

pavanam pavanebhyo’ pi

harer namaiva kevalam

The holy name of Sri Hari (Krishna) is alone the sweetest of all sweet things. It is the most auspicious of all auspicious things and is the greatest purifier of all purifying things.



sarva maya-mayam jagat

satyam satyam punah satyam

harer namaiva kevalam

The entire material creation from Brahma down to the clump of grass is a product of the illusory energy of the Supreme. Sri Harinama is alone reality.


sa guruh sa pita chapi

sa mata bandhavo’ pi saha

shikshayech chet sada smartum

harer namaiva kevalam

If someone teaches us to remember the holy name of Hari alone, then that person is our preceptor, father, mother and friend.


nihshwase nahi vishvasaha

kada ruddho bhavishyati

kirtaniya mato balyad

harer namaiva kevalam

There is no certainty in when our last breath will come. Therefore the name of Hari must be exclusively chanted from one’s very childhood.


harih sada vaset tatra

yatra bhagavata janaha

gayanti bhakti-bhavena

harer namaiva kevalam

Sri Hari eternally dwells in that place where great souls chant His holy name alone with great devotion.


aho duhkham maha-duhkham

duhkhad duhkhataram yataha

kachayam vismritam ratna

harer namaiva kevalam

Alas, what a sadness, what a great sorrow, it is more painful than any misery, that this jewel of the Harinama [the holy name of Lord Hari] has been mistaken as a piece of glass and has thus been forgotten by the general mass of people.


diyatam diyatam karno

niyatam niyatam vachaha

giyatam giyatam nityam

harer namaiva kevalam

Hear again and again, utter over and over, eternally sing and sing again the name of Hari alone.


trina-kritya jagat sarvam

rajate sakala-param

chid-ananda-mayam shuddham

harer namaiva kevalam

It is the Harinama alone which is full of ecstasy and divine knowledge. It is the supreme pure and reigns supreme over all, making the entire universe seem as insignificant as a blade of grass.

Man Radhe Krishna

This song asks our mind to simply focus and become absorbed on chanting the names of Radha and Krishna.

man Radhe Krishna, Radhe Krishna, Radhe Krishna bol

Radhe Krishna bol re, Radha Krishna bol

Vrindavan mein khelan avein

lata pata phoolan barsavein

madhu dhara ki nadi bahavein

man phool bichhi galiyan mein dole

Yamuna darshan karne ai

van ki chata badi sukhdai

hans mandali vahan ghir ai

kamalan ki mala le ai

man dekh yugal chavi kare kilol

Radhe kare kilol, Shyama kare kilol

Please, O mind, simply chant Radhe Krishna, Radhe Krishna, Radhe Krishna!

Please chant Radhe Krishna, chant Radhe Krishna.

When Lord Krishna comes to play in Vrindavana, the creepers shower a rain of leaves and flowers. Honey flows from the flowers like a river and the mind meanders through lanes strewn with the blossoms.

Yamunadevi has come to behold the beautiful form of Krishna. The beauty of the forest brings great pleasure. Flocks of swans have wandered there, bringing with them a garland of lotus flowers. Beholding the beautiful forms of Radha and Krishna, the mind is singing. O Radha, my mind is singing. O Shyama [Krishna], my mind is singing.



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