Follow by Email

Saturday, April 01, 2017

25 most essential ślokas

25 most essential ślokas

I was asked, for the benefit of hard-working devotees who have little time to study, what are the 25 most essential ślokas from śāstra, so as far as possible I compiled this list of the most impressive verses I learned from guru, śāstra and sadhu. I added an explanation to most of them.

1.
ārādhyo bhagavān vrajeśa tanayas taddhāma vṛndāvanaṁ
ramyā kācid upāsanā vrajavadhū vargeṇa yā kalpitā
śāstraṁ bhāgavatam pramāṇam amalaṁ prema pumārtho mahān
śrī caitanya mahāprabhor matam idaṁ tatrādaro naḥ para

“The worshipable Lord is Kṛṣṇa, the son of king Nanda of Vraja. The abode in which we worship Him is Vṛndāvana. The delightful method of Worship is that of the cowherd wives of Vraja (the gopīs). The holy scripture the Bhāgavata is the spotless authority. The greatest pursuit of human life is prema, love of God. This is the opinion of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This deserves our highest respect, care and love.

(By Śrīnātha Cakravarti, disciple of Śrī Advaita ācārya and guru of Kavi Karṇapura, giving a synopsis of sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana).

2.
gurau goṣṭhe goṣṭhālayiṣu sujane bhū-sura-gaṇe
sva-mantre śrī-nāmni vraja-nava-yuva-dvandva-śaraṇe
sadā dambhaṁ hitvā kuru ratim apūrvām atitarāṁ
aye svāntar bhrātaś caṭubhir abhiyāce dhṛta-padaḥ 

O mind! O brother! I hold your feet and I pray to you with flattering words:
Always give up hypocrisy and develop wonderful love for your Guru, the abode of Vraja, the people of Vraja, the saintly devotees, the brāhmaṇas, my initiation-mantra, the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa and the shelter of the eternally youthful Couple of Vraja, Śrī-Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa! (Manaḥ Śikṣā – 1)

We cannot see Kṛṣṇa while we are sādhakas, but we can recognize Him in and find Him through the above divinities. It is also the synopsis of the whole Manaḥ-śikṣā.

3.
tṛṇād api sunīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā;
amāninā mānadena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ

“One should chant the Holy Name of Lord Hari in a humble state of mind, being more humble than a blade of grass, as tolerant as a tree, giving all respect unto others and not expecting any honor for oneself." (Śrī Caitanya-śikṣāṣṭakam – 3)

4.
janmādy asya yato’nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ
tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ
tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo’mṛṣā
dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi

The essential definition of Bhagavān comes in the opening śloka of Śrīmad-Bhāgavat, 1.1.1 – “We meditate on the Supreme Truth, from whom all this is born, Who is both present in everything and aloof from it, Who is omniscient and independent. It is He who revealed the Veda to Brahma, the first sage, within his heart. He deludes even the great gods, makes this threefold unreal world seem real, just as the sun’s rays are mistaken for water (in a mirage), water for earth or earth for water, but who is Himself forever free from illusion due to His divine energy (dhāmnā).”

5.
barhāpīḍaṁ naṭa-vara-vapuḥ karṇayoḥ karṇikāraṁ
bibhrad-vāsaḥ kanaka-kapiśaṁ vaijayantīṁ ca mālām 
randhrān veṇor adhara-sudhayā pūrayan gopa-vṛndair
vṛndāraṇyaṁ sva-pada-ramaṇaṁ prāviśad gīta-kīrtiḥ

The essential Kṛṣṇa-meditation is in Śrīmad-Bhāgavata (10.21.5) –
“A peacock feather crown (on His head), His body shaped like the best of dancers, Karṇikāra-flowers on His ears, wearing a garment colored gold and a garland of (five kinds of) victory flowers, filling the holes of His flute with the nectar of His lips, and the cowherd boys singing His glories, He entered the forest of Vṛndā, making its soil lovely with His footprints.”

6.
smartavyaṁ satataṁ viṣṇor vismartavyo na jātūcit
sarva vidhi niṣedha syur etayor eva kinkarāḥ

“Always remember Kṛṣṇa and never forget Him – all other rules and prohibitions are subservient to this.”

7.
anarpita carīṁ cirāt karuṇayā avatīrṇa kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala rasa sva bhakti śriyaṁ
hariḥ puraṭa sundara dyuti kadamba sandīpitaḥ
sadā hṛdaya kandare sphuratu vaḥ śacī-nandanaḥ

 “May the son of mother Śacī, who is Hari Himself, appearing in a splendid beautiful golden form, and who has descended in the age of Kali to mercifully bestow the wealth of His own bhakti, which was never bestowed before, and which is endowed with the elevated amorous flavour, always be manifest within the cave of your heart.”

This is the paribhāṣa-sūtra of Caitanya-līlā, the bottom line of Gaura-līlā – what it’s really all about, beyond His external harināma-mission. It is the opening shot of Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Ādi 1.4), comparable to the opening verse of Śrīmad-bhāgavata.

8.
man manā bhava mad bhakto mad yāji māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te pratijāne priyo’si me

“Think of Me and be My devotee. Worship Me and offer your respects unto Me. Thus you will truly and certainly come to Me. I promise you this because you are dear to Me.”

This comes after Bhagavad-Gītā 18.64, where Kṛṣṇa announces that He will now reveal the greatest secret of the Bhagavad-Gītā. This verse summarizes all the items of bhajan. Nowhere is preaching mentioned, so whence the claim that bhajan is selfish and only thinking of one’s own liberation? Secondly, Arjuna was a gṛhastha, with a large family and retinue, yet Kṛṣṇa promises solemnly that he will attain Him, simply because he is dear to Him, so whence the claim that one must be a sannyāsī to attain Kṛṣṇa? To stress the importance of these points, Kṛṣṇa speaks it twice in the Gītā.

9.
anyābhilāṣita śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy anāvṛtam
ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśilanaṁ bhaktir uttamā

 “The topmost devotion is devoid of other desires, not covered by practices of jñāna (for impersonal liberation) and karma (fruitive activities), and is practiced deliberately and actively for Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure.” (Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu 1.1.11)

10.
ananyaś cintayanto māṁ ye janāḥ paryupāsate
teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ yoga kṣemaṁ vahāmyaham

 “Whoever constantly worships Me, exclusively meditating on Me, I will provide him with all his needs and will preserve what he has.” (Bhagavad-gītā 9.22)

Devotees should just do sādhana without worrying about maintenance.

11.
cañcalaṁ hi manaḥ kṛṣṇa pramāthi balavad dṛḍham
tasyāhaṁ nigrahaṁ manye vāyor iva suduṣkaram

“O Kṛṣṇa! The mind is so restless, agitating, powerful and obstinate – it seems harder to check than even the wind.” (Bhagavad-gītā 6.34)

12.
īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ saccidānanda vigraha
anādir ādir govinda sarva kārana kāranam

All the points are there – Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme God, His body is sac cid ānanda, full of awareness, reality and bliss, He is beginningless, He is the greatest of all and He is the cause of all causes.” (Brahma Samhitā 5.1)

13.
ananta-śāstraṁ bahulāśca vidyāḥ svalpaśca kālo bahu-vighnatā ca;
yat sāra-bhūtaṁ tad-upāsanīyaṁ  haṁso yathā kṣīram ivāmbu-madhyāt

"The scriptures are infinite and the branches of knowledge are many. Our time is limited and our lives full of obstacles. Therefore we should worship the essence, just as the swan extracts only the milk from the water." (Canakya-nīti-darpanam 15.10) 

Showing one should not waste precious time in useless and shoreless studies, but just concentrate on the śāstras’ essence.

14.
yaḥ śāstra-vidhiṁ utsṛjya vartate kāma kārataḥ
na sa siddhim avāpnoti na sukhaṁ na paraṁ gatiṁ

"He who rejects scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims, will not attain perfection, nor will he become happy or attain the Supreme Abode." (Bhagavad Gītā 16.23)

Śrī Kṛṣṇa warning heterodox teachers and their followers that they are not going anywhere.

15-16.
bāhya antara ihāra dui to sādhana; bāhya — sādhaka dehe kore śravaṇa kīrtana
mane — nija siddha deha koriyā bhāvana; rātri dine kore vraje kṛṣṇera sevana 

"There are two kinds of devotion in practise — external and internal. In the external practitioner's body devotional practices of hearing and chanting Kṛṣṇa's glories are performed, and internally, in the mentally conceived spiritual body, one renders mental service to Kṛṣṇa in Vraja day and night." (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya 22.155-156)

Śrīman Mahāprabhu teaches here that siddha deha-meditation is not just for liberated souls, but is a sādhana, showing also that there is more to sādhana than just external things like chanting, practical external service etc.

17.
vṛndāni sarva mahatām apahāya dūrāt vṛndāṭavīm anusara pranayena cetaḥ
sattāranī kṛta subhāva sudhā rasaugham rādhābhidhānam iha divya nidhānam asti

Prabodhānanda Saraswati teaches how to live in Vraja (Rādhā Rasa Sudhānidhi – 9)-
cetaḥ! “Oh mind! Dwell in Vṛndāvana! (mental residence in Vraja is essential).
sarva mahatām – “All Vraja’s residents are saints”, but…
apahāya dūrāt – “Keep them far away.”
Q: Is that not an offence?
A: No it isn’t, otherwise the word mahatā (“great souls”) would not have been used.
Q: Why then keep them at bay?
A. 1. In order not to find faults in them and to continue to appreciate them.
2. In order not to get entangled and to peacefully do bhajan.
3. No mutual hurt will arise if there is any difference of opinion or style of worship.
“There is a great divine treasure there named Rādhā, a vast ocean of nectar-rasa and good feelings that redeems the saints!”

18.
śanakair bhagaval-lokān nṛ-lokaṁ punar āgataḥ.
vimṛjya netre viduraṁ prītyāhoddhava utsmayan

"Gradually Uddhava returned from Bhagavān's world to the human world. Rubbing his eyes, he lovingly told Vidura in amazement..." (Quoted from Śrīmad-bhāgavat 3.2.6 in Kṛṣṇa-sandarbha 106) showing that Goloka is not a ‘planet’ but a world. It is not attainable by material travel through space with a rocket. Uddhava’s return was a mental one, not a physical one.

19.
krome krome pāye lok bhava sindhu kūla

“Slowly and gradually the people will reach the shore of the ocean of material existence.” (Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 16.237) 

Against fanatic dreaming and instant liberation-vāda of neophytes passionately imagining themselves to be able to attain perfection or liberation in 5 minutes or less. Of all people, Śrīman Mahāprabhu spoke it to the greatest vairāgī, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. Even he was told to wait.

20.
dhyāyaṁs taṁ śikhi piñcha maulim aniśaṁ tan nāma saṅkīrtayan
nityaṁ tac caraṇāmbujaṁ paricaraṁs tan mantra varyaṁ japan
śrī rādhā pada dāsyam eva paramābhīṣṭaṁ hṛdā dhārayan
karhi syāṁ tad anugraheṇa paramodbhutānurāgotsavaḥ

“I always meditate on Kṛṣṇa, who wears a crown of peacock feathers, I always sing His name in saṅkīrtana, I always serve His lotus feet (the deity) and repeat His best of mantras, holding the desire for the supremely cherished service of Śrī Rādhā's lotus feet in my heart. When will that great festival of divine love arise in my heart by His grace?”

Śrīla Prabodhānanda Saraswatī explaining (in Rādhā-rasa sudhānidhi 259) why there is no need for separate rādhā-kīrtan and rādhā-mantra…

21.
ataeva gopī-bhāva koro angikāra

“Therefore, accept the mood of the gopīs.”

Showing that gopī-bhāva is not sahajiya, otherwise Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who spoke this (in Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya 8.228), would also be a sahajiya.

22.
dīkṣā-kāle bhakta kore ātma-samarpaṇa; sei-kāle kṛṣṇa tāre kore ātma-sama
sei deha kore tāra cid-ānanda-moya; aprākṛta-dehe tāṅra caraṇa bhajoya

Mahāprabhu vāṇī (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya 4.192-193) “At the time of initiation the devotee surrenders his very self – at that time Kṛṣṇa makes him equal to Himself and makes His body transcendental. In such a spiritual body he can serve Kṛṣṇa’s lotus-feet.”

Showing that dīkṣā is not just a ritual, but an act of surrender and it ultimately yields the spiritual body.

23.
rādhā kṛṣṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir hlādinī śaktir asmād
ekātmānāv api bhuvi purā deha-bhedaṁ gatau tau
caitanyākhyaṁ prakaṭam adhunā tad-dvayaṁ caikyam āptaṁ
rādhā-bhāva-dyuti-subalitaṁ naumi kṛṣṇa-svarūpam

"The transformations of love between Śrī Rādhā and Śrī Kṛṣṇa are manifestations of the hlādinī-śakti. These two, although one soul, have manifested in this world in separate forms since ancient times. He, who is known as Caitanya, has now manifest as Their union. Obeisances to Him, who is Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself, beautifully endowed with the feelings and lustre of Śrī Rādhā!" 

Here Svarūp Dāmodar Gosvāmī offers his obeisances to Gaura’s svarūpa, explaining that Mahāprabhu is not a merger of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, but Kṛṣṇa only.

24.
vikrīḍitaṁ vrajavadhūbhir idaṁ ca viṣṇoḥ
śraddhānvito’nuśṛṇuyed atha varṇayed yaḥ
bhaktiṁ paraṁ bhagavatiṁ pratilabhya kāmaṁ
hṛd-rogam āśvapahinotyacireṇa dhīraḥ

“Whoever faithfully and continually hears and describes the pastimes of Viṣṇu (Kṛṣṇa) with the brides of Vraja (the gopīs) attains the highest devotion to Bhagavān, will swiftly become free from the heart’s disease of lust and become calm.”

The phala śruti (final benediction on the reciter and audience) of the Rāsa-līlā narration in Śrīmad-bhāgavata (10.33.39). It does not contradict warnings against possible sexual agitation from hearing or chanting the Rāsa-līlā. Getting sexually agitated from this topic happens to the unfortunate sādhaka.

25.
tavaivāsmi tavaivāsmi  na jīvāmi tvayā vinā
iti vijñāya devi tvaṁ naya māṁ caraṇāntikam

“ I am Yours, I am Yours! I cannot live without You! O Devi!  Knowing this, please take me to Your lotus feet!”

Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Goswāmī’s ultimate surrender at Swāminī Rādhikā’s lotus-feet in Vilāpa-kusumāñjali (96) – the manjari bhāva mahāmantra!

No comments:

Post a Comment