Rudra Dasa's Posts (11)

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Śrī Narasimha Pahimām

Śrī Narasimha Rakshamām


(1) When wild beasts & foes attack,

When famines, floods, & fires strike,

When quakes & cyclones leave just lack,

When laughless, life’s not lief to like,

When all my ships of hope have wrecked

And I’ve no fruits of joy to tend,

Lord Narasimha, pray protect!

Lord Narasimha, do defend!


(2) When I’m heart-racked with household care,

When pressures to succeed upset,

When in duress, dismay, despair,

In fearful doubt & fretful debt,

When usurers swarm to collect

And no one hath a cent to lend,

Lord Narasimha, pray protect!

Lord Narasimha, do defend!


(3) When I’m embroiled in battle’s heat,

When hemmed in by mean enemies,

When wearied, wounded, in retreat,

When vanquished, pleading on my knees,

When scourged & stoned by separate sect,

By crown & court & crowd condemned,

Lord Narasimha, pray protect!

Lord Narasimha, do defend!


(4) When I’m left reft of roof & hearth,

When starving, sapped of funds for foods,

When lost, alone I roam the earth

Through strange & dangerous neighborhoods,

When shunned & naked in neglect,

No soul on whom I can depend,

Lord Narasimha, pray protect!

Lord Narasimha, do defend!


(5) When tyrants are oppressing me,

When bureaucrats are vexing me,

When hoodlams are harassing me,

When sorcerers are hexing me,

When lovers heartlessly reject,

When I’m betrayed by every friend,

 Lord Narasimha, pray protect!

Lord Narasimha, do defend!


(6) When overwrought & red with wrath,

When lost in lust & cravings coarse,

When wending off the dharma's path,

When self-reproaching in remorse,

When all my views are incorrect,

When wayward sins I must emend,

Lord Narasimha, pray protect!

Lord Narasimha, do defend!


(7) When weapons tear my flesh apart,

When bites & kicks & punches bruise,

When Nritti stingeth with his dart,

When Yama stalketh with his noose,

When age enfeebleth, plagues infect,

When life’s last battle’s at an end,

Lord Narasimha, pray protect!

Lord Narasimha, do defend!


(8) When I’m astray on astral plane,

My body shed to rot or burn,

No known material terrain,

No stars to signal where to turn,

And if my soul is not elect

And into dark hells I descend,

Lord Narasimha, pray protect!

Lord Narasimha, do defend!


—Begun on Narasimha’s Appearance Day, 5113 Kali-Yuga

Completed on Narasimha’s Appearance Day, 5116 Kali-Yuga

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Tulasi-devi Chalīsa

Tulasi-devi Chalīsa

Forty Stanzas for the Goddess of the Basil Tree


Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the tulasī tree, which can immediately vanquish volumes of sinful activities. Simply by seeing or touching this tree one can become relieved from all distresses and diseases. Simply by offering obeisances to and pouring water on the tulasī tree, one can become freed from the fear of being sent to the court of Yamarāj.”—Skanda Purāṇa


Tulasī is auspicious in all respects. Simply by seeing, simply by touching, simply by remembering, simply by praying to, simply by bowing before, simply by hearing about, or simply by sowing this tree, there is always auspiciousness. Anyone who comes in touch with the Tulasī tree in the above mentioned ways lives eternally in the spiritual world.”—Srila Prabhupada, The Nectar of Devotion


(1) To laud Tulasī, Goddess graceful,

We chant entranced & glossy eyed!

Incarnate in the sacred basil,

Thou art Achyuta’s beauteous Bride.


(2) Śrī Lakshmī Śakti’s part expansion,

 Bright gems & bangles Thee bedeck

In Vishṇu’s lush-leaved lotus mansion,

A diamond pendant ’round Thy neck.


(3) In Jewelled City Manipura

Thy face doth shine like moons in camphor;

Thy body in its golden aura

Is like a sun encased in amber.


(4) Thy bracelets are the sun god’s present;

Thine earrings are the moon god’s treasure;

The flame god’s gift Thy breastplate pleasant;

Thy nose-ring’s from the god of pleasure.


(5)   Thy form champaka flower fair

Is clad in rich cærulean robes;

A jasmine wreath is in Thy hair

And shark-sharped rings adorn Thy lobes.


(6) Thou art adored in six domains,

Arrayed in sixfold opulence.

The Six Goswāmīs sing refrains

To jingling of Thine ornaments.


(7) Thy nails are bright as moons of autumn,

Thy lips like ripened bimba fruit.

The lotus markings grace the bottom

Of Thy light lissome blossom foot.


(8) O Mother in Whom is all merit;

Thou leanest on Lord Vishṇu’s bosom,

And on Thy hand is perched Thy parrot

Atop a scarlet lotus blossom.


(9) Once wife of devil Sankachuda,

Then wed to our Divine Govinda.

Gandharvas, Nārada, Garuḍa,

And heaven’s Devas praise Thee, Vrindā!


(10) Rohini, Chaya, Svaha, Rati,

And all celestial Damsels serve Thee.

I pray, O nectar-bathed Śrīmātī,

To be Thy servant, though unworthy.


(11) A little Lassie still Thou sought

To undergo austerity

In mountains of Badarināth,

There suffering with severity:


(12) At first took only fruits for fare,

Then dry leaves chewed, forsaking food,

Then fed on solely sun & air

While on a single leg Thou stood


(13) Through summer with four fires ’round,

Through pouring torrents in monsoon,

Through winter in an icy pond,

Till came Brahmā to grant the boon.


(14) Thou won as penances’ reward

To get as Groom the Cosmic Saviour

Nārāyaṇa our four armed Lord

Embracing Thee to Him forever.


(15) Yet ere to Vishṇu wert Thou wed

Struck tricky cupid Kāma’s dart:

A demon king took Thee to bed,

In wedlock held Thy hand & heart.


(16) So mighty was this demon bestial,

The son of sea & Śiva’s lightning,

He conquered all the realms celestial

And even Indra found him frightening.


(17) He laid the three worlds all to waste,

Drove Devas out from heaven’s vault;

Yet by Thy shielding virtue chaste

Unchastised went Thy spouse’s fault.


(18) To steal Thy faithful continence

The vanquished gods to Krishṇa pled.

In demon lover’s countenance

Our clever Lord took Thee to bed.


(19) Thy husband outraged at this ruse

Cursed Thee to be reborn as basil

And cursed Lord Krishṇa to transfuse

His Soul to Śaligrama fossil.


(20) And yet the curse became our cure:

For by Thy strange change to a plant,

Thy perfect leaves have made us pure,

And on Thy wood’s white beads we chant.


(21)  O Best of Wish-Fulfilling Trees,

With leaves that sheen in green or purple,

All humble souls like bumblebees

Are humming ’round Thee in a circle!


(22) Thy leaves must grace cooked foods & curries

In each prasadam meal of Hari’s.

From our worst sins & worthless worries

We’re made free by Thy soft mānjāris.


(23) Thy leaf to Vishṇu of such price is

As bilva leaf to Mahādev,

A thousand fire sacrifices,

Or in Gangā’s chaste waves to lave.


(24) To tend Thy plant is merit equal

To gift of thousand elephants.

  We serve Thee more than persons regal

Arrayed in glamorous elegance.


(25) Thy leaf’s worth sixty ox tail whisks

That wave as temple idol’s fans;

Thy blooms outshine the odalisks

Who for the temple idol dance.


(26) If as a bird I took rebirth

And in Thy branches perched to sing

My fate would be of greater worth

Than birth as brahmana or king.


(27) For even little bugs that swarm

Upon Thy limbs must reach Vaikunṭha

Where six limbed insects would transform

To six limbed likeness of Mukunda.


(28) Brahmā’s four blessèd mind-born sons

By breathing in Thy leaves’ aroma

Were in samādhi sunk at once

As drunk upon celestial Soma.


(29) Advaitāchārya’s sacrifice

Of basil buds in Ganges soaked

Brought Krishṇa’s vision to his eyes

He’d so devotedly invoked.


(30) When came to Haridās Thakūr

A whore to break his meditation

The stainless saint then made her pure

By sacred basil’s cultivation.


(31) Forgive if ever I made Thee wince

By picking of Thy leaves, Madonna!

Thy flowering life is death to sins

Like even murder of brahmana.


 (32) Thy flowers’ flawless nectar scent

Perfumeth rude samsāra’s stenches.

No need to noisome crimes repent—

I’ll climb to heaven on Thy branches.


 (33) When will my sinful soul so sordid

Prefer Thy blooms to worldly charms,

Prefer Thy leaves to bank notes hoarded,

Prefer Thy limbs to lovers’ arms?


 (34) The pages of the Holy Vedas

Are summed up by Thy single leaf.

No medicine or herb is great as

Thy wood beads at relieving grief.


(35) My teacher Jagannātha dās

His Grace gave me this rosary—

Thy wooden links the bridge to cross

Samsāra’s storm-tormented sea.


(36) Thy garland is for japa-nam,

For lest my harried mind should roam

Thy beads remind me Hare Rām!

And Hare Kṛishṇa! Hari Om!


(37) To chant each day upon Thy mala

Is as to be a pilgrim often

To Jagannāth at Nīlāchala,

To Rādhā-Kunda & Vrindāvan.


(38) Devotion’s Mother, please, Śrīmātī,

Tell us a seed of easy mantra

To summon Śyāma in samādhi,

Bring Mādhava & Rāmachandra!


(39) Yoginī with Thy mind engrossed

Forever in the Oversoul,

Austerely standing there tree-posed,

Pray put our thoughts in God’s control.


(40) We chant entranced, in tears, eyes glossy,

And make to Thee a pure prostration

And dance around Thy plant, Tulasī,

In sacred circumambulation.


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Śrī Janmāshṭami Āshṭakam by Rudra dāsa

Śrī Janmāshṭami Āshṭakam

Octet for Lord Kṛishṇa’s Nativity Day


(1) We celebrate the eighth time that Lord Vishṇu took on flesh

As octave son on eighth day of the dark half of the moon.

O Kṛishṇa, in our heart’s eight-petalled lotus make Thy crèche!

  We ask not for eight siddhis, for Thou art a better boon.


(2) To Thee bow Prithvi Mother Earth & Vāyu Airy Father,

With Sūrya of the Solar, Soma of the Lunar Path,

Varuṇa Water, Agni Fire, Mitra Lightsome Ether,

Hiranyagarbha Ego-Soul of elements the eighth.


(3) With Thee dance Ashta-Sakhis, main milkmaiden mænads eight:

Both Chitra & Tungvidya saffron; Indulekha tan;

Lalita & Sudevi gold; Viśakha lightning-bright;

Champakalata yellow; Rangadevi milky wan.


(4) We praise Thy pastoral pastimes eight: with sweetheart Rādhā swinging

And swimming in Yamunā’s river; milking cows & chores;

The honey feastsing; worshiping the Sun God; dancing, singing;

 The butter stealing; hide-the-flute; and sleeping in the flowers.


(5) We stroke Thy lotus left foot’s eight great marks: conch shell & wheel;

Around a triangle some waterpots, above, Thy bow,

Below, the crescent moon; on arch, cow’s hoof; & fish on heel

So fleet that Jara’s arrow once mistook Thee for a doe.


(6) And Rādhā’s lotus right foot’s eight auspicious marks we rub:

Beneath Her toes the fire altar, mountain, & conch shell;

On sole the chariot with Hara’s spear & Hari’s club,

On outsole earring, & on heel like Thine a fish as well.


(7) Release us from the fetters eight, Lord—shame, fear, hatred, grief,

Caste, conduct, clan, & privacy—as from the demon’s chains

Thou freed the eight fair princesses who in the land were chief;

And take us for Thine own just as Thou made those maids Thy queens.


(8) O Śyāma, deep blue Boy born on the lunar month’s dark half,

O holy Hari, rid us of the eight impoverishments;

Our Friend, tend every soul just like Thy loved Vrindāvan calf

                                                 Please bless us with Thine Ashta-Lakshmī’s eightfold opulence.

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Śrī Naṛasimhāshṭakam by Rudra dāsa

Śrī Naṛasimhāshṭakam


(1) Thy fangs’ sharp flash & sparking breath set all our hearts ablaze,

Chimeric God in shimm’ring mane of gold with crimson highlight.

Like blue in golden flame is Vishṇu’s shade in lion’s face,

Appearing in the night-blue day-gold mingled hues of twilight.


(2) Within Thy burnished mane Thine eyes are red coals in a brazier

That burn away our mental imperfections, soul’s Protector!

Fierce Savior, cut our hearts free from its knots with claws’ keen razor!

Shake out Thy bright blond mane to us as pure amṛita nectar!


(3) Thy carving claws & shredding teeth are razor path Vedāntic;

Turīya, mind’s fourth mode, is realized through Thy form four-limbed;

Infinity, as seen through māyā, is Thy shape gigantic;

Thy red eyes radiate God’s Light to our world demon-dimmed.


 (4) Ten billion suns derive light from Thy mane’s sheen tawny toned!

Thou roared the cosmic mantra Aum!  The Vedic mantras growled!

Thy lap is Dharma where the Lady Lakshmī is enthroned,

And where the fiend Hiraṇyakiśipu Thou disembowled.


(5) By King Hiraṇyakiśipu was Hari crassly cursed,

Materialist, scoffing at Thy Godly omnipresence;

With burning eyes & mane out from the column’s stone Thou burst,

Not lit by beams external but from Spirit’s incandescence.


(6) Then pouncing on the pest, Thy steel stalactite fangs Thou bared

In roaring laughter & for slaughter set him on Thy lap.

’Round blood-bedappled lips Thy lapping tongue like rapier parried;

Red flesh was shredded, caught inside Thy keen teeth’s snapping trap.


(7) Thy form’s farrago-riddle devil’s guile never guessed;

Thy storming laughter silenced all his atheistic questions.

No daggers but Thy jagged nails tore open that wag’s chest;

His heart Thou reaped for bimba fruit, for garlands his intestines.


(8) Thy claws we smear with sandal paste like blood of demons gored;

Thy glaring eyes we flare with prayers as winds make glow a cinder;

Upon Thy diamond fangs we whet our minds sharp as a sword;

To Naṛasimha Lion-faced Man-bodied, we surrender.


Envoi to devotees:

The name of Hari’s avatāra chant in japa hearty;

Recite His story, sing His glory, dance & beat mṛdanga;

Before His burnished idol wave the flaming lamp of ārati;

Before His golden lotus paws, bow down to Naṛasimha!

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Śrī Vasudevāshṭakam by Rudra dās

Śrī Vasudevāshṭakam


(1) So comfortably attired in Thy saffron robes of silk;

So tired from Thy constant work as cosmos’s Upkeeper;

Supine upon Thy serpent couch across the sea of milk…

O Vasudeva, waken in my heart, Thou sacred Sleeper!


(2)   Thou danced on Kāliya’s snake heads & with each pretty Gopi,

And claimed the three worlds with Thy strides, the universe’s Leaper,

So why so still within my heart, just dreaming, drooping dopey?

O Vasudeva, waken in my heart, Thou sacred Sleeper!


(3)   Oh how to rouse Thee, lolling Lord? I’ll ring the altar bell;

I’ll sing & shout Thy Names in tantrums like a child weeper;

I’ll beat mṛḍanga drums & blow the clarion conch shell!

O Vasudeva, waken in my heart, Thou sacred Sleeper!


(4) So long Thy slumber, sluggish Lord, like Kumbhakarna snoring…

I must shout louder Hari Hari! with devotion deeper

To rouse the God Who shook the worlds with Narasimha’s roaring—

O Vasudeva, waken in my heart, Thou sacred Sleeper!


(5) Through his pure love of Thee the persecuted boy Prahlada

Did wake Thee from the pillar as the demon king’s Grim Reaper.

Please don’t play coy with me as with Thy poor sweet lovesick Rādhā—

O Vasudeva, waken in my heart, Thou sacred Sleeper!


(6) Lord Śiva woke from trance when Kāma’s arrow pierced His heart;

Oh, had I arrows of such love to open third eye’s peeper!

I’ll shoot Aum’s bow to pierce Thy lotus foot like Jara’s dart!

O Vasudeva, waken in my heart, Thou sacred Sleeper!


(7) Oh slack-limbed Lord, I lack the faith & discipline to wake Thee;

And Kāma’s flower arrows lure me from devotion’s creeper…

I’ll madly stray in māyā’s nightmare if Thou dost forsake me—

 O Vasudeva, waken in my heart, Thou sacred Sleeper!


(8) The starless darkness of my heart hath caused Thee, God, to doze

And covered Thee from me in māyā’s thickly misty vapor.

The Light Divine would dawn within if only Thou arose!

O Vasudeva, waken in my heart, Thou sacred Sleeper!


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Śrī Hari Vilāpa Chaturdasha-stōtram

Holy Sonnet:

Complaint to our Lord Hari


Our Hari, in my heart’s no charity—

It’s rife with vice & vile conceit,

And, miserly of love, doth cheat

Thee, Lord, in sin’s error’s insincerity.

When will my mind fix on Thy lotus feet

Where’s pinned our Lady of Prosperity,

And, meditating in austerity,

Not fidget, fickle in its yoga seat?

Pray whirl in me Thy dazzling discus blade

To turn my stuck heart chakra’s cog so rusted!

Please wash with lotus dew my mind bedusted!

May on Thy conch shell clarion be played

The note to stir me from samsāra’s slumber!

Please beat with mace my demons without number!

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Śrī Bāla Gopālāshṭakam by Rudra dāsa

Śrī Bāla Gopālāshṭakam

Octet to Lord Kṛishṇa as our Child Protector of Cattle


(1) Grant strength, I pray, Gopāla, superhuman powered Tot

Who raised the hill, pulled down two trees, & kicked apart the cart!

And as Thou pilfered from the sleeping cowherd’s yogurt pot,

So please steal sweet devotion from my simple dormant heart.


(2) All poison draughts from Pūtanā Thy cursèd nurse Thou suckled:

Thus, Hari, drain away all evils sickening my breast!

As Gopi wives seduced by flute for Thee made cowherds cuckold,

So may I brashly love Thee, Lord, forsaking all the rest!


(3) Thou stole the clothes of bathing girls, yet they should not Thee blame:

Divest all worldly coverings that hide me from Thee, Hari!

O Lord Who did protect dear Draupadī from naked shame,

Pray lengthen my attention on Thee as Thou stretched her sārī.


(4) Thou trod on python Agha & on Kāliya black snake,

Hurled Vatsa, demon calf, & fist-choked Keśī, demon horse,

Yanked out Ariṣṭa’s bull horn & broke off stork Baka’s beak—

Pray, Keśava, destroy my beastly traits with Godly force!


(5) Thou strangled sorcerer Vyoma, Māyā’s son shape-shifting,

And choked dust devil Trinavartha—stifle my false ranting!

With hand that raised Govardhan Hill, my heavy heart be lifting!

With mouth that swallowed Muñjā’s fire, squelch my lust through chanting!


(6) O Kṛishṇa, crush the demons of my hate & fearful worry,

Just as Thou killed Thy persecutor apprehensive Kaṁsa.

With lotus feet come dance upon my tongue in chants of ‘Hari!’

And coo with flute upon my breath synched silently in ‘Haṁsa.’


(7) Thou showed Yaśodā, foster mother, looking for clay clods

Inside Thy mouth the three worlds claimed by Thy three strides;

Thou showed Thy cousin bold Arjuna countless heads of gods;

And multiplied Thy form as paramours for Gopi brides,


(8) So grant Thy darśana to me although I am unworthy,

Come, Mādhava, Whose beauty drove the milkmaid gopis mad!

Please, Śyāma, though my heart is black as Thine own skin is swarthy,

                                              It will be lightened by Thy look, Lad in gold dhoti clad.

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Śrī Hari Bol Sūktā by Rudra dāsa

Śrī Hari Bol Sūktā

Reverend Quatrains on the Injunction to Chant Hari’s Names


Supreme His Names, this Names sublime

Of Substrate & of Supersoul!

Repeat Rām Rām, released from time

And māyā’s measures, Hari bol!


No noun His Name beyond declension,

Unbound by sound or rounds that toll,

For transcendental of dimension,

This unstruck noise AUM, Hari bol!


All speech doth reek with karma’s taint

But for God’s Glories, Lore, & Rule;

With no ill echo, as a saint

Speak solely holy—Hari bol!


Through all thoughts keep the chant incessant:

One pointed mind will make you whole

For in His Names He’s fully present,

Ye shall not want more, Hari bol!


His Name is subtle sweet prasād

To sate Its taster, ever full.

Guests, fill your guts with gusts for God

To breathe His Name’s praise, Hari bol!


His Name was better far to taste—

Why crave the butter Kṛishṇa stole?

And so His savoury Name He praised

As Śrī Gauranga, Hari bol!


With flooding eyes & heart aflame,

Ecstatic, quiver, dance, & roll,

With hairs on end shout Hari’s Name

And hear His pastimes, Hari bol!


The Causal Ocean’s lactose tide

Will rise to bathe your bosom’s shoal

And from your heart will rise inside

The Lord Who dreameth, Hari bol!


Let tongue as compass needle point

To Hari’s Name’s magnetic pole

To guide you rightly till rejoined

To God’s own Being, Hari bol!


What use to seek sex, wealth, or virtue?—

Make love of God life’s only goal!

This sole Objective won’t desert you:

Subjective World-Soul, Hari bol!


Why fear mind’s moods or foes or gods

When Nature’s modes He doth control?

So move the beads & sing His lauds,

Seek mantra’s shelter, Hari bol!


                                                              Take refuge at His feet beneath                                  

His cobra hooded parasol,

Linked fast by japa-mālā wreath

To God’s Name’s pillar, Hari bol!


Surrender, else for sure be sorry—

His Name’s peace will all woes console.

Here’s happiness, hurrah for Hari!

Now hurry bawling: Hari bol!

Read more…

Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī Navaratna

Nine Jewels for our Revered Queen Rādhā


(1) Praise Rādhā, rustic Queen, the Gopi Goddess of Vrindāvan—

Thou by Whose simple loving pastimes paradise is blest!

 While basking in Thy smile’s light my heart as ghee doth soften

To offer with the milk of pure devotion in my breast.


(2) Thy golden skin’s a nectar stream in which my heart’s awash;

My thoughts drown in the blue waves of Thy sārī’s dancing flutter.

With praying hands I clasp Thy lotus feet so to massage;

I bathe my head within their dust as pure as Gaṅgā’s water.


(3) Untiring with chāmara the yak tail fan white-pure

Of breath in rhythmic mantra may I e’er be whisking

Away the flies of filthy buzzing hungers that obscure

The vision of Thy graceful form with handsome Kṛishṇa frisking.


(4) Like lamps of ārati are whirled in circling adoration

’Round Rādhā radiant my eyes ecstatically now roll.

Enraptured dance before Thee is my yogic meditation;

Releasing tears to wash Thy locks is moksha to my soul.


(5) My senses at Thy service are the five foods on Thine altar;

My thrumming thoughts I trumpet as Thy temple rite conch shell;

My sighs for Thee accept as songs from Six Goswāmīs’ psalter;

May tremors in my voice adorn Thee as an ankle bell.


(6) The blushing of my cheeks I put upon Thy hair for henna;

The apples of my eyes I fix to offer Thee as fruit.

My each hair standeth quivering, alert as an antenna

Receiving radio with Rādhā’s voice & Kṛishṇa’s flute.


(7) In fervent chanting of Thy charms my pores make drops of dew:

Pellucid pearls I dream-embroider in Thy silken gown.

When Rādhā’s day-gold skin is wrapped in Kṛishṇa’s skin night-blue

I drop into samādhi’s sleep, a superconscious swoon.


(8) Upon Thy lotus toe I fit my third eye chakra ring;

As belt around Thy trim waist is my creeper of devotion.

My upraised arms are ropes, O Rādhā, for Thy lovers’ swing—

Its seat within my heaving bosom pushed by pure emotion.


(9) I give my hands to serve as starry flowers for Thy tresses;

My lifeblood take for red lac rubbed upon Thy foot soles tender.

If Kṛishṇa’s fingers doff His flute to give Thy feet caresses,

To Mādhava’s belovèd mænad Queen I must surrender.

Read more…

Śrī Kṛishṇa Vilāpa Suktā

Quatrains Praising Lord Kṛishṇa

in the form of a Lament


My service for Thee lost its savor—

With chanting chores I have grown bored;

Unless Thou showest me Thy favor,

How will I fitly love Thee, Lord?


Although Thou art this world’s Preserver,

Narāyāṇa the Oversoul,

For worshiping I feel no fervor

And stray from seeking life’s great goal.


Thou in each being’s heart abidest,

So why have I no heart for prayer?

Come forth from this cave where Thou hidest!…

O Vāsudeva, art Thou there?


My tongue dulled hath no appetite

For chanting Hari’s Names with relish;

Accustomed not to heaven’s Light,

My weak eyes seek crude shadows hellish.


Lord, come, O Kṛishṇa dark of shade,

To make my dim sight’s blind faith certain!

Pray may Thy charming flute be played,

Entice my tongue to sing sankīrtan.


Please show Thy shining peacock plume

To me beneath this gloam crestfallen.

Refresh my frail heart’s withered bloom—

Shake out Thy lotus feet’s gold pollen!


Pray come with Goddess Rādhārāṇī

Her skin soft sunlight to behold,

Like alchemist’s chintāmaṇi

Her touch would make my lead heart gold.


Without Thy vision I‘ve no faith;

No faith, Thy vision cannot come.

Unless Thy Spirit in me saith

Thy praise my sluggish tongue is dumb.


Why will I watch a foulsome farce

Not Mādhava & Rādhā’s play?

Why must I utter curses coarse

Not whisper ‘Hari’ as I pray?


Why forge this weighty karmic chain

Not chant with glee on japa-mālā?

Why nurse within my breast such pain

Not offer milk & ghee, Gopāla?


Why lust for flesh, ephemeral matter,

Not worship idols of Lord Hari?

Why gossip idly, gripe & chatter,

Not preach the gospel of His glory?


Why sink in māyā’s maddening mead

Not drink of rapt devotion’s nectar?

Why make such dread mistakes, not heed

The help of this dream-play’s Director?


Why crave rich foods & worthless treacle

Not eat of wholesome sweet prasāda?

Why chase enchanting lovers fickle

Not fall at feet of faithful Rādhā?


Why make complaint with keening plangent

Not praise His pastimes, shout Śrī Nama?

Why stray with every passing tangent

Not fix mind firm at feet of Śyāma?


My mind’s poor measly dust mote lodge

Beneath Thy bright nailed lotus toe

That Lakshmī’s lotus hands massage

And ease my mind of worldly woe!

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Śrī Kṛishṇāshṭakam by Rudra dāsa

Śrī Kṛishṇāshṭakam

Octet to our Lord Kṛishṇa


(1) Hail Kṛishṇa, skin blue-black as lodestone, all-attractive Lord,

Of Whom the million milkmaids of Vrindāvan are enamored,

One Whom the sixteen thousand queens of Dvārakā adored;

For Whom we numberless devotees’ drums & chants have clamored!


(2) Thou cream of clan of Yadavas, the Vṛishṇis’ tallest poppy,

Eighth Incarnation of Nārāyaṇa the World’s Preserver!

Thine emanated Form hath made the Gopīs madly happy!

Thy saving grace doth fill devotees’ hearts with blissful fervor!


(3) Thou leanest on a tree, Thy body smeared with sandal paste

Is bending in three places, supple as a plantain stem.

Our dark tamāla tree of sins Thy pliant heart embraced

As close as Vasṭhā mark or calf carved on Kaustubha gem.


(4) As bright as summer sun in heavens vast to Thy devotee

Is silken saffron sash upon Thy sapphire blue breast.

Lord, pin us fast unto Thy chest just as Thy golden dhoti!

Keep us in mind, upon Thy brow like peacock feather crest!


(5) The spray of peacock plumes that wave within Thy swarthy curls

Which fringe Thy full-bloomed lotus face the shade of rain cloud blue,

We wave with lovesick sighs like barefoot dancing Gopi girls,

Sighs contrapuntal to Thy wooden flute’s warm sighs that woo.


(6) To spy Thy blurry dancing blue ’mid Vrāja’s sylvan verdure

With Rādhā’s arms around Thee like gold kritamala wreath,

With handmaid manjaris we would arrange Thy secret merger

And for Thy body’s bed lay our hearts’ lotuses beneath.


(7) To hear Thy flute accompanied by anklets jangling

And panting beat of Gopīs’ hearts as fierce as feet in dance,

With creepers of their arms around Thy torso tangling,

They fall like does before the arrow of Thy side-long glance.


(8) We cannot look at blue skies without scrying Thy blue skin;

We cannot hear wind sighing & not cry for Thy flute’s note!

We pray, come closer to us, Kṛishṇa, than our neck’s blue vein;

With our each exhalation make Thy music melilote.

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