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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