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aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam
adarsanan marma-hatam karotu va
yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato
mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah
aslisya - embracing with great pleasure; va - or; pada-ratam - who is fallen at the lotus feet; pinastu - let Him trample; mam - Me; adarsanat - by not being visible; marma- atam - brokenhearted; karotu - let Him make; va - or; yatha - as (He likes); tatha - so; va - or; vidadhatu - let Him do; lampatah - a debauchee, who mixes with other women; mat-prana-nathah – the Lord of My life; tu - but; sah - He; eva - only; na aparah - not anyone else.
"Let Krishna tightly embrace this servant, who has fallen at His lotus feet. Let Him trample Me or break My heart by not being visible to Me. He is a debauchee, after all, and can do whatever He likes, but He is still no more other than the worshipable Lord of My heart."
Shri Sanmodana Bhasyam
The consciousness of the devotee who reaches the sublime platform of prema is described in this sloka. "That supreme adulterer and libertine, Krishna, may grant endless bliss to this servant surrendered to His lotus feet; or he may drive me into excruciating depths of despair by not being present before me; He may please to do anything He wants with me - even to the extent of enjoying with another of His beloved gopis in my presence; yet He remains always the Lord of my heart; for me there can never be any other person."
We find accounts of the incomparable position of such fully surrendered souls in Shrimad Bhagavatam: "When the mortal living beings finally decide to relinquish all fruitive activities and totally surrender to Me, I reciprocate by giving them the nectar of immortality, elevating them to become My eternal associates."
The conclusion is that in Krishna-prema, Krishna becomes the life, soul and the greatest treasure of the devotee. In this mature stage of devotional service the sublime exchanges of mutual attraction between the devotee and the Lord flower into full bloom.
Shri Prahlada Maharaja says in the Shrimad Bhagavatam: "Just as pieces of iron rush of their own volition, attracted by a magnet, similarly by the independent will of the Supreme Lord my heart and mind have shaken off attachment for material life; now I am being forcibly drawn as if by a magnet to His lotus feet."
This statement demonstrates the truth of the eternal bond between the infinitesimal jiva and infinite Supreme Lord. This relationship becomes obscured when the jiva gives up Krishna consciousness. But when, by good fortune, the living entity's consciousness becomes purified, then the mutual attraction between the Lord and His part and parcel is revived. A piece of iron, when clean and shining, is automatically attracted to a magnet; similarly, the consciousness of the spirit soul, when purified, clean and shining, will automatically exhibit attraction to Krishna. Besides facilitating this attraction, self-purification has no function. The path of Krishna consciousness is called prema-dharma, the dharma of loving devotional service; sadhakas of the prema-dharma must know that save and except for prema, this path of religion neglects all results desired by those who pursue dharma, artha, kama and moksa.
The devotee sacrifices everything for Krishna
Lord Krishna Himself substantiates this truth in the Shrimad Bhagavatam: "My dear gopis! Severing all family attachments for My sake, you have achieved what is very rare even for the great philosophers and yogis. Our meetings with each other are completely pure and unblemished. If I tried to repay My debt to you for your love, devotion, service and renunciation, even if I endeavored with My immortal body throughout all eternity I would be unable to do it. I am obliged to you life after life. Though you may consider Me absolved of any debt out of your natural meekness and loving demeanor, I will nontheless always remain beholden to you."
As indicated by the Lord's declaration of indebtedness to the gopis, to please and attract Krishna, one should love and satisfy the devotees whom He holds most dear. In other words, one who desires entrance into Krishna consciousness must have no interest in selfish so-called pleasu res. A devotee serves Krishna, has affection for Him, meets Him, or may do anything - the sole intention is to please Krishna and increasing one's loving service to Him.
Lord Chaitanya uses the phrase `deeply afflicted in the heart' in this sloka; in reality, the devotee does not feel grief but exultation. To confirm this fact, Lord Krishna tells the gopis: "For My sake you disregarded social taboos, Vedic injunctions, and even cut off connection to your rela tives and family members. In all this, your meditation on Me was single-minded. You did not even care for your beauty and nuptial happiness. So in order to increase your love for Me I disappeared from your sight. Please do not blame Me for this act of love, because you are extremely dear to Me, as I am to you."
Another important point in this sloka is that although the Lord speaks of `giving Me bliss by Your loving embrace', there is no trace of self-satisfaction; even here the only thought is of loving Krishna by giving oneself to Him for His pleasure. Lord Chaitanya's statements very much exemplify the true emotions of pure love.
The significance of Shri Shri Siksastaka
The eight slokas of the Siksastaka are pre-eminently significant. Lord Krishna desired to know, "How glorious is Shrimati Radharani's love for Me, She being My internal spiritual
potency? How does She alone fully relish My transcendental qualities? What is the happiness She feels when She realizes the sweetness of My love for Her?"
Longing to answer these three questions, the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna revealed His eternal form as Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Who personifies audarya or magnanimity in absolute fullness. Shri Chaitanya savours to their mysterious depths the three states of Radharani's love as He performs manifold pastimes in an exclusive region of Goloka known as Shri Navadvipa-dhama.
Adorned with the ecstatic sentiments and lustrous complexion of Shrimati Radharani, Krishna as Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appears on this earth once in a day of Brahma. His most recent descent to the mortal plane occurred in the year 1486 of the Christian era in the West Bengal district of Nadia, where the divine waters of Mother Ganga purify the town of Navadvipa. Navadwipa-dhama is non-dif¬ferent from Vrindavana.
He took His birth during a full lunar eclipse on the bright moon night of the month of Phalguna (March). The whole town of Navadwipa was reverberating with the chanting of God's name, as this was the custom during a lunar eclipse. The Lord accepted Pandit Jaganatha Misra and Shrimati Sacidevi as His father and mother.
His childhood was filled with childlike restlessness and miraculous pranks; His boyhood days were spent in studies; His marriage in youth was strictly in accordance with Vedic culture as was His execution of household life. Thereafter He went to Gaya and accepted spiritual initiation in the ten syllable Gopal mantra from Shripad Isvara Puri, a great acarya in the BrahmaªMadhva disciplic succession; thus He taught the living entities their duty to take shelter of a self-realized spiritual master as directed in the scriptures. After His return from Gaya He performed congregational chanting of the holy name with His associates and devotees, flooding Bengal with the nectar of the holy name of God and propagat¬ing devotional service to Krishna.
At age twenty-four He received sannyasa initiation from Shripad Kesava Bharati of the Sankara sampradaya and forever severed all links with home and family life. The next six years found Him on pilgrimage through Bengal, Orissa, South India, Maharastra, Uttar Pradesh (Mathura, Vrindavana, Prayag, Kasi), and Bihar (Kaukai, Natsala, Rajmahal).
In His travels He blessed millions of conditioned souls by giving them the holy name of Krishna and teaching them the science of pure devotion. He refuted all philosophical speculations contradictory to the conclusions of the authorized scriptures and firmly established the philosophy of acintya bheda-abheda tattva, which He Himself taught for the first time as the essence of the teachings of the other four schools of Vaishnava philosophy.
For the next eighteen years He made His residence at Shri Jaganatha Puri. There, in the company of His intimate associates, He relished the nectar of love of Godhead, exploring fully the three questions. From amongst His followers, He sent out powerful prea¬chers to lead the conditioned souls along the path of pure devotional service to the Supreme Lord.
In this way He drowned entire India in the waves of Krishna-prema. He requested many intimate associates like Shri Svarupa Damodara, Shri Ramananda Raya, Shri Prabhodananda Saraswati, Shri Rupa Goswami, Shri Sanatana Goswami, Shri Raghunatha dasa Goswami, Shri Gopal Bhatta Goswami, Shri Jiva Goswami, Shri Kavi Karnapura and others to write books establishing His teachings; for this purpose He impregnated their hearts with His divine potency.
He has personally condensed these selfsame teachings into His eight Sikshas¬taka prayers; they reach out and touch all levels of devotees. At times the Lord would immerse Himself in the nectar of these eight slokas, tasting their conclusions in the association of Shrila Svarupa Damodara and Shri Ramananda Raya. Later, these slokas were explained in great detail in important scriptures like Shri Chaitanya Caritamrita.
By His own example, Lord Chaitanya taught how to lead an ideal householder life and the life of strict renunciation, sannyasa. These teachings too are all contained in thess eight verses. They are superexellent.
Surrendered souls who read with devotion these nectarean prayers from the mouth of the Supreme Lord Gauranga will certainly be attracted to the honey of Lord Chaitanya's lotus feet. Like spiritually intoxicated bees, they will swarm to the lily-filled lake of Krishna's love.
Four hundred and one years after the advent of Lord Gauranga, the commentary known as Shri Sanmodana Bhasyam was composed by Kedarnatha Bhaktivinoda.The Siksastaka prayers particularly distill the essence of all Vedic scriptures for the taste of the rasika bhakta, the pure devotee. Having emanated from the lips of the Supreme Lord Himself, these prayers are the Absolute Truth. They should be read, recited and worshipped daily by sincere and fortunate souls. These prayers should be as constant companions, learnt and taken to heart.
Chaitanya Caritamrita, Antya 20.48-52:
"I am a maidservant at the lotus feet of Krishna. He is the embodiment of transcendental happiness and mellows. If He likes He can tightly embrace Me and make Me feel oneness with Him, or by not giving Me His audience He may corrode My mind and body. Nevertheless, it is He who is the Lord Of My life.
"My dear friend, just hear the decision of My mind. Krishna is the Lord of My life in all conditions, whether He shows Me affection or kills Me by giving Me unhappiness. "Sometimes Krishna gives up the company of other gopis and becomes controlled, mind and body, by Me. Thus He manifests My good fortune and gives others distress by performing His loving affairs with Me."
"Or, since after all He is a very cunning, obstinate debauchee with a propensity to cheat, He takes to the company of other women. He then indulges in loving affairs with them in front of Me to give distress to My mind. Nevertheless, He is still the Lord of My life.
"I do not mind My personal distress. I only wish for the happiness of Krishna, for His happiness is the goal of My life. However, if he feels great happiness in giving Me distress, that distress is the best of My happiness."
"I am simply a lowly maid-servant of the gopis who are always absorbed in serving Krishna's lotus feet. He may embrace me, He may exploit me, or He may break my heart by not appearing before me. He is a libertine accustomed to have His way with the gopi damsels for the satisfaction of His lusty desires. Let His will prevail; in spite of everything He is the beloved Lord of my heart, nothing less, nothing more. Lord Krishna is the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, fully independent. My religion is to obey His command. I have lost my independent whimsy; I could never recoil from serving His will for any reason."
In the perfect stage, the devotee has shed forever his material designations of body and mind. His only concern is to satisfy Lord Krishna's every desire in the transcendental realm of Goloka, which is Krsn¬a's personal playground. In this mood of unalloyed love, the devotee's only hope for service is in the role of a female assistant to the gopis; such service is indeed avail¬able in the devotee's original spiritual form of transcedental senses.
The jiva must never consider assuming the position of an asraya-vigraha devotee (i.e. a principle associate of Krishna). Just the thought of this will make him egoistic. The uncontaminated state of the pure jiva's existence in the spiritual world is subservience to the asraya-vigraha. The jiva is dear to Lord Krishna; yet constitutionally, by the Lord's desire, he is in the marginal category of the Lord's spiritual energy.
The principles revealed in Shri Shri Siksastaka
The eight Siksastaka verses demonstrate the three principles sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana. Broadly, the first verse teaches about the process of the congregational chantingng of the holy name; the second about the unfortunate reluctance of the conditioned soul to take up this best process; the third about the proper means of chanting the holy name; the fourth about the renunciation of deception and all adverse desires; the fifth about the jiva's original spiritual identity; the sixth about feeling the good fortune of coming nearer to the Lord; the seventh about the highly elevated mood of separation; and the eighth about how one gets es¬tablished in his absolute goal of necessity.
In all eight verses, the abhideya principle is shown. Within that context, the first five verses impart sambandha-jnana; the remaining three explain prayojana. The first five verses concern sadhana-bhakti, and the next two about bhava-bhakti. The sixth to the eighth verse, and especially the seventh and eighth, deal with prema-bhakti, but for sadhakas.
Selecting the following verse composed by Shrila Visvanatha Cakravati Thakura to convey my feelings, I offer my obeisances to all the readers and thus end this commentary.
"The Supreme Lord Krishna, the son of Maharaja Nanda, and His transcendental abode are of the same spiritual substance. They are my objects of worship. The topmost service is rendered by the gopis of Vraja. Shrimad Bhagavatam is the absolutely authentic scripture, the basis of all teachings and conclusions. Krishnaªprema is the fifth goal, beyond the four goals of the Vedas; it is also the supreme destination. All this is Lord Chaitanya's
opinion, and therefore the opinion most favored by us; other opinions are neither favored by or even interesting to us."
Scriptural statements relevant to this sloka:
Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.31.11:
"Dear Master, O Beloved, when You leave cowherd village to herd the cows, our minds are disturbed by the thought of Your feet, more beautiful than a lotus, being pricked by the spiked husks of grain and the rough grass and plants."
Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.31.15:
"When You go to the forest during the day, a tiny fraction of a second becomes like a millennium for us because we cannot see You. And even when we can eagerly look upon Your beautiful face, so beautifully adorned by curly locks, our pleasure is hindered by our eyelids, which were fashioned by the foolish creator."
Shri Krishna Karnamrita, sloka 12:
"May the lotus-like feet of the Supreme Lord Krishna, the only gallant hero who plays eternal pastimes with all the Lakshmi-devis (gopis); whose blooming beauty withers the exquisite beauty of lotuses; and who is an expert at fully convincing His devotees of His divine protection, be forever enthroned in my heart, giving me unfathomable happiness."