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Songs of Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura
Prayer to One’s Beloved Lord
hari hari! bifale janama gonainu
manushya-janama paiya, radha-krishna na bhajiya,
janiya shuniya bisha khainu
(1) 0 Lord Hari, I have spent my life uselessly. Having obtained a human birth and having not worshiped Radha and Krishna, I have knowingly drunk poison.
golokera prema-dhana, hari-nama-sankirtana,
rati na janmilo kene tay
samsara-bishanale, diba-nishi hiya jwale,
juraite na koinu upay
(2) The treasure of divine love in Goloka Vrindavana has descended as the congregational chanting of Lord Hari’s holy names. Why did my attraction for that chanting never come about? Day and night my heart burns from the fire of the poison of worldliness, and I have not taken the means to relieve it.
brajendra-nandana jei, shaci-suta hoilo sei,
balarama hoilo nitai
dina-hina jata chilo, hari-name uddharilo,
tara shakshi jagai madhai
(3) Lord Krishna, who is the son of the King of Vraja, became the son of Shaci (Lord Chaitanya), and Balarama became Nitai. The holy name delivered all those souls who were lowly and wretched. The two sinners Jagai and Madhai are evidence of this.
ha ha prabhu nanda-suta, vrishabhanu-suta-juta,
koruna karoho ei-baro
narottama-dasa koy, na theliho ranga pay,
toma bine ke ache amara
(4) 0 Lord Krishna, son of Nanda, accompanied by the daughter of Vrishabhanu, please be merciful to me now. Narottama dasa says, "O Lord, please do not push me away from Your reddish lotus feet, for who is my beloved except for You?"
‘gauranga’ bolite habe pulaka-sharira
‘hari hari’ bolite nayane ba’ be nira
(1) When will that opportune moment come to me when there will be shivering of the body as soon as I chant Lord Gauranga's name? And after the shivering, while chanting Hare Krishna, when will there be tears pouring down from my eyes?
ara kabe nitai-cander koruna hoibe
samsara-basana mora kabe tuccha ha’be
(2) When will that day come when Lord Nityananda's causeless mercy is bestowed upon me so that my desire for material enjoyment becomes very insignificant?
vishaya chariya kabe shuddha ha ’be mana
kabe hama herabo shri-brindabana
(3) When my mind is completely purified, being freed from material anxieties and desires, then I shall be able to understand Vrindavana and the conjugal love of Radha and Krishna, and then my spiritual life will be successful.
rupa-raghunatha-pade hoibe akuti
kabe hama bujhabo se jugala-piriti
(4) When shall I be very much eager to study the books left by the six Gosvamis? One has to learn of the conjugal loving affairs of Radha-Krishna through the teachings of these six Gosvamis.
rupa-raghunatha-pade rahu mora asha
prarthana koroye sada narottama-dasa
(5) Narottama dasa always wishes to understand this conjugal love under the direction of the six Gosvamis.
by His Divine Grace
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
This song was sung by Narottama dasa Thakura, a great devotee and acarya in the Gaudiya Vaishnava-sampradaya, the disciplic succession coming down from Lord Chaitanya. Narottama dasa Thakura has written many songs, which are recognized as authoritative by all Vaishnavas. He has sung these songs in simple Bengali language, but the purport—the deep meaning of his songs—is very significant.
In this song he says, ‘gauranga’ bolite habe pulaka sharira. One has attained the perfection of chanting when as soon as he chants the name of Lord Gauranga, who initiated this sankirtana movement, at once there is shivering in his body. This is not to be imitated, but Narottama dasa Thakura is asking, "When will that opportune moment come to us when there will be shivering of the body as soon as we chant Lord Gauranga’s name?" And after the shivering—‘hari hari’ bolite nayane ba ’be nira: "While chanting Hare Krishna, there will be tears in the eyes."
Then he says, ara kabe nitai-cander koruna hoibe. We are all asking about the mercy of Lord Nityananda. Nityananda is supposed to be the original spiritual master, so we have to approach Gauranga, Lord Chaitanya, through the mercy of Lord Nityananda. What is the symptom of a person who has achieved the causeless mercy of Lord Nityananda? Narottama dasa Thakura says that the symptom of one who has actually received the causeless mercy of Lord Nityananda is that he has no more material desire. Ara kabe nitai-cander koruna hoibe samsara-basana mora kabe tuccha ha’be. Samsara-basana means "desire for material enjoyment," and Narottama dasa wonders when it will become very insignificant. Of course, as long as we have bodies we have to accept so many material things, but not in the spirit of enjoyment, but only to keep body and soul together.
Narottama dasa says further, rupa-raghunatha-pade hoibe akuti: "When shall I be very much eager to study the books left by the six Gosvamis?" Akuti means "eagerness." Because Rupa Gosvami is the father of devotional service, he has written a book called Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu, in which there are nice directions on devotional service. These topics are also dealt with in Chaitanya-caritamrita and other books, and we have given the summary of those directions in our book Teachings of Lord Chaitanya. One has to learn of the conjugal loving affairs of Radha-Krishna through the teachings of these six Gosvamis. Narottama dasa Thakura directs us not to try to understand the conjugal love of Radha-Krishna by our own endeavor. We should try to understand this yugala-piriti, conjugal love, under the direction of the Gosvamis.
As long as the mind is too much absorbed in materialistic thought, one cannot enter into the kingdom of Vrindavana. But Narottama dasa Thakura says, vishaya chariya kabe shuddha ha’be mana kabe hama herabo shri-brindabana: "When the mind is completely purified, being freed from material anxieties and desires, then I shall be able to understand Vrindavana and the conjugal love of Radha and Krishna, and then my spiritual life will be successful."
hari haraye namah krishna yadavaya namah
yadavaya madhavaya keshavaya namah
(1) O Lord Hari, O Lord Krishna, I offer my obeisances to You, who are known as Hari, Yadava, Madhava, and Keshava.
gopala govinda rama shri-madhusudana
giridhari gopinatha madana-mohana
(2) O Gopala, Govinda, Rama, Shri Madhusudana, Giridhari Gopinatha, and Madana-mohana!
hari guru vaishnaba bhagavata gita
(3) All glories to Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda! All glories to Shri Advaita Acarya and His consort, Shri Sita Thakurani. All glories to Lord Hari, to the spiritual master, the Vaishnavas, Shrimad-Bhagavatam, and Shrimad Bhagavad-Gita.
shri-rupa sanatana bhatöa-raghunatha
shri-jiva gopala-bhaööa dasa-raghunatha
(4) All glories to Shri Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Raghunatha Bhaööa Gosvami, Shri Jiva Gosvami, Gopala Bhaööa Gosvami, and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami.
ei chay gosair kori carana vandan
jaha hoite bighna-nash abhishöa-puran
(5) I offer my obeisances to the feet of these six Gosvamis. By bowing to them, all obstacles to devotion are destroyed and all spiritual desires are fulfilled.
ei chay gosai jar—mui tar das
ta-sabara pada-renu mora panca-gras
(6) I am the servant of that person who is a servant of these six Gosvamis. The dust of their lotus feet is my five kinds of foodstuffs.
tadera carana-sebi-bhakta-sane bas
janame janame hoy ei abhilash
(7) This is my desire: that birth after birth I may live with those devotees who serve the lotus feet of these six Gosvamis.
ei chay gosai jabe braje koila bas
radha-krishna-nitya-lila korila prakash
(8) When these six Gosvamis lived in Vraja they revealed the lost holy places and explained the eternal pastimes of Radha and Krishna.
anande bolo hari bhaja brindaban
shri-guru-vaishnaba-pade majaiya man
(9) Just shout the names of Lord Hari in great ecstasy and worship the transcendental realm of Vrindavana while absorbing your mind in meditation upon the divine feet of the spiritual master and the Vaishnavas.
shri-guru-vaishnaba-pada-padma kori ash
narottama dasa kohe nama-sankirtana
(10) Desiring to serve the lotus feet of Shri Guru and the Vaishnavas, Narottama dasa sings this sankirtana of the holy names of Lord Hari.
by His Divine Grace
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
This song of Shrila Narottama Dasa Thakura is very famous among devotees in Bengal and Orissa. When Lord Chaitanya returned from Gaya, where He was initiated by Shri Ishvara Puri, He was completely transformed into a God-intoxicated personality whom His students of grammar had never known before. Instead of teaching ordinary grammar studies, Lord Chaitanya explained every sentence in such a way that every Sanskrit word and every letter was understood to indicate Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This form of grammar was later on developed by Shrila Jiva Gosvami in a book called Hari-namamrita-vyakarana, The Grammar of the Nectar and Name of Shri Hari. But Lord Chaitanya’s students thought that their teacher had become mad, and they rubbed His head with Vishnu oil, an oil that cools the brain. Finally they asked Him, “You say that everything means Krishna and we should ultimately always be chanting the names of Krishna. Just how should we do this?” Then Lord Chaitanya began to sing the names of Krishna and clap His hands, and He began His nama-sankirtana movement. The names He sang are the first two lines of this song, and Narottama Dasa Thakura and others have placed these names in the beginning of their writings to immortalize these events in the memory of everyone.
Narottama Dasa Thakura chants the names of Lord Chaitanya, Nityananda, Shri Advaita and Sita (Lord Advaita’s consort). Since Lord Hari, the spiritual master, and the Shrimad Bhagavad-gita are all on the transcendental platform, they are given the same respect. Then Shrila Narottama Dasa chants the names of the six Gosvamis. “I offer my obeisances at their feet,” he sings, “which destroy sufferings accumulated over many long years. I am the servant of these six Gosvamis, and the dust of their lotus feet is my five kinds of foodstuffs. To serve their lotus feet and keep the association of devotees is my only business, birth after birth.” When the six Gosvamis were staying at Vrindavana, they revealed the eternal transcendental pastimes of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna. Before Lord Chaitanya the exact location of the places of Lord Krishna’s pastimes were not known, and therefore Lord Chaitanya instructed the Gosvamis to uncover the holy places and construct temples. The temple of Shri Radha Damodara is situated near the location of the rasa dance, and Shrila Rupa Gosvami and the other Gosvamis used to gather there and discuss the topics of their literatures, which scientifically explained the super-excellent pastimes of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna. Narottama Dasa Thakura says, “In great ecstasy shout the name of Hari and serve the real transcendental master and devotees.” He concludes by saying, “With all hopes in the lotus feet of my guru and the holy Vaishnavas, Narottama Dasa sings the sankirtana of Lord Hari: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.”
Prayer to the Sakhis
radha-krishna prana mora jugala-kishora
jivane marane gati aro nahi mora
(1) The divine couple, Shri Shri Radha and Krishna, are my life and soul. In life or death I have no other refuge but Them.
kalindira kule keli-kadambera vana
ratana-bedira upara bosabo du’jana
(2) In a forest of small kadamba trees on the bank of the Yamuna, I will seat the divine couple on a throne made of brilliant jewels.
shyama-gauri-ange dibo (cuwa) candanera gandha
camara dhulabo kabe heri mukha-candra
(3) I will anoint Their dark and fair forms with sandalwood paste scented with cuya, and I will fan Them with a camara whisk. Oh, when will I behold Their moonlike faces?
gathiya malatir mala dibo dohara gale
adhare tuliya dibo karpura-tambule
(4) After stringing together garlands of malati flowers I will place them around Their necks, and I will offer tambula scented with camphor to Their lotus mouths.
lalita vishakha-adi jata sakhi-brinda
ajnaya koribo seba caranaravinda
(5) With the permission of all the sakhis, headed by Lalita and Vishakha, I will serve the lotus feet of Radha and Krishna.
shri-krishna-chaitanya-prabhur daser anudasa
seva abhilasha kore narottama-dasa
(6) Narottama dasa, the servant of the servant of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Prabhu, longs for this service to the divine couple.
Lamentation Due to Separation from the Lord and His Associates
je anilo prema-dhana koruna pracur
heno prabhu kotha gela acarya-öhakur
(1) He who brought the treasure of divine love and who was filled with compassion and mercy—where has such a personality as Shrinivasa Acarya gone?
kaha mora swarup rupa kaha sanatan
kaha dasa raghunatha patita-pavan
(2) Where are my Svarupa Damodara and Rupa Gosvami? Where is Sanatana? Where is Raghunatha dasa, the savior of the fallen?
kaha mora bhaööa-juga kaha kaviraj
eka-kale kotha gela gora naöa-raj
(3) Where are my Raghunatha Bhaööa and Gopala Bhaööa, and where is Krishnadasa Kaviraja? Where did Lord Gauranga, the great dancer, suddenly go?
pashane kuöibo matha anale pashibo
gauranga gunera nidhi kotha gele pabo
(4) I will smash my head against the rock and enter into the fire. Where will I find Lord Gauranga, the reservoir of all wonderful qualities?
se-saba sangira sange je koilo bilas
se-sanga na paiya kande narottama das
(5) Being unable to obtain the association of Lord Gauranga accompanied by all of these devotees in whose association He performed His pastimes, Narottama dasa simply weeps.
The Glories of Shri Gauranga
gaurangera duöi pada, jar dhana sampada,
se jane bhakati-rasa-sar
gaurangera madhura-lila, jar karne praveshila,
hridoya nirmala bhelo tar
(1) Anyone who has accepted the two lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya as their only asset knows the true essence of devotional service. If anyone gives submissive aural reception to the pleasing and sweet pastimes of Lord Chaitanya, then immediately his heart becomes cleansed of all material contamination.
je gaurangera nama loy, tara hoy premodoy,
tare mui jai bolihari
gauranga-gunete jhure, nitya-lila tare sphure,
se jana bhakati-adhikari
(2) Anyone who simply chants the name of Shri Krishna Chaitanya will immediately develop love of Godhead. I offer him all congratulations by saying, 'Bravo!' If anyone feels ecstasy and cries by simply hearing the transcendental qualities of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he at once understands the eternal loving affairs between Radha and Krishna.
gaurangera sangi-gane, nitya-siddha kori’ mane,
se jay brajendra-suta-pash
shri-gauda-mandala-bhumi, jeba jane cintamani,
tara hoy braja-bhume bas
(3) Anyone who has understood that the associates of Lord Chaitanya are eternally liberated souls immediately becomes eligible to enter into the abode of Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaja in Vrindavana, in his next birth. If anyone understands that there is no difference between Gau;da-man;dala, the place in West Bengal wherein Lord Chaitanya had His pastimes, and the transcendental abode of Shri Vrindavana-dhama, then he actually lives in Vrindavana.
gaura-prema-rasarnave, she tarange jeba dube,
grihe ba vanete thake, ‘ha gauranga’ bo’le dake,
narottama mage tara sanga
(4) Anyone who takes pleasure sporting within the waves of the ocean of Lord Chaitanya's distribution of love of God immediately becomes a confidential devotee of Shri Shri Radha-Madhava. It doesn't matter whether such a devotee is in the renounced order of life or whether he is a householder. If he is actually taking part in Lord Chaitanya's sankirtana activities and actually understanding what it is, then such a person is always liberated. Narottama dasa aspires for his association.
by His Divine Grace
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
This is a song by Narottama dasa Thakura in praise of the glories of Lord Chaitanya. Gauranga refers to Lord Chaitanya, who has a fair complexion. One who has a fair complexion is called gaura, and since Lord Chaitanya was very fair, just like molten gold, He was also named Gaurasundara. Narottama dasa Thakura says, gaurangera duöi pada, jar dhana-sampada, se jane bhakati-rasa-sar. Anyone who has accepted the two lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya can understand the true essence of devotional service. Devotional service is very difficult. It cannot be understood by any ordinary man. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, out of many thousands of persons who are trying to achieve the perfection of human life, only some actually become perfect and realize the self. And out of many thousands of such self-realized persons, only one can understand Krishna. Without understanding Krishna, how can one engage himself in the service of Krishna? Therefore, the devotional service of Krishna is not an ordinary thing. But fortunately, if one follows in the footsteps of Lord Chaitanya (gaurangera duöi pada) by following the path shown by Lord Chaitanya—the process of simply chanting Hare Krishna—he can very easily understand what devotional service is. Therefore, Narottama dasa Thakura prays that one take shelter of Lord Chaitanya and follow in His footsteps, for then one can understand the essence of devotional service.
Lord Chaitanya’s pastimes are very pleasing, because the basic principles of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s movement are chanting, dancing, and eating krishna-prasada. He made His headquarters in Jagannatha Puri and would dance, chant, and then immediately call for prasada to be distributed to the devotees. They were so pleased that every day hundreds of men would come to chant and dance with Lord Chaitanya. The temple proprietor, the King of Orissa, Maharaja Prataparudra, had an open order to the workers in the temple to supply as much prasada to Lord Chaitanya’s devotees as they wanted. Therefore, His pastimes are very pleasing: chant, dance, and take prasada. If one is captivated by the pastimes of Lord Chaitanya, simply by chanting and dancing and eating prasada the dirty things in his heart will all become cleansed. The heart of anyone who takes to this movement of chanting, dancing, and eating krishna-prasada will surely be cleansed of all dirty material contamination. Narottama dasa Thakura says, very rightly, gaurangera madhura-lila, jar karne praveshila, hridoya nirmala bhelo tar: if one wants to cleanse his heart, he must take to the movement of Lord Chaitanya—Krishna consciousness.
Lord Chaitanya is so nice that one who simply takes the holy name of Gaurasundara, Shri Krishna Chaitanya, will immediately develop love of God. Generally, devotees first chant shri-krishna-chaitanya prabhu nityananda, for the preliminary process of cleansing the heart is to invoke the mercy of Lord Chaitanya, Lord Nityananda, and Their associates. Lila means "pastimes." Without associates there cannot be pastimes, so Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is always accompanied by associates—Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara, Shrivasa, and many other devotees. Tar means "his," hoy means "it is effected," and premodoy refers to development of love of God. Simply by chanting shri-krishna-chaitanya prabhu nityananda one immediately develops love of God. To such a person Narottama dasa Thakura says, "Bravo!" to encourage him in chanting Lord Chaitanya’s name and dancing. Just as we clap and say, "Bravo!" similarly he says, jai bolihari: "Very nice. Excellent!"
Then he says, gauranga-gunete jhure, nitya-lila tare sphure: if one appreciates the merciful pastimes of Lord Chaitanya and feels ecstasy and sometimes cries, this process will immediately help him to understand the pastimes of Radha-Krishna, which are called nitya-lila. The loving affairs between Radha-Krishna are not a temporary thing. Here in this material world we can see loving affairs between boys and girls, but that is temporary. That is simply for a few months, a few years, or maybe a little more. But then all that so-called love will go to hell. They are not permanent affairs. But if one really wants permanent love affairs, he must enter into the pastimes of Radha-Krishna. Simply by appreciating Lord Chaitanya’s movement one can immediately enter into or understand Radha-Krishna’s eternal pastimes. One who can understand the transcendental, eternal pastimes of Radha-Krishna reaches the highest perfectional stage of devotional service.
The next line is, gaurangera sangi-gane. Sangi-gane means "associates." Lord Chaitanya is always associated: He is not alone. We never see a picture of Lord Chaitanya alone. At least there must be Lord Nityananda or Gadadhara Pandita. Actually, wherever Lord Chaitanya was present, many thousands of devotees would assemble. Such devotees, especially those who were His nearest intimate associates, were nitya-siddha. In the devotional line there are three kinds of perfect devotees. One is called sadhana-siddha. This refers to a person who has very rigidly performed the regulative prescriptions and thereby reached the perfectional stage. Reaching the perfectional stage by executing the regulative principles is called sadhana-siddha. There is another kind of devotee, who is called kripa-siddha. He may not have executed the regulative principles very rigidly, but by his service mood he is specifically blessed by the spiritual master or Krishna. He is immediately promoted to the perfectional stage. This is called kripa-siddha. Nitya-siddha is one who was never contaminated by the material nature. The sadhana-siddhas and the kripa-siddhas were supposed to have once been in the contamination of material nature, but nitya-siddhas never came into contact with the material nature. All the associates of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are nitya-siddhas, or eternally perfect. Nityananda Prabhu is Balarama, the immediate expansion of Krishna; Advaita Prabhu is Maha-Vishnu (He is also vishnu-tattva); Gadadhara Prabhu is an expansion of Radharani; and Shrivasa is an incarnation of Narada. They are nitya-siddha, or eternally perfect. They were never imperfect. They were never in contact with material contamination. We should understand that as Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Krishna Himself, is transcendental, similarly His personal associates are also nitya-siddha, or eternally transcendental. Se jay brajendra-suta-pash. Brajendra-suta means Krishna. Simply by accepting that the associates of Lord Chaitanya are eternally free, one can immediately be promoted to the transcendental abode of Lord Krishna.
Shri-gauda-mandala-bhumi. Gauda means West Bengal. Lord Chaitanya appeared in West Bengal, Navadvipa, and He especially flooded that part of the country with the sankirtana movement. That part of the country has special significance, for it is nondifferent from Vrindavana. It is as good as Vrindavana. Living in Vrindavana and living in Navadvipa are the same. Narottama dasa Thakura says, shri-gauda-mandala-bhumi, jeba jane cintamani. Cintamani means the transcendental abode. Tara hoy braja-bhume bas. If one simply understands that this land of Navadvipa is not different from Vrindavana, then he actually lives in Vrindavana. One should not think that he is living in Bengal or any material country; the places where Lord Chaitanya had His pastimes are as good as Vrindavana.
Lord Chaitanya’s distribution of this love of God is compared with an ocean (rasa-arnava). What kind of ocean? Not the salty ocean that one cannot taste. The water of this ocean is so nice that if one drinks even one drop, he will like it more and more. It is not ordinary ocean water of which one cannot taste even a drop. Therefore it is called rasarnava. In this ocean there are different waves; an ocean does not stand still, for it is not impersonal or void. And as the ocean is always dancing with waves, similarly the ocean of transcendental love of Krishna as introduced by Lord Chaitanya has constant waves, constant sound. One has to dive deep into that ocean. If one knows the secret and says, "Let me dive deep into the ocean of the transcendental loving movement introduced by Lord Chaitanya," he immediately becomes one of the confidential devotees of Radha and Krishna.
Therefore Narottama dasa Thakura concludes this song by saying, grihe ba vanete thake, ‘ha gauranga’ bo ’le dake. It is not necessary that one become a mendicant or give up his family life and society. One can remain wherever he finds it suitable, whether as a householder, as a brahmacari, as a vanaprastha, or as a sannyasi. Vanaprasthas and sannyasis are supposed to live outside of the city. Vanete means "forest." Formerly, those who were in spiritual consciousness used to live in the forest to become free of the turmoil of city life. But that is not possible now. In this age no one can go into the forest. That requires practice, and no one is practiced to that line. Therefore, generally one is recommended to live with his friends, wife, and children. That doesn’t matter, but he must take to the process of Krishna consciousness as introduced by Lord Chaitanya. It is not difficult. The real thing is that one has to accept the movement of Lord Chaitanya—chanting, dancing, and eating krishna-prasada. Even if one is in family life, there is no difficulty. He can just sit down, chant Hare Krishna, dance nicely, and then take krishna-prasada. Everyone can do this. Those who have renounced this world, sannyasis, also can do it; there is no difficulty. Therefore, Narottama dasa Thakura says that it doesn’t matter whether one is a brahmacari, grihastha, or sannyasi. He says, "If you have taken to these principles of life, I desire your company, because you are a devotee of Lord Chaitanya." In this way, Narottama dasa Thakura finishes the song.
The Worship of Shri Guru
bando mui savadhana mate
jahara prasade bhai, e bhava toriya jai,
krishna-prapti hoy jaha ha’te
1) The lotus feet of our spiritual master are the only way by which we can attain pure devotional service. I bow to his lotus feet with great awe and reverence. By his grace one can cross the ocean of material suffering and obtain the mercy of Krishna.
guru-mukha-padma-vakya, cittete koriya aikya,
ar na koriho mane asha
shri-guru-carane rati, ei se uttama-gati,
je prasade pure sarva asha
2) My only wish is to have my consciousness purified by the words emanating from his lotus mouth. Attachment to his lotus feet is the perfection that fulfills all desires.
cakhu-dan dilo jei, janme janme prabhu sei,
divya jnan hride prokashito
prema-bhakti jaha hoite, avidya vinasha jate,
vede gay jahara carito
3) He opens my darkened eyes and fills my heart with transcendental knowledge. He is my Lord birth after birth. From him ecstatic prema emanates; by him ignorance is destroyed. The Vedic scriptures sing of his character.
shri-guru karuna-sindhu, adhama janara bandhu,
lokanath lokera jivana
ha ha prabhu koro doya, deho more pada-chaya,
ebe jasha ghushuk tribhuvana
4) Our spiritual master is the ocean of mercy, the friend of the poor, and the lord and master of the devotees. O master! Be merciful unto me. Give me the shade of your lotus feet. Your fame is spread all over the three worlds.
A Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Shri Gauranga
shri-krishna-chaitanya prabhu doya koro more
toma bina ke doyalu jagat-samsare
(1) My dear Lord Chaitanya, please be merciful to me, because who can be more merciful than Your Lordship within these three worlds?
patita-pavana-hetu tava avatara
mo sama patita prabhu na paibe ara
(2) Your incarnation is just to reclaim the conditioned, fallen souls, but I assure You that You will not find a greater fallen soul than me. Therefore, my claim is first.
ha ha prabhu nityananda, premananda sukhi
kripabalokana koro ami boro duhkhi
(3) My dear Lord Nityananda, You are always joyful in spiritual bliss. Since You always appear very happy, I have come to You because I am most unhappy. If You kindly put Your glance over me, then I may also become happy.
doya koro sita-pati adwaita gosai
tava kripa-bale pai chaitanya-nitai
(4) My dear Advaita Prabhu, husband of Sita, You are so kind. Please be merciful to me. If You are kind to me, naturally Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda will also be kind to me.
ha ha swarup, sanatana, rupa, raghunatha
bhaööa-juga, shri-jiva ha prabhu lokanatha
(5) O Svarupa Damodara, personal secretary of Lord Chaitanya, O six Gosvamis ó Shri Rupa Gosvami, Shri Sanatana Gosvami, Shri Raghunatha Bhaööa Gosvami, Shri Gopala Bhaööa Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, and Shri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami! O Lokanatha Gosvami, my beloved spiritual master! Narottama dasa also prays for your mercy.
doya koro shri-acarya prabhu shrinivasa
ramacandra-sanga mage narottama-dasa
(6) O Shrinivasa Acarya, successor to the six Gosvamis! Please be merciful to me. Narottama dasa always desires the company of Ramacandra Cakravarti.
by His Divine Grace
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
This is a song composed by Narottama dasa Thakura. He prays to Lord Chaitanya, "My dear Lord, please be merciful to me, because who can be more merciful than Your Lordship within these three worlds?" Actually, this is a fact. Not only Narottama dasa Thakura, but Rupa Gosvami also prayed to Lord Chaitanya in this way. At the time of the first meeting of Lord Chaitanya and Rupa Gosvami at Prayaga (Allahabad), Shrila Rupa Gosvami said, "My dear Lord, You are the most munificent of all incarnations, because You are distributing love of Krishna, Krishna consciousness." When Krishna was personally present He simply asked us to surrender, but He did not distribute Himself so easily. He made conditions—"First of all you surrender." But this incarnation, Lord Chaitanya, although Krishna Himself, makes no such condition. He simply distributes: "Take love of Krishna." Therefore Lord Chaitanya is approved as the most munificent incarnation. Narottama dasa Thakura says, "Please be merciful to me. You are so magnanimous, because You have seen the fallen souls of this age, and You are very much compassionate to them, but You should know also that I am the most fallen. No one is more greatly fallen than me." Patita-pavana-hetu tava avatara: "Your incarnation is just to reclaim the conditioned, fallen souls, but I assure You that You will not find a greater fallen soul than me. Therefore, my claim is first."
Then he prays to Lord Nityananda. He says, ha ha prabhu nityananda premananda-sukhi: "My dear Lord Nityananda, You are always joyful in spiritual bliss. Since You always appear very happy, I have come to You because I am most unhappy. If You kindly put Your glance over me, I may also become happy." Then he prays to Advaita Prabhu. Doya koro sita-pati adwaita gosai. Advaita Prabhu’s wife’s name was Sita. Therefore He is sometimes addressed as sita-pati. Thus Narottama dasa Thakura prays, "My dear Advaita Prabhu, husband of Sita, You are so kind. Please be kind to me. If You are kind to me, naturally Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda will also be kind to me." Actually, Advaita Prabhu invited Lord Chaitanya to come down. When Advaita Prabhu saw that the fallen souls were all engaged simply in sense gratificatory processes, not understanding Krishna consciousness, He felt very much compassionate toward the fallen souls, and He also felt Himself incapable of claiming them all. He therefore prayed to Lord Krishna, "Please come Yourself. Without Your personal presence it is not possible to deliver these fallen souls." Thus by His invitation Lord Chaitanya appeared. Naturally, Narottama dasa Thakura prays to Advaita Prabhu, "If You will be kind to me, naturally Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda also will be kind to me."
Then he prays to the Gosvamis. Ha ha swarup, sanatana, rupa, raghunatha. Swarup refers to Svarupa Damodara, the personal secretary of Lord Chaitanya. He was always with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and immediately arranged for whatever Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wanted. Two personal attendants, Svarupa Damodara and Govinda, were always constantly with Lord Chaitanya. Therefore, Narottama dasa Thakura also prays to Svarupa Damodara and then to the six Gosvamis, the next disciples of Lord Chaitanya—Shri Rupa Gosvami, Shri Sanatana Gosvami, Shri Bhaööa Raghunatha Gosvami, Shri Gopala Bhaööa Gosvami, Shri Jiva Gosvami, and Shri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. These six Gosvamis were directly instructed by Lord Chaitanya to spread this movement of Krishna consciousness. Narottama dasa Thakura also prays for their mercy.
After the six Gosvamis, the next acarya was Shrinivasa Acarya. Actually, Narottama dasa Thakura was in the disciplic succession after Shrinivasa Acarya and was almost his contemporary, and Narottama dasa’s personal friend was Ramacandra Cakravarti. Therefore he prays, "I always desire the company of Ramacandra." He desires a devotee’s company. The whole process is that we should always pray for the mercy of the superior acaryas and keep company with pure devotees. Then it will be easier for us to advance in Krishna consciousness and receive the mercy of Lord Chaitanya and Lord Krishna. This is the sum and substance of this song sung by Narottama dasa Thakura.
Teachings to the Mind
je chayay jagata juray
heno nitai bine bhai, radha-krishna paite nai
dridha kori’ dharo nitair pay
(1) The lotus feet of Lord Nityananda are a shelter where one will get the soothing moonlight not only of one, but of millions of moons. If the world wants to have real peace, it should take shelter of Lord Nityananda. Unless one takes shelter under the shade of the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, it will be very difficult for him to approach Radha-Krishna. If one actually wants to enter into the dancing party of Radha-Krishna, he must firmly catch hold of the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda.
se sambandha nahi ja’r, britha janma gelo ta’r
sei pashu boro duracar
nitai na bolilo mukhe, majilo samsara-sukhe
vidya-kule ki koribe tar
(2) Anyone who has not established his relationship with Nityananda Prabhu is understood to have spoiled his valuable human birth. Such a human being is actually an uncontrollable animal. Because he never uttered the holy name of Nityananda, he has become merged into so-called material happiness. What can his useless education and family tradition do to help him?
ahankare matta hoiya, nitai-pada pasariya
asatyere satya kori mani
nitaiyer koruna habe, braje radha-krishna pabe
dharo nitai-carana du’khani
(3) Being maddened after false prestige and identification with the body, one is thinking, nOh, what is Nityananda? What can He do for me? I don't care.î The result is that he is accepting something false to be truth. If you actually want to approach the association of Radha-Krishna, you must first achieve the mercy of Lord Nityananda. When He is merciful toward you, then you will be able to approach Radha-Krishna. Therefore you should firmly grasp the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda.
nitaiyer carana satya, tahara sevaka nitya
nitai-pada sada koro asha
narottama boro dukhi, nitai more koro sukhi
rakho ranga-caranera pasha
(4) The lotus feet of Nityananda are not illusion; they are a fact. One who engages in the transcendental loving service of Nityananda is also transcendental. Always try to catch the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda. This Narottama dasa is very unhappy, therefore I am praying to Lord Nityananda to make me happy. My dear Lord, please keep me close to Your lotus feet.
by His Divine Grace
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
This is a very nice song sung by Narottama dasa Thakura. He advises that nitai-pada, the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda (kamala means "lotus," and pada means "feet"), are a shelter where one will get the soothing moonlight not only of one, but of millions of moons. We can just imagine the aggregate total value of the soothing shine of millions of moons. In this material world (jagat), which is progressing toward hell, there is always a blazing fire, and everyone is struggling hard without finding peace; therefore, if the world wants to have real peace, it should take shelter under the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, which are cooling like the shining of a million moons. Juraya means "relief." If one actually wants relief from the struggle of existence and actually wants to extinguish the blazing fire of material pangs, Narottama dasa Thakura advises, "Please take shelter of Lord Nityananda."
What will be the result of accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda? He says, heno nitai bine bhai: unless one takes shelter under the shade of the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, radha-krishna paite nai—it will be very difficult for him to approach Radha-Krishna. The aim of this Krishna consciousness movement is to enable us to approach Radha-Krishna and associate with the Supreme Lord in His sublime pleasure dance. Narottama dasa Thakura advises that if one actually wants to enter into the dancing party of Radha-Krishna, he must accept the shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda.
Then he says, se sambandha nahi Sambandha means "connection" or "contact." Anyone who has not contacted a relationship with Nityananda is understood to have spoiled his human birth. In another song also, Narottama dasa says, hari hari bifale janama gonainu: anyone who does not approach Radha-Krishna through a relationship with Nityananda has uselessly spoiled his life. Britha means "useless," janma means "life," ta’r means "his," and sambandha means "relationship." Anyone who does not make a relationship with Nityananda is simply spoiling the boon of his human form of life. Why is he spoiling it? Sei pashu boro duracar. Sei means "that," pashu means "animal," and duracar means "misbehaved" or "the most misbehaved." Without elevation to Krishna consciousness through the mercy of Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda, life is simply spoiled in the animal propensities of sense gratification. Narottama dasa says that ordinary animals can be tamed, but when a human being is animalistic, having only animal propensities, he is most horrible, for he cannot be tamed. Ordinary cats and dogs or even a tiger can be tamed, but when a human being goes out of his way and neglects to take to the human activity of Krishna consciousness, his higher intelligence will simply be misused for animal propensities, and it is very difficult to tame him. The enactment of state laws cannot make a thief an honest man—because his heart is polluted, he cannot be tamed. Every man sees that a person who commits criminal offenses is punished by the government, and also in scriptural injunctions punishment in hell is mentioned. But despite hearing from scripture and seeing the action of the state laws, the demoniac cannot be tamed.
What are they doing? Nitai na bolilo mukhe. Since they do not know who Nityananda is, they never say the names of Lord Nityananda and Lord Chaitanya. Majilo samsara-sukhe. Majilo means "becomes absorbed." They become absorbed in so-called material enjoyment. They don’t care who Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda are, and therefore they go deep down into material existence. Vidya-kule ki koribe tar: if one has no connection with Nityananda, and if he does not come to Krishna consciousness, his vidya, or his so-called academic education, and kula, birth in a high family or great nation, will not protect him. Regardless of whether one is born in a very big family or nation or has a very advanced academic education, at the time of death nature’s law will act, his work will be finished, and he will get another body according to that work.
Why are these human animals acting in this way? Ahankare matta hoiya, nitai-pada pasariya. They have become maddened by a false concept of bodily life, and thus they have forgotten their eternal relationship with Nityananda. Asatyere satya kori mani: such forgetful persons accept the illusory energy as factual. Asatyere refers to that which is not a fact, or, in other words, maya. Maya means that which has no existence but is a temporary illusion only. Persons who have no contact with Nityananda accept this illusory body as factual.
Narottama dasa Thakura then says, nitaiyer koruna habe, braje radha-krishna pabe: "If you actually want to approach the association of Radha-Krishna, you must achieve the mercy of Lord Nityananda first. When He is merciful toward you, then you will be able to approach Radha-Krishna." Dharo nitai-carana du’khani. Narottama dasa advises that one firmly catch the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda.
Then again he says, nitai-carana satya. One should not misunderstand and think that as he has caught hold of maya, similarly the lotus feet of Nityananda may also be something like that maya, or illusion. Therefore Narottama dasa confirms, nitai-carana satya: the lotus feet of Nityananda are not illusion; they are a fact. Tahara sevaka nitya: and one who engages in the transcendental loving service of Nityananda is also transcendental. If one engages in the transcendental loving service of Nityananda in Krishna consciousness, he immediately achieves his transcendental position on the spiritual platform, which is eternal and blissful. Therefore he advises, nitai-pada sada koro asha: always try to catch the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda.
Narottama boro dukhi. Narottama dasa Thakura, the acarya, is taking the position that he is very unhappy. Actually, he is representing ourselves. He says, "My dear Lord, I am very unhappy." Nitai more koro sukhi: "Therefore I am praying to Lord Nityananda to make me happy." Rakho ranga-caranera pasha: "Please keep me in a corner of Your lotus feet."
Shri Rupa Manjari Pada
The Feet of Shri Rupa Manjari
shri-rupa-manjari-pada, sei mora sampada,
sei mor bhajana-pujana
1) The lotus feet of Shri Rupa Manjari are my treasure, my devotional service, and my object of worship.
sei mora prana-dhana, sei mora abharana,
sei mor jivanera jivana
2) They give my life meaning, and they are the life of my life.
sei mora rasa-nidhi, sei mora vancha-siddhi,
sei mor vedera dharama
3) They are the perfection of rasa, and they are perfection worthy of attainment. They are the very law of the Vedlc scriptures for me.
sei brata, sei tapa, sei mora mantra-japa,
sei mor dharama-karama
4) They are the meaning of all my fasts and penances and my silent utterings of my mantras. They are the basis of religion and activities.
anukula habe vidhi, se-pade hoibe siddhi,
nirakhibo e dui nayane
5) By the purifying process of favorable devotional service one will attain perfection and with these two eyes be able to see.
se rupa-madhuri-rashi, prana-kuvalaya-shashi,
praphullita habe nishi-dine
6) His transcendental form is shining like moonlight in my heart, and my heart therefore shines and reciprocates. In other words, the ordinary moon lights up the night, and its shine illuminates other objects; but the moon of the effulgence of the form of Shri Rupa Manjari shines into the heart and makes the heart also shine back to the spiritual sky. This moon shines not only in the nighttime, but day and night.
tuwa adarshana-ahi, garale jaralo dehi,
ciro-dina tapita jivana
7) Your absence from my vision is like a dose of strong poison, and I will suffer till the end of my life.
ha ha rupa koro doya, deho more pada-chaya,
narottama loilo sharana
8) Narottama dasa Thakura says: "Please give me your mercy and the shade of your lotus feet."
Prayer to the Vaishnava
ei-baro karuna koro vaishnava gosai
patita-pavana toma bine keho nai
(1) 0 Vaishnava Gosvami, please be merciful to me now. There is no one except you who can purify the fallen souls.
jahara nikaöe gele papa dure jay
emona doyala prabhu keba kotha pay
(2) Where does anyone find such a merciful personality by whose mere audience all sins go far away?
gangara parasha hoile pashcate pavan
darshane pavitra koro—ei tomara gun
(3) After bathing in the waters of the sacred Ganges many times, one becomes purified, but just by the sight of you, the fallen souls are purified. This is your great power.
hari-sthane aparadhe tare hari-nam
toma sthane aparadhe nahi paritran
(4) The holy name delivers one who has committed an offense to Lord Hari, but if one commits an offense to you, there is no means of deliverance.
tomara hridoye sada govinda-vishram
govinda kohena—mora vaishnava paran
(5) Your heart is always the resting place of Lord Govinda, and Lord Govinda says, "The Vaishnavas are in My heart."
prati-janme kori asha caranera dhuli
narottame koro doya apanara boli’
(6) I desire the dust of your holy feet in every birth I may take. Please consider Narottama yours, and be kind upon him.
gaura pahu na bhajiya goinu
prema-ratana-dhana helaya harainu
1) I did not consider worshiping Lord Gauranga, but instead brought about my spiritual ruin by neglecting that treasure trove of pure of God.
adhane yatana kari dhana teyaginu
apana karama-doshe apani dubinu
2) I gave up the association of the saintly devotees to enjoy myself in the company of the ungodly. Therefore I am bound up by the snare of karma.
sat-sanga chadi’ kainu asate vilasa
te-karane lagilo ye karma-bandha-phansa
3) I am always drinking the dangerous poison of sense gratification, thus I can never absorb myself in the blissful nectar of chanting the glories of Lord Chaitanya.
vishaya-vishama-visha satata khainu
gaura-kirtana-rase maghana na hainu
4) Why am I still living and what happiness do I have? Narottama dasa says, "Why have I not died long ago?"
keno va achaye prana ki sukha paiya
narottam das keno na gelo mariya
This is not only Narottama dasa Thakura’s lamentation. If I cannot come in touch with Lord Chaitanya and His associates, it would be better for me to die.
by His Divine Grace
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
This is a song by Narottama dasa Thakura. He says, gaura pahu na bhajiya goinu: “I have invited my spiritual death by not worshiping Lord Chaitanya.” Gaura pahu means “Lord Chaitanya,” and na bhajiya, “without worshiping.” Goinu: “I have invited spiritual death.” And why have I invited spiritual death? Adhane yatane kari dhana teyaginu: “Because I am engaged in something which is useless and have rejected the real purpose of my life. Adhane means “valueless things,” and dhana means “valuables.” So actually every one of us is neglecting our spiritual emanicipation: we are engaged in material sense gratification, and therefore we are losing the opportunity of this human form of body to elevate ourselves to the spiritual platform. This human body is especially provided to the conditioned soul to give him a chance for spiritual emancipation. So anyone who does not care for spiritual emancipation is inviting spiritual death. Spiritual death means to forget oneself—to forget that one is spirit. That is spiritual death, like animal life. Animal life is full forgetfulness. The animals cannot be reminded under any circumstances that they are not this body. It is only in this human form of life that one can understand that he is not this body, that he is spirit soul. By chanting Hare Krishna one can easily understand this fact. In other words, by worshiping Lord Chaitanya, following His principles and ways, and chanting Hare Krishna one can very easily come to the platform of spiritual understanding.
But Narottama dasa Thakura says on our behalf that we are neglecting this. Therefore we are inviting spiritual death. Then he says, prema-ratana-dhana helaya harainu. Spiritual life means to develop real love. Everyone says “love.” There are so many signboards, so many books: “Love, love.” But there is no love. This is illusion. It is all lust. “Love” for intoxication, “love” for sex, “love” for this and that. This is going on. Actually, the word love is applicable only with Krishna, with God: To love means to love Krishna. That is spiritual love. And we are created for that purpose. So, that is wanted. Narottama dasa says, “I could have achieved that transcendental treasure of love, but I was robbed of it because of neglecting to worship Lord Chaitanya.” And why has this happened? Apana karama-doshe apani dubinu: “Due to my past misdeeds.” Due to our past misdeeds, we get a certain type of body. Everyone who has got a material body has received it due to his past misdeeds, and even his past pious deeds. Actually, as long as one gets a material body, there are no pious deeds. “Pious deeds” means no more material body. Otherwise, it is to be taken as a fact that even Brahma, who is the chief living entity within this universe and has a long, long duration of life and so much power—still, he is considered to have performed misdeeds because he has a material body. So, by our misdeeds we go down and down, getting one body after another. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam it is stated that people do not know that by engaging in sense gratification they are assuring that they will have another body. And the body is the cause of material pangs. It is only because I have this body that I feel a headache, a stomachache, etc. But as soon as we are out of this material body, there are no more material pangs. It is simply joyful life. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma. Prasannatma means “joyful.” But due to our past misdeeds we are missing this opportunity.
And why is it happening? Sat-sanga chadi’ kainu asate vilasa: “I have given up the association of devotees and am associating with common nonsense men for sense gratification.” Sat means “spirit,” and asat means “matter.” Association with nondevotees produces material attachment, and that means implication in material, conditioned life. So, one has to associate with devotees. Satam prasangan mama virya-samvido. One can learn about God only in the association of devotees. Therefore we are pushing this Krishna consciousness society. You’ll find that one who comes to this society and associates with us for a few days or a few weeks becomes Krishna conscious, and soon he comes forward for initiation and further advancement. So, association with devotees is very important. But here Narottama dasa Thakura laments, sat-sanga chadi kainu asatye vilasa te-karane lagilo ye karma-bandha-phansa: “I have given up the association of devotees and tried to enjoy among nondevotees, and immediately maya has caught me and mangled me in the web of fruitive activities.” Maya is just by our side. As soon as we give up the company of devotees, maya says, “Yes, come to my company.” Nobody can remain without any company; that is not possible. One must associate with either maya or Krishna. And when we speak of Krishna, we mean Krishna and His devotees. Krishna is never alone. He is always with Radharani, with the other gopis, with the cowherd boys. So to be Krishna conscious means to keep association with the devotees of Krishna.
Next Narottama dasa Thakura says, visaya-vishama-visha satata khainu: “I have always drunk the most dangerous poison of sense gratification.” Vishaya means “sense gratification.” Eating, sleeping. mating, and defending—these four principles are called vishaya. And vishama means “dangerous.” And visha means “poison.” If one is simply engaged with these four activities, just like the animals, then one is simply drinking poison. That’s all. “I know this is poison, but I am so much intoxicated that I am drinking this poison at every moment.” Then, gaura-kirtana-rase maghana na hainu: “Therefore I could not merge myself into the sankirtana movement of Lord Chaitanya.” That is actually the fact. Those who are too much attached to the materialistic way of life, who are always drinking the poison of sense gratification, are not attracted by the sankirtana movement.
Finally Narottama dasa Thakura, representing ourselves, laments, keno va achaye prana ki sukha paiya: “Why am I living? I have not associated with the devotees, I have not taken part in the sankirtana movement, I do not understand what is Krishna, I do not understand what is Lord Chaitanya. Then why am I living? What is my happiness? Why did I not die long, long ago?” So. this is not only Narottama dasa Thakura’s lamentation. Every one of us should think like that: “If I cannot associate with devotees, if I cannot understand the Krisna consciousness movement, if I cannot come in touch with Lord Chaitanya and His associates, it would be better for me to die.” This is the substance of this song.