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By Adi Sankaracarya
satyam jnanam anantam nityam anakasam paramakasam
gostha-prangana-ringana-lolam anayasam paramayasam /
maya-kalpita-nana-karam anakaram bhuvanakaram
ksamaya natham anatham pranamata govindam paramanandam // 1//
Please bow down to Govinda, supreme bliss personified. He is the Absolute Truth, as well as unlimited and eternal knowledge. Though different from the sky, He Himself is the supreme sky. Though it was with effortless ease that Hess rolled and frolicked in the courtyards of Vraja, He appeared to become tired. Though formless, He manifests in various forms fashioned by Maya, including the form of the universe. Though He shelters all the universes, He appears to need shelter.
mrtsnam atsiheti yasoda-tadana-saisava-santrasam
loka-traya-pura-mula-stambham lokalokam analokam
lokesam paramesam pranamata govindam paramanandam // 2 //
Please bow down to Govinda, supreme bliss personified. Though He is the supreme master of the universe, He seemed to become frightened like an ordinary infant when Mother Yasoda chastised Him. When she asked, Are You eating mud? He opened His mouth to prove He had not-and showed her the fourteen planetary systems, including Lokaloka Mountain. He is the supporting pillar for this citylike universe of three worlds. Though He is beyond all vision, He is the source of everyone's vision.
trai-vistapa-ripu-vira-ghnam ksiti-bhara-ghnam bhava-roga-ghnam
kaivalyam navanitaharam anaharam bhuvanaharam /
saivam kevala-santam pranamata govindam paramanandam // 3 //
Please bow down to Govinda, supreme bliss personified. He relieves the earth of its burden by killing the demigods' enemies, the demons, and He grants liberation by curing the disease of materialism. Though He never needs to eat, still He eats butter, and He also devours the whole universe at the time of annihilation. Though distinct from all the shadow manifestations of this world, He manifests in the sanctified desires of a pure heart. He is most auspicious and peaceful.
gopalam bhu-lila-vigraha-gopalam kula-gopalam
gobhir nigadita-govinda-sphuta-namanam bahu-namanam
gopi-gocara-duram pranamata govindam paramanandam // 4 //
Please bow down to Govinda, supreme bliss personified. That protector of cows appeared in the form of a cowherd among the cowherds to perform His pastimes on earth, such as lifting Govardhana Hill to protect the cowherds and dallying with the cowherd damsels. Even the cows called Him by the name Govinda. He has unlimited names, is distinct among the cowherd boys, and is beyond the reach of the gopis' senses [when He goes to the forest during the day, or when He resides in Mathura or Dvaraka].
gopi-mandala-gosthi-bhedam bhedavastham abhedabham
sasvad go-khura-nirdhutoddhat-dhuli-dhusara-saubhagyam /
sraddha-bhakti-grhitanandam acintyam cintita-sad-bhavam
cintamanim ahimanam pranamata govindam paramanandam // 5 //
Please bow down to Govinda, supreme bliss personified. He enters the assembly of cowherd damsels and divides them into groups for His pastimes. He is simultaneously different from and one with everything. He considers it His good fortune to be always smeared with the dust raised by the cows' hooves. He is pleased by faith and devotion. Though He is inconceivable, His pastimes are the object of meditation. He is like a transcendental touchstone.
snana-vyakula-yosid-vastram upadayagam uparudham
vyaditsantir atha dig-vastra hy upadatum upakarsantam /
nirdhuta dvaya-soka-vimoham buddham buddher antah-stham
satta-matra-sariram pranamata govindam paramanandam // 6 //
Please bow down to Govinda, supreme bliss personified. He stole the bathing damsels' clothes and climbed a tree with them, and when the naked maidens asked for their clothes back, He told them to come closer. He dispels lamentation and delusion. He is knowledge personified, realized by intelligence, and is also the personification of pure existence.
kantam karana-karanam adim anadim kalam anabhasam
kalindi-gata-kaliya-sirasi muhur muhuh sunrtyantam /
kalam kala-kalatitam kalitasesam kali-dosa-ghnam
kala-traya-gati-hetum pranamata govindam paramanandam // 7 //
Please bow down to Govinda, supreme bliss personified. He is most beautiful. He is the original cause of all causes, and He has no cause. He is free from all superimpositions of illusion. He danced wonderfully on the hoods of the Kaliya serpent in the Yamuna. Though He is time, He is beyond all divisions of time. He knows everything, He destroys the defects of Kali-yuga, and He is the source of past, present, and future.
vrndavana-bhuvi vrndaraka-gana-vrndaradhyam vande 'ham
kundabhamala-manda-smera-sudhanandam suhrd-anandam /
vandyasesa-gunabdhim pranamata govindam paramanandam // 8 //
Please bow down to Govinda, supreme bliss personified. He is the reservoir of all worshipable qualities. All worshipable saintly persons worship His blissful lotus feet within their hearts. He is my worshipful Lord. All the demigods, and Shrimati Vrndadevi as well, worship Him in the land of Vrndavana. His pure and beautiful smile emanates bliss like a kunda flower pouring forth nectar. He gives transcendental ecstasy to His cowherd friends.
govindastakam etad adhite govindarpita-ceta yo
govindacyuta madhava visno gokula-nayaka krsneti /
govindam paramanandamrtam antah-sthah sa samabhyeti //
Anyone who who recites this Govindastaka, who fixes his mind on Govinda, and who sweetly chants, `O Govinda, Acyuta, Madhava, Vishnu, Gokula-nayaka, Krishna,' thus cleansing away all his sins with the ambrosial water of meditation on the lotus feet of Lord Govinda-such a soul will certainly attain Lord Govinda, the supreme, everlasting bliss of the heart.