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Books > Hindu > Vaishnav > Sri Siksastaka
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Sri Siksastaka
Sri Siksastaka
Description
Preface

Not only in Sri Gaudiya Vaisnava literature, but in the Sruti, Smrti, Puranas and the entirety of Indian literature, Sri Siksastaka, issued from the divine mouth of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, shines as a supremely radiant, transcendental jewel. It is a source of boundless happiness to me that today, by the inspiration and causeless mercy of my most revered spiritual master, nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, this Sri Siksastaka is presented to the reading audience in the Hindi language.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the incarnation who delivers the fallen conditioned souls in the age of Kali, is directly the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna Himself. Vrajendra-nandana Sri Krsna, overwhelmed with an intense desire to relish a particular sentiment, assumed the heartfelt ecstatic mood and bodily complexion of Srimati Radhika, the embodiment of His own pleasure potency (hladini-sakti), and bestowed upon the entire world the gifts of His holy name and divine love for Him. By His deep scholarship, matchless renunciation, humility, supremely radiant spotless character and pre-eminent transcendental devotional sentiment, He not only astounded renowned scholars, but also very easily attracted ordinary religionists and elevated devotees to the religion of unalloyed spiritual love.

Due to the distinctive and magnanimous characteristics, not only of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but of His followers as well, from Sri Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda and the Six Gosvamis up to present day acaryas and devotees, the waves of devotion unto the Supreme Lord (bhagavad-bhakti) have spread to every town and village of the world. Every-where, the sound of the congregational chanting of Krsna's holy names (harinama-sankirtana) is resounding, accompanied by mrdanga and karatalas.

It is truly a source of great honour and happiness for us that today the extensive Gaudiya Vaisnava literatures are appearing in many other major languages and Gaudiya Vaisnavism is being propagated around the world. Nevertheless, it is a matter of great astonishment that, in spite of being unlimitedly qualified, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not personally write any books like spiritual teachers who propounded other opinions. Instead, He inspired His followers to write books. Only eight verses are famous as His own composition. Some other verses have been attributed to Him, but up till now this has not been substantiated.

This Sikastaka is the very essence of all the Vedas. Although its Sanskrit language is quite simple, its import is so profound that even if one studies it throughout his life, his study will not come to an end. Each time one reads and deliberates on this subject, newer and newer meanings come to light. Therefore it remains eternally fresh. This Sri Siksastaka is a veritable necklace for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas.

Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the eternal associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the modern age and author of many sacred texts expounding the glories of bhakti, has again initiated the flow of the mighty Ganges-like river of bhakti, inundating the entire world in the flood of love of God (krsna-prema). He has written a soul-stirring commentary to these eight verses, filled with many important philosophical conclusions. This commentary is famous by the name of Sri Sanmodana-bhasya, the commentary that brings delight to the devotees. To understand the hidden truths of the original verses without careful study of this commentary is not only difficult, but impossible. Concealed in these verses is the paramount ecstatic sentiment (bhava) of the full-blown, spiritually radiant mellow of amorous love (ujjvala-prema-rasa, or srngararasa) situated within the heart of the incarnation of divine love, Sri Sacinandana Gaurahari. Beholding this incomparable bhava with the help of this captivating commentary, one is sure to be astonished at every step. Furthermore, one's heart becomes deeply overwhelmed with transcendental pleasure, and unprecedented faith and devotional sentiment develop towards Sri Krsna's holy name.

This subject is most important and its greatness is unlimited. Moreover, the commentator has illuminated this subject in summary yet in a very significant manner. Therefore to write more is like holding a lamp to illuminate the sun. The truths of sambandha (knowledge relevant to the development of one's relationship with the Lord), abhidheya (the process of devotional life) and prayojana (the ultimate goal of one's devotion) are very nicely included in Sri Siksastaka. Although instructions regarding abhidheya are inherent within all eight verses, Verses One through Five deal with devotion in the stage of practice (sadhana-bhakti), Verses Six and Seven deal with devotion on the level of ecstatic emotion (bhava- bhakti), and Verses Seven and Eight describe devotion performed on the platform of divine love (prema-bhakti).

In Verses Seven and Eight, in particular, is found a preeminent example of Srimati Radhika's deep emotional anguish due to love in separation (vipralambha-prema-vaicittya), instigated by Her own adhirudha-mahabhava. Prema-vaicittya refers to a state in which even in the beloved's presence, the lover, out of intense love, fails to perceive the presence of the beloved and is thus aggrieved with feelings of separation.

Jagad-guru nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, in the year 1929, edited and published Sri Siksastaka in the Bengali language within a book entitled Sadhana-patha. It included the Sanmodana-bhasya and songs composed by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and a short commentary of his own known simply as Vivrti (commentary). However, its non-availability in Hindi was acutely felt by me. It was the desire of my most revered spiritual master that these Bengali devotional literatures of unparalleled benefit be published in Hindi. He kindly inspired me to fulfil this purpose.

Lastly, I am especially obliged to the present day head and acarya of the Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, parivrajakacarya Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Maharaja. He is a very influential acarya, deeply immersed in spiritual knowledge. Moreover, he is an object of great affection of our spiritual master. At this time, he himself is engaged in preparing and editing Gaudiya devotional literature in the Bengali language. This edition is being published by his special enthusiasm and inspiration. May he kindly deliver this precious Siksastaka into the lotus hands of our revered sri gurudeva and thus fulfil his innermost desire. This is our fervent prayer at his respected feet.

I have complete faith that this book will be respectfully received by faithful sadhakas possessed of yearning for bhakti and by learned circles as well. By studying this book, such persons may enter into the spotless religion of divine love (prema-dharma) propagated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. This is our desire.

Being aggrieved at the distress of others, may Sri Sacinandana Gaurahari and our most revered spiritual master, who is the direct embodiment of the Lord's mercy, be pleased and bestow upon us eligibility to serve their inner heart's desire - this is our sale heartfelt prayer at their lotus feet.

 

Introduction

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, adorned with the inner sentiment and bodily splendour of Srimati Radhika, appeared in this world in order to taste the ecstatic moods of Her love for Sri Krsna. Simultaneously, He distributed the holy name of Krsna profusely for the deliverance of the fallen conditioned souls of the age of Kali. But which holy name did He distribute?

The chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra already existed prior to the appearance of Mahaprabhu. The principles of Vaisnavism were established and spread all over India by renowned preceptors such as Sri Ramanujacarya, Sri Madhvacarya, Sri Nimbaditya, Sri Visnu Svami and others. But prior to the advent of Sri Gauranga, the practices of bhakti and even the chanting of the maha-mantra were directed towards the attainment of Vaikuntha.

The holy name can deliver to the performer whatever he may desire. But unless one is infused with the highest aspiration, its full potential will not be realised. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's unique contribution was that He revealed the confidential loving moods of Srimati Radhika and thus inspired the living entities to aspire for the highest attainment - the spontaneous loving service of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna in Goloka Vrndavana. This is indicated in the following verses from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi-lila 4.15-16):

 

prema-rasa-niryasa karite asvadana

 

raga-marga-bhakti loke karite pracarana

 

rasika-sekhara krsna parama-karuna

 

ei dui hetu haite icchara udgama

Sri Krsna's desire to appear was born from two principal causes: He wanted to taste the sweet essence of the liquid mellows of divine love (prema-rasa), and He wanted to propagate bhakti in the world on the platform of spontaneous attraction (raga-marga). Thus He is known as rasika-sekhara, the topmost relisher of transcendental mellows, and as parama-karuna, the most merciful of all.

The chanting of the holy name must be accompanied by sambandha-jnana, knowledge relevant to the development of one's relationship with the Lord. In the eight verses known as Sri Siksastaka, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has expressed the essence of His teachings. If we chant according to the method outlined in these verses, we are assured of attaining that most precious and confidential gift which Sri Gauranga came to distribute.

The teachings of Sri Gaurasundara, which appear in condensed form in the Siksastaka, have been expanded upon elaborately in the writings of His followers like Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanataria Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Sri Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Sri Narottama Thakura, SrI Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and others.

It was the intention of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His confidential associates that His present-day followers should have access to all these literatures in order to firmly implant in their hearts the desire to follow in the footsteps of Sri Krsna's eternal associates in Vraja. These books enunciate the exact method by which this goal may be attained.

With this in mind, our exalted Srila Gurudeva, om visnupada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, has inspired the presentation of this edition of Sri Siksastaka in the English language. By studying its contents carefully, one can easily gain access to the wealth of literature left by the Gosvamis. The deep and confidential mysteries of Sri Siksastaka have been revealed in this volume through the commentaries of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada. Without their insights, we would have no access to the truths that are contained in these verses. Yet even in revealing these secrets, they have inserted in select places still other secrets to be discovered by those who have acquired the eyes to see. The insights of Srila Narayana Maharaja have been invaluable in bringing out all the subtleties of meaning in these commentaries. The result is an astonishingly clear presentation of very deep and esoteric truths. Srila Gurudeva has illuminated selected points of this book with his own comments. These give us a perception of topics that would otherwise have to remain beyond our vision. They have been identified in the book simply as "Comment". The end of such comments are indicated by a lotus flower symbol, at which point the text returns to the translation of the commentaries.

In his commentary, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura often quotes Hari-bhakti-vilasa and Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. In some places we have added the comments of Srila Sanatana Gosvami and Srila Jiva Gosvami on those verses to clarify certain philosophical points. The commentary on Verse Seven has been greatly enlarged from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's original edition by adding verses and commentary from Ujjvala-nilamani and Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. The Thakura's commentary on Verse Seven is drawn from Srila Jiva Gosvami's Priti-sandarbha (Anuccheda 84), which describes the development of priti from rati to mahabhava. The verses and commentary that have been added significantly help the reader to understand each of the stages in this development.

In his ongoing presentation of Vaisnava literature in the English language, Srila Gurudeva is quick to mention that he is merely following in the footsteps of his dear friend and instructing spiritual master, nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. By publishing Teachings of Lord Caitanya and the entire Sri Caitanya-caritamrta in English, Srila Prabhupada served as the great pioneer who broadcast the glories of Sriman Mahaprabhu around the entire world. For this immense act of munificence the living entities of this world will remain forever in his debt.

This is the third English edition of Sri Siksastaka, translated directly from Srila Gurudeva's Hindi edition. Although the basic translation is the same as the first two editions, the language has been improved in some places to make the subject matter easier to understand. We have also endeavoured to minimise the use of Sanskrit terminology, thereby making the book accessible to a broader audience. Additionally, the typography has been brought up to professional standards. Grateful acknowledgment is extended to Lavanga-lata dast for copy-editing this edition, to Santi dasi and Giridhari dasa for proofreading the final manuscript, to Sripada Bhaktivedanta Bhagavata Maharaja, Atula-krsna dasa and Ananta-krsna dasa for checking the Sanskrit, to Krsna-prema dasa for designing the new cover and to Subala-sakha dasa for providing the new photograph of Srila Gurudeva. On behalf of the many devotees serving in Gaudiya Vedanta Publications, we pray that Srila Gurudeva will be pleased with this humble attempt.

 

Contents

 

  Preface i
  Introduction vii
  Prayers to Lord Caitanya xi
 
Verse One
 
 
What is the most excellent form of sadhana?
 
  Translation 2
  Mangalacarana 2
  Sri Sanmodana-bhasya 3
  The absolute truth:  
1 Prominence of the personal feature 6
2 Four features of the absolute truth 6
3 The absolute truth as potency and possessor of all potency 7
  The Lord's potencies:  
1 The internal potency 8
2 The marginal potency 8
3 The external potency 9
4 Acintya-bhedabheda-tattva 9
  The process by which hari-kirtana becomes successful:  
1 The meaning of the living entity as marginal potency 10
2 The process of conquering illusion 10
  Seven excellent results of sri-krsna-sankirtana:  
1 Ceto-darpana-marjanam 11
2 Bhava-mahadevagni-nirvapanam 13
3 Sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam 14
4 Vidya-vadhu-jivanam 15
5 Anandambudhi-vardhanam 17
6 Prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam 17
7 Sarvatma-snapanam 18
  Sri Caitanya-caritamrta verses 19
  Siksastaka Song One 20
  Vivrti 22
1 Ceto-darpana-marjanam 24
2 Bhava-mahadevagni-nirvapanam 25
3 Sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam 25
4 Vidya-vadhu-jivanam 26
5 Anandambudhi-vardhanam 26
6 Prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam 26
7 Sarvatma-snapanam 27
  Sri Bhajana-rahasya verses 28
 
Verse Two
 
 
Why is the holy name so accessible?
 
  Translation 38
  Sri Sanmodana-bhasya 38
  Offences are of ten kinds 46
  Sri Caitanya-caritamrta verses 49
  Siksastaka Song Two 50
  Vivrti 51
  Primary and secondary names 51
  The meaning of durdaiva 51
  The name chanted with offences, the semblance of the holy name and the pure name 52
  The process to attain freedom from nama-aparadha 53
  Niyamitah smarane na kalah 54
  Sri Bhajana-rahasya verses 55
 
Verse Three
 
 
What is the process of chanting the holy name?
 
  Translation 57
  Sri Sanmodana-bhasya 57
1 Trnad api sunicena 58
2 Taror api sahinuna 59
3 Amani 60
4 Manada 61
  Sri Caitanya-caritamrta verses 61
  Siksastaka Song Three 62
  Vivrti 63
  Sri Bhajana-rahasya verses 66
 
Verse Four
 
 
What is the desire of the sadhaka?
 
  Translation 68
  Sri Sanmodana-bhasya 68
  Sri Caitanya-caritamrta verses 71
  Siksastaka Song Four 72
  Vivrti 73
  Sri Bhajana-rahasya verses 74
 
Verse Five
 
 
What is the instrinsic nature of the sadhaka?
 
  Translation 77
  Sri Sanmodana-bhasya 77
  Sri Caitanya-caritamrta verses 78
  Siksastaka Song Five 79
  Vivrti 80
  Sri Bhajana-rahasya verses 82
 
Verse Six
 
 
What are the external symptoms of perfection?
 
  Translation 88
  Sri Sanmodana-bhasya 88
  Nine characteristics of bhava 89
  The constitutional nature of bhava 90
  Anubhavas of bhava-bhakti 91
  Sattvika-bhavas of bhava-bhakti 92
  Sri Caitanya-caritamrta verses 93
  Siksastaka Song Six 93
  Vivrti 94
  Sri Bhajana-rahasya verses 97
 
Verse Seven
 
 
What are the internal symptoms of perfection?
 
  Translation 100
  Sri Sanmodana-bhasya 100
  Development of priti from rati to mahabhava  
  Rati 103
  Prema 103
  Pranaya 104
  Mana 105
  Sneha 106
  Raga 107
  Anuraga 108
  Bhava or mahabhava 114
  Sri Caitanya-caritamrta verses 125
  Siksastaka Song Seven 125
  Vivrti 128
  Sri Bhajana-rahasya verses 130
 
Verse Eight
 
 
Steadiness in perfection
 
  Translation 133
  Sri Sanmodana-bhasya 134
  Significance of Sri Siksastaka 136
  Benediction for the readers of Sri Siksastaka 139
  Srila Narayana Maharaja's concluding words 140
  Sri Caitanya-caritamrta verses 140
  Siksastaka Song Eight 141
  Vivrti 144
  Summary of Sri Siksastaka 145
  Sri Bhajana-rahasya verses 146
  Concluding words by Srila Narayana Maharaja 151
  Glossary 153
  Verse Index 169
Sample Pages








Sri Siksastaka

Item Code:
NAL082
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2006
ISBN:
9781935428473
Language:
Sanskrit Text with Transliteration Word to Word Meaning and English Translation
Size:
8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Pages:
200
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 310 gms
Price:
$22.00   Shipping Free
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Preface

Not only in Sri Gaudiya Vaisnava literature, but in the Sruti, Smrti, Puranas and the entirety of Indian literature, Sri Siksastaka, issued from the divine mouth of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, shines as a supremely radiant, transcendental jewel. It is a source of boundless happiness to me that today, by the inspiration and causeless mercy of my most revered spiritual master, nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, this Sri Siksastaka is presented to the reading audience in the Hindi language.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the incarnation who delivers the fallen conditioned souls in the age of Kali, is directly the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna Himself. Vrajendra-nandana Sri Krsna, overwhelmed with an intense desire to relish a particular sentiment, assumed the heartfelt ecstatic mood and bodily complexion of Srimati Radhika, the embodiment of His own pleasure potency (hladini-sakti), and bestowed upon the entire world the gifts of His holy name and divine love for Him. By His deep scholarship, matchless renunciation, humility, supremely radiant spotless character and pre-eminent transcendental devotional sentiment, He not only astounded renowned scholars, but also very easily attracted ordinary religionists and elevated devotees to the religion of unalloyed spiritual love.

Due to the distinctive and magnanimous characteristics, not only of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but of His followers as well, from Sri Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda and the Six Gosvamis up to present day acaryas and devotees, the waves of devotion unto the Supreme Lord (bhagavad-bhakti) have spread to every town and village of the world. Every-where, the sound of the congregational chanting of Krsna's holy names (harinama-sankirtana) is resounding, accompanied by mrdanga and karatalas.

It is truly a source of great honour and happiness for us that today the extensive Gaudiya Vaisnava literatures are appearing in many other major languages and Gaudiya Vaisnavism is being propagated around the world. Nevertheless, it is a matter of great astonishment that, in spite of being unlimitedly qualified, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not personally write any books like spiritual teachers who propounded other opinions. Instead, He inspired His followers to write books. Only eight verses are famous as His own composition. Some other verses have been attributed to Him, but up till now this has not been substantiated.

This Sikastaka is the very essence of all the Vedas. Although its Sanskrit language is quite simple, its import is so profound that even if one studies it throughout his life, his study will not come to an end. Each time one reads and deliberates on this subject, newer and newer meanings come to light. Therefore it remains eternally fresh. This Sri Siksastaka is a veritable necklace for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas.

Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the eternal associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the modern age and author of many sacred texts expounding the glories of bhakti, has again initiated the flow of the mighty Ganges-like river of bhakti, inundating the entire world in the flood of love of God (krsna-prema). He has written a soul-stirring commentary to these eight verses, filled with many important philosophical conclusions. This commentary is famous by the name of Sri Sanmodana-bhasya, the commentary that brings delight to the devotees. To understand the hidden truths of the original verses without careful study of this commentary is not only difficult, but impossible. Concealed in these verses is the paramount ecstatic sentiment (bhava) of the full-blown, spiritually radiant mellow of amorous love (ujjvala-prema-rasa, or srngararasa) situated within the heart of the incarnation of divine love, Sri Sacinandana Gaurahari. Beholding this incomparable bhava with the help of this captivating commentary, one is sure to be astonished at every step. Furthermore, one's heart becomes deeply overwhelmed with transcendental pleasure, and unprecedented faith and devotional sentiment develop towards Sri Krsna's holy name.

This subject is most important and its greatness is unlimited. Moreover, the commentator has illuminated this subject in summary yet in a very significant manner. Therefore to write more is like holding a lamp to illuminate the sun. The truths of sambandha (knowledge relevant to the development of one's relationship with the Lord), abhidheya (the process of devotional life) and prayojana (the ultimate goal of one's devotion) are very nicely included in Sri Siksastaka. Although instructions regarding abhidheya are inherent within all eight verses, Verses One through Five deal with devotion in the stage of practice (sadhana-bhakti), Verses Six and Seven deal with devotion on the level of ecstatic emotion (bhava- bhakti), and Verses Seven and Eight describe devotion performed on the platform of divine love (prema-bhakti).

In Verses Seven and Eight, in particular, is found a preeminent example of Srimati Radhika's deep emotional anguish due to love in separation (vipralambha-prema-vaicittya), instigated by Her own adhirudha-mahabhava. Prema-vaicittya refers to a state in which even in the beloved's presence, the lover, out of intense love, fails to perceive the presence of the beloved and is thus aggrieved with feelings of separation.

Jagad-guru nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, in the year 1929, edited and published Sri Siksastaka in the Bengali language within a book entitled Sadhana-patha. It included the Sanmodana-bhasya and songs composed by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and a short commentary of his own known simply as Vivrti (commentary). However, its non-availability in Hindi was acutely felt by me. It was the desire of my most revered spiritual master that these Bengali devotional literatures of unparalleled benefit be published in Hindi. He kindly inspired me to fulfil this purpose.

Lastly, I am especially obliged to the present day head and acarya of the Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, parivrajakacarya Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Maharaja. He is a very influential acarya, deeply immersed in spiritual knowledge. Moreover, he is an object of great affection of our spiritual master. At this time, he himself is engaged in preparing and editing Gaudiya devotional literature in the Bengali language. This edition is being published by his special enthusiasm and inspiration. May he kindly deliver this precious Siksastaka into the lotus hands of our revered sri gurudeva and thus fulfil his innermost desire. This is our fervent prayer at his respected feet.

I have complete faith that this book will be respectfully received by faithful sadhakas possessed of yearning for bhakti and by learned circles as well. By studying this book, such persons may enter into the spotless religion of divine love (prema-dharma) propagated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. This is our desire.

Being aggrieved at the distress of others, may Sri Sacinandana Gaurahari and our most revered spiritual master, who is the direct embodiment of the Lord's mercy, be pleased and bestow upon us eligibility to serve their inner heart's desire - this is our sale heartfelt prayer at their lotus feet.

 

Introduction

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, adorned with the inner sentiment and bodily splendour of Srimati Radhika, appeared in this world in order to taste the ecstatic moods of Her love for Sri Krsna. Simultaneously, He distributed the holy name of Krsna profusely for the deliverance of the fallen conditioned souls of the age of Kali. But which holy name did He distribute?

The chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra already existed prior to the appearance of Mahaprabhu. The principles of Vaisnavism were established and spread all over India by renowned preceptors such as Sri Ramanujacarya, Sri Madhvacarya, Sri Nimbaditya, Sri Visnu Svami and others. But prior to the advent of Sri Gauranga, the practices of bhakti and even the chanting of the maha-mantra were directed towards the attainment of Vaikuntha.

The holy name can deliver to the performer whatever he may desire. But unless one is infused with the highest aspiration, its full potential will not be realised. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's unique contribution was that He revealed the confidential loving moods of Srimati Radhika and thus inspired the living entities to aspire for the highest attainment - the spontaneous loving service of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna in Goloka Vrndavana. This is indicated in the following verses from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi-lila 4.15-16):

 

prema-rasa-niryasa karite asvadana

 

raga-marga-bhakti loke karite pracarana

 

rasika-sekhara krsna parama-karuna

 

ei dui hetu haite icchara udgama

Sri Krsna's desire to appear was born from two principal causes: He wanted to taste the sweet essence of the liquid mellows of divine love (prema-rasa), and He wanted to propagate bhakti in the world on the platform of spontaneous attraction (raga-marga). Thus He is known as rasika-sekhara, the topmost relisher of transcendental mellows, and as parama-karuna, the most merciful of all.

The chanting of the holy name must be accompanied by sambandha-jnana, knowledge relevant to the development of one's relationship with the Lord. In the eight verses known as Sri Siksastaka, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has expressed the essence of His teachings. If we chant according to the method outlined in these verses, we are assured of attaining that most precious and confidential gift which Sri Gauranga came to distribute.

The teachings of Sri Gaurasundara, which appear in condensed form in the Siksastaka, have been expanded upon elaborately in the writings of His followers like Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanataria Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Sri Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Sri Narottama Thakura, SrI Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and others.

It was the intention of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His confidential associates that His present-day followers should have access to all these literatures in order to firmly implant in their hearts the desire to follow in the footsteps of Sri Krsna's eternal associates in Vraja. These books enunciate the exact method by which this goal may be attained.

With this in mind, our exalted Srila Gurudeva, om visnupada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, has inspired the presentation of this edition of Sri Siksastaka in the English language. By studying its contents carefully, one can easily gain access to the wealth of literature left by the Gosvamis. The deep and confidential mysteries of Sri Siksastaka have been revealed in this volume through the commentaries of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada. Without their insights, we would have no access to the truths that are contained in these verses. Yet even in revealing these secrets, they have inserted in select places still other secrets to be discovered by those who have acquired the eyes to see. The insights of Srila Narayana Maharaja have been invaluable in bringing out all the subtleties of meaning in these commentaries. The result is an astonishingly clear presentation of very deep and esoteric truths. Srila Gurudeva has illuminated selected points of this book with his own comments. These give us a perception of topics that would otherwise have to remain beyond our vision. They have been identified in the book simply as "Comment". The end of such comments are indicated by a lotus flower symbol, at which point the text returns to the translation of the commentaries.

In his commentary, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura often quotes Hari-bhakti-vilasa and Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. In some places we have added the comments of Srila Sanatana Gosvami and Srila Jiva Gosvami on those verses to clarify certain philosophical points. The commentary on Verse Seven has been greatly enlarged from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's original edition by adding verses and commentary from Ujjvala-nilamani and Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. The Thakura's commentary on Verse Seven is drawn from Srila Jiva Gosvami's Priti-sandarbha (Anuccheda 84), which describes the development of priti from rati to mahabhava. The verses and commentary that have been added significantly help the reader to understand each of the stages in this development.

In his ongoing presentation of Vaisnava literature in the English language, Srila Gurudeva is quick to mention that he is merely following in the footsteps of his dear friend and instructing spiritual master, nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. By publishing Teachings of Lord Caitanya and the entire Sri Caitanya-caritamrta in English, Srila Prabhupada served as the great pioneer who broadcast the glories of Sriman Mahaprabhu around the entire world. For this immense act of munificence the living entities of this world will remain forever in his debt.

This is the third English edition of Sri Siksastaka, translated directly from Srila Gurudeva's Hindi edition. Although the basic translation is the same as the first two editions, the language has been improved in some places to make the subject matter easier to understand. We have also endeavoured to minimise the use of Sanskrit terminology, thereby making the book accessible to a broader audience. Additionally, the typography has been brought up to professional standards. Grateful acknowledgment is extended to Lavanga-lata dast for copy-editing this edition, to Santi dasi and Giridhari dasa for proofreading the final manuscript, to Sripada Bhaktivedanta Bhagavata Maharaja, Atula-krsna dasa and Ananta-krsna dasa for checking the Sanskrit, to Krsna-prema dasa for designing the new cover and to Subala-sakha dasa for providing the new photograph of Srila Gurudeva. On behalf of the many devotees serving in Gaudiya Vedanta Publications, we pray that Srila Gurudeva will be pleased with this humble attempt.

 

Contents

 

  Preface i
  Introduction vii
  Prayers to Lord Caitanya xi
 
Verse One
 
 
What is the most excellent form of sadhana?
 
  Translation 2
  Mangalacarana 2
  Sri Sanmodana-bhasya 3
  The absolute truth:  
1 Prominence of the personal feature 6
2 Four features of the absolute truth 6
3 The absolute truth as potency and possessor of all potency 7
  The Lord's potencies:  
1 The internal potency 8
2 The marginal potency 8
3 The external potency 9
4 Acintya-bhedabheda-tattva 9
  The process by which hari-kirtana becomes successful:  
1 The meaning of the living entity as marginal potency 10
2 The process of conquering illusion 10
  Seven excellent results of sri-krsna-sankirtana:  
1 Ceto-darpana-marjanam 11
2 Bhava-mahadevagni-nirvapanam 13
3 Sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam 14
4 Vidya-vadhu-jivanam 15
5 Anandambudhi-vardhanam 17
6 Prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam 17
7 Sarvatma-snapanam 18
  Sri Caitanya-caritamrta verses 19
  Siksastaka Song One 20
  Vivrti 22
1 Ceto-darpana-marjanam 24
2 Bhava-mahadevagni-nirvapanam 25
3 Sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam 25
4 Vidya-vadhu-jivanam 26
5 Anandambudhi-vardhanam 26
6 Prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam 26
7 Sarvatma-snapanam 27
  Sri Bhajana-rahasya verses 28
 
Verse Two
 
 
Why is the holy name so accessible?
 
  Translation 38
  Sri Sanmodana-bhasya 38
  Offences are of ten kinds 46
  Sri Caitanya-caritamrta verses 49
  Siksastaka Song Two 50
  Vivrti 51
  Primary and secondary names 51
  The meaning of durdaiva 51
  The name chanted with offences, the semblance of the holy name and the pure name 52
  The process to attain freedom from nama-aparadha 53
  Niyamitah smarane na kalah 54
  Sri Bhajana-rahasya verses 55
 
Verse Three
 
 
What is the process of chanting the holy name?
 
  Translation 57
  Sri Sanmodana-bhasya 57
1 Trnad api sunicena 58
2 Taror api sahinuna 59
3 Amani 60
4 Manada 61
  Sri Caitanya-caritamrta verses 61
  Siksastaka Song Three 62
  Vivrti 63
  Sri Bhajana-rahasya verses 66
 
Verse Four
 
 
What is the desire of the sadhaka?
 
  Translation 68
  Sri Sanmodana-bhasya 68
  Sri Caitanya-caritamrta verses 71
  Siksastaka Song Four 72
  Vivrti 73
  Sri Bhajana-rahasya verses 74
 
Verse Five
 
 
What is the instrinsic nature of the sadhaka?
 
  Translation 77
  Sri Sanmodana-bhasya 77
  Sri Caitanya-caritamrta verses 78
  Siksastaka Song Five 79
  Vivrti 80
  Sri Bhajana-rahasya verses 82
 
Verse Six
 
 
What are the external symptoms of perfection?
 
  Translation 88
  Sri Sanmodana-bhasya 88
  Nine characteristics of bhava 89
  The constitutional nature of bhava 90
  Anubhavas of bhava-bhakti 91
  Sattvika-bhavas of bhava-bhakti 92
  Sri Caitanya-caritamrta verses 93
  Siksastaka Song Six 93
  Vivrti 94
  Sri Bhajana-rahasya verses 97
 
Verse Seven
 
 
What are the internal symptoms of perfection?
 
  Translation 100
  Sri Sanmodana-bhasya 100
  Development of priti from rati to mahabhava  
  Rati 103
  Prema 103
  Pranaya 104
  Mana 105
  Sneha 106
  Raga 107
  Anuraga 108
  Bhava or mahabhava 114
  Sri Caitanya-caritamrta verses 125
  Siksastaka Song Seven 125
  Vivrti 128
  Sri Bhajana-rahasya verses 130
 
Verse Eight
 
 
Steadiness in perfection
 
  Translation 133
  Sri Sanmodana-bhasya 134
  Significance of Sri Siksastaka 136
  Benediction for the readers of Sri Siksastaka 139
  Srila Narayana Maharaja's concluding words 140
  Sri Caitanya-caritamrta verses 140
  Siksastaka Song Eight 141
  Vivrti 144
  Summary of Sri Siksastaka 145
  Sri Bhajana-rahasya verses 146
  Concluding words by Srila Narayana Maharaja 151
  Glossary 153
  Verse Index 169
Sample Pages








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