Sri Sri Sikshashtakam Prayers Eight Instructions by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu instructed His disciples to write books on the science of Krishna, a task which His followers have continued to carry out down to the present day. The elaborations and expositions on the philosophy taught by Lord Caitanya are, in fact, the most voluminous, exacting, and consistent, due to the system of disciplic succession. Although Lord Caitanya was widely renowned as a scholar in His youth, He left only eight verses, called Sikshashtaka. These eight verses clearly reveal His mission and precepts. These prayers are translated as follows.
(1) ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamritasvadanam sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krishna-sankirtanam Glory to the sri-krishna-sankirtana, which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. This sankirtana movement is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious.
(2) namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah etadrisi tava kripa bhagavan mamapi durdaivam idrisam ihajani nanuragah O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names, like Krishna and Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them.
(3) trinad api sunicena taror api sahishnuna amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.
(4) na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam va jagad-isa kamaye mama janmani janmanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi O almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor do I desire beautiful women, nor do I want any number of followers. I only want Your causeless devotional service, birth after birth.
(5) ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram patitam mam vishame bhavambudhau kripaya tava pada-pankaja- sthita-dhuli-sadrisam vicintaya O son of Maharaja Nanda [Krishna], I am Your eternal servitor, yet somehow or other I have fallen into the ocean of birth and death. Please pick me up from this ocean of death and place me as one of the atoms at Your lotus feet.
(6) nayanam galad-asru-dharaya vadanam gadgada-ruddhaya gira pulakair nicitam vapuh kada tava-nama-grahane bhavishyati O my Lord, when will my eyes be decorated with tears of love flowing constantly when I chant Your holy name? When will my voice choke up, and when will the hairs of my body stand on end at the recitation of Your name?
(7) yugayitam nimeshena cakshusha pravrishayitam sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda-virahena me O Govinda! Feeling Your separation, I am considering a moment to be like twelve years or more. Tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain, and I am feeling all vacant in the world in Your absence.
(8) aslishya va pada-ratam pinashtu mam adarsanan marma-hatam karotu va yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah I know no one but Krishna as my Lord, and He shall remain so even if He handles me roughly by His embrace or makes me brokenhearted by not being present before me. He is completely free to do anything and everything, for He is always my worshipful Lord, unconditionally.