Śrī Śrī Śikṣāṣṭakam

The following eight verses were written by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who appeared in India 500 years ago and stressed, on scriptural evidence, that the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa is the most perfect method of God realization for this present age. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is revealed by Vedic scriptures to be Kṛṣṇa Himself in the role of a pure devotee. His verses capture the essence of the saṅkīrtana movement of worshiping God by chanting His holy names, as followed by the disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, who is himself in direct disciplic succession from Lord Caitanya.

Glory to the Śrī Kṛṣṇa Sankīrtana, which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years together. Thus the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death, is extinguished. This saṅkīrtana 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 helps us to have a taste of the full nectar for which we are always anxious.

O my Lord! Your holy name alone can render all benediction upon the living beings, and therefore You have hundreds and millions of names, like Kṛṣṇa, Govinda, etc. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies, and there is no hard and fast rule for chanting these holy names. O my Lord! You have so kindly made approach to You easy by Your holy names, but unfortunate as I am, I have no attraction for them.

One can chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking himself lower than the straw in the street, more tolerant than the tree, devoid all sense of false prestige, and ready to offer all respects to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.

O almighty Lord! I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor have I any desire to enjoy beautiful women, nor do I want any number of followers. What I want only is that I may have Your causeless devotional service in my life—birth after birth.

O son of Mahārāja Nanda, I am Your eternal servitor, and although I am so, somehow or other I have fallen in the ocean of birth and death. Please, therefore, pick me up from this ocean of death and fix me as one of the atoms of Your lotus feet.

O my Lord! When will my eyes be decorated with tears of love, flowing constantly while I chant Your holy name? When will my words be choked up when uttering the holy name? And when will all the holes of hair on my body have eruptions by the recitation of Your name?

O Govinda! Feeling Your separation I am considering a moment twelve years or more, and tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain. I am feeling all vacant in the world in the absence of You.

I do not know anyone except Kṛṣṇa as my Lord, and He will always remain as such, even if He handles me roughly by His embrace or makes me broken-hearted by not being present before me. He is completely free to do anything and everything, but He is always my worshipable Lord, unconditionally.