The Sri Siksastakam

Eight verses, known as the Sri Siksastakam. 

From A lecture by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana maharaja

Srila Narayana Maharaja  “Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has not written very much. He only wrote eight slokas, and they are known as Sri Siksastakam. There are a few other slokas that He wrote, and one example is the following:

naham vipro na ca nara-patir napi vaisyo na sudro
naham varni na ca grha-patir no vana-stho yatir va
kintu prodyan nikhila-paramananda-purnamrtabdher
gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah
(CC Madhya 13.80; Padyavali 63)

“I am not a brahmana, I am not a ksatriya, I am not a vaisya or a sudra.
Nor am I a brahmacari, a householder, a vanaprastha or a sannyasi. I identify
Myself only as the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of
Sri Krsna, the maintainer of the gopis. He is like an ocean of nectar, and He is
the cause of universal transcendental bliss. He is always existing with
brilliance. ”

“Editors note: Similarly we are not teachers or soldiers, administrators,
business people or a king, a monk and so on.”

There are other slokas that are attributed to Mahaprabhu, but they are notauthentic. The Siksastakam slokas are authentic, and they are more important than the Vedas, Upanisads, and other sastras. I think that they are even more important than the Srimad Bhagavatam. We can say that Srimad Bhagavatam is the bhasya,
commentary, of the Siksastakam. This is so because Sri Siksastakam was spoken – by whom? It was not spoken by Vyasa, who is only kala, an incarnation.
It was spoken by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the source of all incarnations. Sri Siksastakam should be considered to be the most important sastra and superior to all others


In Siksastakam, all kinds of sadhya and sadhana – the goal and the process – have been given. But only fortunate persons can realize this. Caitanya
Mahaprabhu, with Raya Ramananda and Svarupa Damodhara, used taste the explanations, the meanings, and the hidden sweet pastimes of Krsna in these slokas – from beginning to end, from ‘ceto darpanam marjanam’ to ‘aslisya va pada ratam.’ If anyone realizes this and is following the prescribed process, then he must have some taste and he will not deviate. Param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam. A sadhaka should know that Krsna’s name, Hare Krsna or Hare Rama, are both Krsna and Radha.

These names are even more than Krsna and Radhika Themselves, because They have invested Their whole power, all of Their mercy and all Their sweetness, in these sixteen names. There are not really sixteen names; they are manifestations. Actually, there are really only two names: Hare Krsna or Hare Rama – Radha and Krsna. If one realizes that Radha and Krsna are these names, that the names are in some cases even more powerful than Radha and Krsna Themselves, will he chant only sixteen rounds daily or he will chant more? A person knows that if he doesn’t eat and drink, he will not survive. That is why, ’round the clock, he is competing and quarreling with others to maintain his life, doing business, and making money in any way he can. Why? To survive.

When you know the fact that only the name is powerful enough to save you, this name becomes your life and soul. You will be always chanting without any break. Your chanting will be flowing like an uninterrupted stream of honey, or like the flow of a river without any stop. We see the Ganges coming from the Himalayas, all the way to the ocean, with no break at all. If anyone is always chanting in this way, with no break, then when his mind tries to wander he will remember: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare. And, while he is sleeping, he will remember: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna. When he is walking: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare. If he chants all the time, he will automatically remember, and this is called harinama. Also, he will be chanting with a very high-class, strong relation with Krsna. He will think, ” Krsna is mine. ” He will take diksa and receive divya-jnana. What is divya-jnana? All the tattvas, like krsna-tattva, maya-tattva, jiva-tattva, bhakti-tattva, radha-tattva, rasa-tattva, and vilasa-tattva, are transmitted through the process called diksa. I think we have not properly taken diksa. There is something lacking. You have not completed the course of diksa.


Certainly there is something missing. Otherwise, if divya-jnana is present, then
all kinds of sins, aparadhas, and anarthas will have gone. Desire for sense
gratification will have gone. There will be no roga, illness, at all, and all
kinds of auspiciousness will be there. At that time, how can we forget
Radha-Krsna, Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu? It will not be possible. If these
symptoms are not there, we can understand that something must be lacking in

We should discuss these eight slokas of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu,
according to the explanations of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Then you can
understand something. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has explained everything about
the name. How should we chant the name? Tan nama rupa caritadi. If you study the
instructions of Rupa Gosvami and Bhaktivinoda Thakura, then you will not think,
” Oh, I have done everything by chanting sixteen rounds. It doesn’t matter
whether my mind was wandering here and there. There is no harm in that. ” This is
not chanting. Chant by mind. How? By remembering the sweet pastimes of that very
name which you are chanting.












Also, chant with the tongue: Hare Krsna. This is very powerful.Always be guidance of any absorbed in that chanting, under the pure rasika, tattva-jna
devotee of Vrndavana. Always be in Vrndavana, by body or by mind, and then you can realize something. If you cannot do this, then you cannot realize anything. If there is no taste for hearing hari-katha or for
chanting harinama, then you will be weak and you may deviate. You should not be like this. We will try to explain the Siksastakam, and you should try to follow it. It can save you. Your food, lodging, and maintaining of life will automatically be taken care of.If you have taken shelter at the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, you will not have to do anything for your maintenance. Haridasa Thakura, Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, and others did not make any endeavor for maintaining their lives; everything came automatically.

We don’t want to become old and we don’t want any suffering, but this is
coming anyway – without invitation. Similarly, your maintenance will come
without invitation, without any effort. If you don’t believe this, then you can
experiment. For seven days, do nothing but chant Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna
Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama. Everything will be taken care of.

ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam
sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam
[Siks. 1; Cc. Antya 20.12]

There are so many glorifications of the name. But in what way has Caitanya
Mahaprabhu glorified the name? From this sloka to the last sloka, aslisya pada
ratam, He has glorified the name. Rupa Gosvami was the only one to realize
everything that Mahaprabhu had invested in these slokas, and then he spoke:

tunde tandavini ratim vitanute tundavali-labdhaye
karna-kroda-kadambini ghatayate karnarbudebhyah sprham
cetah-prangana-sangini vijayate sarvendriyanam krtim
no jane janita kiyadbhir amrtaih krsneti varna-dvayi

“I do not know how much nectar the two syllables `Krs-na’ have produced.
When the holy name of Krsna is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We
then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we
desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of
the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses
become inert. ” (CC Antya-lila 1.99)]

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu And Srila Rupa Gosvami

Only Rupa Gosvami can say this; we cannot. By the mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Rupa Gosvami can glorify nama.What is the meaning of ceto darpanam marjanam? There are two cittas – one
is cit and one is citta. Citta means maha-tattva, the covering of the soul, which is anucit-infinitesimal. But here, citta means heart. Ceto darpanam
marjanam. In a mirror, if the mirror is clear, you can see your face and your whole body. If that mirror is dirty, however, then you cannot see. Similarly, if you want to wash this mirror of the heart, then chant the name. What kind of name? This is the question. The way that we are chanting now will not suffice at any time. You should know this.

A very small child did not want to go to school, but his father and mother
forcibly took him in the car and drove him there. Even though he was weeping,
they put that baby on the teacher’s lap by force, and left him there.
Throughout the day he was weeping, but his teacher was very merciful and very
sweet to him. His teacher gave him a brightly colored book, and on the first
page he saw so many pictures. He said, ” A-apple, B-ball. Oh, see the football!
C-cat, D-dog. ” The boy became very happy. Then the teacher asked him, ” Can you
read? ” ” Yes, A-apple. ” In this way he began, and his teacher praised him, ” Oh,
you are now a good student. You have read everything completely. ” The teacher
also brought him an apple and said, ” You can have this. ” Thus the boy became
very happy, and the next day he was asking his mother, ” When will I go to
school? ” After some days the child had to learn some difficult things, and when
he could not learn, his teacher twisted his ear.

He then became puzzled. The guru also acts like this. Somehow, even though you are
fully unqualified, you should enter the school of diksa. If you do enter, you
will see that our goal is very far away, but by those beginners’ practices we
can never achieve our goal. In the beginning the guru never tells the full
reality. When does he tell him? He does so when the disciple is more advanced
and he can tolerate the chastising of gurudeva and the chastising of the
Vaisnavas. Then the disciple can realize something, and then the guru can tell
him something. What will he tell him? He will reject his disciple’s bad habits,
saying, ” This is not good. You should be like this.”

So, you should chant the name even if you have no taste at all. If you
have no taste in hearing, if you are sleepy, you should still go to class, and
simply by being there a taste will come very soon. Ceto darpanam marjanam. The
citta is washed by chanting of the name, but not by chanting as we are now doing.
That name should be somewhat pure. Bhaktivinoda Thakura has explained all these things. Why? Our tongue is mortal, and the pure name is transcendental. Transcendental name has nothing to do with these material things. It cannot come on the material tongue or in the material mind. Pure name cannot be touched by these material things. It is a
very wonderful thing.

Then how can we touch it? If that high-class, pure name
will come, then your ceto darpanam marjanam is going on. Your mirror will become
clear and then you will see, but you should know something more. In the mirror,
the form does not really come. The reflection that you see is opposite – your
right eye will be seen on the left side, the left will be on the right side, and
this nose will be backwards also. You see your heart here on the left side and
in the mirror it is opposite. Even seeing your form in the mirror, you cannot
have full realization. You will get some idea, but you will still have to
realize more. Tomorrow we will discuss Sambodhana Bhasya, and see how we can
chant this transcendental name with our tongue. If that transcendental name
comes only one time, even it is abhasa, you will be fortunate.Gaura premanande!

Devotee: If one is not chanting the pure name, is there any
benefit at all? Is the heart becoming purified?

Srila Narayana Maharaja: There is benefit even if it is namaparadha. You
can become wealthy, and you can have all kinds of sense gratification very

Devotee: Will the heart be cleaned at all by chanting namaparadha?

Srila Narayana Maharaja: No. You must be under the guidance of
Vaisnavas. First hear hari katha, the glorifications of name, and then, by
hearing, and chanting and chanting, then nama abhasa will sometimes come. It
will always be namaparadha, but sometimes not. By practicing intensely, then
namabhasa will come more and more. Then if you are so fortunate and you are
chanting one lakh daily, then sometimes pure name will come. Then tears may come
and heart melting. If it comes, then you may think that namabhasa is coming
somewhat. If namabhasa will come, then you can realize so many things, and then
suddha name. Suddha name can come only by the causeless mercy of any Vaisnava
who is always chanting pure name or by the causeless mercy of Krsna, otherwise
not. Thank you.”

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