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Sri Gurvastakam

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(Eight Prayers Glorifying the Spiritual Master)

By Srila VISVANATHA CAKRAVARTI THAKURA

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, who appeared in the latter half of the 17th Century, is a great spiritual master in the Krishna consciousness chain of gurus and disciples. He says that one should loudly chant the following eight prayers, with care and attention, during the brahma-muhurta, the auspicious time an hour and a half before sunrise when devotional practices are espcially potent. Anyone who thus chants these eight beautiful prayers glorifying the spiritual master will certainly get a chance to render direct service to Krishna, the Lord of Vrndavana, after the demise of his body.

1

samsara-davanala-lidha-loka-tranaya karunya-ghanaghanatvam
praptasya kalyana-gunarnavasya vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

samsara—of material existence; dava-anala—by the forest fire; lidha—afflicted; loka—the people; tranaya—to deliver; karunya—of mercy; ghanaghana-tvam—the quality of a cloud; praptasya—who has obtained; kalyana—auspicious; guna—of qualities; arnavasya—who is an ocean; vande—I offer obeisances; guroh—of my spiritual master; sri—auspicious; carana-aravindam—unto the lotus feet.

The spiritual master is receiving benediction from the ocean of mercy. Just as a cloud pours water on a forest fire to extinguish it, so the spiritual master delivers the materially afflicted world by extinguishing the blazing fire of material existence. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master, who is an ocean of auspicious qualities.

2

mahaprabhoh kirtana-nrtya-gita-vaditra-madyan-manaso rasena
romanca-kampasru-taranga-bhajo vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

mahaprabhoh—of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu; kirtana—by chanting; nrtya—dancing; gita—singing; vaditra—playing musical instruments; madyat—gladdened; manasah—whose mind; rasena—due to the mellows of pure devotion; roma-anca—standing of the hair; kampa—quivering of the body, asru-taranga—torrents of tears; bhajah—who feels; vande—I offer obeisances; guroh—of my spiritual master; sri—auspicious; carana-aravindam—unto the lotus feet.

Chanting the holy name, dancing in ecstasy, singing, and playing musical instruments, the spiritual master is always gladdened by the sankirtana movement of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Because he is relishing the mellows of pure devotion within his mind, sometimes his hair stands on end, he feels quivering in his body, and tears flow from his eyes like waves. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.

3

sri-vigraharadhana-nitya-nana-srngara-tan-mandira-marjanadau
yuktasya bhaktams ca niyunjato ‘pi vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

sri-vigraha—of the arca-vigraha (Deities), aradhana—the worship; nitya—always; nana—with various; srngara—clothing and ornaments; tat—of the Lord; mandira—of the temple; marjana-adau—cleaning; yuktasya—who is engaged; bhaktan—his disciples; ca—and; niyunjatah—who engages; api—also; vande—I offer obeisances; guroh—of my spiritual master; sri—auspicious; carana-aravindam—unto the lotus feet.

The spiritual master is always engaged in the temple worship of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. He also engages his disciples in such worship. They dress the Deities in beautiful clothes and ornaments, clean Their temple, and perform other similar worship of the Lord. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.

4

catur-vidha-sri-bhagavat-prasada-svadv-anna-trptan hari-bhakta-sanghan
krtvaiva trptim bhajatah sadaiva vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

catuh—four; vidha—kinds; sri—holy, bhagavat-prasada—which have been offered to Krishna; svadu—palatable; anna—by foods; trptan—spiritually satisfied; hari—of Krishna; bhakta-sanghan—the devotees; krtva—having made; eva—thus; trptim—satisfaction; bhajatah—who feels; sada—always; eva—certainly; vande—I offer obeisances; guroh—of my spiritual master; sri—auspicious; carana-aravindam—unto the lotus feet.

The spiritual master is always offering Krishna four kinds of delicious food [analyzed as that which is licked, chewed, drunk, and sucked]. When the spiritual master sees that the devotees are satisfied by eating bhagavat-prasada, he is satisfied. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.

5

sri-radhika-madhavayor apara-madhurya-lila guna-rupa-namnam
prati-ksanasvadana-lolupasya vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

sri-radhika—of Srimati Radharani; madhavayoh—of Lord Madhava (Krishna); apara—unlimited; madhurya—conjugal; lila—pastimes; guna—qualities; rupa—forms; namnam—of the holy names; prati-ksana—at every moment; asvadana—relishing; lolupasya—who aspires after; vande—I offer obeisances; guroh—of my spiritual master; sri—auspicious; carana-aravindam—unto the lotus feet.

The spiritual master is always eager to hear and chant about the unlimited conjugal pastimes of Radhika and Madhava, and Their qualities, names, and forms. The spiritual master aspires to relish these at every moment. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.

6

nikunja-yuno rati-keli-siddhyai ya yalibhir yuktir apeksaniya
tatrati-daksyad ati-vallabhasya vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

nikunja-yunah—of Radha and Krishna; rati—of conjugal love; keli—of pastimes; siddhyai—for the perfection; ya ya—whatever; alibhih—by the gopis; yuktih—arrangements; apeksaniya—desirable; tatra—in that connection; ati-daksyat—because of being very expert; ati-vallabhasya—who is very dear; vande—I offer obeisances; guroh—of my spiritual master; sri—auspicious; carana-aravindam—unto the lotus feet.

The spiritual master is very dear, because he is expert in assisting the gopis, who at different times make different tasteful arrangements for the perfection of Radha and Krishna’s conjugal loving affairs within the groves of Vrndavana. I offer my most humble obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.

7

saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih
kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

saksat—directly; hari-tvena—with the quality of Hari; samasta—all; sastraih—by scriptures; uktah—acknowledged; tatha—thus; bhavyate—is considered; eva—also; sadbhih—by great saintly persons; kintu—however; prabhoh—to the Lord; yah—who; priyah—dear; eva—certainly; tasya—of him (the guru); vande—I offer obeisances; guroh—of my spiritual master; sri—auspicious; carana-aravindam—unto the lotus feet.

The spiritual master is to be honored as much as the Supreme Lord, because he is the most confidential servitor of the Lord. This is acknowledged in all revealed scriptures and followed by all authorities. Therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master, who is a bona fide representative of Sri Hari [Krishna].

8

yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto ‘pi
dhyayan stuvams tasya yasas tri-sandhyam vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

yasya—of whom (the spiritual master); prasadat—by the grace; bhagavat—of Krishna; prasadah—the mercy; yasya—of whom; aprasadat—without the grace; na—not; gatih—means of advancement; kutah api—from anywhere; dhyayan—meditating upon; stuvan—praising; tasya—of him (the spiritual master); yasah—the glory; tri-sandhyam—three times a day; vande—I offer obeisances; guroh—of my spiritual master; sri—auspicious; carana-aravindam—unto the lotus feet.

By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the benediction of Krishna. Without the grace of the spiritual master, one cannot make any advancement. Therefore, I should always remember and praise the spiritual master. At least three times a day I should offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master.

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