KĪRTAN ILLUMINATIONS

ŚRĪ ŚRĪ NITYĀNANDĀṢṬAKAM

Eight verses in obeisance to Śrīman Nityānanada Prabhu

By Śrīla Vṛndāvan Dās Ṭhākur

 

The following is a translation and partial commentary on Śrīla Vṛndāvan Dās Ṭhākur’s Śrī Śrī Nityānandāṣṭakam. The commentary following the verse translation is formatted in a series of entires in the following format: (1) a transliterated word or phrase from the original text, (2) the gloss thereof from the prose translation, and (3) commentary thereupon supported by references to and citations from śāstra (scripture) and the teachings of the Āchāryas of the Śrī Rūpānuga sampradāya.

Śrīla Vṛndāvan Dās Ṭhākur’s Śrī Śrī Nityānandāṣṭakam was published in Śrī Gauḍīya Darśan in Volume 4, Issue 10, on Friday 11 May 1959. The poem is composed in the seventeen syllable meter known as Śikhariṇī.

Śrī Śrī Nityānandāṣṭakam

সরচ্চন্দ্র-ভ্রান্তিং স্ফুরদমল-কান্তিং গজগতিং
হরি-প্রেমোন্মত্তং ধৃত-পরমসত্ত্বং স্মিতমুখম্ ।
সদা ঘূর্ণন্নেত্রং কর-কলিত-বেত্রং কলিভিদং
ভজে নিত্যানন্দং ভজন-তরু-কন্দং নিরবধি ॥১॥

sarach-chandra-bhrāntiṁ sphurad-amala-kāntiṁ gaja-gatiṁ
hari-premonmattaṁ dhṛta-parama-sattvaṁ smita-mukham
sadā ghūrṇan-netraṁ kara-kalita-vetraṁ kali-bhidaṁ
bhaje nityānandaṁ bhajana-taru-kandaṁ niravadhi [1]

[He] bhrāntim–rambles [like the] sarat–autumn chandra–moon, [His] amala–spotless kāntim–lustre [is] sphurat–radiant, [and His] gatim–gait [resembles] gaja–an elephant. [He is] unmattam–intoxicated prema–with divine love hari–for the Lord. dhṛta–Bearing [a form of] parama–the highest sattvam–nature, [He has a] smita–smiling mukham–face, [and His] netram–eyes [are] sadā–continuously ghūrṇat–rolling. kalita–Holding vetram–a staff kara–in hand, [He is] bhidam–the dispeller kali–of Kali. bhaje–I serve niravadhi–eternally nityānandam–Nityānanda, kandam–the root taru–of the tree bhajana–of devotion.[1]

He rambles like the autumn moon, His spotless lustre is radiant, and His gait resembles an elephant. He is intoxicated with prema for Hari. Bearing a form of the highest nature, His face smiles, and His eyes continuously roll. Holding a staff in hand, He is the dispeller of Kali. I eternally serve Nityānanda, the root of the tree of devotion.

sarach-chandra-bhrāntiṁ: “Rambles like the autumn moon.” The full moon in autumn is the largest full moon of the year.

gaja-gatiṁ: “His gait resembles an elephant.” An elephant’s movements are known to convey a sense of majesty and uncontrollable might, and to appear intoxicated yet graceful.

hari-premonmattaṁ: “Intoxicated with prema for Hari.” Hari refers primarily to Gaurahari, Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu. As Lord Balarām is ever-engaged in the service of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, so Nityānanda Prabhu is ever-engaged in the service of Mahāprabhu. This is illustrated in a dream Mother Śachī had in which Nityānanda challenges Lord Balarām’s adherence to Lord Kṛṣṇa:

nityānanda bale, “tora kṛṣṇere ki ḍara
gaurachandra viśvambhara—āmāra īśvara”
(Śrī Chaitanya-bhāgavat: Madhya-khaṇḍa, 8.40)

“Nityānanda said [to Balarām], ‘What fear should I have of Your Kṛṣṇa? Gaurachandra Viśvambhar is My Lord.”

Prema means pure, selfless love:

ātmendriya-prīti-vāñchhā—tāre bali ‘kāma’
kṛṣṇendriya-prīti-ichchhā dhare ‘prema’ nāma
ataeva kāma-preme bahuta antara
kāma—andha-tamaḥ, prema—nirmala bhāskara
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā, 4.165, 171)

“The desire to satisfy one’s own senses—that we call kāma, and the desire to satisfy Kṛṣṇa’s senses bears the name prema. Therefore, there is a vast difference between kāma and prema: kāma is like blinding darkness, and prema is like the spotless sun.”

Unmatta refers to a state of intense madness or intoxication produced by divine love:

evaṁ-vrataḥ sva-priya-nāma-kīrtyā
jātānurāgo druta-chitta uchchaiḥ
hasaty atho roditi rauti gāyaty
unmāda-van nṛtyati loka-bāhyaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.2.40)

“Avowed to practices of bhakti, those who by chanting the Name of their beloved Lord have developed deep loving attachment (prema) and have had their hearts melted loudly laugh, cry, shout, sing, and dance as though mad, oblivious to the public.”

sa-liṅgān āśramāṁs tyaktvā chared avidhi-gocharaḥ
budho bālaka-vat krīḍet kuśalo jaḍa-vach charet
vaded unmatta-vad vidvān go-charyāṁ naigamaś charet
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.18.28–9)

“Detached devotees give up the social orders and their designations, and act outside the range of regulations. Although wise, they play like children, although expert, they act like fools, although intelligent, they speak as though mad, and although learned in scripture, they act in an unregulated manner.”

A brief summary of Nityānanda Prabhu’s divine madness is as follows:

prema-rase mahāmatta nityānanda-rāya
huṅkāra garjana prabhu karaye sadāya
vidhi-niṣedhera pāra vihāra sakala
kṣaṇeke kadamba-vṛkṣe kari’ ārohaṇa
bājāya mohana veṇu tribhaṅga-mohana
kṣaṇeke dekhiyā goṣṭhe gaḍāgaḍi’ yāya
vatsa-prāya haiyā gābhīra dugdha khāya
āpanā-āpani sarva-pathe nṛtya kare
bāhya nāhi jāne ḍubi’ ānanda-sāgare
kakhana vā pathe vasi’ karena rodana
hṛdaya vidare tāhā karite śravaṇa
kakhano hāsena ati mahā aṭṭahāsa
kakhano vā śire vastra bāndhi dig-vāsa
kakhana vā svānubhāve ananta-āveśe
sarpa-prāya haiyā gaṅgāra srote bhāse
achintya agamya nityānandera mahimātri
(Śrī Chaitanya-bhāgavat: Antya-khaṇḍa, 1.134–141, 143)

“Nityānanda Rāy became completely maddened by the taste of prema. The Lord continuously rumbled and roared. His Pastimes are beyond all rules and regulations. Sometimes He would climb a kadamba tree and play His enchanting flute in an enchanting thrice-bending posture. Sometimes He would see a pasture and roll about on the ground, and sometimes He would drink milk from a cow like a calf. He danced on His own down every path. He had no external awareness as He would dive into a ocean of joy. Sometimes He would sit on the path and cry, and upon hearing this, people’s hearts would break. Sometimes He would loudly roar with laughter, and sometimes He would wrap His clothes around His head and go naked. Sometimes feeling the joy of Himself in the ecstasy of Ananta, He would float like a serpent in the current of the Ganges. Nityānanda’s glories are inconceivable and unsurpassable.”

dhṛta-parama-sattvaṁ: “Bearing a form of the highest nature.” Nityānanda Prabhu’s divine form is viśuddha-sattva, composed of pure spiritual energy (chit-śakti) and is thus free from all the imperfections inherent in matter (jaḍa-śakti). Why then is His appearance here compared to material things, such as the moon and the elephant? To provide some points of reference for the intensity of His beauty to souls conditioned within mundane existence and to imply that His beauty resembles and yet far excells the beauty of these material things.

sadā ghūrṇan-netraṁ: “His eyes continuously roll.” This description of one of  Nityānanda Prabhu’s bodily symptoms is meant to convey the intensity of His ecstasy.

kara-kalita-vetraṁ: “Holding a staff in hand.” This refers to a strong, knotted bamboo stick and hints at Nityānanda Prabhu bearing the freewheeling spirit of a cowherd boy of Vraja.

kali-bhidaṁ: “The dispeller of Kali.” Kali is the personification of quarrel (kalaha). The Kali-yuga, the age in which Kali is predominant throughout the world, is said to last 432,000 years and to have begun about 5,000 years ago when Lord Kṛṣṇa withdrew from the earth. The characteristics of the Kali-yuga have been described at length in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (see sections 1.17, 12.2, and 12.3) and are summarised in short as follows:

yadā māyānṛtaṁ tandrā nidrā hiṁsā viṣādanam
śoka-mohau bhayaṁ dainyaṁ sa kalis tāmasaḥ smṛtaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 12.3.30)

“When deceit, dishonesty, laziness, sleepiness, violence, depression, lamentation, delusion, fear, and poverty become predominant (when people are fond only of what is contrary to dharma), know that to be the darkness of the Age of Kali.”

Kali’s presence is found particularly in places where dharma is ignored:

abhyarthitas tadā tasmai sthānāni kalaye dadau
dyūtaṁ pānaṁ striyaḥ sūnā yatrādharmaś chatur-vidhaḥ
punaś cha yāchamānāya jāta-rūpam adāt prabhuḥ
tato ’nṛtaṁ madaṁ kāmaṁ rajo vairañ cha pañchamam
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 1.17.38–9)

“Having been requested, Parīkṣit Mahārāj gave Kali the places of the four forms of adharma (dishonesty, lust, violence, and pride): gambling (gaming), intoxication, inappropriate association with women, and slaughter. When requested again, Parīkṣit Mahārāj gave Kali gold (wealth), where there is dishonesty, pride, lust, violence, and a fifth (form of adharma), enmity.”

Nevertheless, like a thief that steals from those who are asleep but fears approaching those who are awake, Kali cannot disturb those who are discerning and attentive to their spiritual nature and purpose:

kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ
kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 12.3.51)

“O King, there is one great quality within the Kali-yuga’s ocean of faults: one becomes liberated from bondage (absorption in adharma) and attains the highest end simply by kīrtan of Kṛṣṇa.”

kaliṁ sabhājayanty āryā guṇajñā sāra-bhāginaḥ
yatra saṅkīrtanenaiva sarvaḥ svartho ’bhilabhyate
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.5.36)

“The wise who know the qualities of the Age of Kali and appreciate its quality praise this age in which all desired ends are attained simply by saṅkīrtan.”

Vyāsadev thus advised a group of sages who came to him seeking to know which of the four universal ages (Satya, Tretā, Dvāpar, and Kali) was the best as follows:

ity ukto munibhir vyāsaḥ prahasyedam athābravīt
śrūyatāṁ bho muni-śreṣṭhā yad uktaṁ sādhu sādhv iti
dhyāyan kṛte yajan yajñais tretāyāṁ dvāpare ’rchayan
yad āpnoti tad āpnoti kalau saṅkīrtya keśavam
(Viṣṇu-purāṇa: 6.2.14,17)

“Vyāsa smiled at the question of the sages and then spoke as follows, ‘Hear, O exalted sages, why I have said, ‘Sādhu! Sādhu! (Excellent! Excellent in the Kali-yuga!)’ That which a worshipper attains in Kṛta (Satya-yuga) by meditation, in Tretā by sacrifice, and Dvāpar by worship they attain in Kali by saṅkīrtan of Kṛṣṇa.”

Śrīman Nityānanda Prabhu is praised as the dispeller of Kali because He compelled Lord Gaura Kṛṣṇa to establish this most purifying process of saṅkīrtan for the souls suffering in the Age of Kali and because He so compassionately reached out to the fallen souls everywhere He went and inspired them to engage in Śrī Kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtan. Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur has thus sung:

nāche mātoyārā nitāi godrumera māṭhe
jagat mātāya nitāi premera mālasāṭe
palāya durdānta kalī paḍiyā vibhrāṭe
(Gītāvalī: Nagara-kīrtana, 8.5–6)

“Intoxicated, Nitāi dances throughout the fields of Godruma. Slapping His arms (like a wrestler about to charge) out of divine love, Nitāi maddens the world (with joy), and thus falling into danger, fearsome Kali flees.”

bhajana-taru-kandaṁ: “The root of the tree of devotion.” Śrīla Vṛndāvan Dās Ṭhākur has explained the position of Śrīman Nityānanda Prabhu as the giver and controller of all service to the Lord throughout Śrī Chaitanya-bhāgavat:

saṁsārera pāra ha-i’ bhaktira sāgare
ye ḍubibe se bhajuka nitāichā̐dere
(Śrī Chaitanya-bhāgavat: Ādi-khaṇḍa, 17.152)

“Let anyone who wishes to cross over saṁsāra and swim in the ocean of devotion serve Śrī Nitāichā̐d.”

saṅgī, sakhā, bhāi, chhatra, śayana, vāhana
nityānanda vahi anya nahe kona jana
nānā-rūpe seve prabhu āpana-ichchhāya
yāre dena adhikāra, sei jana pāya
(Śrī Chaitanya-bhāgavat: Madhya-khaṇḍa, 6.67)

“Without Nityānanda, no one can become Gaurachandra’s companion, friend, brother, umbrella, bed, or carrier. Nityānanda serves the Lord in various ways by His own will, and only those whom He gives the qualification can serve the Lord.”

tomāra se prema-bhakti, tumi premamaya
vinā tumi dile kāro bhakti nāhi haya
(Śrī Chaitanya-bhāgavat: Madhya-khaṇḍa, 5.100)

[Mahāprabhu has said to Nityānanda Prabhu:] “Prema-bhakti belongs to You. You are the embodiment of prema, and unless You give it, no one can have bhakti.”

Śrīla Kṛṣṇadās Kavirāj Goswāmī has described how he personally attained everything by the mercy of Śrīman Nityānanda Prabhu:

āre āre kṛṣṇadāsa, nā karaha bhaya
vṛndāvane yāha’—tā̐hā sarva labhya haya
eta bali’ prerilā more hātasāni diyā
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā, 5.195–6)

“‘O Kṛṣṇadās! Do not be afraid. Go to Vṛndāvan! There you will attain everything.’ Saying this, Nityānanda sent me, touching me with His hand.

emana nirghṛṇya more kebā kṛpā kare
eka-nityānanda vinu jagat bhitare
preme matta nityānanda kṛpā-avatāra
uttama, adhama, kichhu nā kare vichāra
ye āge paḍaye, tāre karaye nistāra
ataeva nistārilā mo-hena durāchāra
mo-pāpiṣṭhe ānilena śrī-vṛndāvana
mo-hena adhame dilā śrī-rūpa-charaṇa
śrī-madana-gopāla-śrī-govinda-daraśana
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā, 5.207–11)

“Who in this world but the one and only Nityānanda would bestow mercy upon such an abominable person as me? Intoxicated by prema, Nityānanda is the personification of mercy, and He does not judge whether one is high or low whatsoever. He delivers anyone falls before Him, and therefore He delivered a sinner such as myself. He brought such sinner as myself to Śrī Vṛndāvan, and He gave such a fallen soul as myself the feet of Śrī Rūpa and the darśan of Śrī Madan Gopāl and Śrī Govinda.

se saba pāinu āmi vṛndāvane āya
sei saba labhya ei prabhura kṛpāya
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā, 5.232)

“I have attained everything by coming to Vṛndāvan, and all such attainment has been by the mercy of Nityānanda Prabhu.”

রসানামাগারং স্বজনগণসর্ব্বস্বমতুলং
তদীয়ৈক-প্রাণপ্রমিত-বসুধা-জাহ্নবী-পতিম্ ।
সদা প্রেমোন্মাদং পরমবিদিতং মন্দ-মনসাং
ভজে নিত্যানন্দং ভজন-তরু-কন্দং নিরবধি ॥২॥

rasānām āgāraṁ svajana-gaṇa-sarvasvam atulaṁ
tadīyaika-prāṇa-pramita-vasudhā-jāhnavī-patim
sadā premonmādaṁ parama-viditaṁ manda-manasāṁ
bhaje nityānandaṁ bhajana-taru-kandaṁ niravadhi [2]

[He is] āgāram–an abode rasānām–of rasas, sarvasvam–the be-all and end-all svajana-gaṇa–of [His] companions, [and] atulam–incomparable. [He is] patim–the husband vasudhā–of Vasudhā [and] jāhnavī–Jāhnavā, [who to Him are] pramita–held [to be] tadīya–His eka–very prāṇa–life. [He is] sadā–always unmādam–intoxicated prema–with divine love [and the] parama–greatest viditam–liberator [of those of] manda–low manasām–mind. bhaje–I serve niravadhi–eternally nityānandam–Nityānanda, kandam–the root taru–of the tree bhajana–of devotion.[2]

He is an abode of rasas, the be-all and end-all of His devotees, and incomparable. He is the husband of Vasudhā and Jāhnavā, whom He holds to be His very life. He is always intoxicated with prema and is the greatest liberator of the low-minded. I serve eternally Śrī Nityānanda, the root of the tree of devotion.

atulaṁ: “Incomparable.” Nothing throughout the whole of material existence can compare with Him.

parama-viditaṁ: “Greatest liberator.” Here viditaṁ is read as viśiṣṭa-ditaṁ, but the phrase may also be read as param aviditaṁ, in which case the meaning becomes, “He is completely (parama) incomprehensible (aviditaṁ) to the low-minded.”

manda-manasāṁ: “Of the low-minded.” Manda has a broad range of meaning: slow, idle, lazy, apathetic, impaired, weak, dim, dull, poor, inferior, adverse, unruly, wicked, miserable, and so on. Early in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (1.1.10), manda is used in various ways to characterise the people of Kali-yuga:

prāyeṇālpāyuṣaḥ sabhya kalāv asmin yuge janāḥ
mandāḥ sumanda‑matayo manda‑bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ

“O sage, in this Age of Kali, people are generally short-lived, lazy (about spiritual endeavour), unintelligent, unfortunate (devoid of association with sādhus), and troubled (by diseases and other difficulties).”

শচীসূনু-প্রেষ্ঠং নিখিল-জগদিষ্টং সুখময়ং
কলৌ মজ্জজ্জীবোদ্ধরণ-করণোদ্দাম-করুণম্ ।
হরেরাখ্যানাদ্বা ভব-জলধি-গর্ব্বোন্নতি-হরং
ভজে নিত্যানন্দং ভজন-তরু-কন্দং নিরবধি ॥৩॥

śachī-sūnu-preṣṭhaṁ nikhila-jagad-iṣṭaṁ sukhamayaṁ
kalau majjaj-jīvoddharaṇa-karaṇoddāma-karuṇam
harer ākhyānād vā bhava-jaladhi-garvonnati-haraṁ
bhaje nityānandaṁ bhajana-taru-kandaṁ niravadhi [3]

[He is] preṣṭham–most dear sūnu–to the son śachī–of Śachī, iṣṭam–adored nikhila–by the entire jagat–world, [and] sukhamayam–filled with happiness. [He] karaṇa–bestows uddāma–unlimited karuṇam–mercy uddharaṇa–for the deliverance jīva–of the souls majjat–immersed kalau–in Kali –and ākhyānāt–by speaking hareḥ–of Hari [is] haram–the subduer unnati–of the swell garva–of pride jaladhi–in the ocean bhava–of material existence. bhaje–I serve niravadhi–eternally nityānandam–Nityānanda, kandam–the root taru–of the tree bhajana–of devotion.[3]

He is most dear to the son of Śachī, adored by the entire world, and filled with happiness. He bestows unlimited mercy to deliver the souls immersed in Kali, and by glorifying Hari He subdues the swell of pride in the ocean of material existence. I serve eternally Śrī Nityānanda, the root of the tree of devotion.

nikhila-jagad-iṣṭaṁ: “Adored by the entire world.” He is ever-engaged in bringing out the welfare of the world and is thus adored by the entire world.

অয়ে ভ্রাতর্নৃণাং কলিকলুষিণাং কিং নু ভবিতা
তথা প্রায়শ্চিত্তং রয়য যদনায়াসত ইমে ।
ব্রজন্তি ত্বামিত্থং সহ ভগবতা মন্ত্রয়তি যো
ভজে নিত্যানন্দং ভজন-তরু-কন্দং নিরবধি ॥৪॥

aye bhrātar nṛṇāṁ kali-kaluṣiṇāṁ kiṁ nu bhavitā
tathā prāyaśchittaṁ rachaya yad-anāyāsata ime
vrajanti tvām itthaṁ saha bhagavatā mantrayati yo
bhaje nityānandaṁ bhajana-taru-kandaṁ niravadhi [4]

aye–“O bhrātaḥ–Brother! kim nu–What bhavitā–will become nṛṇām–of the people kaluṣiṇām–polluted kali–by Kali? rachaya–Please devise tathā–for them prāyaśchittam–a means of purification yad–by which ime–they [can] anāyāsataḥ–easily vrajanti–reach tvām–You.” bhaje–I serve niravadhi–eternally nityānandam–Nityānanda, kandam–the root taru–of the tree bhajana–of devotion, yo–who mantrayati–consults saha–with bhagavatā–the Lord ittham–in this way.[4]

“O Brother! What will become of the people polluted by Kali? Please devise a means of purification for them to easily reach You.” I serve eternally Śrī Nityānanda, the root of the tree of devotion, who consults with the Lord in this way.

যথেষ্ঠং রে ভ্রাতঃ কুরু হরিহরিধ্বানমনিশং
ততো বঃ সংসারাম্বুধি-তরণ-দায়ো ময়ি লগেত্ ।
ইদং বাহু-স্ফোটৈরটতি রটয়ন্ যঃ প্রতিগৃহং
ভজে নিত্যানন্দং ভজন-তরু-কন্দং নিরবধি ॥৫॥

yatheṣṭhaṁ re bhrātaḥ kuru hari-hari-dhvānam aniśaṁ
tato vaḥ saṁsārāmbudhi-taraṇa-dāyo mayi laget
idaṁ bāhu-sphoṭair aṭati raṭayan yaḥ pratigṛhaṁ
bhaje nityānandaṁ bhajana-taru-kandaṁ niravadhi [5]

yatheṣṭham–“Exuberantly [and] aniśam–continuously, re–O bhrātaḥ–brothers, dhvānam kuru–chant, hari–‘Hari’ hari–‘Hari’ [and let] dāyaḥ–the responsibility [of] vaḥ–your [being] taraṇa–delivered ambudhi–from the ocean saṁsāra–of transmigration tataḥ laget–fall mayi–to Me.” bhaje–I serve niravadhi–eternally nityānandam–Nityānanda, kandam–the root taru–of the tree bhajana–of devotion, yaḥ–who aṭati–walks [to] prati–every gṛham–house raṭayan–proclaiming idam–this [with His] bāhu–arms sphoṭaiḥ–upraised.[5]

“Exuberantly and continuously, O brothers, chant, ’Hari’ ‘Hari’ and let the responsibility for your deliverance from the ocean of saṁsāra fall to Me.” I serve eternally Śrī Nityānanda, the root of the tree of devotion, who walks from house to house loudly proclaiming this appeal with His arms upraised.

বলাত্ সংসারাম্ভোনিধি-হরন-কুম্ভোদ্ভবমহো
সতাং শ্রেয়ঃ-সিন্ধূন্নতি-কুমুদ-বন্ধুং সমুদিতম্ ।
খলশ্রেণী-স্ফূর্জ্জিত্তিমির-হর-সূর্য্য-প্রভমহং
ভজে নিত্যানন্দং ভজন-তরু-কন্দং নিরবধি ॥৬॥

balāt saṁsārāmbhonidhi-harana-kumbhodbhavam aho
satāṁ śreyaḥ-sindhūnnati-kumuda-bandhuṁ samuditam
khala-śreṇī-sphūrjit-timira-hara-sūrya-prabham ahaṁ
bhaje nityānandaṁ bhajana-taru-kandaṁ niravadhi [6]

[He is the] kumbhodbhavam–Agastya Muni [who] balāt–forcibly harana–swallows ambhonidhi–the ocean saṁsāra–of transmigration, samuditam–the risen bandhum–friend kumuda–of the pink water-lily [that] unnati–swells sindhu–the ocean satām–of the sādhus’ śreyaḥ–good fortune, [and] sūrya–the sun prabham–light [that] hara–dispels sphūrjit–the thundering timira–darkness śreṇī–of the hordes khala–of the wicked, aho–oh!  aham–I bhaje–serve niravadhi–eternally nityānandam–Nityānanda, kandam–the root taru–of the tree bhajana–of devotion.[6]

He is the Agastya Muni who forcibly swallows the ocean of saṁsāra, the risen moon that swells the ocean of the sādhus’ good fortune, and the sunlight that dispels thundering darkness of the wicked! I serve eternally Śrī Nityānanda, the root of the tree of devotion.

kumbhodbhavam: “Agastya Muni.” Agastya Muni is known as he who was ‘pitcher-born’ (kumbha-udbhava; Ṛg-veda: 7.33.10; Mahābhārata: 12.329.28) and is known to have drunken the entire ocean with the palm of his hand by virtue of his yogic power to protect the devas and brāhmaṇas (Mahābhārata: 3.103.3). Nityānanda Prabhu is compared to Agastya Muni to indicate that He can easily rescue souls from saṁsāra: as Agastya Muni was unable to give the ocean back to the devas after he drank it because He had already digested it, so Nityānanda Prabhu can make the illusion of material existence disappear from a soul to that the extent that it is as though it never existed.

নটন্তং গায়ন্তং হরিমনুবদন্তং পথি পথি
ব্রজন্তং পশ্যন্তং স্বমপি নদয়ন্তং জনগণম্ ।
প্রকুর্ব্বন্তং সন্তং সকরুণ-দৃগন্তং প্রকলনাদ্
ভজে নিত্যানন্দং ভজন-তরু-কন্দং নিরবধি ॥৭॥

naṭantaṁ gāyantaṁ harim anuvadantaṁ pathi pathi
vrajantaṁ paśyantaṁ svam api nadayantaṁ jana-gaṇam
prakurvantaṁ santaṁ sa-karuṇa-dṛgantaṁ prakalanād
bhaje nityānandaṁ bhajana-taru-kandaṁ niravadhi [7]

naṭantam–Dancing [and] gāyantam–singing, anuvadantam–resounding harim–the Name of ‘Hari’, vrajantam–He roams pathi–from path pathi–to path paśyantam–observing api–indeed [His] svam–own jana-gaṇam–followers nadayantam–chanting [and] prakalanād–intently prakurvantam–casting [His] sa-karuṇa–merciful dṛgantam–glance santam–upon the virtuous. bhaje–I serve niravadhi–eternally nityānandam–Nityānanda, kandam–the root taru–of the tree bhajana–of devotion.[7]

Dancing and singing, resounding ‘Hari’, He roams from path to path observing His devotees chanting and intently casting His merciful glance upon the virtuous. I serve eternally Śrī Nityānanda, the root of the tree of devotion.

nadayantaṁ: “Chanting.” Some versions of the text have madayantaṁ, in which case the meaning becomes, “He roams from path to path delighting His devotees” or “He roams from path to path delighting both Himself and the devotees.”

সুবিভ্রাণং ভ্রাতুঃ কর-সরসিজং কোমলতরং
মিথো বক্ত্রালোকোচ্ছলিত-পরমানন্দ-হৃদয়ম্ ।
ভ্রমন্তং মাধুর্য্যৈরহহ মদয়ন্তং পুরজনান্
ভজে নিত্যানন্দং ভজন-তরু-কন্দং নিরবধি ॥৮॥

subibhrāṇaṁ bhrātuḥ kara-sarasijaṁ komalataraṁ
mitho vaktrālokochchhalita-paramānanda-hṛdayam
bhramantaṁ mādhuryair ahaha madayantaṁ pura-janān
bhaje nityānandaṁ bhajana-taru-kandaṁ niravadhi [8]

subibhrāṇam–Findly holding [His] bhrātuḥ–brother’s komalataram–tender sarasijam–lotus kara–hand, [His] hṛdayam–heart [filled with the] parama–profound ānanda–joy uchchhalita–arosed āloka–by [Their] gazing into mithaḥ–one another’s vaktra–faces, bhramantam–He roams [about] madayantam–maddening pura-janān–the townspeople mādhuryaiḥ–with [His] sweetness, ahaha–aha! bhaje–I serve niravadhi–eternally nityānandam–Nityānanda, kandam–the root taru–of the tree bhajana–of devotion.[8]

Fondly holding His brother’s tender lotus hand, His heart filled with the profound joy arosed by Their gazing into one another’s faces, He roams about maddening the townspeople with His sweetness! I serve eternally Śrī Nityānanda, the root of the tree of devotion.

রসানামাধারং রসিক-বর-সদ্বৈষ্ণব-ধনং
রসাগারং সারং পতিত-ততি-তারং স্মরণতঃ ।
পরং নিত্যানন্দাষ্টকমিদমপূর্ব্বং পথতি য-
স্তদঙ্ঘ্রি-দ্বন্দ্বাব্জং স্ফুরতু নিতরাং তস্য হৃদয়ে ॥৯॥

rasānām ādhāraṁ rasika-vara-sad-vaiṣṇava-dhanaṁ
rasāgāraṁ sāraṁ patita-tati-tāraṁ smaraṇataḥ
paraṁ nityānandāṣṭakam idam apūrvaṁ pathati yas
tad-aṅghri-dvandvābjaṁ sphuratu nitarāṁ tasya hṛdaye [9]

[May] tad–His dvandva–two abjam–lotus aṅghri–feet nitarām–always sphuratu–appear hṛdaye–in the heart tasya–of one yaḥ–who pathati–recites idam–this apūrvam–wonderful, sāram–excellent, [and] param–exalted aṣṭakam–eight verse poem nityānanda–about Nityānanda, [which is] ādhāram–a reservoir rasānām–of rasas, dhanam–a treasure vara–for the best sad–of the pure vaiṣṇava–Vaiṣṇavas [who are] rasika–of the relishers of rasa, [and] āgāram–an abode rasa–of rasa [which] smaraṇataḥ–by being remembered [becomes] tāram–a liberator tati–of the multitude patita–of the fallen.[9]

May His lotus feet always appear in the heart of one who recites this wonderful, excellent, and exalted Nityānandāṣṭakam, which is a reservoir of rasas, a treasure for the best of pure Vaiṣṇavas who relish rasa, and an abode of rasa which upon being remembered becomes a liberator of the fallen.

2018-05-31T11:05:16+00:00Tags: |
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