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Sri Chaitanya
Sri Chaitanya’s Prayer (Sikshashtakam)
translation by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood

Chant the name of the Lord and his glory unceasingly
That the mirror of the heart may be wiped clean,
And quenched that mighty forest fire, worldly lust,
Raging furiously within.

O name, stream down in moonlight on the lotus heart,
Opening its cup to knowledge of thyself.
O self, drown deep in the waves of his bliss,
Chanting his name continually,
Tasting his nectar at every step, bathing in his name,
That bath for weary souls.

Various are thy names, O Lord,
In each and every name thy power resides.
No times are set, no rites are needful,
For chanting of thy name, so vast is thy mercy.
How huge then is my wretchedness
Who find in this empty life and heart,
No devotion to thy name.

O my mind, be humbler than a blade of grass;
Be patient and forbearing like the tree;
Take no honor to thyself, give honor to all;
Chant unceasingly the name of the Lord.

O Lord and Soul of the universe,
Mine is no prayer for wealth or retinue,
The playthings of lust or the toys of fame.
As many times as I may be reborn,
Grant me, O Lord, a steadfast love for thee.

A drowning man in this world’s fearful ocean
Is thy servant, O Sweet One.
In thy mercy, consider him as dust beneath thy feet.

Ah, how I long for the day
When, in chanting Thy Name, the tears will spill down
From my eyes, and my throat will refuse to utter
Its prayers, choking and stammering with ecstasy,
When all the hairs of my body will stand on end with joy!

Ah, how I long for the day
When an instant’s separation from thee, O Govinda,
Will be as a thousand years;
When my heart burns away with its desire,
And the world without thee is a heartless void.

Prostrate at thy feet let me be, in unwavering devotion,
Neither imploring the embrace of thine arms
Nor bewailing the withdrawal of thy presence
Though it tears my soul asunder.
O Thou, who stealest the hearts of thy devotees,
Do with me what thou wilt—
For thou art my heart’s beloved, thou—and thou alone.
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