Viraha Astaka

Viraha Astaka
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Recently translated and published from the Bengali into English by Dasaratha-suta dasa, the following is an offering of eight prayers to Srila Prabhupada’s spiritual master,  His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur, composed sometime in December, 1958.

First Octet: The Flood of Krishna Prema

1) O Srila Prabhupada! You personally suffer
to see the suffering
of the fallen conditioned souls.
On this anniversary of your separation
I am utterly despondent.

2) “The ocean of mercy was previously held back by a dam,
but Lord Nityananda personally cut a channel in it
and thereby released the outpouring flood
of pure ecstatic love of God.”
(from Lochana dasa’s song “Nitai Guna Mani”)

3) Those devotees to whom the responsiblity was given
to continue spreading this flood of love
somehow became overpowered by Maya
and were thus reduced to simply performing
ritualistic Hindu ceremonies
for the benefit of the materialists.

4) Lord Nityananda’s inundation of prema was thus completely stopped
by those known as jati-gosai (caste gosvamis)
But then you personally came, O Master
to open wide the floodgates once again.

5) Again you engulfed everyone
in the deluge of pure divine love-
even such a low, wretched, fallen
and sinful soul as myself.

6) On the strength of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s command
you sent all of your servants
as spiritual masters, going from door to door,
just to deliver the fallen souls.

7) The devotees were enthusiastically preaching everywhere—
from the oceans to the Himalaya mountains,
But now that you have gone from our midst
everything today has become very dark.

8) O Srila Prabhupada! You personally suffer
to see the suffering
of the fallen conditioned souls.
On this day of your separation
I am utterly despondent.

Second Octet: The Merciful Flood Has Been Stopped

1) Just as Advaita Prabhu had prayed fervently
and thus induced Sri Gauranga to descend,
so did your father, Bhaktivinoda Thakura,
pray for you to incarnate.

2) Due to Bhaktivinoda’s eagerness, O Master,
you came and proclaimed to everyone
that India is the most holy land
of the Lord’s divine pastimes.

3) “One who has taken birth in this land
of Bharata-bhumi (India) should first
make his own life successful and then work
for the benefit of all other people” (Chaitanya-charitamrita Adi-lila 9.41)

4) This is the most significant message of Lord Chaitanya
that you boldly preached everywhere.
But now in your absence, O Master,
everything has fallen into darkness.

5) The overflowing ocean of your compassion
has once again been dammed up.
This makes me feel as if a spear of great misery
has indeed pierced my heart.

6) Without Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s message being spread
there is only confusion and upheaval in the movement.
Seeing this situation, all the Vaishnavas are also feeling
overwhelmed with the pangs of your separation.

7) The spirit souls have once again been captured by Maya
and plunged into absolute darkness.
Desperately searching for relief, they are simply perishing
in a fathomless ocean of anxiety.

8) O Srila Prabhupada! You personally suffer
to see the suffering
of the fallen conditioned souls.
On this day of your separation
I am utterly despondent.

Third Octet: Practical Chanting and Preaching

1) You instructed everyone you met
to chant the holy name of Lord Krishna.
You showed the example of continually reciting
the maha-mantra into their ears.

2) You empowered everyone with the qualification
to further distribute that holy name
But now, by the influence of Maya,
there is only darkness on all sides.

3) The souls who are truly attached to worshiping the Lord
always sing and dance in joyful sankirtana.
Following in the footsteps of their spiritual master,
they deliver the whole world.

4) But those who have no such qualification perform nirjana bhajana
or so-called confidential worship in a solitary place.
Thus acting whimsically, all of them actually remain absorbed
in personal sense gratification.

5) [As stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam 10.33.30]:
“An ordinary soul should never imitate the activities
of the Supreme Lord, even in his mind.”
According to these instructions in devotional service,
the unqualified imitators are ruined.

6) You preached “utility is the principle”—
that is, one should act without attachment
and use anything that is deemed appropriate
in the devotional service of the Lord.

7) In such detached devotional service to Lord Krishna
there would be a temple established in every house
But now just the opposite situation
is apparent everywhere.

8) O Srila Prabhupada! You personally suffer
to see the suffering
of the fallen conditioned souls.
On this day of your separation
I am utterly despondent.

Fourth Octet: The Essential Purport Neglected

1) Everything regarding material prosperity as well as mystic perfection
is fully present in your transcendental message:
“Because the residents of Vraja have life,
therefore they engage in preaching work.” (“Dusta Mana” verse)

2) The “resolute intelligence” (“vyavasayatmika buddhi”)
explained by Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti
[in his commentary to Bhagavad Gita 2.41]
is now spoiled since your disciples have become ensnared
in the bewildering noose of Maya.

3) Those disciples who were irresolute in performing
devotional service according to your instructions
have now divided your mission in many factions.
It appears that the tigress of ambition
for material names and fame
has appeared and personally provoked this upheaval.

4) The essential purport of your message
obviously did not enter their ears.
O where will I get the strength
to perform this hari-nama-sankirtana?

5) To chant the holy name of the Lord
is the explicit command
of my worshipful spiritual master.
I could never honestly neglect that order

6) Your greatest acclaim is that you propagated
the topmost religious culture
Anyone who accepts the holy name from you
becomes spiritually qualified.

7) If all those who attained this qualification
were to go out and make disciples
then the miserable conditioned souls would all be delivered
from this world of birth and death.

8) O Srila Prabhupada! You personally suffer
to see the suffering
of the fallen conditioned souls.
On this day of your separation
I am utterly despondent.

Fifth Octet: The Disciple’s Empowerment is Lost

1) The greatest mantra of all, consisting of thirty-two letters, is:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
People who are possessed by gross foolishness refuse to chant it.

2) Your so-called disciple, the jackal named Ananta Vasudeva,
disobeyed your final instructions to keep the mission united,
and thereby created a scandalous fiasco.
The result of this philosophical deviation is evident to this day
as imitative sahajiyas are being worshiped as gurus in your temples.

3) Is there a single temple to be found
where your instructions are still being followed?
As it is said: “punar musiko bhava”—
Everyone has “again become a mouse.”

4) The lion’s food has been stolen away
by the deceptive tricks of the jackal
Now caught in Maya’s mighty clutches
everyone is reduced to wailing and weeping.

5) O Master! If you are merciful to us once again,
then even though we are trapped here
on the shores of the ocean of death,
we will finally behold a change for the better.

6) Then once again we can blissfully remember
the holy name of Krishna,
and once again we will have firm faith
in your “Vaikuntha messages.”

7) Once again you will make us dance
in the pure holy name of Krishna.
thus you will personally dispel
all this confusion caused by Maya.

8) O Srila Prabhupada! You personally suffer
to see the suffering
of the fallen conditioned souls.
On this day of your separation
I am utterly despondent.

Sixth Octet: The Preaching Mission is Scattered

1) “Continue dancing, singing and performing sankirtana in the association of devotees.” ( Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi-lila 7.92)
These words spoken by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
are especially nectarine.

2) If we have complete faith in these
instructions given by you, our spiritual master,
then in the performance of sankirtana
actual love for Krishna will be aroused in us.

3) Without love of God, our tiny intelligence
only becomes entangled in the network of Maya’s delusions
Because no one actually attained prema,
now there has been great upheaval in your mission.

4) The whole world has become filled with impersonalists,
and the Vaishnavas have given up
the work of preaching that was entrusted unto them
and have simply gone off to perform solitary worship.

5) The Vaishnava’s were famous as “patita pavana” (deliverers of the fallen)
but now this title has fallen into disgrace.
Countless numbers of your disciples
have been forced to leave your movement.

6) At such an inauspicious time, O Master,
what can be done to repair the damage that is done?
The beautiful garden that you had so carefully planted
is now parched and withered away.

7) O Master, please awaken some good intelligence
in this insignificant disciple of yours
so that my firm faith in your transcendental message
may increase more and more.

8) O Srila Prabhupada! You personally suffer
to see the suffering
of the fallen conditioned souls.
On this day of your separation
I am utterly despondent.

Seventh Octet: Distributing the Pure Devotional Process

1) The most magnanimous incarnation of the Lord is Sri Krishna Chaitanya.
Distributing the process of attaining love of God
by chanting the holy names of Krsna,
He thus blessed the entire universe.

2) O Master, you are the personification
of the transcendental message of Lord Chaitanya.
You are the distributor of that message
to every town and village.

3) You sent your devotees to preach
in the faraway lands of the Western countries,
and you personally traveled all over India,
even to the South.

4) You preached the pure philosophy of Lord Gauranga
in such a way that intelligent persons could understand.
And you showed such great concern, O Master,
in convincing all you adversaries!

5) Lord Gauranga used many tricks just to engage
the conditioned souls in devotional service,
and you have also understood how to use
all those tricks perfectly well.

6) You understood time, place and circumstance,
and utilized everything as a strategy for preaching.
Although observing your activities with their very eyes.
those who are blind like owls and other creatures of the night
could not see your true purpose.

7) What will the Bauls and the Sahajiyas
and the other nonsense groups ever understand?
And what will the sheep-like common people
or dry logicians ever understand?

8) O Srila Prabhupada! You personally suffer
to see the suffering
of the fallen conditioned souls.
On this day of your separation
I am utterly despondent.

Eighth Octet: If Only You would Come Again

1) Lord Chaitanya’s method of devotional service
is not performed in solitude.
You preached this again and again
to your own devotees.

2) Just as the Lord delivered Jagai and Madhai
out of His own causeless mercy,
you explained to everyone that this same method
of preaching work has to go on.

3) The world has now filled up
with many Jagais and Madhais to deliver.
Everyone is anxiously looking down the road
waiting for Chaitanya-Nitai to come to their rescue.

4) If, at such a time as this,
you were to personally return to this world
and once more preach about all these things
the way you always used to do…

5) … If there were enthusiastic preaching activities
again taking place in every direction,
then all the people as before
would be stirred up in blissful excitement.

6) Your profound shouting would cause
the demons and atheists to flee,
and your narrations of Lord Chaitanya’s message
would fill the hearts of the innocent souls.

7) Again the whole world would be
excitedly bustling with good tidings;
but as it is, in your absence now
there is nothing of value anywhere.

8) O Srila Prabhupada! You personally suffer
to see the suffering
of the fallen conditioned souls.
On this day of your separation
I am utterly despondent.

9) O Master! My heart is broken in your absence.
This disciple named Abhay
has hereby revealed only a small token
of his wretched agony of separation.

Pasted from;

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Nielsen
    Dec 14, 2011 @ 15:52:47

    So powerful and relevant in todays ISKCON


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