Appearance of Srila Bhaktivionda Thakur

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur

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Today we celebrate the Appearance of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur with a half day fast, and songs written by Thakur Bhaktivinoda. We are posting some of the rather lengthy but beautiful Saranagati. Saranagati is one of Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s popular writings. “Saranagati” means “process of surrender.” Today we are posting the Introduction and the first section of songs; the “Dainya”, or the prayers of humility. The overall mood of the Saranagati is in the mode of humility, primarily in the mode complete surrender.

…Bhaktivinoda places a straw between his teeth, prostrates himself before the two Goswamis,Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana, and clasps their lotus feet with his hands. “I am certainly the lowest of men.” he tells them weeping, “but please make me the best of men by teaching me the ways of saranagati”

by Bhaktivinode Thakur
(written in 1880-1897)

Introductory song

1. sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu jibe doya kori
swa-parsada swiya dhama saha abatori

2.atyanta durlabha prema koribare dana
sikhaya saranagati bhakatera prana

3.dainya, atma-nivedana, goptritwe barana
abasya rokhibe krsna — biswasa, palana

4.bhakti-anukula-matra karjera swikara
bhakti-pratikula-bhava barjanangikara

5.sad-anga saranagati hoibe jahara
tahara prarthana sune sri-nanda-kumara

6.rupa-sanatana-pade dante trina kori
bhakativinoda pore duhun pada dhori

7.kandiya kandiya bale ‘ami-to’ adhama
sikhaye saranagati koro he uttama


Out of compassion for the fallen souls, Sri Krisna Caitanya came to this world with His personal associates and divine abode to teache saranagati, surrender to the almighty Godhead, and to freely distribute ecstatic love of God, which is ordinarily very difficult to obtain. This saranagati is the very life of the true devotee

The ways of saranagati are humility, dedication of the self, acceptance of the Lord as one’s only maintainer, faith that Krishna will surely protect, execution of only those acts favorable to pure devotion, and renunciation of conduct adverse to pure devotion.

The youthful son of Nanda Maharaja, Sri Krishna, hears the prayers of anyone who takes refuge in Him by this six-fold practice.

Bhaktivinoda places a straw between his teeth, prostrates himself before the two Goswamis,Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana, and clasps their lotus feet with his hands. “I am certainly the lowest of men.” he tells them weeping, “but please make me the best of men by teaching me the ways of saranagati”

Dainya, humility, 7 songs


1. bhuliya tomare, somsare asiya
peye nama-bidha byatha
tomara carana asiyachi ami,
bolobo duhkhera katha

2. janani-jathare, chilama jakhona,
bisama bandhana-pase
ek-bara prabhu! dekha diya more,
boncile e dina dase

3. takhona bhavinu, janama paiya,
koribo bhajana taba
janama hoilo, pori maya-jale
na hoilo jnana-laba

4. adarera chele, swajanera kole,
hasiya katanu kala
janaka-janani- snehete bhuliya,
somsara lagilo bhalo

5. krame dina dina, balaka hoiya,
khelinu balaka-saha
ara kichu dine, jnana upajilo,
patha pori ahar-ahah

6. bidyara gaurave, bhromi dese dese,
dhana uparjana kori
swajana palana, kori eka-mane,
bhulinu tomare, hari!

7.bardhakye ekhona, bhakativinoda
kandiya katara ati
na bhojiya tore, dina britha gelo,
ekhona ki habe gati!


I forsook You, O Lord, and came to this world of pain and sorrow. Now I submit my tale of woe at Your lotus feet.

While still in the unbearable fetters of my mother’s womb, I saw You before me You revealed Yourself but briefly and then abandoned this poor servant of Yours.

At that moment I swore to worship You after taking birth; but birth came, and with it the network of wordly illusion which robbed me of all good sense.

As a fonded son in the lap of relatives, I passed my time smiling and laughing. My parents’ affection helped me to forget the pangs of birth, and I thought the world was very nice.

Day by day I grew and soon began playing with other boys. Shortly my powers of understanding emerged. I read and studied my lessons incessantly.

Travelling from place to place, proud of my education, I grew wealthy and maintained my family with undivided attention. O Lord Hari, I forgot You!

Now in old age, Bhaktivinoda is sad. He weeps. I failed to worship You, O Lord, and instead passed my life in vain. What will be my fate now?


1.bidyara bilase katainu kala,
parama sahase ami
tomara carana, na bhojinu kobhu,
ekhona sarana tumi

2. porite porite, bharasa barilo
jnane gati habe mani
se asa bifala, se jnana durbala
se jnana ajnana jani

3. jada-bidya jato, mayara vaibhava,
tomara bhajane badha
moha janamiya, anitya somsare,
jibake karaye gadha

4. sei gadha ho’ye, somsarera ‘bojha,
bhavinu aneka kala
bardhakye ekhona, sakti na abhave,
kichu nahi lage bhalo

5. jibana jatana, hoilo ekhona,
se bidya abidya bhelo
abidyara jwala, ghatilo bisama,
se bidya hoilo selo

6. tomara carana, bina kichu dhana,

somsare na ache ara
bhakativinoda, jada-bidya chari
tuwa pada kare sara


Confidently, I spent my time in the pleasures of mundane learning and never worshiped Your Lotus feet, O Lord. Now You are my only shelter.

Reading on and on, my hopes grew, for I considered material knowledge to be life’s true path. How fruitless was that hope, and how feeble that knowledge proved to be. I know now that all such knowledge is ignorance.

Knowledge of this world is knowledge born of Your illusory energy (maya). It impedes devotional service and makes an ass of the eternal soul by encouraging his infatuation with this temporary world.

Here is one such ass who for so long has carried on his back the burden of material existence. Now in my old age, for want of the power to enjoy, nothing pleases me.

Life has become agony now, my knowledge has proven itself worthless, and ignorance has penetrated my heart with the intolerable, burning pain of a pointed shaft.

O Lord, I seek no other treasure in this world than Your lotus feet. Bhaktivinoda abandons everything to make them the sum and substance of his life.


1. jaubane jakhona, dhana-uparjane,
hoinu bipula kami
dharama smariya, grihinira kara,
dhorinu takhona ami

2. somsara pata’ye tahara sahita,
kala-khoy koinu kato
bahu sutaasuta, janama lobhilo,
marame hoinu hato

3. samsarera bhara, bare dine dine,
acala hoilo gati
bardhakya asiya, gherilo amare,
asthira hoilo mati

4. piraya asthira, cintaya jwarita
abhave jwalita citta
upaya na dekhi, andhakara-moya,
ekhona ho’yeche bhita

5. somsara-tatani srota nahe sesa
marana nikate ghora
saba samapiya, bhojibo tomaya
e asa bifala mora

ebe suno prabhu! ami gati-hina
bhakativinoda koya
taba krpa bina, sakali nirasa,
deho more padasroya

When I was young, I greatly desired to earn money. At that time bearing in mind the codes of religion, I took a wife.

Together we set up a household, wasted much time, had many sons and daughters… my heart grew heavy.

The burden increased day by day, I felt my life at a standstill. Old age came, grabbed me, and made my mind fickle and disturbed.

Diseases trouble me now, and constant anxiety has made me feverish. My heart burns from lack of satisfaction, and I see no way out. All is darkness and I am very much afraid.

The current of this worldly river is strong and relentless. A frightening, gloomy death approaches. How I wish I could give up my worldly attachements. I would worship You, O Lord, but it is a useless hope.

Now please hear me, O Lord, for I am utterly helpless. Bhaktivinoda says, “Without Your mercy, everything is lost. Please give me the shelter of Your lotus feet.”


1.amara jibana, sada pape rata
nahiko punyera lesa
parere udvega, diyachi je kato
diyachi jibere klesa

2 nija sukha lagi, pape nahi dori,
doya-hina swartha-paro
para-sukhe duhkhi, sada mithya-bhase,
para-duhkha sukha-karo

3 asesa kamana, hrdi mahje mora,
krodhi, dambha-parayana
mada-matta sada, bisaye mohita,
himsa-garva vibhusana

4 nidralasya hata, sukarje birata,
akarje udyogi ami
pratistha lagiya, sathya acarana,
lobha-hata sada kami

5 e heno durjana, saj-jana-barjita,
aparadhi nirantara
subha-karja-sunya, sadanartha-matah,
nana duhkhe jara jara

6 bardhakye ekhona, upaya-bihina,
ta te dina akincana
bhakativinoda, prabhura carane
kare duhkha nibedana


I am an impious sinner and have caused others great anxiety and trouble.

I have never hesitated to perform sinful act for my own enjoiment. Devoid of all compassion, concerned only with my own selfish interests, I am remorseful seeing others happy. I am a perpetual liar, and the misery of others is a source of great pleasure for me.

The material desires within the core of my heart are unlimited. I am wrathful, devoted to false pride and arrogance, intoxicated by vanity, and bewildred by worldly affairs. Envy and egotism are the ornaments I wear.

Ruined by laziness and sleep, I resist all pious deeds; yet I am very active and enthusiastic to perform wicked acts. For worldly fame and reputation I engage in the practice of deceitfulness. Thus I am destroyed by my own greed and am always lustful.

A vile, wicked man such as this, rejected by godly people, is a constant offender. I am such a person, devoid of all good works, forever inclined toward evil, worn out and wasted by various miseries.

Now in old age, deprived of all means of succes, humbled and poor, Bhaktivinoda submits his tale of grief at the feet of the Supreme Lord.


1.(prabhu he!) suno mor duhkher kahini
bisaya-halahala sudha-bhane piyalun
ab abasana dinamani

2.khela-rase saisaba, porhaite kaisora,
gowaolun, na bhelo vibeka
bhoga-base jaubane, ghara pati boshilun
suta-mita barhalo aneka

3.brddha-kala aolo, saba sukha bhagalo,
pida-base katainu katar
sarbendriya durbala, khina kalebara,
bhogabhave duhkhita antar

4.jnana-laba-hina bhakti-rase banchita,
ara mora ki habe upaya
patita-bandhu, tuhun, patitadhama hama,
kripaya uthao tapa paya

5.bicarite abahi, guna nahi paobi,
krpa karo, chorato bicara
taba pada-pankaja- sidhu pibaoto
bhakativinoda karo para


Hear, O Lord, my story of sadness. I drank the deadly poison of worldliness, pretending it was nectar, and now the sun is setting on the horizon of my life.

I spent my childhood in play, my youth in academic pursuit, and in me there was no sense of right or wrong. In young manhood I set up a household and settled down to the spell of material enjoyment. Children and friends quickly multiplied.

Soon old age arrived, and all happiness departed. Subjected to disease, troubled and weak, all my senses are feeble now, my body racked and exhausted, and my spirits downcast in the absence of youthful pleasures.

Devoid of even a particle of devotion, lacking any enlightenment — what help is there for me now? Only You, O Lord, friend of the fallen. I am certainly fallen, the lowest of men. Please, therefore lift me to Your lotus feet.

Where You to judge me now, You would find no good qualities. Have mercy and judge me not. Cause me to drink the honey of Your lotus feet and thereby deliver this Bhaktivinoda.


1.(prabhu he!) tua pade e minati mor
tava pada-pallaba, tyajato maru-mana,
bisama bisaye bhelo bhor

2.uthayite takata, punah nahi milo-i,
anudina korohin hutas
dina-jana-natha, tuhun kahayasi,
tomara carana mama asa

3.aichana dina-jana, kohi nahi milo-i,
tuhun more koro parasada
tuwa jana-sange, tuwa katha-range,
charahun sakala paramada

4.tuwa dhama-mahe, tuwa nama gaoto,
gowayabun dina-nisi asa
tua pada-chaya, parama susitala,
mage bhakativinoda dasa


At Your feet, soft as new-grown leaves, I offer this humble prayer. Those feet shelter the fallen souls who burn from the heat of material existence. But I gave up their shelter, and now my mind scorched by the fire of worldliness, has dried up like a desert.

I find no strength to go on, and thus I spend my days lamenting My only desire now is for Your lotus feet, O Lord of the meek and humble.

Has there ever been a soul as forlorn as me? Please be merciful and award me the association of Your devotees, for by tasting the pleasure of hearing your pastimes I shall give up all evils.

One hope animates my soul: to spend day and night in Your divine abode singing Your holy name. Your tiny servant Bhaktivinoda begs a place in the delightfully cooling shade of Your feet.


1.(prabhu he!) emona durmati, samsara bhitore,
poriya achinu ami
tab nija-jana, kono mahajana

pataile dile tumi

2.doya kori’ more, patita dekhiya,
kohilo amare giya
ohe dina-jana suno bhalo katha
ullasita he’be hiya

3.tomare tarite, sri-krishna-caitanya,
nabadwipe abatara
toma heno kato, dina hina jane,
korilena bhava-para

4.bedera pratijna, rakhibara tare,
rukma-barna bipra-suta
mahaprabhu name, nadiya mataya,
sange bhai abadhuta

5.nanda-suta jini, caitanya gosai,
nija nama kori’dana
tarilo jagat, tumi-o jaiya,
loho nija-paritrana katha suniya, asiyachi, natha!
tomara carana-tale
bhakativinoda, kandiya kandiya,
apana-kahini bale


A wicked mind brought me into this world, O Lord, but one of Your pure and elevated devotees has come to bring me out.

He saw me so fallen and wretched, took pity, and came to me saying, “O humbled soul, please listem to this good tiding, for it will gladden your heart.

Sri Krishna Caitanya has appeared in the land of Navadvipa to deliver you. He has safely conducted many miserable souls such as you across the sea of worldly existence.

“To fulfill the promise of the Vedas, the son of a brahmana bearing the name Mahaprabhu of golden complexion, has descended with His brother the avadhuta Nityananda. Together They have overwelmed all of Nadia with divine ecstasy.

“Sri Caitanya, who is Krishna Himself, the son of Nanda, has saved the world by freely distributing His own holy name. Go also and receive your deliverance.”

O Lord, hearing those words, Bhaktivinoda has come weeping to the soles of Your lotus feet and tells the story of his life.

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