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Siksastakam Series, Verse no.1


ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam

TRANSLATION

"Glory to the sri-krsna-sankirtana, which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. This sankirtana movement is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious."

Commentary:

The purpose of the sankirtana movement of Lord Caitanya is to give everyone the opportunity to chant the transcendental maha-mantra:


Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

By regularly practising this vibration one cleanses the dust accumulated throughout the history of countless lifetimes in the invincible cycle of birth and death. Our heart is compared to a mirror and that mirror is now covered with dust. When one looks into the mirror, one expects to see the reflection of his face, or in other words, he expects to see "himself". But when the mirror is neglected and dirty, then a person who looks into it mistakes the dust and dirt for the reflection of himself. He considers the dust and dirt to be himself. This is called illusion or accepting one thing for something else. And what is this metaphorical dust? It is the materialistic idea of "I am this body". This misconception is the cause of all the suffering, either individually or collectively. We falsely identify with the material body, with our race, sex, gender, age, economic and social status, religion, ideology and so on and so forth. Thus we fight over these temporary and ephemeral designations like cats and dogs. Men exploit the women, women cheat the men, white enslave the black, black kill the white, Christians hate the Jews, Hindus fear the Muslims.


But we are not this body. Such spiritual realization is pursued since time immemorial by a variety of methods, some of them so severe, difficult and time-consuming, that a man of this era is unable to conceive of them, and what to speak of practicing them. Lord Caitanya, however, appeared in this world not so long ago to propagate this simple and pleasurable chanting of Hare Krsna Hare Rama. We now live in Kali-yuga, the age of hypocrisy and quarrel, and according to the Vedas this simple chanting is the only plausible and effective method of reviving our original consciousness, Krsna or God-consciousness at the present moment and for the time which is to come. By regular chanting of the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna, one very easily and naturally remembers the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krsna, who is the reservoir of all pleasure.


We all look for pleasure, for the nectar of life, but due to our consciousness being covered by the dust of materialistic illusion, we seek pleasure on a wrong platform. The bodily platform of our enjoyment is false, because we are not this body, just like the driver is not the car he drives. One may take great care of his mechanical vehicle, clean and polish it and refill the fuel tank, but if he himself doesn't take bath and doesn't eat anything, he will not feel happy and satisfied. Similarly, if we simply take care of, protect and fight for our material bodies, which are ever-changing and never stay, but we never care for ourselves, the soul, we can never feel true satisfaction and lasting happiness.


The soul has spiritual senses, just like the body has its material senses. Those spiritual senses of the soul are now covered by the dead, inert matter manifested as the material body. We conceive happiness as an interaction of the senses with their objects, but our material senses have their point of saturation and they also weaken in time as the material body inevitably heads towards its death. That means that any happiness we derive from gratifying the material bodily senses is temporary, nay if the material senses are over-stimulated by their pleasurable object, they begin to distaste that same object. Pleasure turns into disgust. Our spiritual senses, however, are eternal and they have their eternal object of satisfaction, which eternally increases their pleasure. That ultimate object of our spiritual satisfaction is the pleasure of Krsna's transcendental senses.

We are not the enjoyers but we are enjoyed. That is our constitutional position, our dharma. Our essence is to serve God, no to be served by Him or to be served by anyone else. It is to give pleasure to Krsna and not to try to get pleasure separately. When a person, the soul, agrees to be enjoyed by the Lord instead of trying to lord it over and enjoy dead matter when a person agrees to render loving service to Krsna instead of trying to convert servants for himself, then he reconnects himself with the Absolute Truth, Krsna or the Supreme Lord, just like a living branch is connected with a living tree. The branch has no separate existence and its life comes from the root of the tree. When the root of the tree is watered, the branch is nourished automatically and no separate endeavour is required for the branch to prosper.


This revelation and gift of Lord Caitanya is the prime benediction to humanity at large because the whole trouble in the world comes from our innate desire for pleasure accompanied by insufficient knowledge of its real source. By revealing this transcendental truth to the people of the world, that the eternal pleasure and enjoyment belongs to the soul reconnected with the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krsna through the process of transcendental loving devotional service, all the anxiety is at once relieved. Economic, environmental, social, political, religious, interpersonal and individual problems of all the people can be at once solved by acceptance of this spiritual understanding and philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita: "I am not this body, I am spirit soul. I am eternal, full of consciousness, full of bliss and individual and my sole purpose is to re-enter the eternal and ever increasingly ecstatic pastimes of the eternal, fully cognizant, blissful and individual Lord, Sri Krsna."


"Ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. And as soon as you become cleansed of your heart, then the anxiety... Na socati na kanksati [Bg. 12.17]. You'll gradually increase. Then you will understand that "I am neither American, neither Indian, nor cat, nor dog, but I am the part and parcel of the Supreme Lord." Then, if you understand that you are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, then you will understand your business.


Just like in your body you have got so many parts and parcels. You have got the hands, you have got the legs, you have got the head, you have got the fingers, you have got the ear, you have got the nose---so many parts. So what is the business of all these parts of your body? The business of parts of the body - to maintain the body properly, to serve the body. Just like this finger is there. I am feeling some incomfort; immediately my finger comes and serves, automatically. Therefore the conclusion is that it is the business of the part and parcel of God to serve God. That is the only business, natural business. So when you are engaged in the service of the Lord, because you understand---by chanting the holy names Lord you will understand who is Lord and what is His advice, what does He want service from me---then you will be engaged in that service. That is the perfection of your life. This is Krsna consciousness movement.


Ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam sreyaḥ-kairava-candrika-vitaranam. And as soon as you become cleansed of all dirty things, then your actual progress of life begins. Just like kairava-candrika, just like the moon, on the first day it is just like a line, then gradually increases---the body and the moonshine increases. Therefore this comparison is given. The more you become Krsna conscious, the shining of your life increases. Sreyaḥ-kairava-candrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam. Then this life will be full of knowledge. Vidya-vadhu-jivanam. Anandambudhi-vardhanam. And to increase the life of knowledge means ananda. Ananda means pleasure. We want pleasure. So you will get more and more pleasing life. Anandambudhi-vardhanam.


And prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam: and every step of life, as we are... In the material way of life we are experienced only unpleasure, difficulties, the just opposite. Anandambudhi-vard... Ambudhi means the ocean. So this ocean does not increase, but when you come to the spiritual ocean of ananda, blissfulness, it will increase daily. Just like these boys. They are coming from Europe, America. They are not Indians. But why they are sticking to this Krsna consciousness movement unless they are increasing their transcendental pleasure? They are not fools and rascals. They are educated. Why they have taken to this anandambudhi-vardhanam? It is increasing their transcendental pleasure.


So anyone who takes to this process, he will increase his anandambudhi-vardhanam. Prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam: and he will be able to taste what is the meaning of life, what is the meaning of pleasure. Param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam: "All glories to the chanting of Hare Krsna mantra." So this is the process."

(Srila Prabhupada, SB lecture, Melbourne May 19th 1975)

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