Life is too short, memory is very weak and time is less. Thus we offer the following 25 verses to summarize all the essential principles, practices and actual goal of Gaudiya Vaisnava Dharma. We have arranged them in a logical sequence to facilitate clear understanding. Devotees will obtain tremendous spiritual benefit by reflecting deeply upon each one; learning them and following their guidance.
** MOST IMPORTANT VERSE: Krishna Consciousness Essence.
Ishtadevata, Gati (destination), Sadhana, Pramana (Basis), Prayojana (Necessity) and the Originator. At least this one verse all should memorize, meditate and realize.
ārādhyo bhagavān vrajeśa tanayas tad dhāma vṛndāvanaṁ
ramyā kācid upāsanā vrajavadhū vargeṇa yā kalpitā
śāstraṁ bhāgavatam pramāṇam amalaṁ prema pumārtho mahān
śrī caitanya mahāprabhor matam idaṁ tatrādaro naḥ para
“Our worshipable form of Bhagavan [upasya] is Sri Krishna, Nandanandana, the son of Vraja’s King Nanda whom we worship in Vrindavana [the divya dhama goal of life]. Our [the upasakas] way to attain perfection [upasana] is to follow the delightful method of worship done by the newlywed gopis of Vraja (vraja vadhu).
“Our main scripture is the Srimad Bhagavatam, the spotless authority on Krishna-bhakti. The highest goal of human life is Krishna prema, pure love of God. These are the transcendental tenets of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and thus deserve our highest respect, love and care.”
(By Srinatha Cakravarti, disciple of Sri Advaita Prabhu; and guru of Kavi Karnapura)
KRISHNA: The Absolute Truth.
janmādy asya yato’nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijṣaḥ svarāṭ
tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ
tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo’mṛṣā
dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi
“We meditate on the Supreme Truth, from whom all this is born, Who is both present in everything and aloof from it, Who is omniscient and independent. It is He who revealed the Veda to Brahma, the first sage, within his heart. He deludes even the great gods, makes this threefold unreal world seem real, just as the sun’s rays are mistaken for water (in a mirage), water for earth or earth for water, but who is Himself forever free from illusion due to His divine energy (dhāmnā).” (SB 1.1.1)
KRISHNA: Best Definition of.
īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ saccidānanda vigraha
anādir ādir govinda sarva kārana kāranam
Bhagavan Sri Krishna is the Supreme God, and Sri Krishna’s transcendental body is sac cid ananda, full of awareness, reality and bliss. Sri Krishna is beginningless, the greatest of all, and the cause of all causes.” (Brahma Samhita 5.1)
KRISHNA: Beauty Meditation (as gopis see Krishna; revealed by Suka Muni)
barhāpīḍaṁ naṭa-vara-vapuḥ karṇayoḥ karṇikāraṁ
bibhrad-vāsaḥ kanaka-kapiśaṁ vaijayantīṁ ca mālām
randhrān veṇor adhara-sudhayā pūrayan gopa-vṛndair
vṛndāraṇyaṁ sva-pada-ramaṇaṁ prāviśad gīta-kīrtiḥ
“Krishna’s head is adorned with a peacock feather crown. He has a body is shaped like the best of dancers and Krishna wears Karṇikāra-flowers on His ears. While wearing a golden hued garment and a vaijayanti flower mala, Krishna fills the holes of His flute with the nectar of His lips, and the cowherd boys sing His glories as He enters the forest of Vrindavana, beautifying the earth with His lovely footprints.” (Venu Gita 10.21.5)
KRISHNA: Mahaprabhu is Krishna not Radha and Krishna.
rādhā kṛṣṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir hlādinī śaktir asmād
ekātmānāv api bhuvi purā deha-bhedaṁ gatau tau
caitanyākhyaṁ prakaṭam adhunā tad-dvayaṁ caikyam āptaṁ
rādhā-bhāva-dyuti-subalitaṁ naumi kṛṣṇa-svarūpam
“The transformations of love between Śrī Rādhā and Śrī Kṛṣṇa are manifestations of the hlādinī-śakti. These two, although one soul, have manifested in this world in separate forms since ancient times. He, who is known as Caitanya, has now manifest as the union of Radha-Krishna. Obeisances to Sri Chaitanya, who is Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself, beautifully endowed with the feelings and lustre (bhava, kanti) of Śrī Rādhā!”
SRI CHAITANYA MAHAPRABHU: Main inner purpose entire Gaura lila.
anarpita carīṁ cirāt karuṇayā avatīrṇa kalau, samarpayitum unnatojjvala rasa sva bhakti śriyaṁ
hariḥ puraṭa sundara dyuti kadamba sandīpitaḥ, sadā hṛdaya kandare sphuratu vaḥ śacī-nandanaḥ
“May the son of mother Śacī, who is Sri Hari Himself, appearing in a splendid beautiful golden form, and who has descended in the age of Kali to mercifully bestow the wealth of His own bhakti, which was never bestowed before, and which is endowed with the elevated amorous flavour [madhurya-rasa i.e. gopi-bhava], always be manifest within the cave of your heart.”
VRINDAVAN: Goloka realm is everywhere; not a planet.
śanakair bhagaval-lokān nṛ-lokaṁ punar āgataḥ.
vimṛjya netre viduraṁ prītyāhoddhava utsmayan
“[after breaking his deep lila meditation] “Gradually, Uddhava [mentally] returned from Bhagavān’s world to the external human world. Rubbing his eyes, Uddhava lovingly told Vidura in amazement…” (SB 3.2.6); Krishna Sandarbha 106).
VRINDAVAN: Living in to get Radha’s mercy.
vṛndāni sarva mahatām apahāya dūrāt, vṛndāṭavīm anusara pranayena cetaḥ
sat tāranī kṛta subhāva sudhā rasaugham, rādhā bhidhānam iha divya nidhānam asti
O Mind! Stay aloof [apahaya durat] from all great things or persons like Vrajavasis [sarva mahatam], and live in Vrindavana with love. In Vraja, there is a divine jewel of wonderful moods and feelings named RADHA, Who redeems all the sincere souls sheltered in Vraja!” (Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi 17)
SHUDDHA BHAKTI: Best & complete definition of pure devotion.
anyābhilāṣita śūnyaṁ jnāna-karmādy anāvṛtam
ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśilanaṁ bhaktir uttamā
Sri Rupa Gosvami said, “The topmost devotion [uttama bhakti] is devoid of all material desires, and not mixed with or covered by any practices of impersonal liberation (jnana) or fruitive activities [karma kanda, homas, yajnas etc]). Uttama bhakti is practiced deliberately and actively, solely for the pleasure of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.” (Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu 1.1.11)
SADHANA: Diksha Reveals Siddha Deha.
dīkṣā-kāle bhakta kore ātma-samarpaṇa; sei-kāle kṛṣṇa tāre kore ātma-sama
sei deha kore tāra cid-ānanda-moya; aprākṛta-dehe tāṅra caraṇa bhajoya
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “At the time of diksha, the devotee surrenders the very self. And at that time, Sri Krishna makes the devotee equal to Himself by making the devotee’s body transcendental. In such a spiritual body one can serve Krishna.” (Cc. 3.4.192-193)
SADHANA: Gita’s top secret [told 2x 9.34]; four main bhakti practices.
man manā bhava mad bhakto mad yāji māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te pratijāne priyo’si me
“Think of Me and be My devotee. Worship Me and offer your respects unto Me. Thus you will truly and certainly come to Me. I promise you this because you are dear to Me.”
SADHANA: The main 24/7 rule of sadhana.
smartavyaṁ satataṁ viṣṇor vismartavyo na jātūcit
sarva vidhi niṣedha syur etayor eva kinkarāḥ
“Always remember Krishna and never forget Him! All other rules and prohibitions are subservient to this.” Padma P. 6.71.100)
SADHANA: Summary all manah-shiksha; Ideal daily pranam mantra.
gurau goṣṭhe goṣṭhālayiṣu sujane bhū-sura-gaṇe, sva-mantre śrī-nāmni vraja-nava-yuva-dvandva-śaraṇe
sadā dambhaṁ hitvā kuru ratim apūrvām atitarāṁ, aye svāntar bhrātaś caṭubhir abhiyāce dhṛta-padaḥ
Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami said, “O brother mind! I clasp your feet and pray to you with flattering words: ‘Always give up hypocrisy and develop unprecedented love for Sri Guru, Vraja Dhama, the Vrajavasis, the saints, the brāhmaṇas, the diksha mantra, the Holy Names of Sri Krishna, and the shelter of the eternally youthful Couple of Vraja, Śrī-Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa!’” (Manaḥ Śikṣā 1)
SADHANA: 4 Points to Success in Bhakti & Nama Bhajan
tṛṇād api sunīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā;
amāninā mānadena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
“One should chant the Holy Name of Lord Hari in a humble state of mind, being more humble than a blade of grass, as tolerant as a tree, giving all respect unto others and not expecting any honor for oneself.” (Śrī Caitanya-śikṣāṣṭakam 3)
SADHANA: Krishna provides all—just do bhakti.
ananyaś cintayanto māṁ, ye janāḥ paryupāsate
teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ, yoga kṣemaṁ vahāmyaham
“Whoever constantly worships Me, exclusively meditating on Me, I will provide him with all his needs and will preserve what he has.” (Bhagavad-gītā 9.22)
SADHANA: Mind—only Krishna can control ours.
cancalaṁ hi manaḥ kṛṣṇa pramāthi balavad dṛḍham
tasyāhaṁ nigrahaṁ manye vāyor iva suduṣkaram
“O Kṛṣṇa! The mind is so restless, agitating, powerful and obstinate. It seems harder to check than even the wind.” (Bhagavad-gītā 6.34)
SHASTRA: Must live by.
yaḥ śāstra-vidhiṁ utsṛjya vartate kāma kārataḥ
na sa siddhim avāpnoti na sukhaṁ na paraṁ gatiṁ
“He who rejects scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims, will not attain perfection, nor will he become happy or attain the Supreme Abode.” (Bhagavad Gītā 16.23)
SHASTRA: Focus on essence of i.e. pure bhakti.
ananta-śāstraṁ bahulāśca vidyāḥ svalpaśca kālo bahu-vighnatā ca;
yat sāra-bhūtaṁ tad-upāsanīyaṁ haṁso yathā kṣīram ivāmbu-madhyāt
“The scriptures are infinite and the branches of knowledge are many. Our time is limited and our lives are full of obstacles. Therefore we should worship the essence, just as the swan extracts only the milk from the water.” (Canakya-nīti-darpanam 15.10)
SHASTRA: Power of Hearing Rasa Lila.
vikrīḍitaṁ vrajavadhūbhir idaṁ ca viṣṇoḥ, śraddhānvito’nuśṛṇuyed atha varṇayed yaḥ
bhaktiṁ paraṁ bhagavatiṁ pratilabhya kāmaṁ, hṛd-rogam āśvapahinotyacireṇa dhīraḥ
Suka Muni said [phala shruti for rasa-lila cp. 29-33] “Anyone who faithfully and continually hears and describes the pastimes of Krishna with the newlyweds of Vraja (gopīs) will attain the highest devotion to Bhagavān, swiftly become free from the heart’s disease of lust and become peaceful.”
SADHANA: Sri Chaitanya Orders Gopi Bhava
ataeva gopī-bhāva kari aṅgīkāra, rātri-dina cinte rādhā-kṛṣṇera vihāra
“Therefore one should accept the loving mood of the gopis [gopi-bhava], and day and night meditate on the pleasure pastimes of Radha and Krishna. (Cc. 2.8.228)
SADHANA (Must do two forms—Internal & External). [two verses]
bāhya antara ihāra dui to sādhana; bāhya sādhaka dehe kore śravaṇa kīrtana
mane nija siddha deha koriyā bhāvana; rātri dine kore vraje kṛṣṇera sevana
Mahaprabhu said, “O Sri Sanatana Goswami! “There are two kinds of devotion in practise: external and internal. In the external practitioner’s body, one performs hearing and chanting of Krishna’s glories, and internally, in the mentally conceived spiritual body, one renders mental service to Krishna in Vraja day and night.” (Cc. 2.22.155-156)
SADHANA: Worship Shyama to get Sriji seva)
dhyāyantaṁ śikhi-piccha-mauli-maniśaṁ tan nāma-sankīrtayan
nityaṁ tac caraṇāmbujaṁ paricaran tan-mantra-varyaṁ japan
śrī rādhā padāsyam eva paramābhīṣṭaṁ hṛdā dhārayan
karhi syāṁ tad anugraheṇa param ādbhutānurāg otsavaḥ
“I always meditate on Krishna, wearing a crown of peacock feathers; I always sing Krishna’s name in saṅkīrtana; I always serve Krishna’s lotus feet (archa-murti) and repeat His best of mantras, all the while holding in my heart the desire for the supremely cherished service of Śrī Rādhā’s lotus feet. When by Krishna’s grace will that grand festival of Radha’s amazing anuraga arise in my heart?” (Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi 259)
SADHANA: The Desired Perfection of Manjari Bhava.
tavaivāsmi tavaivāsmi na jīvāmi tvayā vinā, iti vijnaya devi tvaṁ naya māṁ caraṇāntikam
Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami prays, “O Devi Radha! I am Yours, I am Yours! I cannot live without You! Knowing this, please take me to Your lotus feet!” (Vilapa Kusumanjali 96)
SADHANA: Highest perfection demands most practice and patience.
krame krame pāya loka bhava-sindhu-kūla
Mahaprabhu said to Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami, “Slowly and gradually a person will cross the ocean of material existence [attain liberation].” (Cc. 2.16.237) (adapted madangopal.blogspot) Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!