Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu – His Miracles and Teachings

His Teachings

Lord Chaitanya teaches that all souls are eternal servants of Krishna. The soul is eternal and our activities of service to Krishna in the spiritual world are also eternal. In this material world however, that eternal relationship is temporarily being obstructed by the illusion that we are products of matter and that the goal of our life is material enjoyment. This false conception of life brings unlimited suffering to the eternal soul in the form of repeated birth, death, old age and disease.

To return to one’s spiritual position and be freed from material sufferings one simply has to give up the habit of posing as the enjoyer of this world and one has to then embrace the life of devotional service to Krishna.

To facilitate everyone in all walks of life, Lord Chaitanya has recommended that the simple and sublime way to render service to Krishna is to chant and sing the Holy Names of God –


This process of chanting has been taught by Lord Chaitanya as the prime benediction for humanity at large. Everyone can take part in this chanting and thus everyone can derive the ultimate goal of life. Lord Chaitanya taught this process to His favorite followers also and instructed them to write books on the science of devotional service to Sri Krishna in great detail.

Although renowned as a great scholar in His youth, Lord Chaitanya only wrote eight Sanskrit verses of His own. These eight verses are believed to contain the full teachings of Lord Chaitanya on the matter of chanting the Holy Names of Krishna and perfecting the human form of life.  These eight verses known as the Sikshashtaka (‘eight instructions’) are as follows –

(1) cheto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam
shreyah-kairava-chandrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamritasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krishna-sankirtanam

“The Holy Name of Krishna cleanses the mirror of the heart and extinguishes the fire of misery in the forest of birth and death. As the evening lotus blooms in the moon’s cooling rays, the heart begins to blossom in the nectar of the Name. And at last the soul awakens to its real inner treasure —a life of love with Krishna. Again and again tasting nectar, the soul dives and surfaces in the ever-increasing ocean of ecstatic joy. All phases of the self of which we may conceive are fully satisfied and purified, and at last conquered by the all-auspicious influence of the Holy Name of Krishna.”

(2) namnam akari bahudha nija sarva-shaktis
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah
etadrishi tava kripa bhagavan mamapi
durdaivam idrisham ihajani nanuragah

O my Lord, Your Holy Name bestows auspiciousness upon all. And You have unlimited names such as Krishna and Govinda by which You reveal Yourself. In Your many Holy Names You have kindly invested all Your transcendental potency. And in chanting these Names, there are no strict rules concerning time or place. Out of Your causeless mercy, You have descended in the form of divine sound, but my great misfortune is that I have no love for Your Holy Name.”

(3) trinad api sunichena
taror api sahishnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih

“One who is humbler than a blade of grass, more forbearing than a tree who gives due honor to others without desiring it for himself is qualified to always chant the Holy Name of Krishna.”

(4) na dhanam na janam na sundarim
kavitam va jagad-isha kamaye
mama janmani janmanishvare
bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi

“O Lord, I have no desires to accumulate wealth, followers, beautiful women, or salvation. My only prayer is for Your causeless devotional service, birth after birth.”

(5) ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram
patitam mam vishame bhavambudhau
kripaya tava pada-pankaja
sthita-dhuli-sadrisham vichintaya

“O son of Nanda Maharaja, I am Your eternal servant, yet because of my own karma, I have fallen into this terrible ocean of birth and death. Accept this fallen soul and consider me a particle of dust at Your holy lotus feet.”

(6) nayanam galad-ashru-dharaya
vadanam gadgada-ruddhaya gira
pulakair nichitam vapuh kada
tava nama-grahane bhavishyati

“O Lord, when will tears flow from my eyes like waves and my voice tremble in ecstasy? When will the hairs of my body stand on end while chanting Your Holy Name?”

(7) yugayitam nimeshena
chakshusha pravrishayitam
shunyayitam jagat sarvam
govinda-virahena me

O Govinda! Without You, the world is empty. Tears are flooding my eyes like rain, and a moment seems like forever.”

(8) ashlishya va pada-ratam pinashtu mam
adarshanan marma-hatam karotu va
yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato
mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah

“Krishna may embrace me in love or trample me under His feet. He may break my heart by hiding Himself from me. Let that debauchee do whatever He likes, but He will always be the only Lord of my life.”