Archive for April, 2010


The Bhakti movement in India took place as an effort to inculcate loving devotion and belief in God. The Bhakti movement in India aimed at the principle of monotheism, i.e. existence of one God. It started in the South of India and slowly spread to the north of India. This happened during the later half of the medieval period in the history of India (800-1700 A.D). The real essence of Bhakti is found in the great epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana. The Vedic scriptures also talk about the concept of pure devotion of God.

 
Vaishnavism

Vaishnavism is a tradition of Hinduism, distinguished from other schools by its worship of Vishnu or his associated avatars, principally as Rama and Krishna, as the original and supreme God.

The worship of Vishnu was already well developed in the period of the Itihasas. Hopkins says “Vishnuism, in a word, is the only cultivated native sectarian native religion of India.” Vaishnavism is expounded in a part of the Mahabharata known as the Bhagavad Gita, which contains a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna. Krishna is one of the avatars of Vishnu. In this dialogue, Krishna plays the role of Arjuna’s charioteer.

 

Among all spiritual practices, sankirtana is the best and foremost means of attaining the grace of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna. Other types of sadhana, or devotional practices, are only worthy of being called sadhana if they favourably assist the performance of sankirtana; otherwise they should be known as obstructions to actual sadhana. Whether one is a child or an old or young man, male or female, learned or illiterate, rich or poor, beautiful or ugly, pious or sinful – regardless of the condition of life someone may be in – there is no spiritual practice for him other than sri Krsna nama-sankirtana.

 

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu instructed His disciples to write books on the Science of Krishna, a task which those who follow Him have continued to carry out down to the present day. The elaborations and expositions on the philosophy taught by Lord Caitanya are in fact most voluminous, exacting and consistent due to the system of disciplic succession. Although Lord Caitanya was widely renowned as a scholar in His youth, He left only eight verses, called Sikshashtaka. These eight verses clearly reveal His mission and precepts. These supremely valuable prayers are translated herein.

 
 
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