āśliṣya vā pāda-ratāṁ pinaṣṭu mām
adarśanān marma-hatāṁ karotu vā
yathā tathā vā vidadhātu lampaṭo
mat-prāṇa-nāthas tu sa eva nāparaḥ
Kṛṣṇa may embrace me or He may trample this maidservant with His feet which she is so attached to. Again, He may make me brokenhearted by not being visible before me. He is a debauched person. Whatever He does to me, He and no other is the Lord of my life.
Let us consider – what is the tendency of those jīvas who have attained the stage of prema? Aśliṣya vā pāda-ratāṁ pinaṣṭu mām – He can embrace me and bring happiness to me, who am attached to His feet. He can also crush Me underfoot, or He can break my heart and torment me by not being visible before me. He is the crest-jewel of debauchees, thus He will deal with me in any which way. He, and no other, is the Lord of my life in all respects.
martyo yadā tyakta-samasta-karmā
niveditātmā vicikīrṣito me
mayātma-bhūyāya ca kalpate vai
“When a human being abandons all his mundane activities and, with the intention of doing something noble, offers his very self unto Me, at that time he attains immortality and certainly becomes eligible to achieve opulence which is equal to Mine.” (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.29.34)
Through this characteristic, it is proven that Kṛṣṇa is the very life of those devotees at the stage of prema. At the perfectional stage of prema, the highest dharma becomes visible in the form of the mutual attraction between Kṛṣṇa and the devotee.
yathā bhrāmyaty ayo brahman svayam ākarṣa-sannidhau
tathā me bhidyate cetaś cakra-pāṇer yadṛcchayā
“Just as iron automatically moves towards a magnet, similarly, my consciousness has been transformed and automatically moves towards that Lord who wields the disc weapon.” (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 7.5.14)
Thus it is stated by the Śrīmad Bhāgavata. What is being discussed here is that in the relationship between the jīva, who possesses finite consciousness, and Kṛṣṇa, who possesses infinite consciousness, there is an inherent quality which mutually connects the two. That quality has almost been lost due to the jīva’s condition of aversion to the Lord. When the jīva is again adorned with his intrinsic nature, then the perfect quality which was previously there between the jīva and Kṛṣṇa will again manifest. This is similar to purified iron in front of a magnet. In this regard, manifesting that quality, which was perfected previously, is the objective of dharma and nothing else. It should be understood that in the jīva’s practice leading to that quality, he must be devoid of the desire for any other results. Bhagavān states:
na pāraye ’haṁ niravadya-saṁyujāṁ
sva-sādhu-kṛtyaṁ vibudhāyuṣāpi vaḥ
yā mābhajan durjara-geha-śṛṅkhalāḥ
saṁvṛścya tad vaḥ pratiyātu sādhunā
“Your association with Me is faultless. Although you have served Me, cutting the indomitable bonds of household life, I cannot repay you for this even if I obtained the lifetime of the Devas. May your own virtue be your compensation.” (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.32.22)
Thus it is proven that love for Kṛṣṇa results in His love for the devotee. Here it is said that one becomes brokenhearted (marma-hata) by not seeing Him, yet Śrī Kṛṣṇa shows that it is not the source of misery, but the source of supreme happiness.
svānāṁ hi vo mayy anuvṛttaye ’balāḥ
mayā parokṣaṁ bhajatā tirohitaṁ
māsūyituṁ mārhatha tat priyaṁ priyāḥ
“Therefore O girls, since you have abandoned worldly pleasures, the Vedas and your family to attain me, although I disappeared and removed Myself from your sight, I always reciprocated your love. Thus my dear ones, you should not be displeased with Me, your beloved.” (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.32.21)
Therefore, it is aptly said, āśliṣya (‘He may embrace me’).
I have briefly explained the glories of these eight verses.
“What are the glories of the love experienced by the svarūpa-śakti, Śrī Rādhā? What is the sweetness of Mine that Rādhā relishes? What is the pleasure She derives from relishing that?” Thinking in this way and hankering to taste that, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the intrinsic Supreme Reality, in the form of Śrī Kṛṣna Caitanya, Bhagavān’s inherent form of extreme magnanimity, eternally displays His pastimes that are suitable to Rādhā’s bhāva, in Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma, which is situated in a special chamber of Vaikuṇṭha, the seat of His eternal pastimes, known as Goloka.
In 1407 of the Śakābda Era, He appeared in the form of Śrī Caitanya possessing the sentiments and effulgence of Rādhā in the town of Śrī Navadvīpa within Śri Gauḍa-deśa, which was like another Vṛndāraṇya. He manifested from the womb of Śrī Śacī, the wife of Śrī Jagannātha Miśra, on the Phālguna Pūrṇimā. In His childhood years, He showed the capriciousness of a child. As a youth, He showed scholarship. As a young man, after His wedding, He displayed the conduct of a person in married life, propagated bhakti and inundated the land of Gauḍa with supreme bliss. By accepting initiation from Īśvara Purī, the crest-jewel of wandering mendicants of the Śrī Madhva sampradāya, He taught the jīvas the necessity of taking refuge in a sādhu-guru. At the age of twenty-four, He abandoned His home and took sannyāsa from Śrī Keśava Bhāratī, a Śaṅkara sannyāsī. Then, on the pretext of travelling to the holy places, He taught pure bhakti-tattva to the residents of Bengal, Western India, Orissa and South India etc., defeated the beliefs of various philosophies, and established His own philosophy of Acintya-bhedābheda, which is the essence of the siddhānta of the four Vaiṣṇava sampradāyas. He spent six years in this way. Then for eighteen years He resided in Śrī Puruṣottama-kṣetra and propagated bhakti in the four directions by sending others to extensively spread His philosophy. He was served by many perfected Vaiṣṇavas. Sometimes He preached about bhakti and sometimes He relished prema in the form of achieving His own threefold purpose. He inspired the hearts of His own perfected associates headed by Śrī Rūpa, Sanātana, Raghunātha, Gopāla Bhaṭṭa, Jīva, Prabodhānanda, Svarūpa, Rāmānanda, Kavi Karṇapura etc. who composed various śāstras to promote His philosophy. He also composed these eight verses which are fully complete with all conclusions in order to teach jīvas possessing various qualifications. Sometimes he would relish their meanings along with His two intimate associates, Svarūpa and Rāmānanda. All this is described in Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta etc. Śrīman Caitanya-candra, through His conduct as a householder, taught householders how to follow their own dharma, and through His conduct as a sannyāsī, He taught all wandering mendicants. Once again, through His instructions He taught all other jīvas. The glories of His Śikṣāṣṭakam are unlimited.
gaurāṅga-vaktrābja-viniḥsṛtaṁ śrī-śikṣāṣṭakaṁ ye prapaṭhanti bhaktyā
te gaura-pādāsava-mugdha-cittāḥ majjanti premāmbu-nidhau murāreḥ
“Those who read with devotion the Śikṣāṣṭakam which appeared from the lotus-like mouth of Gaurāṅga will become immersed in an ocean of prema for Murārī and their minds will be struck with wonder by the nectar emanating from the feet of Gaura.”
śrī-gaura-candrasya catuḥśatābda ekādhike bhaktivinodakena
sammodanākhyaṁ prabhu-vākya-bhāṣyaṁ kedāranāthena mayā praṇītam
“This commentary on the words of the Lord called the Sammodana was composed by myself, Kedāranātha Bhaktivinoda, in the year 401 of Śrī Gaura-candra.”
Those who are fortunate should wear these eight verses around their necks. For those pure Vaiṣṇavas who relish mādhurya-rasa, it is the essence of the entire Vedas and it is the greatest of declarations (mahā-vākya) because it appeared from the lotus-like mouth of Bhagavān. It should constantly be recited and worshiped.
Thus ends the commentary called Sammodana on Śrī Śikṣāṣṭaka which emanated from the lotus-like mouth of Śrīman Caitanya-candra, the avatāra who is the saviour in Kali-yuga.