Sva-niyama Dvādaśakam
(Twelve Verses Describing Self-Imposed Regulations)

by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura
(translated by Swami B.V. Giri)

(1)
gurau śrī-gaurāṅge tad-udita-subhakti-prakaraṇe
śacī-sūnor līlā-vikasita-sutīrthe nijamanau
harer nāmni preṣṭhe hari-tithiṣu rūpānuga-jane
śuka-prokte śāstre pratijani mamāstāṁ khalu ratiḥ

In every birth, may I attain love towards my guru, for Śri Gaurāṅga, His teachings delineating pure bhakti, to the holy place where the Son of Śacī manifested His līlā, the dīkṣā-mantra and the Holy Name of Hari, the days of Hari (i.e. Ekādaśī and other holy days), the followers of Śrī Rūpa and that śāstra spoken by Śuka (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam).

(2)
sadā vṛndāraṇye madhura-rasa-dhanye rasa-mayaḥ
parāṁ śaktiṁ rādhāṁ parama-rasa-mūrtiṁ ramayati
sa caivāyaṁ kṛṣṇo nija-bhajana-mudrām upadiśan
śacī-sūnur gauḍe pratijani mamāstāṁ prabhu-varaḥ

He who resides in the forest of Vṛndāvana, who is the very wealth of madhura-rasa, and bountiful in divine mellows, always gives pleasure unto the Supreme potency, Śrī Rādhā. May that same Kṛṣṇa, who appeared in Gauḍa as the Son of Śacī, in order to explain the method of His own worship, always remain my Master birth after birth.

(3)
na vairāgyaṁ grāhyaṁ bhavati na hi yad bhakti-janitaṁ
tathā jñānaṁ bhānaṁ citi yadi viśeṣaṁ na manute
spṛhā me nāṣṭāṅge hari-bhajana-saukhyaṁ na hi yata-
stato rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pracura-paricaryā bhavatu me

I shall not accept vairāgya (renunciation) which does not lead to bhakti, and I will not accept the emergence of jñāna (knowledge) if it does not consciously acknowledge the personal qualities of the Supreme (viśeṣa). I am not interested in aṣṭāṅga-yoga for it does not award the bliss of haribhajana. May I only attain intense service to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.

(4)
kuṭīre’pi kṣudre vraja-bhajana-yogye taru-tale
śacī-sūnos tīrthe bhavatu nitarāṁ me nivasatiḥ
na cānyatra kṣetre vibudha-gaṇa-sevye pulakito
vasāmi prāsāde vipula-dhana-rājyānvita iha

I shall continually reside in that tīrtha of the Son of Śacī (Navadvīpa), living in a humble cottage under a tree, performing vraja-bhajana. I will not live in any other place, even if it is worshipped in ecstasy by great personalities (such as sages or Devas), even if I am given a palace and immense wealth there.

(5)
na varṇe saktir me na khalu mamatā hy āśrama-vidhau
na dharme nādharme mama ratir ihāste kvacid api
paraṁ tat-tad-dharme mama jaḍa-śarīre dhṛtam ida-
mato dharmān sarvān subhajana-sahāyān abhilaṣe

Indeed, I have no attachment to my varṇa, nor do I have any pride in the rules of my āśrama. I have no love for dharma (mundane piety) or adharma (impiety) in this world. However, I engage in different dharmas only to maintain this gross body. Yet I only truly desire that dharma which helps me perform pure bhajana.

(6)
sudainyam sāralyam sakala-sahanaṁ mānadadanam
dayāṁ svīkṛtya śrī-hari-caraṇa-sevā mama tapaḥ
sadācāro’sau me prabhu-pada-parair yah samuditaḥ
prabhoś caitanyasyākṣaya-carita-pīyūṣa-kṛtiṣu

My vow will be to have great humility, simplicit, tolerance in all matters, respect and compassion in order to serve the feet of Śrī Hari. I shall follow proper conduct as described by the devotees of the Lord, and those that have manifest from the ambrosial activities of Lord Caitanya.

(7)
na vaikuṇṭhe rājye na ca viṣaya-kārye mam rati-
rna nirvāṇe mokṣe mama matir ihāste kṣaṇam api
vrajānandād anyad dhari-vilasitaṁ pāvanam api
kathañcin mām rādhānvaya-virahitaṁ no sukhayati

I have no attraction to live in the majestic kingdom of Vaikuṇṭha, nor do I desire to perform any type of mundane activities. I do not care for impersonal liberation from this world even for a moment. Moreover, the pure pastimes of Hari devoid of the happiness found within Vraja give me no pleasure because they have no connection to Śrī Rādhā.

(8)
na me patnī-kanyā-tanaya-jananī-bandhu-nicayā
harau bhakte bhaktau na khalu yadi teṣāṁ sumamatā
abhaktānām anna-grahaṇam api doṣo viṣayiṇāṁ
kathaṁ teṣāṁ saṅgād dhari-bhajana-siddhir bhavati me

I no longer care about my wife, daughters, sons, mother and friends if they have no attachment to Hari, His devotees and the process of bhakti. It is indeed a great fault to accept food from non-devotees and materialists. How will I perfect my hari-bhajana by associating with such people?

(9)
asat-tarkair andhān jaḍa-sukha-parān kṛṣṇa-vimukhān
ku-nirvāṇāsaktān satatam ati-dūre pariharan
arādham govindaṁ bhajati nitarām dambhikatayā
tad-abhyāse kintu kṣaṇam api na yāmi vratam idam

I will always keep at a great distance those who are blinded by mundane logic, attached to material pleasures, those who are averse to Kṛṣṇa and attached to the ghastly state of impersonal liberation. Even for a moment, I will never approach anyone who arrogantly worships Govinda without Rādhā – that is my vow.

(10)
prasādānna-kṣīrāśana-vasana-pātrādibhir ahaṁ
padārthair nirvāhya vyavahṛtim asaṅgaḥ ku-viṣaye
vasann īśā-kṣetre yugala-bhajanānandita-manā-
stanuṁ mokṣye kāle yuga-pada-parāṇāṁ pada-tale

I shall only accept that food and milk, that cloth and those utensils that are first offered to the Lord. I shall not associate with those things that are mundane. I will only reside at the place of my Divine Mistress (Rādhā-kuṇḍa) and with a happy mind, I will engage in the blissful bhajana of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. At the feet of those devotees who are serving the feet of the Divine Couple, I will eventually be liberated from this material body.

(11)
śacī-sūnor ājñā-grahaṇa-caturo yo vraja-vane
parārādhyaṁ rādhām bhajati nitarāṁ kṛṣṇa-rasikām
ahaṁ tv etat-padāmṛtam anudinaṁ naiṣṭhika-manā
vaheyaṁ vai pītvā śirasi ca mudā sannati-yutaḥ

There are those who are expert in following the instructions of the Son of Śacī, and who, residing in Vraja, constantly serve Śrī Rādhā, Who is supremely worshippable and who relishes the rasa of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. With a fixed mind, I will drink the nectar of their feet and sprinkle it upon my head every day.

(12)
harer dāsyaṁ dharmo mama tu cira-kālam prakṛtito
mahā-māyā-yogād abhinipatitaḥ duḥkha-jaladhau
ito yāsyāmy ūrddhvaṁ sva-niyama-suratyā prati-dinaṁ
sahāyo me mātram vitatha-dalanī vaiṣṇava-kṛpā

My intrinsic nature is to be a servant of Hari, yet for a long time I have fallen into an ocean of despair because of my connection with Mahāmāya. By strictly following these self-imposed regulations every day I will be able to rise up from that ocean. Only by the mercy and help of the Vaiṣṇavas will I be able to crush material illusion.

(13)
kṛtaṁ kenāpy etat sva-bhajana-vidhau svaṁ niyamakaṁ
paṭhed yo viśraddhaḥ priya-yugala-rūpe ‘rpita-manāḥ
vraje rādhā-kṛṣṇau bhajati kila samprāpya nilayaṁ
sva-mañjaryāh paścād vividha-varivasyāṁ sa kurute

This Sva-niyama Dvādaśakam has been composed explaining my own personal mode of bhajana. One who reads this with great faith and worships the beloved forms of the Divine Couple firmly in their mind will reside in Vraja and worship Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa as one of their mañjarīs, eventually engaging in various services to Them.

iti śrīmat-saccidānanda-bhaktivinoda-ṭhakura-racitaṁ
śrī-sva-niyama-dvādaśakaṁ sampūrṇam

Thus ends Śrī Sva-niyama Dvādaśakam composed by Śrīmad Saccidānanda Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura

THE END