Eight Prayers in glorification of Lord Acyuta

by Adi Sankaracarya


acyutaḿ keśavaḿ rāma nārāyaṇaḿ
kṛṣṇa dāmodaraḿ vāsudevaḿ harim
śrīdharaḿ mādhavaḿ gopīkā-vallabhaḿ
jānakī-nāyakaḿ rāmacandraḿ bhaje

1) I worship Acyuta, the infallible one, Who is Rāmacandra, Keśava, Rāma, Nārāyaṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Dāmodara, Vāsudeva, Hari, Śrīdhara, Mādhava, Who is dear to Gopikā, and Who is the consort of Jānakī.


acyutaḿ keśavāḿ satyabhāmādhavaḿ
mādhavaḿ śrīdharaḿ rādhikā-rādhitam
indirā-mandiraḿ cetasā sundaraḿ
devakī-nandanaḿ nandanaḿ sandadhe

2) I offer my obeisances to Lord Keśava, Who is infallible (Acyuta), Who is the consort of Satyabhāmā, Mādhava, Śrīdhara, Who is longed-for by Rādhikā, Who is the temple of Lakṣmī (Indirā), Who is beautiful by thought, Who is dear to Devakī, and Who is dear to all.


viṣṇave jiṣṇave śańkhine cakriṇe
rukmiṇī-rāgiṇe jānakī-jānaye
kaḿsa-vidhvaḿsine vaḿśine te namaḥ

3) Salutations for Viṣṇu, Who conquers everyone, Who holds a conch-shell and a discus, Who is dear to Rukmiṇī, Who is the consort of Jānakī, Who is dear to gopi girls, Who is offered [in sacrifices], the Supersoul Who destroyed Kaṁsa, and Who plays the flute.


kṛṣṇa govinda he rāma nārāyaṇa
śrīpate vāsudevārjita śrīnidhe
acyutānanta he mādhavādhokṣaja
dvārakānāyaka draupadī-rakṣaka

4) O Kṛṣṇa! O Govinda! O Rāma! O Nārāyaṇa, Who is the consort of Lakṣmī! O Vāsudeva, Who attained the treasure of Lakṣmī! O Acyuta, Who is immeasurable! O Mādhava, O Adhokṣaja, Who is the leader of Dvārakā, and Who is the protector of Draupadī!


rākṣasa-kṣobhitaḥ sītayā śobhito
lakṣmaṇe-nānvito vānaraiḥ sevito-
'gastya-sampujito rāghavaḥ pātu mām

5) May Rāghava — Who disturbed the atheistic practices of the demons, Who adorned Sītā, Who is Danḍaka-forest purification cause, Who is accompanied by Lakṣmaṇa, Who was served by monkeys, and Who is revered by Sage Agastya — O Lord, please protect me.


keśihā kaḿsa-hṛd-vaḿśikā-vādakaḥ
pūtanā-kopakaḥ surajā khelano
bāla gopālakaḥ pātu māḿ sarvadā

6) May Baby Gopāla (Kṛṣṇa) — Who was unfavorable to Dhenukāsura and Ariṣṭāsura, Who destroyed Keśī, Who killed Kaṁsa, Who plays the flute, and Who got angry on Pūtanā — always protect me.


prāvṛḍambhodavat prollasad-vigrahaḿ
vanyayā mālayā śobhitorasthalaḿ
lohitāńghridvayaḿ vārijākṣaḿ bhaje

7) I sing praise of Acyuta, Who is adorned by a lightening like shining yellow robe, Whose body is resplendent like a cloud of the rainy-season, Who is adorned by a wild-flower garland at His chest, Whose twin-feet are of copper-red color, and Who has lotus-like eyes.


kuñcitaiḥ kuntalair bhrojamānānanaḿ
ratnamauliḿ lasatkuṇḍalaḿ gaṇḍayoḥ
hārakeyurakaḿ kańkaṇa-projjvalaḿ
kińkiṇīmañjulaḿ śyāmalaḿ taḿ bhaje

8) I sing praise of that Śyāma, Whose face is adorned by falling locks of curly tresses, Who has jewels at forehead, Who has shining ear-rings on the cheeks, Who is adorned with a Keyūra (flower) garland, Who has a resplendent bracelet, and Who has a melodious anklet.



Krishna • Govinda • Keshava • Madhava • Damodara • Vasudeva • Gopika • Rama • Narayana

I sing praise of that Śyāma, Whose face is adorned by falling locks of curly tresses,
Who has jewels at forehead, Who has shining ear-rings on the cheeks, Who is adorned with
a Keyūra (flower) garland, Who has a resplendent bracelet, and Who has a melodious anklet.



Sripad Shankara-acharya is described in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura as follows:

"Paramahamsa Premadasa Babaji prostrated himself respectfully upon hearing the name of Sri Sankaracarya. He said, "My dear sir, always remember this: …sankarah sankarah sakshad… 'Sri Sankaracarya is Lord Siva himself.' Sri Sankaracarya is the spiritual preceptor of all the Vaishnavas and for this reason Sri Caitanya has acclaimed him as an acarya, great preceptor. Sri Sankaracarya is a perfect Vaishnava.

Adi Shankara"At the time of his appearance, India urgently required a guna-avatara, an incarnation who presides over the material nature, because the spread of the voidistic philosophy of Buddhism had caused India to practically give up the cultivation and study of the Vedas, as well as the practice of varnasrama-dharma, the Vedic social system. Nihilistic Buddhism, known as sunyavada, directly denies the existence of a personal God and although hinting at the principle of the jiva-atma, the eternal spirit soul, Buddhism remains in essence anitya-dharma. In those days, the brahmanas had all but forsaken the Vedic religion and converted to Buddhism.

"At this historic moment, the extraordinarily powerful Lord Siva appeared as Sri Sankaracarya and reinstated the pristine glory of the Vedas by transforming nihilistic Voidism into monistic Brahmanism. This was a spectacular achievement, for which India will always remain indebted to Sri Sankaracarya. Works in the world may be judged by two standards. Some works are tat-kalika, specific to a particular time, and others are sarva-kalika, for all time. Sri Sankaracarya's achievement, which resulted in great good for human society, belongs to the former category. He laid a firm foundation, upon which Sri Ramanujacarya and Sri Madhvacarya later constructed the grand edifice of pure Vaishnava philosophy. Therefore, he is one of the greatest benefactors and historic torchbearers of the Vaishnava religion.

"The spiritual guidelines Sri Sankaracarya laid down act as beacons to the Vaishnavas on their path of spiritual progress. For instance, sambandha-jnana-knowledge of the eternal relationships between the jiva, prakriti, and Bhagavan-is absolutely essential for the conditioned jivas. The Vaishnavas and Sri Sankaracarya share the understanding that the cit-vastu, spiritual existence, is supramundane and transcendental to the subtle and gross material bodies of the external material nature. They are also of the same opinion regarding the spiritual nature of the jiva. They agree, too, that liberation means giving up one's attachment to the material world. Up to the stage of mukti, the Vaishnavas concur with Sri Sankaracarya on many philosophical points. Sri Sankaracarya also taught that a soul purifies his consciousness by worshiping the Supreme Lord, Sri Hari, after which he attains mukti.

"What Sri Sankaracarya remains silent about, however, are the wonderful realizations the jiva experiences after attaining mukti. Sri Sankaracarya was confident that once the jivas were set on the path of liberation attainable by worshiping the Supreme Lord, Sri Hari, they would gradually develop a taste and an attachment for devotional service and ultimately become pure devotees of the Lord. Hence, Sri Sankaracarya-after plainly indicating the proper way-did not delve further into the esoteric aspects of Vaishnava philosophy. Those who scrutinizingly study Sri Sankaracarya's commentaries can comprehend his underlying intention, but those who ponder only the external and superficial aspects of his teachings are diverted from the Vaishnava path.

"Sripada Sankaracarya described the concept of advaita, non-dualism, as the pure, transcendental state of the Absolute Truth. Unfortunately, his confused followers are unable to grasp the esoteric import of this philosophy and in the process they are denigrating his good reputation by ascribing an incorrect interpretation to his statements. They describe the transcendental conditions of prema as maya, material illusion, and thus the doctrine they preach is known as mayavada philosophy. It is most degraded. Their philosophical aberration extirpates the quality of eternality in prema; hence, the Vaishnavas have concluded that such philosophy is non-Vedic."

Jaiva Dharma Chapter 2, The Nitya-dharma of the Living Entity Is Pure and Everlasting

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