by Adi Sankaracarya
acyutaḿ keśavaḿ rāma nārāyaṇaḿ
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
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
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
sankarah sankarah sakshad
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.
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
"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