Vijayate Sri Krishna Sankirtanam
Excerpts from a lecture delivered by Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad in 1932

Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!

Bhava mahaadaavaagni nirvaapanam
Shreyah kairava chandrikaa vitaranam
Vidya-vadhu jivanam
Anandaambudhi vardhanam
Prati-padam poornaamrit-aaswaadanam
Sarvaatma snapanam
Param vijayate Sri Krishna sankirtanam

The seven tongues of the fire of Sankirtana

Supreme victory to the chanting of the holy name of Sri Krishna, which cleanses the mirror of the heart and completely extinguishes the blazing forest fire of material existence, and which spreads the moon rays of bhava and causes the white lotus of good fortune for the jivas to bloom.

The holy name is the life and soul of transcendental knowledge, which is herein compared to a wife. It continuously enhances the ocean of transcendental bliss, enabling one to relish total nectar at every step and thoroughly cleanses and cools everything, internal and external, including one’s body, heart, self (atma) and nature. (Sri Shikshashtakam 1)

The Vedic scriptures describe fire as having seven ‘tongues’ (of flame), each of a different colour according to its intensity. The colours of these tongues are blackish (karaali); deep smoky purple (dhumina); white (shweta); red (lohita); golden (swarna) and reddish pink like a lotus (padmaraaga).

In the same way, Sri Gaursundara has sung the glories of the fire of sankirtana, which also has seven tongues. They are cheto-darpana-maarjana and so forth. Unless the fire of sankirtana is kindled and blazes, one’s (attachment to) material existence will not be removed by the root, and salvation’s top-most goal, prema, will never be achieved.

Sri Gaurhari describes the fire of sankirtana’s seven tongues using seven similes. He likens (1) the heart to a mirror; (2) material existence to a great forest fire; (3) spiritual welfare to moonlight or the brightness of the moon; (4) knowledge to a bride, (5) bliss to the ocean, (6) prema to ambrosia and (7) the attainment of service to Sri Krishna to a spiritual bath in which one fully immerses onself.

The adverb prati-padam (at every step) is used before each of these seven adjectives, which define sankirtana.

The fire of Sri Krishna sankirtana will achieve topmost victory by burning to ashes and engulfing every desire other than the desire to serve Sri Krishna. This includes all possible desire for the results of fruitive activities, of developing speculative knowledge and mystic powers; of strictly observing vows and of performing austerities.

Anyone of good intelligence in the past, present or future can realise the most exalted victory of Sri Krishna Chaitanya sankirtana, no matter where in this world he is born. Less intelligent persons engage in other practices to attain other goals. Those who are intelligent engage in the yagna of sankirtana to worship with love that great personality of fair complexion whose radiance is the colour of molten gold.

Srimad Bhagavatam glorifies Sri Gaursundara, the source of all incarnations, whose identity is concealed, in verses like:

Krishna varnam tvishaakrishnam
Dhyeyam sadaa paribhava-ghnam abheeshta doham


Tyaktvaa su-dustyaja surepsita raajya lakshmim (SB 11.5.32-34)

May the fire of the sankirtana yagna, which is adorned with seven tongues and kindled by highly intelligent persons, continually remain alight in Sri Chaitanya Matha.

Sri Krishna Chaitanya sankirtana authomatically achieves everything that is accomplished by performing intense meditation (maha dhyana) in Satya Yuga; grand and elaborate sacrifices (maha yagna) in Treta Yuga and opulent deity worship (maha archana) in Dwapara Yuga.

In Satya yuga, when religion stood on all four legs (austerity, cleanliness, mercy and truthfulness), only meditation was performed. In Treta yuga, when religion stood on three legs (cleanliness, mercy and truthfulness), only sacrifice was performed. In Dwapara yuga, when religious principles stood on two legs (mercy and truthfulness), only deity worship was performed. But in Kali yuga (when religion stands only one one leg – truthfulness), the source of all incarnations Sri Gaursundara, appears and delivers the people by manifesting sankirtana. He thus gives a person the opportunity to simultaneously perform intense meditation, magnificent sacrifice and opulent worship of the deity - through one simple activity.

One cannot serve the combined form of Sri Radha Govinda (i.e. Mahaprabhu), by any means other than sankirtana. Nor can one serve Sri Radha Govinda simply by performing archana. They can be served only by maha archana, that is, sankirtana.

In the same way, the gopis cannot be satisfied by the yogis’ practice of meditation. Meditation is appropriate in relation to a remote entity, who is hidden and beyond reach; it is inappropriate in relation to a person who has been easily and completely made one’s own, and whom one holds in constant embrace.

Krishna appeared towards the end of the Dwapara yuga and projecting Himself as the object of devotion, personally spoke such words as: “maam ekam sharanam vraja” “surrender only unto me” and “aham hi sarva yagnaanaam bhoktaa ca prabhur eva ca” “I alone am the enjoyer and master of all sacrifices”. But as the darkness and intoxication of atheism became prominent, the multitude of souls, who were driven by demonic intelligence, thought that the autocrat Purushottama, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, had spoken these words out of ego and pride. Thus they deviated from the path of spiritual welfare.

No one in the present age would care to listen to Sri Krishna’s words if He simply appeared again in the same form. It was essential that He appear combined with Sri Vrishabhanu-nandini and thereby avoid the perception of the public that He is autocratic.

Let the celebrations on the eve of the appearance of the combined form of Sri Radha Madhava be accomplished by means of sankirtana, the congregational chanting of the holy names. Let all other conceptions be reduced to ashes in the fire of sankirtana. May the consciousness of all living beings become fuel in the fire of love for Krishna (Krishna kaamaagni), in the fire of service to His holy names (Krishna naamaagni) and in the fire of service to His divine abode (Krishna dhaamaagni).

Ganga devi has achieved oneness with Sri Yamuna Maharani by the influence of the appearance of Gaursundara, who is non-different from Vrajendra-nandana. Upon her banks the secret amorous pastimes of Radha and Madhava combined – that is, sankirtana-rasa – be victorious!


Sri Sachi-nanda Gaurhari ki Jai !!

Jai Jai Sri Radhey !!