Prayer XIV

My dear Rādhārāṇī, You are like a life-giving cloud, for You are always pouring the rains of Your mercy upon Your children. And during Kartik, those rains become a monsoon which lasts for an entire month.

O Mother, may all souls who turn to Kṛṣṇa during this month become drenched by the monsoon rains of Your mercy. And as they offer lamps to Your beloved, please ignite the lamp of devotion within their hearts.


Prayer XVIII

My dear Lord Nityānanda, Your lotus feet became the shelter for Jagāi and Mādhāi, two of the greatest sinners, and by Your mercy they became great devotees of the Supreme Lord.

I have been absorbed in sinful activities for countless lifetimes, so I take shelter of those same lotus feet. O Nitāi, please take pity upon me! Only a drop of Your mercy can bring peace to my tormented heart!


Prayer XVII

Once, the kingdom of Mithilā was struck by a terrible famine, so King Janaka performed a great sacrifice to invoke rain. When that matchless king was ploughing the fields to prepare them for the sacrifice, he unearthed a golden casket containing a beautiful baby girl. My dear Sītā-devī, how fortunate he was to receive you, who are none other than the goddess of fortune herself, as his daughter! From that day onwards, you became the source of limitless joy for all of the residents of Mithilā.

O Jānakī, your pastimes are truly wonderful to hear! As a child, you astonished your father by effortlessly lifting the bow of Lord Śiva, which even the greatest demigods had never been able to lift. As a result, he vowed that only the man who could lift and string that bow would be permitted to take your hand in marriage.

Dear Mother, my heart is often full of anxiety, but every time I stand before your Deity in the temple room, you bestow your soothing smile upon me and all my worries seem to fade away. Thank you for always being so merciful to me and disregarding my long list of faults. And please forgive me for repeatedly taking your mercy for granted.

O Devī, your one-pointed devotion to Lord Rāma is unrivalled. Your only concern in life is to please the Lord by your words, thoughts and actions. When He was exiled to the forest, you did not hesitate to give up all royal comforts and accompany Him, reasoning that a life without Rāma was no life at all. Mother, I beg you to bestow your mercy upon me so that I may also develop exclusive devotion towards the Lord of my heart.

Later, Rāvaṇa tried to separate you from Lord Rāma, for he wanted to use you to gratify his senses, but this ultimately destroyed him. Similarly, I spend most of my time trying to enjoy the material world separately from the Lord, and this is gradually destroying me. Dear Sītā-devī, please help me to realise what you know to be true — that the greatest pleasure in life comes from pleasing the Supreme Lord, not from pleasing one’s own senses.


Prayer XVII

My dear Lord Rāmacandra, all glories unto You, who are the embodiment of virtue and morality and the source of ever-increasing pleasure for Your devotees.

When I was a child, I would read about Your pastimes with wonder, and it recently occurred to me that the very same Rāma that I heard so much about is now present before my eyes every day in His Deity form. It is only due to Your mercy that I am in such a fortunate position — please forgive me for taking so long to recognise that mercy.

My Lord, just as You entered the heart of Rāvaṇa’s kingdom and destroyed that lusty demon, I beg You to enter my heart and destroy the lust within it. For as long as I can remember, my heart has been a battleground, being the site of my daily battle with lust — please sanctify that ground with the touch of Your lotus feet and vanquish my enemy with the arrows of Your purity.

Up until now, I have tried to fight the battle alone, but now I finally understand that without Your help, I will never be able to overcome the lust which keeps me away from You and which threatens to tear apart my spiritual life.

Rama slays Ravana

Prayer XVI

My Lord, when the demon Aghāsura came to Vṛndāvana, he assumed the form of a giant python whose body was eight miles in length and whose open mouth resembled a huge cave that stretched up into the clouds. He lay down on the road and waited for You and the cowherd boys to arrive, hoping to swallow you all.

When Your dear friends saw the demon, they debated as to whether he was a natural part of the landscape, a statue of a python, a dead python, or a living python trying to swallow them up. After concluding that he was the latter, they still entered the demon’s mouth, laughing loudly and clapping their hands as they did so. They felt no fear, being fully confident that You would protect them. And, seeing that the helpless cowherd boys had entered Aghāsura’s body like straw into fire, You did indeed vanquish the demon and save them all.

O Kṛṣṇa, Your pure devotees do not know anything but You, but this complete dependence makes them fearless, for You are the infallible protector of Your devotees. By Your arrangement, the cowherd boys are unaware that You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead — they simply see You as their dearest friend. However, they never hesitate to take full shelter of You. On the other hand, I am aware of Your supreme position yet I often take shelter of everything except You.

Just as Your friends entered the demon’s mouth despite knowing his wicked intentions, I repeatedly enter the dark cave of lust and pride, despite knowing that I will be swallowed up by the darkness. As long as I think that I can escape this cave without Your help, You respect my free will and do not interfere. But when I finally depend on You, realising that only You can save me, You immediately penetrate the darkness like a shining lamp and illuminate the way out. For this, dear Kṛṣṇa, I am very grateful.

Unfortunately, every time you free me from the clutches of lust and pride, I simply take shelter of them again. O Lord, please forgive this foolishness of mine. I pray that by hearing Your holy names and the transcendental knowledge emanating from the mouths of Your devotees, my heart will become purified and the natural love for You which has been perverted into lust will revert to its original form.


Prayer XV

My dear Kṛṣṇa, when I read about Your sweet childhood pastimes I am always struck with wonder. How amazing it is that even whilst appearing in the form of a baby, You remain in full possession of Your inconceivable power!

O Lord, You have no need to personally appear in this material world, for everything can be achieved by Your various energies, yet You appear anyway, simply to attract the hearts of the conditioned souls back to You. O merciful one, I am very grateful for this.

Forgive me for my foolishness and false pride, my Lord. I know that I sound like a so-called learned scholar who speaks big words but actually knows very little. And I know my words do a very poor job of describing Your incomparable glories.

O Kṛṣṇa, when the demon Tṛṇāvarta came to Gokula in the form of a whirlwind, You allowed Him to carry You high into the sky. A dust storm plunged all of Gokula into a darkness so dense that people could not even see themselves, let alone anyone else, and thus they became very disturbed. Finding no trace of You, mother Yaśodā fell on the ground and lamented like a cow who has lost her calf, her eyes full of tears.

Similarly, I once allowed the whirlwind of selfish desire to tear through my heart and carry You far away. My heart became enveloped in a cloud of dust so dense that I lost sight of my identity as Your eternal servant. Considering myself to be the body and others to be objects of my enjoyment, I tried to find happiness but always remained in a disturbed condition.

Then, like a powerful ray of sunlight, Śrīla Prabhupāda managed to penetrate the dust cloud and inject transcendental knowledge into my heart. I now know that if I follow his instructions faithfully and chant Your holy names, the dust will dissipate and I will be able to see things as they really are.

Due to their intense attachment to You, mother Yaśodā and the other cowherd women greatly lamented Your absence, but I am so unfortunate that I have no such attachment. O Lord, this long-suffering soul prays, “May the whirlwind of Your mercy carry away my attachment to sense gratification and replace it with attachment to Your lotus feet.”


Prayer XIV

My dear Lord, sometimes when I think of You, my eyes become like rainclouds and my face becomes wet with their ecstatic rainfall. But what is the use of all those tears if they do not water the roots of my desire to serve You? Often, they simply nourish the weed of my pride instead.

My mind likes to tell me, “One who cries so much for Kṛṣṇa must be an advanced devotee,” but if I have no desire to perform devotional service then I am no kind of devotee at all.

O Lord, please send Your pure devotee to guide me; in the association of such a great soul, my selfish desires will become purified and a genuine desire to serve You will take root in my heart.