An ancient prayer by an unknown Vaisnava author
with kind permission from the Sri Gaudiya Giti-Guccha)
Nectar 10 from
New Vraja Dhama
I offer pranama to that foremost of thieves-who is famous in Vraja as the butter-thief and who steals the gopis’ clothes, and who, for those who take shelter of Him, steals the sins which have accrued over many lifetimes.
I offer pranama to the foremost of thieves-who steals Srimati Radhika’s heart, who steals the dark lustre of a fresh raincloud, and who steals all the sins and sufferings of those who take shelter of His feet.
He turns His surrendered devotees into paupers and wandering, homeless beggars-aho! Such a fearsome thief has never been seen or heard of in all the three worlds.
Mere utterance of His name purges one of a mountain of sins-such an astonishingly wonderful thief I have never seen or heard of anywhere!
ca manam ca tathendriyani
He Thief! Having stolen my wealth, my honour, my senses, and my very life, where can You run to? I have caught You with the rope of my devotion.
You cut the terrible noose of Yamaraja (the lord of death), You sever the dreadful noose of material existence, and You slash everyone’s material bondage, but You are unable to cut the knot fastened by Your own loving devotees.
O stealer of my everything! He Thief! Today I have imprisoned You in the miserable prison-house of my heart which is very fearful due to the darkness of my ignorance, and there for a very long time You will remain, receiving appropriate punishment for Your crimes of thievery!
vasa sada hrdaye madiye
O Krishna, thief of my everything! The noose of my devotion remaining forever tight, You will continue to reside in the prison-house of my heart because I will not release You for millions of aeons. This astaka is recited in the poetic meter known as ‘Upajati’.
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