Shri Vallabhacarya’s Yamunastakam
16 Works of Vallabhacarya
The first of Shri Vallabhacharya’s Sixteen Works is the Yamunashtakam, composed around 1492 CE in the town of Gokul. It is his brilliant praise of the divine Yamuna River, who is also Shri Krishna’s most beloved.
It is through Shri Yamunaji’s grace that one receives the ability to meet Shri Krishna. Shri Yamunaji is the source of all divine powers and increases the bhaktas’ love for Shri Krishna. She purifies the earth and removes obstructions that keep bhaktas from experiencing the blessed Lord.
She removes the burdens of this age of struggle, elevates her bhaktas, and makes them dear to Krishna. Finally, she transforms the bhakta and makes her fit for Shri Krishna’s loving service. Shri Vallabhacharya’s praise of Shri Yamuna is the auspicious introduction to his Sixteen Works. In the master’s words:
In Praise of Shri Yamuna
I joyfully bow to Shri Yamunaji, giver of all divine powers. Her expansive sands shine brightly,
like the lotus feet of Lord Krishna. Flowers from fresh forests along Shri Yamunaji’s banks mingle with her and make her waters fragrant.Both humble and assertive gopis worship Shri Yamunaji well. She contains the beauty of Shri Krishna. (1)
Shri Yamunaji emerges from the heart of Lord Narayana, cascading from the summit of Kalinda Mountain
with brilliance. She appears to be swaying in a lovely swing as she descends the rocky slopes,
her waters roaring and filled with dalliance. Glories to Shri Yamunaji, the daughter of the sun, who increases the bhaktas’ love for Mukunda. (2)
Shri Yamunaji has come to earth for its purification. Like the gopis serve their beloved Krishna, Shri Yamunaji is served by the many songs of the peacocks, parrots, swans, and other birds. Her waves are her arms, and her sands are her pearly bangles. Her banks are her hips. Bow to beautiful Yamuna, the fourth and foremost beloved of Shri Krishna. (3)
Embellished with countless virtues, Shri Yamunaji is praised by Shiva, Brahma, and other divinities. Her hue is always the color of dark clouds. She fulfilled the wishes of Dhruva and Parasha. At her banks by the pure city of Mathura,she is surrounded by the gopis and gopas. O Yamunaji, you have taken the shelter of Shri Krishna, the ocean of grace. Bring joy to my heart. (4)
Only after Ganga merged with you, O Yamunaji, did she become beloved to Shri Krishna. Only then was Ganga able to give all devotional powers to those who worship her. If there is anyone who can even come close to you, it would be your co-wife, Shri Lakshmi. May you remain forever in my heart, Kalindi, beloved of Hari, destroyer of the strife of this age of Kali. (5)
Obeisances to you forever, Shri Yamunaji. Your story is most amazing. Those who sip your waters are never tormented by Yama, the god of retribution, for how could he ever harm the children of his younger sister, even if they are bad? Those who worship you become beloved to Hari, just like the gopis. (6)
By being near you, may my body be
divinely transformed and renewed.
Then it will not be difficult at all to love Krishna. This is why I cherish you. In this world, grace filled souls only praise Ganga after she has joined with you. (7)
Who is capable of praising you, Krishna’s beloved Shri Yamunaji, co-wife of Lakshmi?
If worshipped together with Shri Hari, Shri Lakshmi can at best award the bliss of liberation. Your story, however, is far greater, for your entire body is comprised of the beads of sweat that have fallen from Shri Krishna during his love plays with the gopis. (8)
O Yamuna, daughter of the sun! Those who joyfully recite this eight-fold praise have all of their impurities removed and love Shri Krishna, the giver of liberation. Through you, all devotional powers are attained and Shri Krishna becomes pleased. You transform the nature of your bhaktas, says Shri Vallabhacharya, beloved of Hari. (9)
Thus ends Śrī Yamunāṣṭakam by Shri Vallabhacharya.
Translated by Shyamdas
Related: Yamuna, Goddess Yamuna, How did Yamuna come to earth?
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