By Sri Vallabhacharya
The first of Shri Vallabhacharya’s sixteen works is the Yamunastakam. It is his brilliant praise of the divine river Who is also Shri Krishna’s most beloved. It is through Shri Yamunaji’s grace that one receives the ability to meet Krishna. She is the source of all divine powers and increases the bhakta’s 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 being and makes her fit for His loving service. Shri Vallabhacharya’s Praise of Yamuna is the auspicious introduction to his sixteen works. In the master’s words.
Namami yamunam-aham, sakala siddhi hetum muda,
Murari pada-pankaja, sfurada-manda-renoot katam,
Sura-asura-supoojitaha, smara-pitu: shriyam bibhrateem||1||
I joyfully bow down to Shri Yamunaji, the giver of all divine powers. Her expansive sands shine brightly like the lotus feet of Lord Krishna. Flowers from fresh forests on Her banks mingle with Yamunaji and make Her waters fragrant. Both humble and ascertive Gopis worship Shri Yamunaji well. She contains the beauty of Krishna.
Vilasa-gamanol lasat, prakata-ganda-shailonnata,
Mukunda-rati-vardhini, jayati padma-bandhoh suta||2||
Appearing from the heart of Narayan, Shri Yamunaji cascades from the summit of the Kalindi mountain with brilliance. She descends the rocky sides of the Kalindi with dalliance, Her waters roaring as She appears to be swaying in a lovely swing. Glories to Shri Yamunaji, the daughter of the sun, Who increases the bhakta’s love for Mukunda.
Bhuvam bhuvana paawaneem, adhigata-maneka svanai:,
Priya abhiriva sevitham, shuka-mayur-hansadibhi:,
Nitamba-tata-sundareem, namata krshna-turya-priyaam||3||
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 others. Her waves are Her arms and Her pearly bangles are Her sands. Her banks are her hips. Bow to this beautiful Yamuna, the fourth and foremost beloved of Krishna.
ghana-ghana-nibhe sada, dhruva-parashara-bhish-tade,
↑Vishuddha-mathura tate, sakala gopa-gopi-vrute,
Krupaa-jaladhi-sanshrite, mama-manah sukham bhaavaya:||4||
Embellished with countless virtues, Shri Yamunaji is praised by Shiva, Brahma and others. Her hue is always the color of dark clouds and She fulfills the wishes of Dhruva and Parasha. At Her banks by the pure city of Mathura, She is surrounded by the Gopis. Oh Yamunaji, You have taken the shelter of Shri Krishna, the ocean of grace. Bring joy to my heart.
Yayaa charana-padmajaa, muraripoh priyam bhavuka,
Samaa-gamanato bhavath, sakala siddhidaa sevataam,
↑Tayaa sadrusha-thamiyaath, kamalaja sa patni va yat,
Hari-priya-kalindayaa, manasi me sadaa sthee-yataam||5||
Only when Ganga merged with You, O Yamunaji, did She become beloved to Krishna and only then was Ganga able to give all devotional powers to those who worship Her. If there is anyone who can come close to You, it would be Your co-wife Shri Laxshmi. May You remain forever in my heart Kalindi, Beloved of Hari, Destroyer of the strifes of this age of Kali.
Namostu yamune sadaa, tava charitram atyadbhutam,
Na jaatu yama-yaatnaa, bhavati te Paya:-paanata:,
↑Yamopi bhagini-sutaan, kathamu-hanti dushtaan-api,
Priyo bhavati sevanaat, tava harer yatha gopi-kaa:||6||
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.
Mamaastu tava sannidhau, tanu-navatvam etaavata,
Na durlabhatamaa ratir, mura-ripau mukunda-priye,
↑Atostu tava laalanaa, sura-dhuni paraam sangamaat,
Tavaiva bhuvi kirtitha, na tu kadaapi pushti-sthitai:||7||
By being near you may my body be divinely transformed and renewed. Then it will not be at all difficult to love Krishna. This is why I cherish you. Ganga was praised in the world only after She joined You and grace-filled souls only worship Ganga after she has met You.
Stutim tava karoti ka:, kamalajaasa-patni-priye,
Harer-yad-anu-sevayaa, bhavati saukhya-ma-mokshatah,
↑Eyam tava kathaa-adhikaa, sakala-gopikaa-sangamah,
Smara-shrama-jalanubhi:, sakala-gatrajaih sangamah||8||
Who is capable of praising you, Krishna’s beloved Shri Yamunaji, co-wife of Laxshmi? If worshipped in conjunction with Hari, Shri Laxshmi 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 dropped from Shri Krishna as He joins with the Gopis.
Tava-ashtakam-idam muda, patathi suura-suthe sada,
Samasta-durita-kshayo, bhavati vai mukunde rati:,
↑Taya sakala siddhayo, mura-ripushca santushyati,
Svabhaava-vijiyo bhavet, vadati vallabhah shrihare:.
Oh Yamuna, Daughter of the sun! Those who joyfully recite this eight-fold praise have all of their impurities removed and love Krishna, the Giver of liberation. Through You all devotional powers are attained and Shri Krishna is pleased. You transform the nature of your bhaktas, says Vallabh, Beloved of Hari.