Chaitanya’s Prayer: A Perfect Primer – Br. Shankara

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March 21, 2021

March is a month for study of Raja Yoga, a spiritual path often called the yoga of meditation. As a raja yogi, you use ancient, proven spiritual techniques to quiet your mind and gain control of your attention.

Regular daily practice of Raja Yoga increases your ability to concentrate, and may lead to meditation. This can unite you with the Divine Presence, the source of your being, and liberate you from the cycle of rebirth and death. Raja yogis call this state of liberation kaivalya — independence.

Each Incarnation of God brings a special message to suffering humanity — they instruct us in how to move from where we find ourselves at this moment, to realization of our true original nature, or knowledge of God. On Sunday morning we’ll take up a message left for us by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Chaitanya’s Prayer, as interpreted by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, is recited here during morning Arati. It is also heard in the temples, convents, and monasteries of the Vedanta Society of Southern California, at Vivekananda Retreat Ridgely, and other Vedanta centers in the U.S.

This prayer brings the practice, goal, and results of chanting the Divine Name into sharp focus in about three minutes. It is therefore a primer in the truest sense of the word. The prayer’s tone and language are intense; it can be thought of as one of the most beautiful love songs ever written.

In this talk we explore and discuss the prayer and its teachings. This will include an introduction to Sri Chaitanya, and some discussion of the high regard in which the saint was held by Sri Ramakrishna and Holy Mother.