Śubh Janmāṣtami! Happy Birthday to Śrī Kṛṣṇa! Lord Kṛṣṇa is a primary teacher and embodiment of dharma. From the moment of his birth, through his childhood, and the rest of his adult life, he inspires us to taste the sweetness of devotion to the Supreme Presence.
In honor of this joyful holiday, we invite you to sing or chant along with this ancient Sanskrit hymn that praises Śrī Kṛṣṇa as the Lord of Sweetness. This is an original translation of the Madhurāṣṭakam. The word “madhura” means sweet, and is repeated throughout. It directs our attention to the fact that for a true devotee, all forms and aspects of divine love are sweet.
Śrī Vivek Godbole has sung it for us in three different melodies: simple and nourishing; deep and evocative; and rhythmic and steady. You can listen and sing along to whichever one tugs most at your heart.
॥ Madhurāṣṭakam ॥
अधरं मधुरं वदनं मधुरं नयनं मधुरं हसितं मधुरम्।
हृदयं मधुरं गमनं मधुरं मधुराधिपतेरखिलं मधुरम् ॥१॥
adharaṃ madhuraṃ vadanaṃ madhuraṃ nayanaṃ madhuraṃ hasitaṃ madhuram ।
hṛdayaṃ madhuraṃ gamanaṃ madhuraṃ madhurādhipaterakhilaṃ madhuram ॥1॥
Sweet are your lips, sweet your face! Your eyes are sweet and so is your smile! Your heart is sweet and sweet is your gait! Everything about you, O Lord of Sweetness, is sweet and only sweet! ॥1॥
वचनं मधुरं चरितं मधुरं वसनं मधुरं वलितं मधुरम्।
चलितं मधुरं भ्रमितं मधुरं मधुराधिपतेरखिलं मधुरम् ॥२॥
vacanaṃ madhuraṃ caritaṃ madhuraṃ vasanaṃ madhuraṃ valitaṃ madhuram ।
calitaṃ madhuraṃ bhramitaṃ madhuraṃ madhurādhipaterakhilaṃ madhuram ॥2॥
Sweet are your words, sweet your behavior! Your clothes are sweet and so is your posture! Sweet are your movements, sweet your wandering! Everything about you, O Lord of Sweetness, is sweet and only sweet! ॥2॥
वेणुर्मधुरो रेणुर्मधुरः पाणिर्मधुरः पादौ मधुरौ।
नृत्यं मधुरं सख्यं मधुरं मधुराधिपतेरखिलं मधुरम् ॥३॥
veṇurmadhuro reṇurmadhuraḥ pāṇirmadhuraḥ pādau madhurau ।
nṛtyaṃ madhuraṃ sakhyaṃ madhuraṃ madhurādhipaterakhilaṃ madhuram ॥3॥
Sweet is your flute, sweet your garland! Your hands are sweet and so are your feet! Sweet is your dance, sweet your friendship! Everything about you, O Lord of Sweetness, is sweet and only sweet! ॥3॥
गीतं मधुरं पीतं मधुरं भुक्तं मधुरं सुप���तं मधुरम् ।
रूपं मधुरं तिलकं मधुरं मधुराधिपतेरखिलं मधुरम् ॥४॥
gītaṃ madhuraṃ pītaṃ madhuraṃ bhuktaṃ madhuraṃ suptaṃ madhuram ।
rūpaṃ madhuraṃ tilakaṃ madhuraṃ madhurādhipaterakhilaṃ madhuram ॥4॥
Sweet is your song, sweet the way you drink! Your eating is sweet and the way you sleep! Sweet is your beautiful form and sweet is the mark on your forehead (tilaka)! Everything about you, O Lord of Sweetness, is sweet and only sweet! ॥4॥
गुंजा मधुरा माला मधुरा यमुना मधुरा वीची मधुरा।
सलिलं मधुरं कमलं मधुरं मधुराधिपतेरखिलं मधुरम् ॥५॥
guñjā madhurā mālā madhurā yamunā madhurā vīcī madhurā ।
salilaṃ madhuraṃ kamalaṃ madhuraṃ madhurādhipaterakhilaṃ madhuram ॥5॥
Sweet your guñjā-seeds necklace, sweet your garland! Your Yamunā River is sweet and so are its waves! Sweet are its waters and sweet the lotus flowers! Everything about you, O Lord of Sweetness, is sweet and only sweet! ॥5॥
करणं मधुरं तरणं मधुरं हरणं मधुरं स्मरणं मधुरम्।
वमितं मधुरं शमितं मधुरं मधुराधिपतेरखिलं मधुरम् ॥६॥
karaṇaṃ madhuraṃ taraṇaṃ madhuraṃ haraṇaṃ madhuraṃ smaraṇaṃ madhuram ।
vamitaṃ madhuraṃ śamitaṃ madhuraṃ madhurādhipaterakhilaṃ madhuram ॥6॥
Sweet are your deeds, sweet the way you swim! Your mischievous stealing is sweet and sweet is your remembrance! Sweet is your sickness and sweet your recovery! Everything about you, O Lord of Sweetness, is sweet and only sweet!
गोपी मधुरा लीला मधुरा युक्तं मधुरं भुक्तं मधुरम् ।
इष्टं मधुरं शिष्टं मधुरं मधुराधिपतेरखिलं मधुरम् ॥७॥
gopī madhurā līlā madhurā yuktaṃ madhuraṃ bhuktaṃ madhuram ।
iṣṭaṃ madhuraṃ śiṣṭaṃ madhuraṃ madhurādhipaterakhilaṃ madhuram ॥7॥
Sweet are the milkmaids (gopīs), sweet your divine play! Sweet when you are united, and sweet is your enjoyment! Sweet is your desire and sweet your erudition! Everything about you, O Lord of Sweetness, is sweet and only sweet! ॥7॥
गोपा मधुरा गावो मधुरा यष्टिर्मधुरा सृष्टिर्मधुरा।
दलितं मधुरं फलितं मधुरं मधुराधिपतेरखिलं मधुरम् ॥८॥
gopā madhurā gāvo madhurā yaṣṭirmadhurā sṛṣṭirmadhurā ।
dalitaṃ madhuraṃ phalitaṃ madhuraṃ madhurādhipaterakhilaṃ madhuram ॥ 8॥
Sweet are the cowherds (gopas), sweet the cows! Sweet your herding stick and sweet your creation!
Sweet is your destruction and sweet your boons! Everything about you, O Lord of Sweetness, is sweet and only sweet!
॥ इति श्रीचैतन्मयंविरचितं मधुराष्टकं सम्पूर्णं ॥
॥ iti śrīcaitanyaṃ viracitaṃ madhurāṣṭakaṃ sampūrṇaṃ ॥
Thus ends the eight stanzas of sweetness composed by Śrī Caitanya. [N.B. Although this version of the text attributes it to Śrī
Caitanya, most attest it to Śrī Vallabhācārya.]