Excerpts from the Nama-Ghosa: The Beginning

The first two couplets of Madhavadeva’s Nām Ghosā is interpreted as containing the key to the whole work:

First, Madhavadeva bows to the selfless devotee (bhakata) whose model is his Guru Sankaradeva himself. Second, he prays for the devotion (bhakti) which is full of joy. This is pure, selfless devotion which spurns even liberation. Third, Madhavadeva reveals the object of his devotion, the Deity or deva to be the Lord of the Yadavas, Shri Krishna, who is ever-joyous (sadānanda) and eternal (sanātana). Finally, he declares the Name (Nāma) of the Lord to be all-powerful. It is so powerful that it can rescue even the sinners and transport them to the Supreme Abode.

Bhajana

muktito nisprha yito | sehi bhakataka namo
	rasamay māngoho bhakati /
samasta mastaka mani | nija bhakatara basya
	bhajo hena Deva Yadupati // 1 //

I bow low to that devotee who is indifferent even to salvation.
I pray for that devotion which is full of sweet joy.
Who is the crown-jewel of all heads, and (yet)
Who is subservient to His own devotee,
I worship such a Lord Yadupati. [1]

yāra Rāma-Krishna nāma | nāve bhava-sindhu tari
	pāve parampada pāpi yata /
sadānanda sanātana | henaya Krishnaka sadā
	upāsā karonho hridayata // 2 //

Whose name ‘Rāma-Krishna’ serves as a boat, as it were,
Ferrying all sinners across the world-ocean
Towards the supreme abode
Such a Lord Krishna,
Who is eternal and ever-joyous,
I always worship in my heart. [2]

Namaskār

Matsya, Kurma, Narasimha | Vāmana, Parasurāma
	Halirāma, Varāha, Sri-Rāma /
Buddha, Kalki nāme dasa | ākrti dharichā Krishna
	tayu pāve karonho pranāma // 3 // 

I bow down at Thy Feet, O Krishna! Thou, who hast incarnated Thyself in the ten forms with (diverse) names, Matsya (the fish), Kurma (the tortoise), Narasimha (the man-lion), Vamana (the dwarf), Parasurama (Rama with the Axe), Halirama (Balarama), Varaha (the boar), Sri Rama, Buddha and Kalki. [3]

Upadesa

ekānta bhakata save | nirguna Krishnara guna
	gāve sadā basiyā yathāta /
Vaikunthaka parihari | yogiro hridaya eri
	thākā Hari sāksāte tathāta // 4 //

Verily, O Hari! Dwellest Thou there, where those who are single-minded in devotion to Thee, sit and sing always the attributes of the attributeless Krishna; for their sake, dost Thou leave behind even the Vaikuntha and the hearts of the Yogis. [4]

karmata bisvāsa yāra | hiyāta thākanto Hari
	ātisaya dura honta tāra  
	durato bidura honta tāra
ahamkāra thākanteo | sāksāte Krishnaka pāve
	Sravana-Kirttana  dharma yāra // 5 //

He who reposes faith in karma (ritualism)
Hari moves far, far away from him,
Far away from the farthest for him;
(But) He whose religion is Sravana and Kirttana,
He meets Krishna in person,
Even though ahamkāra (ego) might be present (in him). [5]

yito jane suddha bhāve | Harita sarana loiyā
	Harika suhrda buli āche /
Harira prasāde sito | bighnira mundata bhari
	diyā Hari guna gāyā nāce // 6 //

He who, after taking refuge (sarana) in Hari in the pure manner
Comes to regard Hari as his beloved friend;
That one, by the Grace of Hari,
Dances, singing the glories of Hari,
Trampling on the head of obstacle. [6]

sakala nigama latā | tāra abināsi phala
	Krishna nāma caitanya svarupa /
sumadhura sumangala | sraddhāye helāye loiyā
	nara mātre tare bhava-kupa // 7 //

All the nigamas are creepers; their indestructible fruit,
The Name of Krishna which is of the nature of consciousness,
Exceedingly sweet and beneficial. Partaking of it reverentially or with negligence,
Man crosses this world-abyss instantly. [7]

abyakta Isvara Hari | kimate pujibā tānka
	byāpakata kibā bisarjjana /
etāvanta murtti-sunya | kenamate cintibāhā
	Rām buli suddha karā mana // 8 //

How will you worship with rites and ceremonies, Hari, the unmanifest God? How will you invoke or send away the All-pervading One? How will you contemplate Him who is formless (murtti-sunya)? (Be not puzzled.) Purify your mind by chanting the Name of Rama. 8

yito jane Krishna-kathā | bicāra samaye mane
	dhoiryya dhari ksaneka thākaya /
yata tirtha-snāna dāna | deva-pitr yajna-yāga
	yogādiro phalaka pāvaya // 9 //

Who keepeth patience even for a moment
When facts concerning Krishna are discoursed upon,
He deriveth all the fruits of bathing in sacred places, of all pious gifts,
Of all sacrifices for propitiating the deities and
Ancestors, and of all yoga practices, etc. 9

yāra putra save oita | Harita sarana loiyā
	Hari-guna gāve suddha bhāve /
dadhi dugdha ghrta madhu | nadira jalaka piyā
	pitrgane trpitika pāve // 10 //

Whose sons (descendants) here take refuge (sarana) in Hari
And sing the Praise of Hari in the pure way,
Their forefathers (ancestors) therein have their hunger and thirst appeased,
As if they have drunk the river-water, curd and ghee, milk and honey. [10]

sehise sakale sāstra | padhile sunile si si
	anusthāna samaste karila /
nirāsā Isvara Krishna | tāhānka sanmukha bhoila
	āsāka yijane pithi dila // 11 //

He alone has really read and heard all the scriptures and
He alone has performed all ceremonials, and
Before him alone the Desireless Lord Krishna becomes manifest,
Who has turned his back to desire (āsā). [11]

apavitra yito āti | pavitra hove bā yadi
	samaste avasthā āche pāyā /
Kamalalocana yito | sumare tārese suddha
	bāhire bhitare hove kāyā // 12 //

Be he extremely impure, be he pure,
Whatever state he be in,
He who remembers Kamalalocana (The Lotus Eyed),
Only his body is clean in and out. [12]

sehise catura yito | punyara nidāna bhuta
	Nārāyana nāmaka uccare /
acatura si si āti | pāpara nidāna bhuta
	nāme arthabāda yito kare // 13 //

He alone is clever who utters the name of Nārāyana,
Which is the root cause of virtue (punya).
He is extremely devoid of cleverness who, in that Name, introduces debate
Which is the root cause of sin (pāpa). [13]

mahese bolanta mora | ra-kārādi nāma suni
	parama prasanna hove mana /
suniyo pārbbati mai | manate sankano range
	Rām bulibeka ito jana // 14 //

Mahesa says, “My mind becomes highly delighted
when I hear a name beginning with ‘R’.
Listen, Oh Pārvati! I then suspect with joy that this speaker
will utter the name ‘R-āma’ ”. [14]

karna pathe bhakatara | hiyāta prabesi Hari
	durbbāsanā hare samastaya /
jalara yateka mala | yehena sarata kāle
	svabhāvate nirmala karaya // 15 //

Making His way to the heart of the devotee through the ears,
Hari removeth (hare=remove) all evil desire
Like Autumn which cleareth all dirt from the water, naturally. [15]

huyā deva digambara | bhasma bibhusita anga
	sirata dhariyā jatābhāra /
mahese sevanta yāka | hena Krishna bine āna
	kona srestha deva āche āra // 16 //

Who else can be a god superior to Krishna Whom even Mahesa serves making the quarters his garment, besmearing his body with ashes and bearing a load of matted hair on his head? [16]

brahmā ādi deva-gane | niscala sampatti mane
	laksmika sevanta tapa kari /
laksmiyo sevanta yāka | hena mahesvara Visnu
	āna kona deva tānka sari // 17 //

Brahmā and the other deities (devas), with intent to acquire abiding wealth,
Serve Laksmi performing austerities.
But He Who is served even by Laksmi, such Mahesvara Visnu (god of gods) -
Which other god is higher than Him? [17]

samasta vedānta-sāra | Mahā-Bhāgavata sāstra
	ihāra amrta-rasa pāi /
parama santose pāna | karile yijane tāra
	anyatra rasata rati nāi // 18 //

The quintessence of all Vedānta is the Mahā-Bhāgavata sāstra (scripture).
He who has discovered its nectar-juice and drunk it with great delight,
He has no liking for any other juice. [18]

Mahā-Bhāgavata rasa | Mādhavara nāma-yasa
	āka pāna karila yijane /
Krishnara carane citta | diyā moksa ādi rase
	rati āra nakaraya mane // 19 //

The nectar of the Great Bhāgavata ? the Name and Praise of Mādhava
He who drinks of it, fixing his heart at the Feet of Krishna,
Never develops any liking for any other fluid, not even that of salvation (moksa). [19]