The songs from ‘Like a River to the Sea’ are mostly traditional texts from the bhakti yoga tradition, set to new melodies. They are meant to be sing-alongs, so here are all the lyrics…


Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

A simple translation of this sacred mantra is, “O my Lord; O energy of the Lord, please engage me in your loving service.”

vrikshavalli amha soyaree vanachare,
pakshi susware aalviti

This stanza comes from a song by medieval Indian poet/saint Tukaram, and means “The trees, creepers and animals of the forest are my dear friends, the birds sing so sweetly; in this solitude I find solace.” Later in the song he describes how sitting in nature alone, singing the names of the Lord, he feels spiritual ecstasy.

Panduranga Hari Jai Jai!

All glory to Panduranga (Lord Krishna!)


hari haraye namaḥ kṛṣṇa yādavāya namaḥ
yādavāya mādhavāya keśavāya namaḥ(2)
gopāla govinda rāma śrī-madhusūdana
giridhārī gopīnātha madana-mohana

1) Hari! Obeisances to Lord Hari, unto Krsna, and Yadava. Obeisances to Lord of the Yadus, Madhava, Kesava.

2) Gopala! Govinda! Rama! O vanquisher of Madhu! Giridhari! Lord of the gopis! Enchanter of cupid!


īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ

Krsna who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.

cintamani-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vrksa-
laksavrtesu surabhir abhipalayantam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the first progenitor who is tending the cows, yielding all desire, in abodes built with spiritual gems, surrounded by millions of purpose trees, always served with great reverence and affection by hundreds of thousands of laksmis or gopis.

venum kvanantam aravinda-dalayataksam-
barhavatamsam asitambuda-sundarangam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is adept in playing on His flute, with blooming eyes like lotus petals with head decked with peacock’s feather, with the figure of beauty tinged with the hue of blue clouds, and His unique loveliness charming millions of Cupids.

ratnangadam pranaya-keli-kala-vilasam
syamam tri-bhanga-lalitam niyata-prakasam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, round whose neck is swinging a garland of flowers beautified with the moon-locket, whose two hands are adorned with the flute and jeweled ornaments, who always revels in pastimes of love, whose graceful threefold-bending form of Syamasundara is eternally manifest.

angani yasya sakalendriya-vrtti-manti
pasyanti panti kalayanti ciram jaganti
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose transcendental form is full of bliss, truth, substantiality and is thus full of the most dazzling splendor. Each of the limbs of that transcendental figure possesses in Himself, the full-fledged functions of all the organs, and eternally sees, maintains and manifests the infinite universes, both spiritual and mundane.


The verses in this track are taken from a longer prayer, called the Shri Sachisutastakam, which can be found in full here: gaura-varaḿ nava-puṣpa-śaraḿ
nava-bhāva-dharaḿ nava-lāsya-param
nava-hāsya-karaḿ nava-hema-varaḿ
praṇamāmi śacī-suta-gaura-varam

His complexion is the hue of fresh cream tinged with kunkuma. He is the ever-fresh Cupid who shoots arrows of newly blossoming flowers. He bears newer and newer moods of emotional ecstasies. He is fond of performing novel dances. He makes ever-new jokes that cause much laughter. His brilliant lustre is like freshly cast gold. I bow down to Gaura, the beautiful son of Mother Saci.

karatāla-valaḿ kala-kaṇṭha-ravaḿ
mṛdu-vādya-suvīṇikayā madhuram
praṇamāmi śacī-suta-gaura-varam

He plays karatals as His throat emits sweet melodious sounds and the vibrant notes of the vina are softly played. He thus inspires the devotees to perform dramatic dancing that is infused with aspects of His own devotional service. I bow down to Gaura, the beautiful son of Mother Saci.

aruṇaḿ nayanaḿ caraṇaḿ vasanaḿ
vadane skhalitaḿ svaka-nāma-dharam
kurute su-rasaḿ jagataḥ jīvanaḿ
praṇamāmi śacī-suta-gaura-varam

His eyes, the soles of His feet, and His clothing are reddish like the color that heralds the rising sun. As He utters His own names, His voice falters. He awakens a sweet flavor to life throughout the universe. I bow down to Gaura, the beautiful son of Mother Saci.


Madhava mamava deva krishna
Yadava krishna yadukula krishna
Sadhujanaadhara sarvabhauma
Madhava mamava deva

Ambuja lochana kombu shubhadhara
bimbadhara chandrabimbanana

Chaampeyanasagra lagna sumuktika
Shaarada chandra janitha madana

O Madhava, please protect me! O my dear Lord Krishna!
O Yadava, the Lord of the Yadu dynasty!

You support and uplift those who are devoted to you! You are everything to me!

Your eyes bloom like lotuses and your neck is softly marked with three lines, like the conch shell.

Your smiling lips are the colour of ripe fruit, and your face is radiant and spotless, like the full moon.

Your nose is beautifully shaped, like the champa flower, and decorated with a single pearl.

Just as the golden autumn moon awakens romance in the hearts of all, the sight of your radiant form always awakens loving devotion in my heart

O Madhava, please protect me!


hari hari! biphale janama gońāinu
manuṣya-janama pāiyā, rādhā-kṛṣṇa nā bhajiyā,
jāniyā śuniyā biṣa khāinu

golokera prema-dhana, hari-nāma-sańkīrtana,
rati nā janmilo kene tāy
saḿsāra-biṣānale, dibā-niśi hiyā jwale,
jurāite nā koinu upāy

brajendra-nandana jei, śacī-suta hoilo sei,
balarāma hoilo nitāi
dīna-hīna jata chilo, hari-nāme uddhārilo,
tāra śākṣī jagāi mādhāi

hā hā prabhu nanda-suta, vṛṣabhānu-sutā-juta,
koruṇā karoho ei-bāro
narottama-dāsa koy, nā ṭheliho rāńgā pāy,
tomā bine ke āche āmāra

1) O Lord Hari I have spent my life uselessly. Having obtained a human birth and having net worshiped Radha and Krsna, I have knowingly drunk poison.

2) The treasure of divine love in Goloka Vrndavana has descended as the congregational chanting of Lord Hari’s holy names. Why did my attraction for that chanting never come about? Day and night my heart burns from the fire of the poison of worldliness, and I have not taken the means to relieve it.

3) Lord Krsna, who is the son of the King of Vraja, became the son of Saci (Lord Caitanya), and Balarama became Nitai. The holy name delivered all those souls who were lowly and wretched. The two sinners Jagai and Madhai are evidence of this.

4) O Lord Krsna, son of Nanda, accompanied by the daughter of Vrsabhanu, please be merciful to me now. Narottama Dasa says, “O Lord, please do not push me away from Your reddish lotus feet, for who is my beloved except for You?”


(refrain) Govinda! Damodara! Madhaveti! He Krishna! He Yadava! He Sakheti!

The well I drank from has run dry; the river bed has moved over years,
Now cell phones ring instead of bells; the sacred hill has almost disappeared.

Prayers and ashes at the river’s edge, drifting side by side;
sun rises over new hotels; sages close their eyes…

(chorus) My heart, flows like a river to the sea,
May it always be, may it always be
A river of grace flows through me,
May it always be, may it always be

Will I always be a stranger here, in the heart of sacred beauty?
You say this road can lead me home, so I’m following your footprints in the sand.

I see the chaos and the barren trees, maybe I am blind,
crowds of people falling to their knees, is this place divine?

2020 © Jahnavi Harrison. Website by Studio Mendrila.