Brahma Samhita

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File:Brahma Samhita translation by Siddhanta Saraswati 1932.jpg
Cover of Bhakti Siddhānta Sarasvatī's translation of the Brahma Saṁhitā (1st edition, 1932).

The Brahma Saṁhitā is a Sanskrit Pañcarātra text, composed of verses of prayer spoken by Brahma glorifying the supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa or Govinda at the beginning of creation. It is revered within Gauḍiya Vaiṣṇavism, whose founder, Caitanya Mahāprabhu (1486–1534), re-discovered a part of the work, the 62 verses of Chapter 5, at the Adikeshav Temple in Thiruvattar, Tamil Nadu, South India in the 16th Century which had previously been lost for a few centuries.[1] Mitsunori Matsubara in his Pañcarātra Saṁhitās and Early Vaisṇava Theology dates the text at ca 1300 AD. The text contains a highly esoteric description, with the Kāma-Gāyatṛi, of Kṛṣṇa in His abode Goloka.

In 1970, George Harrison produced a modern recording of these prayers performed by devotees of the Rādhe Kṛṣṇa Temple in London. Titled "Govinda", the song took its title from the main chorus line of the prayer "govindam ādi-puruṣam tam ahaṁ bhajāmi", meaning "I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord". This prayer was sung by Yamunā Devi, a disciple of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda.

Recovered text

The recovered fragment of the Śrī Brahma-samhitā commences at the fifth chapter. verse 1 states:

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ sarva kāraṇa kāraṇam śloka 5.1

Which translates to:

Kṛṣṇa who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Personality of 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.[2]

The text was first translated from Sanskrit into English by Bhakti Siddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura in 1932 and is often sung or recited as a both devotional and philosophical text.

See also


  1. A history of the Brahma Saṁhitā (

Further reading

  • Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Goswami, (trans.), Sri Brahma-Samhita, with commentary by Srila Jiva Goswami, Sri Gaudiya Math 1932, reprint The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, Los Angeles, 1985.
  • Matsubara, Mitsunori, Pancaratra Samhitas and Early Vaisnava Theology, Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi, 1994.
  • Narayana, Bhaktivedanta, Swami, (trans.), Sri Brahma Samhita, Fifth Chapter, with the full commentary by Srila Jiva Goswami, Gaudiya Vedanta Publications, Vrindavana UP, 2003.
  • Otto Schrader, F., Introduction to the Pañcarātra and the Ahirbudhnya Saṁhitā, Adyar Library, Madras 1916. Second edition 1973.
  • Sagar, B.A., Tridandi Bhiksu, (trans.), Śrī Brahma Saṁhitā, Quintessence of Reality the Beautiful, with the commentary by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip 1992.

External links