Chakra Living

Vaishnava Alphabet

by Hare Krsna dasi

Posted September 5, 2004

A - is for Arjuna
    A warrior so courageous,
The wisdom Krishna gave to him
    Has lasted through the ages.

A - for Adwaita Acharya,
     Pure devotee and saintly sage.
He prayed, "O Lord, advent Yourself
     And save us from this dangerous age."

B - is for Lord Balarama
    With His club and plow.
Defeating puffed-up demons
    ­ Lord Balarama knows how!

B - for gentle Lord Buddha
    Who protected the innocent beasts.
When the Vedas were being misused,
    He rejected their rituals and priests.

C - is for the friendly Cows
    And Krishna's Cowherd friends.
With Krishna for their playmate,
    Adventure never ends.

C H - is for Chaitanya,
    Krishna's Golden Avatar.
Dancing, chanting Hare Krishna,
    He spreads joy both near and far.

D - is for Lord Damodara
- That Butter Thief was captured!
When Mother Yashoda tied Him up,
   By her love He was enraptured.

D - for beautiful chaste Draupadi
   - Rogues thought she was too fiery.
So she called upon Govinda
    When they tried to grab her sari.

E - is for an Elephant
    - Airavata's a wonder.
He makes us think of Krishna
    As he flies through clouds and thunder.

F - is for a country Farm
    With cows and garden-field.
We offer Radha and Her Lord
    The bounty that they yield.

G -  for Vishnu's bird Garuda
    Flying swifter than an arrow,
 "Ocean! You give back the eggs
     You stole from Mother Sparrow."

G - for charming Lord Govinda
   Who plays His flute ‘neath moonlit skies.
When Gopis glimpse His lotus face,
   Their hearts are filled with loving sighs.

H - for the monkey Hanuman.
     With a mountain great he flew.
To cure Rama's fallen army,
      Healing herbs upon them strew.

H - for faithful Thakur Haridas
   The Holy Name his constant song.
Fools said, "A Muslim's not a Vaishnava,"
    But he proved that they were wrong.

I - for proud Lord Indra
    With his Samvartaka cloud.
When Krishna lifted Govardhana,
     he learned not to be so proud.

J - is for Lord Jagannatha
    With Baladeva and Subhadra.
Their carts glide down the street
    For a majestic Ratha Yatra.

K - is for Krishna with unlimited pastimes
    - Sometimes a Playmate, sometimes a Lover.
Sometimes fighting with demons fierce,
    Sometimes playing on the lap of His Mother.

K - for ponderous Lord Kurma
    Who became a Tortoise in the ocean.
Demons and demigods churned back and forth,
    - Mohini Murti gave out divine potion.

K - for bold Lord Kalki,
     With fine white horse and sword upraised.
When He comes to end the demonic era,
     All the demigods will be amazed.

L - is for Lord Lakshman
    Rama's brother brave and true.
For His beloved brother Rama,
    There is nothing He won't do.

M - for Maha Mantra,
    We're chanting Krishna's Name.
Krishna's Name's the same as Krishna,
    With Power, Knowledge, Beauty, Fame.

M - for Matsya Avatar
     Who took the form of a giant Fish.
He saved the scriptures in a boat
     And gave His tail a mighty swish!

N - for fearsome Lord Nrsinghadeva,
    The demons He does scare.
Devotees thrill to hear His roar,
     He'll protect them - everywhere!

N - for Nityananda,
   Even rogues can change their goals.
Lord Nityananda's mercy
   Will save their fallen souls.

O - is for an Offering
   - A fruit, a flower or leaf.
When we offer food to Krishna,
    It's good beyond belief!

P - for divine Sri Pancha Tattva
    There are five of them all told.
What's more there are five Pandavas,
    All heroic, brave and bold!

P - is for the boy Prahlad
   Who called on Krishna in dangers grave.
Hiranyakasipu attacked this child,
    But Lord Nrsingha his life did save.

P - is for Lord Parashurama;
    His ax mowed down demonic kings.
He freed the earth from terror and sin
    - So Jayadeva Goswami sings!

Q - is for Queen Kunti
    With her philosophic view.
"I love the dangers, Krishna,
    Because they make me turn to You."

R - for Radharani.
    She's Krishna's dearmost love.
She shares His love with all of us,
    Inspiring from above.

R - is for Lord Rama
    Always noble, strong and fair.
When the helpless need a friend,
    Lord Rama is always there.

S - for faithful Sita-devi,
    Rama's beloved Princess dear.
She defied cruel Ravana,
    "My Rama will soon be here!"

T -  for Tulasi-devi
    Krishna's dearest tree.
She's growing in our garden
    To inspire you and me.

U - for Princess Uttara.
   We've been told by shastra
That Krishna saved her baby
    From a fearsome big Brahmastra.

V - is for Lord Vamana,
     The Brahmana Dwarf and incarnation.
He spanned the universe in just three steps
     ­ To Sukracarya's consternation.

V - for Lord Varahadeva
     Who took the form of a wondrous Boar.
He plunged into the Garbhodak Ocean
     And fetched up the earth from the Ocean's floor.

V - is for a Vaishnava
    Who follows Vishnu's call.
Always full of love for Krishna,
    He or she is kind to all.

W - for Worshipping
   With all the Work we do.
This path's called bhakti-yoga,
    It's the happiest way, too.

X - as in the Oxen
   So noble and so strong.
With Father Bull to help us out
    Our work won't take too long.

Y - for gently flowing Yamuna
    and for dear Mother Yashoda.
Her love for Baby Krishna
    Really *is* the highest Yoga.

Z - is all our Zeroes
   And Krishna is the One.
With Krishna in my heart,
    My soul shines like the sun.

Copyright © 2004 Hare Krsna dasi

Note: Although our alphabet is limited to 26 letters, Lord Krishna's pastimes are unlimited. There are many important pastimes to add to this. Don't delete any of these 41 verses, but please feel free to add more. The rhythm varies from verse to verse, making it easy to add more verses.

The idea is that each verse should contain enough hints of a pastime to prompt young children to ask questions. This provides the opening for the adult or older child to tell stories of Lord Krishna's pastimes.

Please feel free to copy, reproduce and distribute the Vaishnava Alphabet in any medium, subject to the following conditions:

  1. None of the original 41 verses may be altered or deleted.
  2. Credit Hare Krsna dasi as original author.
  3. The reproduction must not be done for profit, unless there is written permission from the author.

The primary purpose of this little poem is to convey information about Lord Krishna's wonderful pastimes. The above license is granted to enhance that purpose. Feel free to copy for your temple, school or non-profit organization, friends, family, neighbors, or to hand out on a street corner.

your servant,
Hare Krsna dasi

Artwork by Maharani dasi.