Today I want to tell you the most important thing: how Caitanya Mahāprabhu wrote eight verses called Śrī Śikṣāṣṭakam. What is not even written in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is given here in Śrī Śikṣāṣṭakam. Śrī Śikṣāṣṭakam is the essence of all the Vedic literature, including Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. It was given by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to Śrīla Svarūpa Dāmodara and Śrīla Rāya Rāmānanda. Only those very rare high-class, qualified mahā-bhāgavatas can relish the ślokas of Śrī Śikṣāṣṭakam.
This first verse should be glorified, for it is topmost. Why? Each of the seven parts of this first śloka has been explained in the other seven ślokas. This first śloka is the root sūtra, and the other ślokas are explanation of each of these seven lines.
If you joke while chanting, however, it may be that some offenses may come. You should try not to joke. Also, don’t criticize any Vaiṣṇavas, even if they deserve to be criticized. Your Gurudeva has not given permission to you to criticize any Vaiṣṇava. Kṛṣṇa will see, and guru and Vaiṣṇavas will see. Don’t hear criticism, and don’t criticize.
October 13, 2001 Purī