Shri Yamunashtakam is the first among the sixteen works of Vallabhacharya, known as shodashagrantha. This particular text is composed by Shri Vallabha in 1491 A.D., on shraavana shukla tritiya, during the prithvi parikrama. Shri Vallabha was in Gokula, and he was undecided about the exact location of Thakurani Ghat. At that time Shri Yamunaji herself appeared and guided Shri Vallabha and pointed out the exact place. Shri Vallabha than and there composed Shri Yamunashtakam, this beautiful stotra, in praise of Shri Yamunaji. It consists 9 verses, eight of them are written in praise of Yamunaji and in 9th verse Shri Vallabha describes the fruits of daily reciting the Shri Yamunashtakam.
The fourth beloved (turyapriya) of Shri Krishna, Shri Yamunaji, is the epitome of selfless devotion towards Lord Krishna. Only through her grace can a jeeva (soul) experience the divine lilas of Lord Krishna. She purifies our soul and removes all obstacles which are in the way between us and Lord Krishna. She gives the devotee a new body fit to experience the leela of Lord Krishna! For common devotees of today, the daily recital of Yamunashtakam will enhance our love towards Shri Krishna, free us from sinful karma, and above all, give us the strength to conquer our inner nature (svabhava).
namami yamunamaham sakal-siddhi-hetum-muda
Sur-asur-supujit smarpitu shriyam bibhratim
I (Shri Vallabha) bow joyfully to Shri Yamunaji, the giver of divine super natural powers for experiencing the Bhagavad Leela. Shri Yamunaji is loaded with the glistening sands emanating from the lotus feet of Murari Shri Krishna. The water of Shri Yamuna is scented with the perfumes of blossomed flowers from the forests located on the banks of Shri Yamuna. This Shri Yamuna is worshipped by gods and demons equally.
kalindagirimastake patadamanda poorojvalaa
vilasagamanollasat Prakataganda shailonnata I
saghoshagati danturaa samadhiroodha dolottamma
mukundarativardhini jayati padmabandhosuta
“Falling forcefully on Mount Kalinda, Shri Yamunaji appears to be crystal white and looks beautiful with her luxurious flow through cheek like rocks of mountain. Shri Yamunaji follows a zig-zag path noisily and while she flows up and down she looks as if sitting on a beautiful swing. Shri Yamunaji is glorious as she enhances our love towards the lotus-feet of Lord Mukunda.
bhuvam bhuvanapaavaneem adhigatamanekasvanai
nitambatatasundareem namata krishnaturya-priyaam
Bow down to Shri Yamunaji, the fourth beloved of Lord Shri Krishna,who has come down to earth to sanctify it. On earth she is served by parrots, peacocks, swans, etc., with melodious sounds, as if served by loving friends. Shri Yamunaji wears bangles in the form of waves and the sand on those banks look like pearls. Shri Yamunaji looks beautiful with her hips in the form of her two banks.
ghanaghannibhe sada dhruv-parasharabhistade
kripajaladhi-sanshrite mam manah sukham bhavay
Shri Yamunaji is adorned with countless virtues and is worshiped by Shiva, Brahma and other gods. She has the lustre of rain filled clouds and fulfills the desires of sages like Dhruva and Parashara Muni. The pious city of Mathura is situated on her banks and she is surrounded by cowherd boys and girls whose only refuge is the ocean of mercy Shri Krishna. O Shri Yamuna! Please bless me with the happiness of mind.
yaya charan-padmaja mur-ripoh priyam-bhavuka
samagamanato-bhavat sakal-siddhida sevtam
taya sadrashtamiyat kamalja-sapatniv yat
hari-priya-kalindaya mansi me sada sthiytam
Shri Gangaji, who has emerged from the lotus feet of Vishnu, became the beloved of Krishna and fulfilled every wish of her followers only after her merging with Shri Yamunaji. Shri Yamunaji can be compared with the lotus born Shri Lakshmiji, who is also Shri Krishna’s beloved. May Shri Yamunaji, who destroys all the ills of Shri Krishna’s devotees, live in my (Shri Vallabha’s) heart forever.
namastu yamune sada tav charitrmatyadbhutam
na jatu yama-yatana bhavati te payah-panatah
yamopi bhagini-sutan kathamu hanti dushtanapi
priyo bhavati sevanat tav harer-yatha gopikah
O Shri Yamuna! Your character is wonderful! A person who partakes your water has no fear of pain inflicted by Yama, the god of death. How could he hurt his sister’s sons (devotees) however wicked they may be, because they become the beloved of Shri Krishna, just like the gopikas, by serving you! O Shri Yamuna! Let us pay obeisance to you incessantly.
mamastu tav sannidhau tanu-navatvam-etavata
na durlabhtama ratih mur-ripau mukund-priye
atostu tav lalana surdhuni param sangamat
tavaiv bhuvi kirtita na tu kadapi pushti-sthitaih
O beloved of Lord Mukunda, Shri Yamuna! By your nearness let my body become new (worthy) so as to gain the love of Shri Krishna, the enemy of the demon Murasura. This is not difficult with your blessings. So let us shower you with love (by prayers) as Ganga became famous after merging with you and was not worshiped by Pushti-jivas before that.
stutim tav karoti kah kamalaja-sapatni priye
harer-yadanu sevaya bhavati saukhya-mamokshatah
iyam tav kathadhika sakalgopika-sangam-
smar-shram-jalanubhi sakal-gatrajaih sangamah
Oh! Shri Yamunaji! The co-wife of Lakshmiji! The beloved of Krishna! No one is competent enough to praise you. By worshiping Lakshmi with Shri Hari one gets the bliss of salvation, but you give much more. Your water is mixed with the sweat generated by the bodies of Shri Krishna and the gopikas, while having water sports. By worshipping you the devotee gets the bliss of this as well.
tavashtakamidam muda pathati soor-sute sada
samast-durita-kshyo bhavati vai mukunde ratih
taya sakal-siddhayo mur-ripushcha santushyati
svabhav-vijayo bhavet vadati vallabh shri-hareh
O Shri Yamuna! Daughter of the Sun! A person who always recites these eight stanzas with joy gets freedom from all of his sins. He also surely gets the affection of Lord Shri Krishna, by which he attains all the super natural powers (siddhis). Shri Krishna, the enemy of the demon Murasura, becomes satisfied, and thus the devotee conquers his nature, so says Shri Vallabha.