Question: What are those verses sung at the beginning of Kirtan, before we start chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra?

Srila Prabhupāda Pranati

Srila Prabhupada playing the harmonium

(1)

nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya
kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhūtale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-
svāmin iti nāmine

namah — obeisances; om — address; visnu-padaya — unto him who is at the feet of Lord Visnu; krsna-presthaya — who is very dear to Lord Krsna; bhu-tale — on the earth; srimate — all beautiful; bhaktivedanta-svamin — A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami; iti — thus; namine — who is named

I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, who is very dear to Lord Krsna, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.

(2)

namas te sārasvate deve
gaura-vāṇī-pracāriṇe
nirviśeṣa-śūnyavādi-
pāścātya-deśa-tāriṇe

namah — obeisances; te — unto you; sarasvate deve — servant of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami; gaura-vani — the message of Lord Caitanya; pracarine — who are preaching; nirvisesa — impersonalism; sunyavadi — voidism; pascatya — Western; desa — countries; tarine — who are delivering

Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami. You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Caitanya and delivering the Western countries, which are filled with impersonalism and voidism.

Pañca-tattva mantra

śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya
prabhu nityānanda
śrī-advaita gadādhara
śrīvāsādi gaura-bhakta-vṛnda

From left to right, on our Pañca-Tattva altar (pancha = five):

  1. śrī advaita
  2. prabhu nityānanda
  3. śrī kṛṣṇa caitanya
  4. śrī gadādhara
  5. śrīvāsādi

gaura-bhakta-vṛnda — to the devotees of Lord Gaurāńga (see CC Adi 2.3)

compiled by Robert Phair

word translations from http://www.harekrishnatemple.com/sppranati.html