The Brahma Samhita is a Sanskrit Pancaratra text, composed of verses of prayer spoken by Brahma glorifying the supreme Lord Krishna or Govinda at the beginning of creation. It is revered within Gaudiya Vaishnavism, whose founder, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486–1534), re-discovered a part of the work, the 62 verses of Chapter 5, at the Adikeshav Temple in Thiruvattur, Kerala, Southern India in the 16th Century which had previously been lost for a few centuries. Mitsunori Matsubara in his Pancaratra Samhitas and Early Vaisnava Theology dates the text at ca 1300 AD. The text contains a highly esoteric description, with the Kama-Gayatri, of Krishna in His abode Goloka.
In 1971 George Harrison produced a modern recording of these prayers along with the Hare Krishna devotees of the Radha Krsna Temple in London entitled 'Govinda', taking its title from the main chorus line of the prayer "Govinda adi purusham tamaham bhajami" meaning "I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord". This prayer was sung by Yamuna Devi, a disciple of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda.
The recovered fragment of the Śrī Brahma-samhitā commences at the fifth chapter. verse 1 states:
īśvarah paramah krsnah, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahah
anādir ādir govindah, sarva-kārana-kāranam
Which translates to:
- 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 Pancaratra and the Ahirbudhnya Samhita, Adyar Library, Madras 1916. Second edition 1973.
- Sagar, B.A., Tridandi Bhiksu, (trans.), Sri Brahma-samhita, Quintessence of Reality the Beautiful, with the commentary by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip 1992.
- Sri Brahma Samhita, Chapter 5: Hymn to the Absolute Truth (brahmasamhita.com)
- Foreword to Brahma Samhita by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati (vedabase.net)