Jul
04

Shri Krishna’s Form

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The following passage is from the famous Puranic text, the Shrimad Bhagavatam, in the section called the Venu Gita — the Song of the Flute. The original Sanskrit can be found in any copy of the Bhagavatam. Shyamdas also included this passage in the introduction to his text, The Teachings of Shri Vallabhacharya

varhapidam natavaravapuh karnayoh karnikaram
vibhradavdasah kanakakapisam vaijayantim ca malam
randhran venoradharasudhaya purayan gopavrndaih
vrndaranyam svapadaramanam pravisad gitakirtih

Shri Krishna is adorned with a peacock feather, and His ears are graced with flowers. His shawl is the color of brilliant gold. He wears a garland made of forest flowers and appears as the Actor-Husband. He is the Swaminis’ choice, their Lord and Husband. He fills the holes of His flute with the nectar from His lips. His praises are sung as He enters Vrindavan, surrounded by His cowlad friends. His lotus feet appear splendid and create dalliance wherever they touch the earth.

Shyamdas also sang these lovely verses on his first CD, Beloved Chants (track 2: “Krishna”)

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Jul
03

Unfathomable!

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The poet Rasakhan was a gay, Muslim born Krishna bhakta who lived in the 16th century. I guess you could say he was radical! Shyamdas, like the rest of India, is very fond of his works, and in 2007 he translated a collection entitled The Poems of Rasakhan: Treasure House of Love, which includes this poem, “Unfathomable.” It is without a doubt one of the most widely recognized poems throughout North India. At Shyamdas’s kirtan events, you will notice any Indians in the audience singing along to this one — at least the last line. Next time you can too!

shesha, ganesha, mahesha, dinesha, suresha hu jahi nirantara gavain
jahi anadi ananta akhanda acheda abheda su veda batavain
narada se suka vyasa rahain paci hare tau puni para na pavain
tahi ahira ki chohariyan chachiya bhari chacha pai naca nacavain

The gods Shesh, Ganesh, Mahesh, Suresh and Dinesh constantly sing of Him Who is beginningless, endless, unlimited, indestructible, void of differences, and revealed in the Vedas. Narada, Sukha, and Vyasa are exhausted from searching for Him — they can never fathom His limits. Yet, the dairymaids of Vrindavan can make Him dance – for a sip of buttermilk from the palm of their hands!

And yes, I selected this poem because Shyamdas also sang it for you on his CD, Sweet Radhe! (track 3 “Rasakhan I”). Click on the play button below to listen

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Quotes

The Ashta Chhap poets sang in Shri Nathji’s temple. Their poetry depicts a day in the life of Shri Krishna: His play with His family and friends, as well as His love sports with the Gopis. Praises include descriptions of Shri Krishna getting up in the morning, bathing and eating, as well as poems of supplication, in which the poets reveal the greatness of the Blessed Lord, their guru, and fellow practitioners. These poems are sung in ragas which vary by season as well as by the time of day. This style of singing praises which depict the Lila play of Shri Krishna and are sung directly to Him, is called “Lila kirtan.” — Krishna’s Inner Circle: The Ashta Chaap Poets