Radha-Krishna, the Divine Eternal Couple…a relationship that is deeply spiritual and mystical. The meaning of Krishna is the one who attracts all; so it stands for the Lord’s aspect that is ‘supreme joy’ (Brahmananda) in the universe. Radha is synonymous with beauty imbibed with Bhakti, full of surrender and oneness with the supreme soul, Shri Krishna. Their’s is a substance-attribute relationship that can be described as - ‘He is milk, she it’s whiteness’, ‘He is fire and she, the power of burning (dahya-shakti)’. Radha is in fact that which allows the substance [Krishna] to realize its own nature. She inspires the Krishna-Bhakt to realize Krishna himself.
SHRI KRISHNA ANURAAG (‘anuraag’ means ‘divine love for the unknow’) is an attempt to depict the absolute divine love of the unknown
‘Radha-Krishna’ swaroop. It is a collection of devotional renderings on Shri Radha-Krishna by Pt. Jasraj, presented in three volumes. These are poetic compositions in Sanskrit compiled by Smt. Prerana Thakore and composed and sung by the inimitable Pt. Jasraj, the doyen of Indian Classical music.
These volumes are divided into six prahars or time slots of the day, each prahar signifying ‘Darshan’ or form of worship of Krishna that is carried out at that time of the day. Thus we have - Mangala darshan, Shringar darshan, Rajbhog darshan, Utthapan darshan, Sayam-Arti darshan and Shayan darshan. Each volume thus depicts two of these darshans. Each stutilshloka has been set to an Indian classical raga, that best suits the bhava and rasa of the particular rendition as also the particular time of the day.
‘Raj Bhog' and 'Uthhapan' Darshan are rendered in this volume.
“A deviation is made from the ‘eight-prahar darshan’ that is usually followed, by eliminating the ‘Gwala darshan’ and ‘Bhog darshan’, that are an integral part of ‘Shri Krishna Leela’.
RAJ BHOG DARSHAN.
As the name suggests (Raj Bhog means food as benefits a king), it is the ‘Darshan’ of Shri Krishna, after he has had his lunch which consist of a variety of food preparations. This set of rituals happens in the afternoon; accordingly the compositions are set to afternoon ragas. This darshan philosophically suggests the human life at its peak in youth, fully matured.
Bansi Vibhushit is a stuti that describes the Lord very beautifully - ‘flute in hand, dressed in pitamber, lips glowing as a result of having eaten butter, and a face beautiful like the moon and lotus-like eyes’. In this stuti the bhaktas express as to how difficult it is know the full self of the Lord in spite of adoring him so intensely.
Shri Bhagwan Manasa puja, composed by Shrimad Adi Shankaracharya, describes vividly the rituals starting from awakening Shri Krishna, to offering him food with utmost devotion to, making him sleep and so on. It describes the charm of Shri Krishna and the utmost love and devotion with which the Bhaktas perform his puja.
Shri Krishna Naman- This stuti written by an ardent devotee of the Lord narrates tales about how Shri Krishna steals butter, steals the clothes of the gopis and even steals his beloved Radha’s heart. The bhakt bows with love and reverence to this ‘Master stealer’.
This is the ‘Darshan’ after awakening the supreme Lord, from his afternoon nap. These compositions are set to early evening ragas. This darshan philosophically suggests ‘the evening’ in one’s life, pleasant and relaxed, reviewing the life spent so far and what needs to be done further, to achieve life’s objectives before old age sets in.
The stuti Kasturi Tilakam, describes the beautiful, charming, sublime Shri Krishna fully dressed up for the evening with a flute in his hand and bedecked with ornaments, having a tilak of Kasturi on his forehead.
Shri Krishnashtakam, written by Shri Paramhansa Swami Brahmanand (a 17th century philosopher and saint), describes the various leelas of Shri Krishna during his life span, addressing him with names related to a particular leela. Each stanza of this stuti ends in ‘namami radhikadeepam’ i.e. ‘I bow to thee, the Lord of Radhika (Radha)’.
Shri Krishnashtakam, written by Shrimad Adi Shankaracharya, invokes Shri Krishna with various names, synonymous specifically with his Leela in Vraj. The composition has a beautiful rhythm.
Padma Vibhushan Pandit Jasraj
Pandit Jasraj, considered as one among the living legends in Indian classical music today, is undoubtedly one of it’s outstanding talents. He was born in 1930, in Hissar in the state of Haryana, into a musical family. His father Pandit Motiram and elder brother Pandit Maniram were both vocalists, and it was his brother who completed his induction into the family tradition, which is referred to as the Mewati Gharana.
Panditji is blessed with the rare ability to express the essential beauty of the music in a form that is always fresh and appealing to the listener. His incomparably rich and sensuous voice and technical virtuosity are harnessed to a genuinely devotional spirit, making his music satisfying on many levels. Both a traditionalist and an innovator, he places emphasis on maximising expressive power and aesthetic relish, rather than on holding to traditional practice for its own sake.
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