Monday, January 5, 2009

Prem Sudha Dhara: Poonamji

(Page 245)

Shri Hari

Shri Vrindavan Dhaam

14th March 1975

Dearest Poonam,

With love, Jai Shri Hari.

You have requested me in several letters to write some divine play of the Yugal Sarkar (Shri Radha-Krishna, the divine couple). This play or lila is a trove of Lord Krishna's romantic dalliances and spirited antics;dedicated devotees splash them, after experiencing the deeper ecstasies of devotion. Not tales, figments of the imagination or literary artistic creations, the lilas are a collection of the amorous love-play of Shri Radha-Krishna occurring every moment.

This playful dalliance which is both real and illusionary which makes them both human and divine at the same time, becomes Shri Radha-Krishna most of all. Delighting in play they endear themselves and bring delight to all their bhaktas.

We are ecstatic on glimpsing, hearing, reading and narrating these amorous frolics of Shr Radha-Krishna. Radha is revealed as the embodiment of that irresistably attractive feminine principle toward which the masculine power encompassed in the god is drawn.

Thus the play between Radha and Krishna as they move into the mazes and mysteries of love, becomes a metaphor for the conjunction of the male and female polarities of the cosmos itself-where the descending god and the ascending soul are one. There is no end to the dalliances being constantly enacted in precisely the same fashion even today. Our eyes should be washed and opened wide, enabling us to savour the duo's divine play.

The passionately merry days of Holi-Phaag (a great Hindu spring festival observed on the last day of the bright half of Phalgun) are here. Our ardent Yugal spill over colours of passion in different ways, sprinkling abeer-gulal (a powder usually red which is thrown at the Holi festival) and singing love-songs in joyous abandon. Ah! The thronging sakhis, hordes of sakhas, the swirls of gulal and the riot of colours mesmerize entire Vrindavana with its multi-hued lustre.

Krishna,the handsome dark-skinned cowherd, sometimes astonishes the sakhis guised as a sakhi. At other times, the cowherdesses catch hold of him and mutually consent to:


Rasiya ko naar banao ree, Rasiya ko.

Kati lahanga, gal mahin kanchuki

Yake bendi bhaal lagao ree.

Turn rasiya or the supreme lover into a woman. (a type of Holi song in Braj and Bundelkhand). Wearing a lahanga or voluminous skirt around his waist, a kanchuki or woman's jacket around the throat and a bendi or an ornament worn on the forehead by women. Now after all the adornments, dressed like a newly wed bride let us take Krishna to Maiya Yashoda and listen to her comments.

"Maiya! Ree Maiya! Come out and have a look if this bride is suitable for your darling lala (a term of affectionate address to a child)? You are not aware and the bride has come to the threshold of your bhavan!" the sakhis cried from the courtyard outside. Listening to the din, Yashodaji stepped out of her chamber. The multitude of sakhis surged ahead in delicious delight.

Truly a beautiful young bride stood in their midst. Astounded, the mother inquired," Hey, lasses and brides of Vraja whom have you got along. Let me have a glimpse of her face." The sakhis retorted that they wouldn't let her do so, free of cost and insisted on the ritual of munh dikhai where money is given for a look at the newly wed. Or else gift a token for the festival of Holi. Before Yashoda could respond the quick-witted bride lifted her veil slightly, and spoke. The mother was thrilled, " Oh this is my lala! The apple of my eye and the light of our lives."

Merriment and peals of laughter rent the air. The sakhis poured buckets of coloured water on maiya and coloured her in abeer and gulal, celebrating the festivities of Holi with spirited abandon. Maiya warmly welcomed all of them; treating the lot to a sumptuous feast. Soon after everyone sang songs of badhai or congratulations.

Okay, Jai Shri Hari.

With love,

Yours Bobo.

1 comment:

Varun Gupta said...

Hey... Great posting on Holi. I am Varun from Kolkata and we celebrate 2 day Holi. One in 11th March for Bengali and another on 12th March for non-bengali. Check my blog for Holi Phagwa Doljatra 2009. Your comment on my Holi postings will be highly appreciated.