Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chapter 8: Poems and Compositions

'Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu

It is said that Lord Krishna is the tangible form of rasa or human emotions. When the various bhavas of Vaishnavism become the sancharis of rati, and we relish the religious devotion of Radha and Krishna with energy and joyfulness and love it is known as rasa; says Shri Roop Goswami Paad in his 'Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu.'

Shri Radha-Krishna have been the stimuli of Ushan Bahenji's poems. The terrifying rush of their love and her experiences were bound in writing and published before us.

Shri Usha Bahenji(left) with Close Friend Sushila Bahenji

She had a natural flair for writing poetry and hailed from the family of Shri Banwari Lal Shola. Her dadi used to write poetry. Ushaji's father wrote by the name of 'Hatil Kairanvi' in Urdu and his compilation 'Barishen' was published in the Devanagari script. Being a friend, he encouraged her and she had the good fortune to attend and recite in several kavya sammelans and mushairas (gathering where poets recite poems.) Ushaji once told Sushilaji, a close friend, that she had written her first poem when she was in the fifth class. She wrote about the current national and historical scene otherwise spirituality was the essence of her compositions.

During her career as a teacher she had to write books on grammar, geography and mathematics. A vast collection of her hand-written poems is safely preserved with us; wherein renunciation lies along with surrender to the divine and absorption in the devotion of Radha-Krishna coexists with dalliance plus infatuation. Reaching for the deeper ecstasies of devotion, she has lovingly explained several stotras, padas and shlokas.

Having a lean body and short height, no one who could stand up to her self-assurance and discerning conscience. At times she would create an uproar from the Congress dais and sometimes people would surge into the Study Circle's hall to witness her wonderful compositions. People were invariably drawn to Usha Bahenji reciting her poems with implicit self-confidence and a simple bhava.

Revered Bahenji interpreted several religious texts. A detailed study of nearly every scripture of most sampradayas, an explicit thought process, significant voice, measured answers and an original perspective of the Shastras were her innate virtues.

'Lila Rasa Madhuri'

After coming to Vrindavan her spontaneous poetry revolved around the dalliance of Radha-Krishna and their love centred in celestial Vrindavan and Vraj; relishing their constant closeness and the madhuri or sweetness of their divine play. Soon after she met several saints, academicians and goswamis who raved that such an extensive study of rasa texts as undertaken by her was beyond conception.

Shri Atul Krishna Goswami, Shri Jagannath Prasad Bhaktmali, Shri Prabhu Dutt Brahmachari. Shri Kripa Sindhu Das Babaji and other luminaries always praised her erudition.

Gaudiya Literature

An incident which dates back to 28-30 years is worth mentioning. Once she had the good fortune to meet Shri Deen Sharan Baba, well-versed in the Gaudiya religious texts. Gaudiya literature had not been translated into Hindi untill then. Bahenji had already read most of the scriptures he inquired about and he was amazed at her vast knowledge.

Shri Hit Harivansh Mahaprabhu, Founder of Radha Vallabh Sect

Shri Lalit Charan Goswami of the Radha Vallabha Sampradaya was immensely impressed by her learning expression of feelings and seva of Shri Thakur. An unbiased interpretation of padas without any prejudice was the forte of Bahenji.

Shri Anand Das Baba Maharaj

Revered Shri Anand Das Baba Maharaj was a great scholar of grammar and always raved about her learning and lucidity of expression.

Shri Vihari Das of Vrindavan, Dr. Achyut Lal Bhatt, Shri Kishori Raman Acharya, Shri Gokul Das Shastri and other doyens were influenced by her literary style and original thought process.

Literature on Shri Radha-Krishna

Instinctively she appraised Shri Radha-Krishna literature and revering Guru Raghavendra, was fortunate enough to study all literary works related to him.

The manuscripts of her compositions mentioned below are safely stashed with us:-

1. She wrote books on grammar, geography and mathematics during her tenure as a teacher. The works are taught in recognised colleges of the Punjab University.

Rasa of Braj, Vrindavan

2.Free padas (verses of devotional poetry esp intended to be sung) which abound with nationalism, social influence, religion, the yearly utsavs of Shri Thakur, incessant seva of Thakurji and the rasa of Braj-Vrindavan can be roughly summed up to a huge repertoire of 2500 verses.

3.Some literary works penned in prose.

4.A total number of 2500 letters related to spirituality have been written to devotees.

A sentimental interpretation of several stotras or hymns of praise.

Shri Radha-Krishna Kripakatash

a) Shri Radha-Krishna Kripa Kataksha
b)Shri Yamuna Ashtakam - Shri Shankaracharyaji Maharaj

c)Shri Krishnasya Anandakhyam Stotra - Shri Roop Goswami

d)Shri Krishna Lila Amritakhyam Stotra - Shri Roop Goswami

e)Shri Braj Anand Kandam Stotra - Shri Vithal Nathji

f)Pratah Stavah - Shri Nimbarkacharyaji

g)Shri Radhika Ashtakam - Shri Raghunath Dasji

h)Sakhi Hay! Gokul Raj Kumaram - Shri Prabhodananda Saraswati

i)Braj Raj Sut Ashtakam

j)Shri Madhava Ashtakam

k)Shri Charne Vidhehi

l) Gopi Geet

m)Pranya Geet

We have mentioned earlier that the objective of Bahenji's writing was not some spirited endeavour to create poetry. But rather the mysterious and terrifying rush of Krishna's love invaded her heart and filling her life with inspiration and delight transformed into verses. These works were published for us from time to time.

Mentioned below are some of the stotras/scriptures which could not be completed:-

a) Shri Krishna Lila Amrit Rasayan Stotra - Shri Vallabhacharyaji Maharaj

Shri Krishna Karnamrita

b)Shri Krishna Karnamrita - Shri Villabh Mangal Surdasji

c)Shri Radha Sahasranam

d)Shri Gopal Sahasranam

e)On-Radha Sudha Nidhi

f)Spriha-netra-shravan-sparsh and nasika

g)Vrindavan Shatak

h)Hans Doot

1 comment:

sfauthor said...

Nice posting. Do you know about these Sanskrit books?