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.
Mangala and Shringar 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’.
Mangala Darshan-This is an early morning darshan as you awaken the diety. This darshan philosophically indicates that it is the birth of a human being, the star of a human life that is fresh and glowing with the rays of the early morning sun. Therefore, the stutis (hymns in praise of) that form a part of this darshan are composed in early morning ragas.
This begins with the Mangalya stuti, a stuti that vividly descries the temples of the seven deities that constitute Mangalya Mandir (situated in central India), signifying the philosophy of the Indian cultural heritage, viz., ‘the whole universe is one family’. It invokes the various deities, praying for the well being of the entire universe ands seeking their blessings.
The Mangalya Mandir is a complex of seven temples, dedicated to seven deities, situated at Ratlam, Dharmakshetra, Madhya Pradesh, India.
This is followed by a Vedic Stuti, chanting of selected hymns/Vedas from rigveda, yajurveda (shukla yajurveda and Krishna yajurveda), (shukla yajurveda and Krishna yajurveda), samveda and Atharvaveda. Vedas are believed to be utterances of god-‘the unknown’-revealed at the time when this universe was being created, for spiritual guidance, benevolence and upliftment of humanity. The chants herein are dedicated to Lord Vishnu, of whom Shri Krishna was an incarnation and the elements of the universe.
Shri Yamunashtakam is a stuti on the ever benevolent goddess Yamunaji, one of the four main “sakhis” of Lord Shri Krishna. Goddess Yamuna (the river Yamuna) is considered to be the swaroop of bhakti as she was the first to touch the feet of Shri Krishna, while Vasudev was taking the new born Lord from Mathura to Gokul.
It is said that this stuti instills utmost ‘Krishna Bhakti’ in the person who recites it, taking him/her to ‘gopi-bhava’ which is considered to be the supreme bhava in Krishna Bhakti. The stuti praises her powers and divine qualities and describes how the goddess can bless her devotees to increase their love to Shri Krishna.
This is one of the 84 granthas (works) of the 15th century philosopher Shri Vallabhacharya, who is believed to have realized the Lord in person.
Shri Krishna Dwadashnaam Stotra, as the name suggests describes the twelve names of the Lord vividly. Legend says that the Lord himself recited this stotra to Arjun in the epic Mahabharata, written by the great Mahamuni Shri Veda Vyas.
This is the ‘darshan’ of the Lord, after he has had his morning bath and is fully adorned. This darshan starts with the very popular invocation, Govinda Damodar Madhaveti, in praise of the deity.
It is said that Pandit Jasraj regularly sings this stuti at most of his concerts and it is among his personal favourites.
The stotra, Madhurashtakam says that everything that is related to the Lord is beautiful, charming and inspiring. The vivid description of the adorable swaroop of Madhuradhipate i.e. the Lord of all that is madhur (sweet), haunts one’s soul and mind as one transcends into a state of devotional ecstacy.
This again is a creation of Saint Vallabhacharya (15th century).
Barha peedam is a shloka from ‘Venugeet’, featuring in the tenth chapter of the great purana on the Lord, Shrimad Bhagvatam. The great sage, Mahamuni Vyas, wrote this. This shloka describes the beautifully dressed Shri Krishna with his flute and vaijayanti mala (garland), as he enters Vraj. It depicts the feeling of absolute bhakti and reverence for the Lord.
Padma Vibhushan Pandit Jasraj.
Pandit Jasraj, considered as a living legend in Indian classical music today, is undoubtedly one of it’s most 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.
|Shri Krishna Dwadashnaam Stotra|
|Composed & sung by|
|Padma Vibhushan Pandit Jasraj|
|Conceptualised & Created by Smt. Prerana Thakore|