More on love…!!!

While all you guyz are still reeling in the effects of the beautiful song “Alaipayuthey”, here is another shot in the arm of love! It has been commonly misconceived that the daasa saahitya was full of only devotion and vairagya (asceticism, renunciation, etc). Contrary to the same, we do find innumerable compositions that celebrate the love of the gopika women with Lord Krishna. It is a pity that the daasa saahitya of kannada language has not received its due exposure and appreciation as the similar works in other languages, which indeed derived a lot of inspiration from the Haridasa movement in Karnataka. One other aspect is also the fact that the amount of credit given to the works of Purandara daasa is not given to other equally brilliant composers – Kanakadaasaru, Jagannatha daasaru, mahipati daasaru, vijayavitthala daasaru, etc.
Well matters aside, the point I am trying to make is that inspite of all these people having renounced the worldly pleasures, they were still touched by the feeling of love! Even if it was towards a divine entity! It is this feeling of intense love towards God, that enabled them to compose songs that were full of the yearning of their heart, and cries of their soul! A signal of distress for their Lord to arrive quickly and provide them the pleasure of his divine company!
One of my all time favorite songs in this genre would be “ninnanagali hogalaarevo” by Vijaya Vitthala daasaru. It has been beautifully sung by Vidyabhushana. The song is mesmerizing in its effect and fills the heart with myriad of emotions ranging from love, devotion and finally supreme submission!
ninnanagali hogalaarevo neerajaakSha
ninna sEri suKisabaMdevO pallavi
mannisade mamateyiMda bhinna nuDigaLADi namage
haNNu tOri kALakUTavannu koDuvarEno krishna? anupallavi

[We (the gopikas) cannot leave you O! Lotus eyed one! We came here to enjoy the bliss of your company! Whilst thou, without affectionately fulfilling our desires, are imploring us to leave! After luring one with fruits, is it just to feed them the Kaalakuta poison?! (Krishna who would have lured the gopika women with the divine sound of his flute, tempting them with the pleasure of his company is now, by asking them to leave, feeding them the terrible poison of viraha or separation!)]

ariyuvudake shakyavallada apramEya
Adi puruSha amara sannuta
shreeta namma kaiya biDade aadarisabEku
pararAdarEnu ninna charaNa dAsaraada mEle biDuvuduMTe? 1

[Thou art the one immesurable and unfathomable by the human mind (Aprameya), the primal being, and the one devotedly worshipped by the Gods. O! benevolent one, do not abandon us. We may be strangers to you, but having taken shelter under your lotus feet, can you now desert us?]

baMdhu vargavannu biDuvudu
strIyarige viMdyaveMdu shaastra pELvudu
eMdigeMdigemage neene baMdhuveMdu baMdihevo
siMdhu shayana emmanyaake iMdu pOgireMbe neenu? 2

[It is instructed in the shaastras (sacred scriptures) that women must not leave their relatives and family. We have now come to you, thinking of you as our relative for now and ever! O the one who sleeps on the mighty ocean, why do you ask us to leave you now? (The gopikas very cleaverly maneovre the argument using the scriptures too that have asked them not to leave one’s family and relatives! They regard Krishna as their family and relative, and hence refuse to leave him!]

shama damAdi guNagaLiMdali sajjanaru
kramadi ninna mUrti manadali
mamateyiMda pUjisutta gamanisuvaro ninna purake
namage mAtra patisutAdya ramita suKava koDuvarEno? 3

[The blessed people worship you with various attributes having established your form deep within their heart! Having worshipped you with such devotion they attain your abode! Whilst you give us such an ephemeral pleasure! (The gopikas point out the bias that they feel the Lord is doing to them. Compared to the other blessed individuals who worship him in the depths of their heart, who are immediately taken to his supreme abode and enjoy his constant company, the gopikas (who ardently long for him) are being given only a momentary audience by Lord Krishna!)]

mOkSha icceyiMda ninnanu bhajipa janara
pakSha vahisidaMte nammanu rakShisade
biDuvare kaTaakShadiMda eekShisade
lakShmi dEvi ninage bahaLa necceyiMda bOdhisidaLe? 4

[The way you rush to the side of the people who sing your praises for the attainment of salvation, why don’t you protect us too by looking at us with your most benevolent sight? Is this something that Godess Lakshmi has taught you with much fervor? (The gopikas go further in imploring Krishna, suspecting that he is being a puppet in the hands of his wife, and doing her behest! The call upon him to come to their aid the way he does for his devotees, the ones who wish of salvation from his hands! They feel that it is his wife Lakshmi who has with great warmth taught him not to entertain other women!)]

anagha ninna nODi mOhisi aMtarAtma
tanuvu manavu ninage arpisi
janana maraNadiMda janaru daNivareno kAMta
namma manasinaMte olidu salaho vanaja nAbha vijaya vittahala 5

[O faultless one, we have fallen in love with you at the mere sight of yours, and have devoted our mind, body and soul to you! The mundane people suffer from the pains of birth and death! Why don’t you fulfill our wishes the way we want and protect us O thou who bore a lotus in your naabhi!]

Isn’t this such a beautiful composition that encircles the various emotions of the gopikas deprived of their love and longing for it! The plead, they accuse, they suspect, and finally in full submission call upon their Lord, to fulfill their desires! The epitome of devotion is supremely visible in the compositions! Wonder how many more such gems are yet to be explored and realized to the modern man!


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    • Usha on April 19, 2007 at 8:21 AM
    • Reply

    I loved reading your posts and am awed at your translation skills capturing the mood of the original intact.

    I am here witha request: By any chance, have you translated the Meera Bhajan sung by both M.S amma and Aruna sairam equally well!
    Maane Chaakar rakoji
    माने चाकर राखो जी, गिरधारी लाल, चाकर राखो जी

    If yes, please can you post it?


    • Mahi Blogs! on August 18, 2007 at 9:37 PM
    • Reply

    Dear Praveen,

    I’m thankful to your reference of the Mahipati Daasaru as I’m in the quest of collectig his works and publish them on my blog –

    Btw, I’m 8th descendent of this great poet/daasaru and I’m interested in knowing if you are in anyway attached to this family tree as I’m building his familiy tree as well.


    • Praveen on August 19, 2007 at 9:43 AM
    • Reply

    Hello Mahi!
    I am absolutely thrilled and astonished and surprised and what not at the opportunity to have known you. I am sorry, but I do not have any connection for the family genealogy except that I am a lover of the songs 🙂 You have undertaken a wonderful task and I wish you the very very best in your endeavor.

    • Raghuram Shetty on February 28, 2016 at 1:17 PM
    • Reply

    Among few of my favorites too! I miss singing & dancing these in groups in US (I used to do in India!). Great work! There are (very few) difference in lyrics here vs what swami Vidyabhushana sang. Did you happen to write these up from swamiji’s song itself? Thank you!

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