bhāva

The principles of vraja-bhakti

There is a beautiful kārikā by Śrī Śrīnāth Cakravarti which captures the principles of vraja-bhakti and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mood. We examine this kārikā below.


ārādhyo bhagavān vrajeṣa tanayaḥ tad-dhāma vṛndāvanam
ramyā kācit upāsanā vraja vadhu vargeṇa ya kalpitā
Śrīmad Bhāgavatam pramāṇam amalam prema pumartho mahān
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhor matamidam tatrādaro na paraḥ

Bhagavān, the son of Nanda, whose abode is Vṛndāvana, is worshipable. Whatever worship is performed by the group of young damsels of Vraja is most pleasing [to Him]. Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is the faultless pramāṇa [for the fact] that prema is the highest goal of human life. This is Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s opinion, for which I have exclusive respect.

Sangeet Mārtanda Pandit Jasrāj set the kārikā to music in the rāga Bhatiyār. Here is the song on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRKDkI5D-Xw. The rāga is an early morning rāga, and the composition is set to tāla Deepchandi (14 beats). The choice of rāga is perfect, because Bhatiyār is sung at dawn. As the reader may recall, bhāva is the first ray of the sun of prema, and this kārikā (if understood and imbibed properly) can take us toward that goal.

Categories: bhāva

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