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Verses, prayers and quotes of choice. If you come across something you find inspiring, please post it here. You can also start threads on a particular theme and regularly post in something related.

In Praise Of Krishna -

Hari Saran - Sat, 27 Aug 2005 00:09:04 +0530

Radha hears that Krishna will return;
She rejoices at their reunion

When my beloved returns to my house
I shall make my body a temple of gladness,
I shall make my body the altar of joy
And let down my hair to sweep it.
My twisting necklace of pears shall be the intricate
My full breasts the water jar,
My curved hips the plantain tree,
The tinkling bells at my waist the young shoots of the mango.
I shall use the arcane arts of fair women in all lands to make my beauty outshine a thousand moons.

Soon your hopes, O Radha, says Vidyapati, will be fulfilled, and he will be at your side.

Extracted from the book “In Praise of Krishna”, translation by Edward C. Dimock and Denise Levertov. With an introduction and Notes by E. Dimock.
Hari Saran - Sun, 28 Aug 2005 01:55:42 +0530
I borrowed a copy of “In Praise of Krishna” from the local library and for my surprise, E. Dimock’s work of art on that has such intensity in brilliance that it is like a jewelry store, from which I’m inspired to share some of those precious poems.

In his elegant introduction he writes:

"Above the highest heaven is the dwelling place of Krishna. It is a place of infinite idyllic peace, where the dark and gentle river Yamuna flows beside a flowered meadow, where cattle graze; on the river's bank sweet-scented trees blossom and bend their branches to the earth, where peacocks dance and nightingales call softly. Here Krishna, every-young, sits beneath the trees, the sound of his flute echoing the nightingales' call."

I’m sure most of you are more then familiar with his contributions to the Vaishnava world, therefore no need in try to elucidate his diligent studies.
However, I found two websites that to a degree dedicates insightful words to E.D.’s accomplishments.


“Songs from the Bengali for soprano, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, horn, harp, violin, viola, cello and double bass.”

“As we thought about a way to commemorate Levertov's passing, we discovered a book of translations from the Bengali that she had completed with Edward C. Dimock, Jr., in 1967.”



Hymns to Gourachandra
The Golden Moon, the Lord Chaitanya:

After long sorrow, I am graciously
brought by fate to my Golden One,
my Goura,
my treasury of virtue.
After long sorrow I am brought to jay,
my eyes learn what their vision is for,
looking into his face, bright moon.
A long time they were fasting, my eyes,
those thirsty chakora birds whose sole food
is moonbeams:
now they have found
the round moon itself!

Vasudeva Ghosh sings to his Goura, his Golden One,
Like a man blind from birth who found his sight.


It was in bitter maytime my Lord
Renounced the world, and shaved his head,
And took to the roads with only a
staff and a begging bowl.
My heart sickens, tears
sting my eyes. The hope of my life
went with him.
How long will my days drag on
without him, my Goura?
The springtime, when the world brims over
with joy, comes round again,
bitter to me.
My old love for my lord
aches in my heart, all I remember
makes life a noose
tightening about my throat.

Ramananda says, He was the lord of my life.
When shall I see him, with Gadadhara, again?
Hari Saran - Sun, 28 Aug 2005 22:49:23 +0530

The Awakening of love between Krishna and Radha:

The girl and woman
bound in one being:
the girl puts up her hair,
the woman lets it
fall to cover her breast:
the girl reveals her arms,
her long legs, innocently bold;
the woman wraps her shawl modestly about her,
her open glance a little veiled.
Restless feet , a blush on the young breast,
hint at her heart’s disquiet:
behind her closed eyes
Kama awakens, born in imagination, the god.

Vidyapati says, O Krishna, bridegroom,
Be patient, she will be brought to you.


He speaks:

Her slender body like a flash of lightning,
her feet, color of dawn, stepping swiftly
among the other lotus petals..
friend, tell me who she is! She plays
among her friends,
plays with my heart.
When she raises her eyebrows I see
the arching waves of River Kalindi.
Her careless look lights flames into blue flowers.
When she smiles
a delicate sweetness fills me, fragrance
of lily and jasmine.

O Kan, you are bewitched:
Do you not know your Rai?
Hari Saran - Wed, 31 Aug 2005 13:10:02 +0530

In which Radha describes the depth of her love:

As the mirror to my hand,
the flowers to my hair,
kohl to my eyes,
tambul to my mouth,
musk to my breast,
necklace to my throat,
ecstasy to my flesh,
heart to my home—

as wing to bird,
water to fish,
life to the living---
so you to me.
But tell me,
Madhava, beloved,
Who are you?
Who are you really?

Vidyapati says, they are one another.


Love, I take on splendor in your splendor,
grace and gentleness are mine because of your

I remember
how I embraced your feet, holding them
tight to my breast.

Others have many loves, I have
only you,
dearer to me than life.
You are the kohl on my eyes, the ornaments
on my body,
you, dark moon.

Jnana-dasa says, Your love
Binds heart to heart.


As water to sea creatures,
moon nectar to ckakora birds,
companionable dark to the stars---
my love is to Krishna.
My body hungers for his
as mirror image hungers
for twin of flesh.

His life cuts into my life
as the stain of the moon’s rabbit
engraves the moon.

As if a day when no sun came up
and no color came to the earth---
that’s how it is in my heart when he goes away.

Vidyapati says, Cherish such love
and keep it young, fortunate girl.


My friend, I cannot answer when you ask me to
what has befallen me.
Love is transformed, renewed,
each moment.
He has dwelt in my eyes all the days of my life,
yet I am not sated with seeing.
My ears have heard his sweet voice in eternity,
and yet it is always new to them.
How many honeyed nights have I passed with him
in love’s bliss, yet my body
wonders at his.
Through all the ages
he has been clasped to my breast,
yet my desire
never abates.
I have seen subtle people sunk in passion
but none came so close to the heart of the fire.

Who shall be found to cool your heart,
says Vidyapati.
Hari Saran - Sun, 04 Sep 2005 22:21:04 +0530
Radha goes to meet Krishna
in the trysting place:

O Madhava, how shall I tell you of my terror?
I could not describe my coming here
if I had a million tongues.
When I left my room and saw the darkness
I trembled:
I could not see the path,
there were snakes that writhed round my ankles!

I was alone, a woman; the night was so dark,
the forest so dense and gloomy,
and I had so far to go.
The rain was pouring down—
which path should I take?
My feet were muddy
and burning where thorns had scratched them.
But I had the hope of seeing you, none of it mattered,
and now my terror seems far away…
When the sound of your flute reaches my ears
it compels me to leave my home, my friends,
it draws me into the dark toward you.

O no longer count the pain of coming here,
says Govinda-dasa.


This dark cloudy night
He’ll not come to me…
But yes, he is here!
He stands dripping with rain
in the courtyard. O my heart!

What virtue accrued in
another life has brought me
such bliss? I who
fear my elders and dare not go out to him?
I who torment him? I see

his sorrow and deep love
and I am tormented.
I would set fire to my house
for him, I would bear
the scorn of the world.

He thinks his sorrows is joy,
when I weep he weeps.

When it comes to know such depth of lovew
the heart of the world will rejoice,
says Chandidasa


When they had made love
She lay in his arms in the kunja grove.
Suddenly she called his name
and wept—as if she burned in the fire of
The gold was in her anchal
but she looked afar for it!
---When has he left me alone?
and her pain kepst her from fainting.
Krishna was astonished
and could not speak.

Taking her beloved friend by the hand,
Govinda-dasa led her softly away.


Lord of my heart, what have I dreamed…
how shall I go home, now that daylight has come?
My musk and sandalwood perfumes are faded,
the kohl smudged from my eyes, the vermillion line
drawn in the part of my hair, paled.
O put the ornament
of your own body upon me,
take me with you, down-glancing one.
Dress me in your own yellow robes,
smooth my disheveled hair,
wind round my throat your garland of forest flowers.
Thus, beloved, someone in Gokula entreats.

Basu Ramananda says, Such is your love
that deer and tiger are together in your dwelling
Hari Saran - Mon, 12 Sep 2005 03:23:16 +0530

Radha is regretful that she has given herself to Krishna,
and resentful of his power over her. She speaks:

With the last of my garments
shame dropped from me, fluttered
to earth and lay discarded at my feet.
My lover’s body became
the only covering I need.
With bent head he gazed at the lamp
like a bee who desire the honey of a closed lotus.
The mind-stealing One, like the chataka bird,
is wanton, he misses no chance
to gratify his thirst: I was to him
a pool of raindrops.

Now shame returns
as I remember. My heart trembles,
recalling his treachery.

So Visyapati says.
To Her friend:

O, why did I go to the Yamuna river? There
the moon apple of Nanda’s eye lay waiting
under the kadamba tree.
The honey of his look, the radiance
of his body---these
were the bait and the snare he laid:
and my eyes lit there like birds
and at once were trapped,
and my heart leapt like a doe into his nets
leaving the cage of my breast empty,
and goaded by his glance,
my pride, that wild elephant,
which I had kept
chained night and day in my mind, broke loose
and escaped me.
At the first note of his flute
down came the lion gate of reverence for elders,
down came the door of dharma,
my guarded treasure of modesty was lost,
I was thrust to the ground as if by a thunderbolt.
Ah, yes, his dark body
poised in the tribhanga pose
shot the arrow that pierced me;
no more honor at Vraja
lost to me.
Only my life is left—and my life too
is only a breath that is leaving me.

So says Jagadananda-dasa
To her friend:

How can I describe his relentless flute,
which pulls virtuous women from their homes
and drags them by their hair to Shyam
as thirst and hunger pull the doe to the snare?
Chaste ladies forget their wisdom,
and clinging vines shakes loose from their trees,
hearing that music.
Then how shall a simple dairymaid withstands its call?

Chandidasa says, Kala the puppet master leads the dance.
To her friend:

My mind is not on housework.
Now I weep, now I laugh at the world’s censure.
He draws me—to become
an outcast, a hermit woman in the woods!
He has bereft me of parents, brothers, sisters, my name. His flute
too my heart---
his flute, a thin bamboo trap enclosing me---
a cheap bamboo flute was Radha’s ruin.
That hollow, simple stick---
fed nectar by his lips, but issuing

If you should find
a clump of jointed reeds,
pull off their branches!
Tear them up by the roots!
Throw them
into the sea.

Dvija Chandidasa says, Why the bamboo?
Not it but Krishna enthralls you: him you cannot uproot.
To herself:

I brought honey and drank it mixed with milk---
but where was its sweetness? I tasted gall.
I am steeped in bitterness, as the seed
of a bitter fruit in its juice.
My heart smolders.
A fire without is plain to be seen
but this fire flames within,
it sears my breast.
Desire burns the body---how can it be relieved?

By the touch of Kanu, says Chandidasa.
To Krishna:

Love, what can I say to You?
I was too young to love,
but you did not let me stay at home.
I shall drown myself in the sea
with this last wish:
that I be born again as Nanda’s son
and you as Radha.
Then, after loving you, I shall abandon you.
I shall stand beneath the Kadamba tree;
I shall stand in the tribhanga pose and play my flute
as you go to draw water.
And when you hear the flute you will be enchanted,
simple girl.

Chandidasa says, Then you will know
how love can burn.
To Krishna:

A wicked woman---fouler than the foulest poison.
So his mother’s cruelty, like fire
burning in me.
My tyrant husband: the whetted
edge of a razor. And all around me,
reproachful dutiful women.
My love what shall I tell you?
Whatever their calumnies, you
are my life itself.
My body
bears your brand---they know it.
For shame I cannot raise my head
before chaste women,
I cannot bear the cruelty, the knife-thrust
of seeing my fellow women make mocking signs to
I have weighed it all.
Yet I have chosen
to endure abuse for you sake.

So Balarama-dasa says.