Chapter 1: Stuti for Giridhari - Praise the Lord

When I came back to the US I started listening to the magnum opus of devotion, “Srimad Bhagavatam” or “Bhagavad Puran.” Bhagavad means, for Him and by Him, the Lord divine. This great text was written by the sage Ved Vyas. There are twelve volumes, cantos, to this text. The tenth canto is dedicated to Krishna. After listening to the introduction and bit of the first canto I couldn’t wait so I jumped to the tenth canto. As I heard the birth of Shri Krishna, the place where he was born, the house of Nanda Baba, it brought in the feeling and the fragrance of those places I had been. Now when I look at baby Krishna, the devotion has a different flavor, because I have tasted the devotion of Mathura-Vrindavan, it brings back those same feelings.

God is personal, intimate as well as formless and transcendental. Multiplicity and oneness co-exist.  The transcendental ultimate reality is like the canvas and a painting on it is the apparent reality. Like sound is a superimposition on silence, so is creation on consciousness. Consciousness is both immediate and transcendental.

Both happily co-exist; Krishna, my beloved Lord, and the one eternal universal consciousness (that I am). That one universal consciousness created this universe and also created several divine forms that the Hindus call by different names. These divine forms, Devis, Devatas, Avatars, were created to express different virtues and elements that govern this creation. One of them is Krishna, He is an avatar of Narayana and the purpose of an avatar to is to re-establish truth and goodness in every age. That universal consciousness created Avatars for a reason and purpose, and avatars are the most transparent form of that consciousness on earth. Krishna Himself is consciousness, and my soul. He is both the means to the end and the end itself. True knowers of Krishna are those who have dropped the “I”.
For me no one else exists except for Govind, this world is immaterial. Krishna is the only one who is always there for me, who will never change and love me unconditionally, accepts me just as I am. He is my only support when I am down; He is my beloved when I’m in ecstasy. He is a friend I play with and cherish; He is like a father in whose lap I can lay.

Not only is Krishna my beloved but he is also my Guru. He delivers the highest knowledge for Moksha in the Bhagavat Gita. Krishna is consciousness and also the entire creation. First Krishna talks about His universal Self in the Gita (chapters ten and eleven) before He talks about devotion in the twelfth chapter. Krishna the epitome of devotion talks about devotion! He is the most complete avatar. From being the cutest son, a playful and powerful cowherd boy, to the perfect lover, a noble king, a skilled politician, a great friend, the highest Guru, and so on, every role he played with skill and perfection. He exemplified Gita itself in terms of devotion, knowledge, discipline, and skill in action. I think He is so smart, charming, skillful, extremely attractive and intelligent. He is my beloved, my Guru and my God. I know He’s both personal and eternal. Knowledge supports devotion, devotion enchants knowledge.

I am drunk with the cocktail of knowledge and devotion; there is no higher ecstasy than the intoxication of this nectar.
Truly devotion is the most beautiful and the most pure experience in human existence.

Interestingly all the devotional saints of India in the fifteenth and sixteenth century experienced intense longing. That was the age of longing; this is the age of celebration. In the sense that when you have knowledge you know He is always with you, He is your soul, and He and you are one. Then there is celebration.
He is my soul, a projection of my soul is His darshan and then He disappears back into the eternity of my soul.
Meera Bai's bhajans were her conversations with Krishna, in devotion words flow as poetry. It's very difficult to express devotion on paper, with words. Devotion is sung and has to be felt in person!

Meera Bai’s bhajan:
“Pyare Darshan Dijo Aaj
Tum Bina Rahyo na Jaye

Jala Bina Kamala
Chandra Bin Rajani
Aise Tum Dekhya Bin Sajani
Aakul Vyakul Firoon Raina Dina
Viraha Khaleja Khaye
Din Nahi Bhookh
Neend Nahi Naina
Mukh se Kahata na Aave Baina
Kaha Karu Kachu Kahatana Aave
Milakar Tapan Bhujaay
Kyon tarasaao antarayaami
Aana milo krripa karo swaami
Meera daasi janam-janam ki
Padi tumhaari paaon
Pyaare darashan di jo aaj, Tum bin raho na jaae, Pyare Darshan Diyo Aaj.”

These are my conversations with Krishna:
For so long I have been calling Your name. Oh! This intense yearning! So long I have been waiting. Oh! This intense longing! My mind and soul immersed.
Hey Giridhari! Come to me. Govind! Govind!! Govind!!! …

Ah Giridhari! Finally You have come! O Ghanshyam! You heard the call of my soul and longing of my heart. So subtly You appear in this moonlit night here in this forest. I am elated and transformed.

Oh Govind! Your countenance, Your soft charming radiant face is irresistible! Your faint naughty smile, and the twinkle in your eyes, is so captivating that my eyes can’t move.
There could be no greater attraction in this world than Your presence, Your serene divine mesmerizing presence. In this night Your twilight face shines like a thousand moons. This moment seems still and eternal, while the whole world moves.
The gentle breeze through the trees, the scent of the night jasmine float through and yet we remain untouched, unmoved as if in eternal union.
May I forever rest in Your arms, surrender and feel that deep relief in my soul, then fall asleep while You play Your soothing flute. Oh! That is what my heart is longing for. But I can’t move, I remain frozen looking at You, thoughtless, bodiless, and only soul.
A gush of wind flutters the peacock feather on Your crown, a lock of Your dark wavy hair brush Your face. I look at You like a little girl whose jaw drops and head tilts. Then You smile at me with fondness and sweet love.
So overwhelmed am I with Your charm, magnanimity, and Your breath taking divine presence that I feel I will swoon. I hear the divine musicians start to play, Veena, Tabla, Manjeera, and Sarod. Giridhari joins in with His flute. Oh! The sound...So soft and sweet! My mind merges and I am gone. All the Gods have come too, as no one even in heaven would want to miss this divine darshan.
You are looking so radiant, Giridhari, your glowing twilight blue color and striking white mesmerizing eyes. The chandan and kesar tilak on Your forehead, the pearl ear rings and flower necklaces. There is a scent of sandalwood in the air. I witness Your presence, Your shining orange silk upper cloth, dazzling yellow dhoti, and armlets of precious stones, Your tender graceful hands holding Your flute. I want to bow down and touch Your soft and gentle feet, a most heart melting sight! Even the Gods are awed by Your brilliance.

As I witness the Lord, a Stuti[1] is being revealed. A beautiful melody and poetry starts flowing from within.
“Sri Krishna Govind Hare Murare,
I bow down and surrender myself at Your feet.
In all the worlds besides You there is nothing so sweet…Hey Nath Narayana Vasudeva

Sri Krishna Govind Hare Murare,
Luckiest are those who can experience Your transcendental presence.
Most compassionate is the Lord who showers His grace and radiance…Hey Nath Narayana Vasudeva

Sri Krishna Govind Hare Murare,
What words can this mind offer to one who is beyond expression.
I can sing for eons in Your praise yet it remains pale…Hey Nath Narayana Vasudeva

Sri Krishna Govind Hare Murare,
Beyond understanding are You yet my being is captivated by Your love.
Oh Lord tell me what is the secret to that unknowable pull of Your soul…Hey Nath Narayana Vasudeva

Sri Krishna Govind Hare Murare,
So great is this attraction to You oh Lord, that all attachments are quickly torn.
Fast I enter into Your reign, the light of the Lord, and then I’m truly born…Hey Nath Narayana Vasudeva

Sri Krishna Govind Hare Murare,
How can beings that count and measure estimate the immeasurable bliss that is beyond bounds.
How can I enumerate the virtues and brilliance of You the Creator himself of these – it astounds…Hey Nath Narayana Vasudeva

Sri Krishna Govind Hare Murare,
I am born from You, You are the source of all, You are the Alpha and the Omega.
I am in You, You are in me, You are the witness of all creation - Your amazing Maya…Hey Nath Narayana Vasudeva

Sri Krishna Govind Hare Murare,
You, within whom the whole universe resides, remain formless, infinite, eternal, and uncreated.
Being ever liberated you liberate, in ecstatic Bhakti the Bhakt merges into You my Beloved…Hey Nath Narayana Vasudeva

Sri Krishna Govind Hare Murare,
For the Gopis you brought Vaikunta to Vrindavan, You made life a celebration!
Where ever I see there is only You, I bow to your ocean of creation…Hey Nath Narayana Vasudeva

Sri Krishna Govind Hare Murare,
Only from the heart can You be seen, not the eyes of the mind, nor by those in haste.
Rise up! Rejoice! Let’s sing His glory, fill knowledge with nectar, and become chaste…Hey Nath Narayana Vasudeva

Sri Krishna Govind Hare Murare,
Glory to You O my Lord Krishna! May these tears of love and gratitude forever roll from my eyes.
Your devotee begs You not to go and leave me again; can I not be forever in your presence…Hey Nath Narayana Vasudeva

Sri Krishna Govind Hare Murare Hey Nath Narayana Vasudeva”

(I want to sing to You or say something but my lips do not move, still our hearts beat in rhythm, our souls communicate. In these moments that seem eternal I have truly lived.) Then You say to me, “I live forever in your heart,” and disappears into eternity.

Rukha sukha hai ye sansar, jab tak mile na Govind ka pyar (I)
Jeevan ki dhara Radha ban jaae, Kanha se mil kar ek ho jaae (II)
Mein to thi tadap se pyasi, Kaahaan hai o mere Swami (I)
Ab mil gaye antaryami, ab  magna hui ye dasi (II)

Koi na Bandhu Koi na Sakha sab hai yahan Svarthi Re
Baandh le Preetam se tu Jodhi Vohi hai Saccha Sarthi Re
Dhondha Ras to Paae Peedha Sookha har Sansari Re
Chhod de bandhan arre Kesari tere to Giridhari Re

I've started singing in conversation with Him. Merging into the rhythm I swing drunk with ecstasy and longing in the heart. Oh Lord! My mind is filled with your name, and my heart captured by Thee. I feel the rapture of unison of heart, mind and soul, intoxicated I am with the nectar of bliss. The rhythm of the song of devotion has now taken over me. I have lost my mind and I’m swirling in the ocean of bliss.

“Karo mann Nanda Nandana ko dhyaan”. “Oh mind; fill yourself with the name of the Lord." This whole world is of no support to me, I come to rest in Thy arms. Oh mind fill yourself with His name. I roam thirty and tired here and there, I have come to rest in Thy arms. May my mind always be filled with Him. May my heart be captured by His presence. I dance in a trance filled with ecstasy as if the whole world doesn’t exist. Leave me alone filled with His name. This soul, this bliss, this oneness is all there is. “Karo mann Nanda Nandana ko dhyaan.

I have thrown away that veil of separation oh Govind. Come to see me again, I will not refuse to see your face this time. You are my only companion. I remember Your most charming, enigmatic face, which I saw and lost my senses. I witnessed the charm, the attraction, and the warmest most handsome face in the entire universe. Eye to eye we saw each other unmoved despite the pouring rain and thunder. Unmoved you were holding the mountain, O Giridhari. Unmoved I was surrendered to you, merged into your eyes eternally, untouched by everything, unaware of the world. That day I realized what I had missed all my life. Had I removed my veil and seen you the first time when you asked to see my face, I would not have lost all these years in this delusion. This moment alone is real in your presence.  O Giridhari! you are the only support of Govardhan, we only imagine ourselves also supporting with our little sticks. O Govind! You alone are uplifting my existence, you are my only support.

Ye mann buddhi bhi hai prabhu kripa se
Ye jeevan bhi hai prabhu kripa se
Jeevan dhara bhi hai prabhu kripa se
Jaisi hoon mein prabhu kripa se...unki sharan mein hoon unki kripa se
Chit saagar ki choti si boondh hoon mein Prabhu kripa se
Apna lein mujhe apni kripa se
Yeh Prem bhakti Prabhu kripa se
Mein hun nahi bus Unki Kripa hai
Kesari ka Pranaam aur Samarpan aap ki Kripa mein
ये मन बुद्धि भी है प्रभु कृपा से
ये जीवन भी है प्रभु कृपा से
जीवन धरा भी है प्रभु कृपा से
जैसी हूँ में प्रभु कृपा से... उनकी शरण में हूँ उनकी कृपा से
चित् सागर की छोटी सी बूँद हूँ मैं प्रभु कृपा से
अपना लें मुझे अपनी कृपा से
यह प्रेम भक्ति प्रभु कृपा से
में हूँ नहीं बस उनकी कृपा है
केसरी का प्रणाम और समर्पण आप की कृपा में

[1] Stuti – Hymns in praise for the Lord

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