The voice is no more!

By now, the heart-wrenching news of the demise of Dr. Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna would have reached you. The 86 year old maestro was unwell for some time and breathed his last at his residence in Chennai on Tuesday, November 22, 2016. Our condolences to the family and to .May the sweetness of his voice and the innocence of his smile act as a balm in this period of grief!

I am no expert on the rich and vast style of Carnatic music. In fact, I don’t think I have listened to it enough to qualify as a fan. So what does Balamuralikrishna’s death mean for me? It surely has come as a irrevocable blow to the countless of admirers and followers of Carnatic music- for he was the father figure, the man whose genius transcended generations and genres and drew love from the masses and the classes alike. But like I mentioned, what does it mean for a follower of Hindustani Classical Music like me?

A child prodigy, Balamuralikrishna created a new era in music, just like his guru deemed he would go on to do. He constantly kept reinventing himself, relying on his imagination and his ingenuity. One instance that reaffirms his unbelievable talent and innovation is how he learnt to play the violin. His father, urging him to concentrate on vocal music, was against him learning to play it. As a young boy, he learnt how to play the instrument purely by seeing his father practice it. One day, he gathered the courage to pick it up and play it in his father’s absence. When his father found out about the beauty with which he had played, he gave in and allowed him to play the violin. The violin came in handy during his teenage years when the tonal structure of his voice was changing.

Balamuralikrishnan’s relentless pursuit of new heights to scale led to his constant attempt to bring new things. His countless jugalbandis with many of the greats of Hindustani Classical  Genre show that he was not hesitant in stepping out of his comfort zone. In fact, several of his associations with Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj and Vidushi Kishori Amonkar are well documented and available on Youtube. For the uninitiated, they could be an amazing entry point into the musical genius of this great man.

I could go on and on about the countless aspects of his music and his personality. Rare are such men, who are at the absolute peak of what they do for decades, and yet remain unaffected by all the fame and controversies that come with it. One visit to Youtube and watching any of his performances would instantly make you realise the simplicity and humility of this great legend.

Humility seems to be getting increasingly extinct these days, doesn’t it? Here’s a snippet of his jugalbandi with Pandit Bhimsen Joshi- not only would it allow you 10 minutes of pure, unadulterated music but also give you an instant refresher course in Humility101.

Perhaps this is what he stands for someone not well-acquainted with Carnatic music and even for someone not having any footing in Indian Classical Music. We could all learn the lesson of grace and love from this humble maestro, and perhaps that is the only way to compensate for this Dumbledorean loss from the world.

 

Raga Darbari in its element with Ustad Shahid Parvez

For me, the purpose of a Hindustani classical musician should never be to show his virtuosity or taiyari. It should be simply serving the raga with all the dedication, trying to bring all the elements that make the Raga unique.
 
Ustad Shahid Parvez, arguably one of the best Sitarists in the world right now, is one such artist. A childhood prodigy, he performs today with the maturity and skill expected of an Ustad of his calibre.

Today we will dissect a Raga Darbari recording of his for the album “Magnificent Melody-A Tribute to Dulal Babu ” (2004). Tabla accompaniment is provided by the maestro Pt. Anindo Chatterjee.



As the alaap begin, the tension begins to rise up with the Andolit madra Dhaivat (Dha), and is ably taken up a notch with the gandhar and dhaivat. Ten minutes in, there is palpable bechaini with all the wondrous oscillations and glides. He means business in this recording, as he usually does in all his performance. In no way is Shahid Parvez in a hurry to show off his decades of practice. Completely surrender to the unending realm of Darbari is how he has approached this performance.
 
The tension of the alaap reaches a climax with the komal Gandhar (Ga) of the higher octave, ironically imparting relaxation and piece to the listener. Shahid Parvez has an impeccable command over his right hand and his left hand game is always on point, similar to the Aftab-e-Sitar, the towering figure of his gharana.

For the uninitiated, I am talking about Ustad Vilayat Khan. His Darbari is also an important treasure in history, maybe because the structure of the raga with all its oscillations (Andolan) and glides (Meend) suits the Gayaki ang, he was an expert of.

It is very tempting to keep talking about Ustad Vilayat Khan, once his name comes up. Such is the grandeur of his music and his personality. But let me come back to his able successor and nephew.

(P.S. There are some excellent Darbari recordings of the Vilayat Khan Sahab on youtube. If you need some recommendations from me, drop in a comment on facebook , twitter or on the blog itself)

Roughly 30 minutes in, post the magnificennce of the Jhala, enters the Farukhabad maestro Pt. Anindo Chaterjee on tabla. A traditional  madhyalaya gat follows, played by Parvez to near perfection. That’s where I prefer traditional compositions over modern ones. The essence of the Raga remain so wonderfully capsuled in these traditional compositions, preserved through generations and decades.

Musicians from the Etawah Imdadkhani gharani have been criticised in the past for their reliance on Teentaal and their reluctance to move past it. I have always found this criticism needless as skilled layakari can be shown ably by a seasoned performer in any taal. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Shahid Parvez’s command over laya has always been a step ahead from the previous generation performers of his gharana.

Thereafter, he moves on to play a drut gat in Ektaal, ably supported by the crispness of the bols of the Tabla rendered by Chaterjee. I have always been an admirer of the clarity with which Parvez renders his taans. In a private baithak, he once mentioned an ancedote about what Ustad Vilayat Khan comparing the speed and clarity of taans with an airplane cruising at high speed and remaining extremely stable.

He finishes this hour long masterpiece with a gat in drut teentaal replete with crisp taans and able layakari. Despite the never ending vastness possessed by Darbari, I would say Ustad Shahid Parvez manages to tick all the boxes and deliver and outstanding performance. Good night!

Thumri Festival, 2016: What to look forward to

Entry : Free (Seating on First-Come First-Served Basis)
Venue: Kamani Auditorium, 1, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
Capacity: 632
Date: 2nd,3rd & 4th September, 2016
Time: 6:30 pm (1830 IST)

Schedule:
2nd September : 

Ranita De
Samrat Pandit
Kaushiki Chakravorty

3rd September : 
Sunanda Sharma
Madhumita Chattopadhyay
Rajan Sajan Mishra

4th September : 
Neha Chimmalgi
Bholanath Mishra
Girija Devi

About the Venue:
Kamani Auditorium, a unit of the Bharatiya Kala Kendra Trust, is the most prestigious Theatre Hall of Delhi. The venue has been a host to some of the best National and International Theatrical, Dance and Musical Performances since 1971.

How to reach:
The Auditorium is well connected by Bus services as well as the Delhi Metro which has its Mandi House Station ( Blue Line & Violet Line) just 5 minutes walking distance from the Hall.

Thumri Festival 2016 passes

The author’s analysis:
Every year Sahtiya Kala Parishad, Department of Art, Culture and Languages, Government of Delhi does an excellent job in organising “Thumri Festival” at Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi. September is a month that the Classical music aficionados in Delhi await, particularly for this annual event that celebrates Thumri- a form of classical and semi-classical music that is a celebration of love, above everything else.

What I like about this festival the most is not the fact that it provides a perfect mix of youth and experience, that you get to listen to fresh and unheard voices along with the legends. The most likeable aspect is that there is no Corporate mumbo-jumbo. 10 of the front rows are not reserved for corporates, who rarely turn up, anyway.

I must confess that I haven’t heard the names of some of the performers on the list. But maybe that is sole point of an event like this. To get to know some new names, to enjoy the new exciting talent on the musical circuit, along with the assurance that you are going to be treated with the phenomenon of Kaushiki Chakravorthy, the homely greatness of Pandit Rajan & Sajan Mishra and the divinity and the surreal experience that is called Vidushi Girija Devi– that is what makes this event unique.

(Bonus: Enjoy this Thumri in the evergreen Raga Desh rendered by Girija Devi ji on our youtube channel –
Girija Devi – Raag Desh Thumri live)

Obviously there are downsides of a festival like this. Delays compound up and things never  end on time. But isn’t a little discomfort worth all the wonderful moments you will experience over the course of there 3 days?

So, if you happen to be in Delhi over the weekend, consider taking a few hours out of your busy schedule (Whatsapp, Facebook & Instagram, to be honest) and consider dropping in. You might find me, your humble author, sitting on the seat next to you. If that happens to be the case, don’t make a lot of noise while the performance is going on. I can be very fussy and a total pain. See you!

 

Remembering Ustad Vilayat Khan on his birthday

Ustad Vilayat Khan Sahab would have been 88 today(or perhaps 92, as contested by some historians. Nevertheless, music has never been about numbers, has it?) , had he not passed away 12 years ago and left his countless admirers reeling for more. I can’t even comprehend the amount of impact he has had on my life, and on the lives of millions of listeners around the world.

I recommend reading his autobiography “Komal Gandhar” to everyone for an insight into this extraordinary mind. To folks in Delhi, I would Gladly lend my copy for a read. I would also be posting a few excerpts from the book in my next post so that we can pay homage to him with the magic of his music as well as his words. Meanwhile enjoy a few photos and keep the Aftab-e-Sitar in your thoughts.

 

And of course, it would be foolish to not leave you with the master’s music on his birthday. Consider this a return gift from Khan Sahab, straight from heaven. This is his rendition of Raga Hameer at the Royal Festival Hall, London in 1993. Ustad ji is in his element, his romantic best as his produces this masterpiece in drut Teentaal. This piece is even closer to my heart because of the abundance of his silken vocals apart from his fluid Sitar. He renders it with all the love and grace in the world, as sons Shujaat & Hidayat watch, smitten. How apt are the words of the rendition

Achanak mohe piya aa ke jagaye

Let Nath Piya (Pen name of Usatd ji)wake you up today from the slumber of monotony and negativity and fill you with all the beauty that Hameer possesses, or should I say, all the beauty that  he gets out of Hameer.

Celebrating Lord Krishna with Pandit Jasraj

Hindustani Classical music has always evoked new dimensions of emotions in its avid followers. People have found themselves, while listening to a live performance or even a record, in a meditative trance. In a state where they become oblivious to everything around them, where the music, the musician and the audience become one single entity.

Lord Krishna! The natkhat makhanchor or the romantic Raas-Rachaita or the heavenly falutist, the Murli Manohar! Our Music has always depicted the life of Krishna through various ragas, compositions and style of singing. Be it vocal music or instrumental music, Krishna has been the focal point, the inspiration behind it all. The light classical form thumri, filled with Shringar Ras (the flavour of beauty and love) explores the romance between Kanha and the gopis of Vrindavan or the pain that accompanies the separation of Radha from her beloved Krishna.

Krishna is anant, infinite, and the essence of Krishna cannot be captured in mere words or phrases. He can be Yashoda Ka Lalla or Vrindavan Bihari Lal or Paarthsarathi. As noted 8th Century poet and philosopher Adi Shankaracharya points out that he can be the Yogeeshwaram, the lord of all yogis, and chauragryaganyam, the spearhead of all the thieves, simultaneously. Our Indian classical Music transcends a plethora of dimensions and tries to capture every aspect of the life of Krishna.

It is an incredibly arduous task for one to musically depict the various roles that Krishna undertakes in one’s whole life, but one artist that comes closer than anyone else in doing so is the doyen of the Mewati Gharana, Padma Vibhushan Pandit Jasraj.  Jasraj, even at the age of 85, can be considered to be at the helm of khayal gayaki as well as bhajans and haveli sangeet, with the latter being revived singlehandedly by him. An ardent devotee of Krishna himself, he has a voice that has defied age and made music and devotion one single entity. As legendary thumri exponent Grija Devi says- “Musicians like Jasraj are one of a kind. His performances take you into a different world, one where God exists. Uss Allah ko kya pukar lagata hai ye… mantramugdha kar dene wali .His call to Allah casts a spell on you.” [1]

Let us undertake this journey of exploring Krishna with some of Pandit Jasraj’s khayals and bhajans,  starting with a beautiful bhajan that depicts the birth of Krishna, “Gokul mein bajat kahan badhai”. This composition, originally written as bhajan by Surdas and adapted as a bandish by Pandit Jasraj, is based on Raga Kedar and set to teentaal (16 beats cycle). One can instantly visualize  the hustle and bustle on the streets of Gokul ,where infant Kanha has just taken birth, and almost feel the joy rising in oneself as the bhajan progresses. The recording is from a live concert from some years ago and flute maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasiya and pakhawaj exponent Pandit Bhawani Shankar have made this an iconic piece. The maestros do supreme justice to various aspects of Kedar, while maintaining the devotional feel associated with the lyrics. There are so many moments in the recording where one is left wanting for words and all one can do is appreciate the magic that these two masters of their trade create.


For lyrics of this bhajan and all the subsequent pieces, please visit this link.

Next up on our list is, “Rani Tero Chir Jeeyo Gopal”. Based on Raga Yaman, this bhajan describes the feelings of Lord Shiva, when he could not resist himself and came to gokul himself to see toddler Kanha, twelve days after his birth. The whole incident is a fascinating one, but it is a story for some other time. Penned down by Surdas, this sweet bhajan is rendered perfectly by Pandit Jasraj, and one can derive ineffable joy while listening to this. The recording is from the same concert as the earlier one, and all the aspects of Yaman are rendered to perfection. Yaman is a raga of unfathomable depth, and it can sound bland and repetitive in the hands of a novice. Jasraj does the same supreme justice to the raga that one would find in a khayal, even while rendering this bhajan.

The next bhajan on our list is an extremely popular one and is a crowd favourite in concerts. “Braje Vasantam” was written by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century and is a literary masterpiece. It describes the various thieveries of Krishna, ranging from stealing butter from the houses in Vrindavan to stealing the heart of Radhika, her beloved. Based on Raga Mishra Kafi, this bhajan is a classic and Pandit Jasraj renders this in almost every concert, and that too with unbelievable effortlessness. As I could not resist passing on the chance of sharing a recording where Pandit Jasraj and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasiya perform together, this recording is also from the same concert.

The next bhajan is a thought-provoking piece with beautiful lyrics- “Kahan Karoon Vaikunth. Composed by falutist Ronu Majumdar in Raga Kafi, a raga associated with playfulness displayed thoroughly in semi classical forms such as thumri, hori (traditional folk songs of indian festival holi)etc., this bhajan flows like a river, calm and serene. Then like a wave eager to stamp its dominance, it reaches a crescendo as it moves towards culmination and gives u a feeling that mere words cannot encapsulate.

Miyan ki Malhar is an ancient and enchanting raga, created by Miyan Tansen and patronised by the Mughal emperor Akbar, capable of inducing strong and overwhelming emotions in the listener. Being a meend-pradhan raga (based on gliding from one note to another rather than discrete movement) of immense depth, not everyone can do proper justice to the raga, even though it has become extremely popular nowadays. Among the various emotions that Miyan ki Malhar takes one through, I had never thought devotion could be one of them until I stumbled upon the hauntingly divine bhajan “Shyam Bina Unye ye Badraby Pandit Jasraj. Written by Surdas, what makes this bhajan unique is that I am yet to find another bhajan composed in this raga. The rendition is a masterpiece considering that Jasraj has done perfect justice to the raga while maintaining the sanctity of the lyrics. I get Goosebumps every time I listen to the antara “Surdas Prabhu Kab Re Miloge” where he takes a breathtaking meend (glide) from the Madhyam (Ma) of the higher octave to the Rishabh (Re), a signature piece of Malhar.

The next two pieces are a bonus, considering they don’t make the original list and don’t qualify as bhajans either, but have contributed significantly in making Pandit Jasraj the phenomenon he is today. The first out of the two is his rendition of verses from Sri Bala Mukundashtakam and Sri Govind Damodar Stotram, popularly known as “Govind Damodar Madhveti”. In this stotra, Rishi Bilvamangal reasons with his tongue to recite the name of Krishna. An extremely sweet composition based on Raga Nat Bhairav, the hymns describes the appearance of young Krishna. A compilation of Krishna Bhajans and chants would not be considered complete without including this mesmerising piece.

The final piece of the jigsaw is Hari Nama Mala Stotram written by the mighty King Mahabali and adapted as a beautiful bhajan “Om Namo Bhagwate Vasudevaya” by Pandit Jasraj. Composed in afternoon Raga Bhimpalasi, this bhajan is extremely popular with the masses and audiences all over the world demand Jasraj to sing this in his concerts. More often than not, he caves in to their demands and renders this bhajan rather effortlessly. A literary benchmark in Sanskrit hymns, this piece has found the perfect singer in the form of Jasraj, who has made this bhajan a piece that is played in houses all over the world and contributes in making Jasraj the figure of reverence that he is considered today.

Krishna, even today, remains a subject of immense devotion and fascination. Artists like Pandit Jasraj have devoted their whole life in rejecting the elitism of Indian Classical music and making it accessible to the masses by amalgamating Krishna and Indian Classical music as one and taking all of us closer to a realm where Krishna exists. A realm where the naughty son of Yashoda is a menace and the streets of Braj are imbued with the story of his exploits! What a realm to be in!

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Lyrics ( In Hindi & English with translations) of popular Bhajans of Pandit Jasraj

If you have reached this page directly, please check the original post that this link is part of : – Celebrating Lord Krishna with Pandit Jasraj

Gokul mein Bajat Kahan Badhai

Raga- Kedar
Taal- Teentaal

Gokul mein bajat kahan badhai
Bheed bhayi hai nand ji ke dware
Ashta Mahasidhhi aayi

Brahmadik rudradik jaki
Charan renu nahi payi
Soyi nand ji ko poot kahavat
Kautuk suno mori mayi

Dhruva ambrish prahlad Vibhishan
Nit nit mahima gayi
Soyi hari Parmanand ko thakur
Braj jan keri karayi [1]

गोकुल में बाजत कहाँ  बधाई

गोकुल में बाजत कहाँ  बधाई
भीड़ भई है नन्द जी के द्वार
अष्ट महासिद्धि आई |

ब्रह्मादिक रुद्रादिक जाकी
चरण रेणु नहीं पायी
सोइ नन्द  जी को पूत कहावत
कौतुक सुनो मोरी माई |

ध्रुव अम्ब्रीश प्रह्लाद विभीषण
नित नित महिमा गाई
सोइ हरि परमानन्द को ठाकुर
ब्रज जन केरी करायी|

Rani Tero Chir Jeeyo Gopal

Raga- Yaman
Taal- Bhajani Theka (Keherva)

Rani tero chir jiyo gopal
Begi badhyo badi hoya viradh lat,
mahari manohar baal


Upaji paryo yah koonkhi bhagya bal,
samudra seep jaise laal
Sab gokul ke pran jeevan dhan ,
bairin ke ursal

Sur ki to jiya sukh paavat hai,
nirkhat shyam tamal
Raj aaraj lagyo meri akhiyan,
roge dosh janjaal[1]

रानी तेरो चिर जियो गोपाल

रानी तेरो चिर जियो गोपाल

बेगि बढ़यो बड़ी होय विरध लट,
महरी मनोहर बाल |
चिर जियो गोपाल…

उपजि परयो यह कूंखी भाग्य बल,
समुद्र सीप जैसे लाल
सब गोकुल के प्राण जीवन धन
बैरन के उरसाल |
चिर जियो गोपाल…

सूर की तो जिय सुख पावत है,
निरखत श्याम तमाल
रज आरज लागो मेरी  अखियाँ,
रोगे दोष जंजाल |
चिर जियो गोपाल….

Braje vasantam

Raga- Mishra Kafi
Taal- Bhajani Theka (Keherva)

Braje vasantam navneet chauram
Gopangananaam chadukul chauram
Shree Radhikaya hridayasya chauram
Chauragraganyam purusham namami
Shree Krishna Shyamam mansa smarami[1]

 ब्रजे वसंतम्

ब्रजे वसंतम् नवनीत चौरम् |
गोपांगनानाम् चाडुकुल चौरम् |
श्री राधिकाया हृदयस्य चौरम् |
चौराग्रगण्यम पुरुषं नमामि |
श्री कृष्ण श्यामं मनसा स्मरामि |

Kahan Karoon Vaikunth

Raga- Kafi
Taal- Bhajani Theka (Keherva)

Kahan karoon Vaikunth jaye
Jahan nahi nand, jahan nahi yashoda
Jahan na gopi gwalan gayen
Kahan Karoon Vaikunth…

Jahan nahi jal jamuna ko nirmal
Aur nahi kadamb ki chhay
Kahan Karoon Vaikunth…

Parmanand Prabhu Chatur Gwalini
Brajraj taj meri jayen balayen
Kahan Karoon Vaikunth…

कहाँ करूँ वैकुण्ठ जाए

कहाँ करूँ वैकुण्ठ जाए
जहाँ नहीं नंद, जहाँ नहीं यशोदा
जहाँ न गोपी ग्वालन गायें |
कहाँ करूँ वैकुण्ठ…

जहाँ नहीं जल जमुना को निर्मल
और नहीं कदम्ब की छाय |
कहाँ करूँ वैकुण्ठ…

परमानन्द प्रभु चतुर ग्वालिनी
ब्रजरज तज मेरी जाएँ बलाएँ |
कहाँ करूँ वैकुण्ठ…

Shyam bina unye yeh badra

Raga- Miyan ki Malhar
 Taal- Bhajani Theka (Keherva)

Shyam bina unye ye badra
Aaj shyam sapne mein dekha
Bhari aayi nain dhurak gayo kajra

Chanchal chapal atari chitchore
Nisi jaagat main ka bhayo pagora
Surdas prabhu kab re miloge
Taj gaye gokul mit gayo jhagara

 

श्याम बिना उनये ये बदरा

श्याम बिना उनये ये बदरा
आज श्याम सपने में देखा
भरी आई नैन धुरक गयो कजरा|
श्याम बिना…

चंचल चपल अतरी चितचोरे
निसि जागत मैं का भयो पगोरा,
सूरदास प्रभु कब रे मिलोगे
तज गए गोकुल मिट गयो झगड़ा |
श्याम बिना…

Govind Damodar Madhveti (with Translation)

Raga- Nat Bhairav
Taal- Bhajani Theka (Keherva)

करारविन्देन पदारविन्दं
मुखारविन्दे विनिवेशयन्तम्
वटस्य पत्रस्य पुटे शयानं
बालं मुकुन्दं मनसा स्मारामि ||

My mind remembers that beautiful Bala Mukundam, who holds his lotus like feet with his lotus like hands. He Rests on the fold of the Banyan leaf, my mind remembers that beautiful Bala Mukundam.

श्री कृष्ण गोविन्द हरे मुरारे
हे नाथ नारायण वासुदेव
जिह्वे पिबस्वामृतमेतदेव
गोविन्द दामोदर माधवेति ।।

Shri Krishna! Govinda! Hari! Murari! O Lord, Narayana, Vasudeva!” O tongue, please drink only this nectar–“Govinda, Damodara, Madhava!

विक्रेतु-कामा किल गोप-कन्या
मुरारि-पादार्पित-चित्त-वृत्तिः
दध्यादिकं मोहवशात् अवोचत्
गोविन्द दामोदर माधवेति ।।

Though desiring to sell milk, dahi, butter, etc., the mind of a young gopi was so absorbed in the lotus feet of Krishna that instead of calling out “Milk for sale,” she bewilderedly said, “Govinda!”, “Damodara!”, “Madhava!”

गृहे गृहे गोप-वधू-कदम्बाः
सर्वे मिलित्वा समवाय-योगे
पुण्यानि नामानि पठन्ति नित्यं
गोविन्द दामोदर माधवेति ।।

In house after house, groups of cowherd ladies gather on various occasions, and together they always chant the transcendental names of Krishna–“Govinda, Damodara, and Madhava.”

सुखं शयानं निलये च विष्णुं
देवर्षि-मुख्या मुनयः प्रपन्नाः
तेनाच्युते तन्मयतां व्रजन्ति
गोविन्द दामोदर माधवेति ।।

Devarshi Narada and other Munis are always surrendered to Lord Vishnu, who rests upon His couch. They always chant the names of “Govinda,” “Damodara,” and “Madhava,” and thus they attain spiritual forms similar to his.

जिह्वे सदैव भज सुन्दराणि
नामानि कृष्णस्य मनोहराणि
समस्त-भक्तार्ति-विनाशनानि
गोविन्द दामोदर माधवेति ।।

O my tongue, just always worship these beautiful, enchanting names of Krishna, “Govinda, Damodara,” and “Madhava,” which destroy all the obstacles of the devotees.

सुखावसाने तु इदमेव सारं
दुःखावसाने तु इदमेव गेयम्
देहावसाने तु इदमेव जाप्यं
गोविन्द दामोदर माधवेति ।।

This indeed is the essence (found) upon ceasing the affairs of mundane happiness. And this too is to be sung after the cessation of all sufferings. This alone is to be chanted at the time of death of one’s material body–“Govinda, Damodara, Madhava!”

श्री कृष्ण राधावर गोकुलेश
गोपाल गोवर्धन-नाथ विष्णो
जिह्वे पिबस्वामृतमेतदेव
गोविन्द दामोदर माधवेति ।।

O tongue, drink only this nectar (of the names), “Shri Krishna, dearmost of Shrimati Radharani, Lord of Gokula, Gopala, Lord of Govardhana, Vishnu, Govinda, Damodara,” and “Madhava.”

त्वामेव याचे मम देहि जिह्वे
समागते दण्ड-धरे कृतान्ते
वक्तव्यमेवं मधुरं सुभक्त्या
गोविन्द दामोदर माधवेति ।।

O my tongue, I ask only this of you, that at my meeting the bearer of the sceptre of chastisement (Yamaraja), you will utter this sweet phrase with great devotion: “Govinda, Damodara, Madhava!”

जिह्वे रसज्ञे मधुर-प्रियात्वं
सत्यं हितं त्वां परमं वदामि
आवर्णयेता मधुराक्षराणि
गोविन्द दामोदर माधवेति ।।[2]

O my tongue, you are fond of sweet things and are of discriminating taste; I tell you the highest truth, which is also the most beneficial. Please just recite the sweet divine syllables of “Govinda,” “Damodara,” and “Madhava.”

Om Namo Bhagwate Vasudevaya (with Translation)

Raga-Bhimpalasi
Taal- Bhajani Theka (Keherva)

गोविन्दं गोकुलानन्दं गोपालं गोपिवल्लभम् ।
गोवर्घनोद्धं धीरं तं वन्दे गोमतिप्रियम् ॥
ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय…

I salute that lord, who is dear to Saraswathi,
Who gives pleasure to the herd of cows,
Who brings joy to those in Gokula,
Who takes care of the cows,
Who is the Lord of all gopis,
And who is the hero who lifted the Govardhana Mountain.

नारायणं निराकारं नरवीरं नरोत्तमम् ।
नृसिंहं नागनाथं च तं वन्दे नरकान्तकम् ॥
ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय…

I salute the Lord who killed Naraka,
Who is the Lord Narayna,
Who has taken a human form,
Who is a great human hero,
Who is a great human being,
Who is Lord Narasimha,
And who is he lord of serpents.

पीताम्बरं पद्मनाभं पद्माक्षं पुरुषोत्तमम् ।
पवित्रं परमानन्दं तं वन्दे परमेश्वरम् ॥
ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय…

I salute that God of all gods,
Who wears yellow colured silk,
Who has a lotus flower over his belly
Who has lotus like eyes,
Who is the purest among all men,
Who is purity personified,
And who is the greatest bliss.

राघवं रामचन्दं च रावणारिं रमापतिम् ।
राजीवलोचनं रामं तं वन्दे रघुनन्दम् ॥
ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय…

I salute that son of the clan of Raghu,
Who is Lord Raghava,
Who is Lord Ramachandra,
Who killed Ravana,
Who is the Lord of Lakshmi,
Who has lotus like eyes.
And who attracts all the world.

योगीश्वरं यज्ञपतिं यशोदानन्ददायकम् ।
यमुनाजलकल्लोलं तं वन्दे यदुनायकम् ॥
ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय…

I salute him, who is the lord of all yadavas,
Who is the god of all yogis,
Who is the lord of all yagnas,
Who is the source of happiness to Yashoda,
And who has the same lustre as the water of Yamuna.

वामनं विश्वरूपं च वासुदेवं च विठ्ठलम् ।
विश्वेश्वरं विभुं व्यासं तं वन्दे वेदवल्लभम् ॥[3]
ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय…

I salute  that Lord of all Vedas,
Who is Lord Vamana,
Who is the form of the universe,
Who is the son of Vasudeva,
Who is Vittala,  the deity of Pandharpur,
Who is the Lord of all universes,
Who is the expert of knowledge,
And who is Veda Vyasa.

ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवा

Listen to all these bhajans as a single playlist –

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SOURCES :-

  1. http://bhajansagar.blogspot.in/2013/01/bhajans-by-pandit-jasraj-ji.html
  2. http://www.harekrsna.de/artikel/govinda-damodara-stotram.htm
  3. http://www.shrinathdham.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1335

About the author

Hi there!

I am Kishan Kashyap. A full time music enthusiast and a part time engineer in the making. Currently in my fourth year at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, this blog is my attempt to break free from the rigours of mechanical engineering and dive into the divine and uninhibited dusky sky of Indian Classical music.

Lets dive in together, shall we?

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The author with Ustad Rashid Khan (left)