Death, thou art Shyam !!

He is a litterateur of international stature, and one of the most versatile geniuses that the world has witnessed. A poet, composer, musician, music director, painter on one hand, and also a philosopher and social reformer on the other – his talents and scholarliness knew no bounds. A very handsome personality, yet one who never cared for his own physical appearance or that of others’.  Even the highest accolades did not move him. Even today, he holds the record for being the greatest educationist that human history has produced till date, and very aptly, he named his university as ‘Universal’. The Prime Minister of India feels honored to be appointed as the Chancellor of this university.


Although he has written on wide number of topics, ranging from satire to patriotic, unfortunate as i am, had to read this composition as a mere child of eight or so – in fact this is his first composition that i read –  and it seeped into the sub-consciousness.  Later on i tumbled across an entire volume of dance-drama that he had dedicated to virahini Sri Radha.

Today it makes me ponder that this great son of Mother India, whose life had been steeped in spiritualism, in his early youth, wanted to be in some way connected to Bhanu-nandini, (hence the pseudonym ‘Bhanu’) so much so, that he learnt Maithili – the language of Vidyapati, so that he could write like him…………..


Want to hear this soulful rendering in the original ?  Sung by one of the greatest exponents of Shastric music? Well, here it is!

Sri Rādhā  has reached the zenith of viraha – now She can wait no more – She calls out piteously to Death –

O Death, you are just like my Shyām

You too are dark like the clouds,

And your hair is dense like the clouds, just like His.

To me, your blood red hands and lips appear beautiful [1]


They remind me of His lotus-like rosy hands and sweet lips.

In fact, I prefer you to Him since you put an end to burning (=suffering)

While His touch only increases the scorching fire of passion.

Your lap is compassionate, for it soothes the one whom you embrace.

O Mrityu (Death), please grace me with amritam (nectar or immortality).

The sakhis (to each other) –

Ohh ! Just look at Rādhā’s eyes and body ! How feverish they are !

And how Her eyes are shedding torrential tears ! (What will happen now?)

Sri Rādhā continues to lament –

O Death, you are my Mādhav, you are verily my Beloved.

Please put an end to all my suffering.

O death, please come, do come.

Please take me in your arms and close my eyelids forever.

Place me on your lap, and let me cry to my heart’s content.

Thus let eternal sleep take over my entire body.

O Death, promise me, that at least you will not forget me (like Him),

And you will not forsake me.

Tell me, O Death, that you will never break Radha’s heart,

And that you will always keep my bosom on yours – everyday every moment.

I know you will keep your promise, for you are extraordinary loving.

The poet –

Bhānu says, Dear Radhe, fie! Fie on You!

How fickle is Your heart!

Is not life more precious than death?

(It could also mean – Is not Your ‘Precious One’ (Shyām) more beloved to you than Death?)

Please do consider my advice in peace.

The Original

Sri Rādhā –

marana re, tuhun mama shyāma samān

megha-varana tujha, megha jatā-juta

rakta-kamala-kara rakta-adhara-puta

tāpa vimochana karuna kora tava

mrityu amrita kari dān.

tuhun mama shyāma samān.

sakhis –

ānkh la radha rijhayati jara jara

jhara-e nayana tava anukhana jhara jhara

Sri Rādhā  –

tuhun mama mādhava tuhun mama dosara

tuhun mama tāpa ghuchāo

marana, tum āo re āo.

bhuja-pāsha tava laha sambodha-i

ānkhi pāta majhu deha tu rodha-i

kora upara tujha roda-i roda-i

neenda bhara aba saba deha.

tuhun nahin visarabi, tuhun nahin chhorabi

rādhā hridayako kabahun na torabi

hiya hiya rākhabi anudina anukhana

atulana tonhāri leha.

The poet –

bhānu bhane ayi rādhā chhiye chhiye

chanchala chitta tonhāri

jeevana-vallabha marana adhika su

aba tuhun dekha vichāri.

[1] Although in reality death looks black and grotesque, Sri Rādhā is likening him to Sri Krishna, Ishwari’s Sri Krishna-sphuran is so deep that even the fearful qualities of death remind Her of Him since they remotely resemble His excellent qualities.


  1. From woman to Woman, Kama = Dukh!’s avatar

    You know, its too bad that Sri Buddha didn’t take birth until what? – 2,500 years after Bhanu-nandini. She is one girl who would’ve really benefitted from the 4 Noble Truths:

    1. Suffering exists
    2. Suffering is caused by kama
    3. Suffering can end
    4. End your kama(deva), end your suffering


  2. Sunita’s avatar

    Yours is a joke Kama Dukh? Of course Nandini benefits!! The so called 4 Noble Truths are but little knots on Swamini’s braid the morning after her allnight lovemaking with Shyam. Her friends easily brush free those knots while laughing and teasing about the Divinine Couple’s terrific time together. 😆 😆 😆 😆

  3. Vishwajeet’s avatar

    Radhe Radhe!
    “O Swamini! Why blaming That sweet parama-ānanda-kanda…? Here’s another advice: You can be precise in your call — Death = viraha; Life = milan. And no doubt u’ll never want death again!” 😆 Alas! Death pales in comparison before viraha!

    Buddha referred to material suffering! In the transcendental realm, Shukadeva Gosvami, who was jnāna-siddha (perfect in Brahman knowledge—equivalent to enlightenment) couldn’t utter even Her name. Why? Because it could blast his consciousness on a single uttering! Needless to say how rasik above lines (& transcendental kāma-deva) are!

    As far as material suffering is concerned, I think it’s good to extend the cause of suffering in 2nd of “4 Noble Truths” to: kāma (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (affection), mada (pride) & matsarya (enviousness).

    And cause of suffering Mahaprabhu has (oh “lately” LOL) disclosed already:

    kṛṣṇa bhuli sei jīva anādi bahir-mukha
    ateva māyā tabe sabe deye samsārera duḥkha

    That’s why it has been said,

    chaya ripu sadā hīna, koribo manera bhina,
    kṛṣṇacandra koriyā smaraṇa ||

  4. Madhumatidasi Adhikari’s avatar

    And the discussion between V’jeet, Kama Dukh and Sunita is real real HOT :) i love it. As for Sunita’s comment “four little knots”…….WOW ! It’s a great observation. Jay Jay Sri Raaadheeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  5. Sunita’s avatar

    Of course the suffering of this world does not apply to Swamini so the 4 noble truths of the Buddha are not really in Her hair. Still, why not take the opportunity and talk about brushing and braiding and fixing it up with jasmines and dab it with some rose water and then dry it with scented smoke and at the end of the braid attach an extention made out of black silk tassles, with lillte silver bells dangling from it, and on top, where the part is, place a rainbow-like tiara made of diamonds and rubies and saphires and amethists interspersed with pearls white and cream with little golden beads in between, and then add a blue not too big lotus at the base of the hair line in the back to make it look like the braid comes out of a flower only to end in a cascade of silver sparkles that sing softly “Shym, Shyam, Shyam” as Swamini walks away nicely dressed in the morning. That will distract most eyes from the fact that She is actually wearing a yellow dothi for a skirt.

  6. Madhumatidasi Adhikari’s avatar

    Oh my !! This coment is so glorious and extatic 😆 i love it – i love it – i love it…………..

  7. Vishwajeet’s avatar

    Radhe Radhe!
    Yeah, manjaris go beyond just ending (mundane) suffering! Just see how fast Swaminijiu’s details capture the attention for considerable time!!!

  8. Vishwajeet’s avatar

    Radhe Radhe!
    I never knew so much (& many) sweet details anyway! :mrgreen:

  9. Sunita’s avatar

    Indeed, don’t we think that all the suffering in the world is comparable to the hoofprint of a calf in the mud in the rainy season, so so easily traversed by us on our way to a gathering to hear Hari Katha? Yes we do. Yes indeed we do. Actually, for us Gaudiya freaks, if we look really closely, we see a tiny little buddha squashed at the bottom of that calf hoofprint. Indeed. We do. :mrgreen:

  10. Madhumatidasi Adhikari’s avatar

    All ye glorious Vaishnavs ! Pl accept my humble obeisance. O when shall i gain so much thirst for Hari katha ? :sad:

    However Sunita, my dearest darling, as much as we love you, please remember that Srimad Bhagavatam states that Lord Buddha is an incarnation of the Supreme Being. So in our zeal to be Radha-premis, we should not denigrate such a powerful personality as Lord Buddhadev, Who is non-different from Lord Vishnu. Love you. :)

  11. Sunita’s avatar

    I thought I would be admonished by the little buddha comment. It is however not Vishnu Buddha of course that I was joking about. Indeed, Gautama Buddha, the personality who created the 4 Noble Truths theory, was a human being who happened to take the same name as our Lord Buddha. As for the little buddha on the bottom of the puddle, that one is the metaphorical one we are told to kill if we ever find him on the road barring our passage in any way. For us Gaudiyas, the job [metaphorically killing the buddha] has already been done by the elements of the lila, such as calves, mud, road to Hari, etc.

    Love you too. 😎

  12. Madhumatidasi Adhikari’s avatar

    Aw Sunita !you are such a sweetheart ! :)

  13. Sunita’s avatar

    Thank YOU Madhumati! I almost “muddled” such a sweet blog eh? :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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