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 
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.
Sri Rādhā –
marana re, tuhun mama shyāma samān
megha-varana tujha, megha jatā-juta
tāpa vimochana karuna kora tava
mrityu amrita kari dān.
tuhun mama shyāma samān.
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.
 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.
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