Janmashtami: 5 Bollywood songs on Lord Krishna

Janmashtami is once again here and the birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated not only in India but all over the world. It is natural for such a figure to have various art forms based on him. The medium that is used the most to convey his qualities and messages is songs.

Radha-Kaise-Na-Jale

 

Generally one doesn’t associate mainstream Hindi cinema of Bollywood, as it is popularly known, with devotional or spiritual music. But there have been quite a few songs dedicated to Krishna, even in mainstream commercial cinema.

Let’s have a look at some of these. These are my personal favourites and there is every chance that your most liked song might not feature in it. Feel free to mention your favourite songs on Him in the comments.

Mann Tarpat Hari Darshan Ko Aaj – Baiju Bawra (1952)

To put it simply, this song is a classic. It transcends the boundries between believers and non-believers. I have seen even athiests appreciating this song. Singer Mohammad Rafi, composer Naushad and lyricist Shakeel Badayuni are on top of their game. So, it’s impossible to rate one above the other. Do wait till the end when the effect reaches its pinnacle.

Radha Kaise Na Jale – Lagaan (2001)

The most popular song on Krishna in the modern era, ‘Radha Kaise Na Jale’ looks at the sweet relationship between Krishna and his lover Radha. The songs sees both of them taking a dig at each other but, of course, in a playful manner. Lagaan had another song dedicated to Krishna – ‘O Palanhare.’

Mohe Panghat Pe Nand Lal – Mughal-e-Azam (1960)

Yet another song that speaks about the playful love between Krishna and Radha. Lata Mangeshkar’s magical voice, some enchanting visuals (even in black and white) make this song a classic, just like the movie. Also, Naushad excels in a Krishna song yet again.

Title song – Kurukshetra (2000)

Not just in our films but generally in India only the childhood and early young days of Krishna (especially his love for Radha) are spoken the most. Apart from this, He is regarded as the mighty God. However, his lessons in the Bhagavad Gita and his role in the epic Mahabharata aren’t spoken much.

This is a rare Hindi film song that features His sermon to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra and that too in a hard-hitting manner. The shlok ‘Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya…’ in the end produce a terrific effect. Easily an underrated motivational song.

Aarambh Hai Prachand – Gulaal (2009)

This entry might surprise you no ends. There is no mention of Krishna anywhere here. You will initially feel the song is political in nature, just like the subject of this Anurag Kashyap film. However, after delving deeper into it, one realizes that it has an underlying message of a warrior’s duty preached in the Bhagavad Gita.

Advertisements

Live: Jagannath Rath Yatra, Puri

The Jagannath Rath Yatra is observed every year as a symbol of devotion to Lord Jagannath. It is held in India majorly in the cities Puri and Ahemadabad along with few others. Lord Jagannath is considered as one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu.

This year in 2018 it is celebrated on 14 July, which is today.

Jagannath-Yatra-2018
Screenshot fromt he live stream of the rath yatra by OdishaLIVE channel on YouTube

There are various stories associated with the history and significance of the Jagannath Rath Yatra. One such story is about King Subal, a profound devotee of Jagannath. He once requested a sculptor to create idols of Krishna, his brother Balarama and sister Subhadra.

The scupltor agreed but on the condition that he should be allowed to work in secrecy to which the king agreed. However, after a lot of days passed, the king lost his patience and barged into the room where the sculptor was working. As he broke the clause, the sculptor vanished but the three idols were there.

WATCH: The LIVE Jagannath Rath Yatra from Puri

There is another story related to the Rath Yatra which revolves around Lord Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra. One day, Krishna’s eight wives were eager to hear about His divine tales with Gopi from His mother Rohini when He and Balarama were out. After hesitating, she agreed but urged Subhadra to  keep the door guard so that no one listens.

Subhadra got so involved in listening to the tales that she forgot her task. Just then Krishna and Balaram arrived. Knowing the urgency of the situation, she stopped them with her hands held wide. Sage Narada saw them and asked the three siblibgs to give their blessings this way always. Narada’s wish was granted by the God and the idols of the three of them got installed in the Jagannath temple in Puri.

5 Eid songs to add more light to the festival

The festival of Eid is just around the corner as the holy month of Ramzan is about to end. It’s a Muslim festival but is also celebrated by people of all faiths around the world. It makes the end of a month long fasting period from dawn-to-sunset. For more information on the festival click HERE.

Dekho-Chaand-Aaya

Like any other major festival, Eid, which is known more as Eid-al-fitr, is also celebrated with rejoice. So, naturally, music plays a major role in any celebration. In India, songs from Hindi or Bollywood films are a rage during every festival and the same is with Eid.

Surprisingly, although Bollywood has a number of Islamic songs, there are very few that are actually based on Eid specifically.

Let’s have a look at the Bollywood Eid songs:

Eid Mubarak from Tumko Na Bhool Payenge (2002)

This one is the most loved Eid song from Bollywood. This is not just because it’s a fast paced dance number but also because it highlights that the festival is for all those who believe in the message of love and is not limited to Muslims. Sonu Nigam, as always, is in top form.

Wallah Re Wallah Wallah from Tees Maar Khan (2010)

This is another enjoyable dance number on Eid. Along with some energetic vocals and foot-tapping music, it also deserves to be noticed for the vibrant use of colours. The track is a smart fusion between Qawwali and typical massy Hindi film genre. The chorus singers also have a high amount of contribution here.

Chaand Nazar Aa Gaya from Hero Hindustani (1998)

This is yet another fast paced Sonu Nigam number on Eid. It speaks about the practice of fasting during Ramzan and how the aim of the festival is to spread peace and harmony. It might be an Eid song with the most energetic dance moves by Arshad Warsi.

Yoon Shabnami from Saawariya (2007)

This is a magical Eid song with some top-notch work from all departments like lyrics, music, singing, choreography. The typical visual magic born out of the production design by someone like Sanjay Leela Bhansali makes it even special. The song actually has two parts which are merged naturally.

Eid Ke Din Gale Mil Le Raja from Teesri Aankh (1982)

This old song on Eid is forgotten. In fact, it hasn’t received it due. It’s a dance number but not an energetic ones like before in the list. The song features the Qawwali genre which is also seen in the lyrics. It’s also a rare number where Mohammad Rafi, Manna Dey, Anuradha Paudwal and Krishna Mukherjee have given voice together.

Holi: The story behind the festival of colours

Holi is a Hindu festival but it is celebrated by people of al faiths in India. It known as the festival of colours. It is celebrated by colouring our friends, family and near and dear ones with various colours and water.

Over the years, the festival is also used to create all kind of nuisance and hooliganism. Since the last decade or more, it has turned into a modern big DJ (disco jockey) party where people have crazy fun.

I am sure many of them are not even aware as to why the festival is celebrated in the first place. Ask them and they will go blank.

Here is the story or legend behind the festival of Holi:

The story dates back to the mythological era when Hiranyakashipu is having the time of his life. He was the king of the demonic Asuras. He had a boon through which he received five special powers: he could be killed neither by a human nor an animal, neither indoors nor outdoors, neither at day nor at night, neither by astra (projectile weapons) or by shastra (handheld weapons) and neither on land nor on air or water.

Lord-narasimha-killing-Hiranyakashipu
Picture: Hindudevotionalblog.com

Hiranyakashipu considered himself God and became very arrogant. He wanted everyone to worship him. However, his own son Prahlad didn’t consider his father God. He continued to be an ardent follower of Vishnu.

Hiranyakashipu showred Prahlad with cruel punishments but it didn’t break the latter’s resolve and devotion to Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu’s evil sister Holika thought of a plan. She had to cloak that made her immune to fire. She tricked Prahlad into a pyre and set it afire. However, the cloak got transferred from Prahlad to Holika due to strong winds. Hence, Prahlad was saved while Holika was reduced to ashes.

Hiranyakashipu’s anger rises as Prahlad’s devotion to Lord Vishnu deepens. He claims that the Lord is present everywhere (omnipresent). Hiranyakashipu points at a pillar and asks if he is present in it. When Prahlad answers in the affirmative, Hiranyakashipu breaks the pillar and to his horror, he finds Lord Vishnu in his Narsimha (half human, half animal) avatar.

Narsimha kills Hiranyakashipu in the evening through his nails (lion’s nails), thereby meeting every criteria of the boon.

In this way, the festival of Holi celebrates the victory of good over evil. The Holi pyre is burnt at night and celebrations take place the next day to pay tribute to the elimination of evil.

Wishing you all a very Happy Holi. May the various evils from your lives be wiped off this year and forever.

What else is there on Jan 1?

Each year, 1st January is celebrated as the New Year all around the world. The arrival of December itself sparks the mood of celebration among people of all religion, class, nationality and what not. And as December is about the end, the excitement for the first day of January increases even further.

But amid such atmosphere of celebration, not many would know that January 1 also holds a lot of spiritual significance. The Kalpataru Day falls on this date. It is believed that on 1 January 1886, Ramakrishna Paramhansa revealed himself to be an Avatar or incarnation of God.

New-Year-picture

It is also believed that Ramakrishna was given the status of a Kalpataru (wish fulfilling tree) by a follower. Hence, the day came to be known as such.

Kalpataru Day is celebrated among the followers of Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Swami Vivekananda in all Ramakrishna Mission centers around the world. On this day, devotees gather in large numbers and pray for their wishes to be fulfilled.

Even if you are not a believer in legends and in the power of getting your wishes fulfilled, it is still a peaceful and tranquil way to start your New Year. This is just what I personally feel.

Here’s wishing all of you Happy Kalpataru Diwas and New Year 🙂

Know more about Kalpataru Day here:

Pictures: Christmas Eve celebrations at Ramakrishna Mission, Mumbai

December 24th is known as Christmas Eve all over the year. It is a day before the birth of Jesus Christ, which marks the festival celebrated not just by Christmas but by people all around the world.

Christmas-Eve-MumbaiBut not many would know that Christmas Eve holds a lot of significance for the followers of Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna Paramhansa. On this date in 1886, Swami Vivekananda, then known as Narendra Nath Dutta, and nine other disciples of Ramakrishna Paramhansa took the oath of monasticism.

They renounced the world by becoming Sanyasis (monks) to selflessly serve and motivate humanity.

Hence, every year in every Ramakrishna Mission centre, Christmas Eve is celebrated with aplomb. The same was the case in its Mumbai centre in Khar, which I make a point to attend every year.

As per the tradition, the celebrations started with Jesus Aarti, which, I am sure, many of you might not have even heard about before. Important verses from the Bible were read in Hindi and then in English.

Christmas-Ramakrishna-Mission

Having heard Bhagavad Gita teachings in Hindi, the recitation of Bible in the language sounded like teachings from the Gita.

It was another reminder that His message is the same even if paths may differ.

By: Keyur Seta

P_20171224_194537

P_20171224_200359

Christmas-Tree-2017

Navratri special: Ever heard of Garba Visarjan?

Here’s some meaning, importance and relevance of Garba pot or matka.

Like Ganesh Visarjan, there is Navratri Visarjan too. For most of you, this would mean the visarjan or immersion of idols of Goddess Durga. But this is not the only visarjan during Navratri. There is a section of the devotees that also carry out Garba Visarjan.

This might have come as a complete surprise to many. The word ‘Garba’ generally means a dance form carried out during Navratri along with Dandiya. However, that isn’t the only Garba that exists.

Garba pot matka
Picture: Indiamart.com

Garba is actually a pot which is brought home on Navratri and then immersed on Dusshera. Just like the Ganesh idol, it is worshipped daily. But it is not like any other pot. It is a wide pot which is designed and decorated royally in different colours. It has various holes on it. This enables enough air for the lamp (diya), which is ignited inside, to keep its flames alive.

The practice of bringing home the Garba is practiced mostly among Gujaratis. But it is practiced by people from other Indian communities too.

The Garba is also used in another manner. While playing Dandiya and Garba, the Garba is placed at the center and the people dance around it in circles. The Garba symbolizes the universe while the light inside symbolizes God. In other words, it shows that God is at the center of the universe.

That’s not all though. The dancers represent the never-ending nature of life, which indirectly hints at the idea of reincarnation.

Lastly, just like the Ganesh idol, Garba too is immersed in the sea, lakes, river or ponds with much fanfare.

 

Garba-pot
Picture: http://utkarshspeak.blogspot.in