The lesser known love story of Krishna and Rukmini

Plenty has been said about the love story between Krishna and Radha. In fact, there have been several books on the topic while the story is found in numerous movies too. However, the love story between Krishna and his wife Rukmini hasn’t go its due despite it being so profound and moving.

Rukmini was the daughter of the king of Vidharbha named Bhishmaka. She had heard tales of Krishna’s greatness from a sage who used to visit her regularly. He used to share His tales in details which ensured that Rukmini could visualize him and his deeds. She didn’t realize when she fell in love with him and decided to marry him.

Much to Rukmini’s delight, her parents wanted her to marry Krishna. But her brother Rukmi opposed the marriage as he wanted her to marry Shishupala, the king of Chedi. Rukmi was a friend of Krishna’s enemy, king Jarasandha. Getting his sister married to his enemy would have incensed Jarasandha. As Shishupala was a close associate of Jarasandha, it would have made the latter happy.

Krishna-Rukmini
Photo souce: Ritsin.com

Finally Rukmini’s father Bhishmaka gave in to the demands of Rukmi and agreed to get her married to Shishupala. Horrified Rukmini wrote a letter to Krishna promising her profound love for him because of his qualities. She urged Krishna to visit Vidharbha at the earliest and elope with her.

The task of handing over the letter to Krishna in Dwarka was given to a priest she trusted. After reading the letter, Krishna immediately ventured to Vidarbha with brother Balarama. They reached Vidarbha, where they were greeted by Bhishmaka, who always approved of Krishna.

On the day of the wedding, Rukmini was all dressed up but was getting anxious and tensed as Krishna was nowhere to be seen. The plan was to take her away while she would visit the Indrani temple. She finally saw Krishna in his chariot. He took her inside the vehicle and sped off. An infuriated Jarasandha ordered his army to stop them but to no avail. Krishna and Rukmini succeed in their venture.

The story is very similar to what we have seen in countless Hindi films. But what stands out over here is the love Rukmini developed for Krishna. It is one of the rare instances where looks played no part for both the parties.

Rukmini fell for Krishna after learning His greatness as a person. On the other hand, Krishna was moved by Rukmini’s devotion for Him. Both developed deep love for each other just by the qualities of their characters rather than appearance.

This is something to dwell upon for people of today’s era where the mere attraction born out of the looks and beauty is wrongly concluded as love.

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Luz’s Paintbrush: Children’s Book Review

In a country like India, literature basically exists only for the grown-ups. This is further categorized deep-meaning and escapist books. In all this, children’s literature is hardly found anywhere in the mainstream, except for the old fables and tales recycled numerous times.

But this is not the case abroad where children’s literature is taken seriously. US Author Ashley J. Kimler and visionary artist Myztico Campo’s Luz’s Paintbrush: How You Created The Universe not only fulfils the needs of children’s literature but also aims at conditioning their minds to consider peace as life’s biggest aim.

In Spanish language, Luz means light. The book tells the story about the origin of the earth and other planets through the character of a divine feminine spirit called Luz. After spending her life travelling into different realms of existence, she lands at the mysterious outer space.

Luzs-PaintbrushShe gets so mesmerized by the place that she manifests different ideas and goes onto create the entire solar system through her divine paintbrush before finally arriving on planet earth to create her magic.

Luz’s Paintbrush gets you involved right at the start with its words and images. Generally, sketches aid storytelling. But over here, it is as important part of the narration as the text. The combination is enough to get you on a mysterious yet pleasurable journey.

Over the years, good children films are proved to be those that impress even the grown-ups. The same can be applied for literature as well. Kimler’s writing has a natural flow that gets one captivated, irrespective of your age and belief pattern.

Campo’s sketches are colourful and full of life. Apart from being an explanation of the text, the pictures can also been seen independently.

But the book doesn’t stop at being an interesting journey. There is an underlying message of peace and harmony which is not spelled out. Obviously, different religions around the world have different theories about the evolution of the earth. Most of the kids would eventually or most probably hang onto one of the theories after growing up.

So, to get them started about the evolution in such a simple and peaceful manner might just stop them from being rigid about their respective religious beliefs later on in life. This is much needed in today’s times when people are even ready to kill in the name of religion world over.

One questionable aspect pertaining to India is that some sentences are too deep to be understood by Indian kids. So, it is imperative for their parents to be well-versed with English in order to provide explanations. Also, the book could have been lengthier as it’s a very fast read.

Overall: Luz’s Paintbrush is a pleasurable read that also gives a message of peace.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Review by: Keyur Seta

Author: Ashley J. Kimler

Illustrator: Myztico Campo

Publishers: Notispress Communications

Pages: 32

Cover: Amalgamation of different colours giving a glimpse of what to expect inside

Filmmaker Vidhi Kasliwal makes documentary on Jain muni Acharya Vidyasagar

Film director and producer Vidhi Kasliwal’s next is a documentary on Jain monk Acharya Vidyasagar. Titled Vidyoday, the film, which will be produced under her banner Landmarc Films, will trace the life of one of the most revered Digambar Jain Munis (philosopher monks).

“The film also enlightens us upon the various facets of Jainism as a philosophy, the frugal yet fulfilling lives of Digambara Jain Monks, their main teachings and principles, such as respecting life of all species and ‘ahimsa’ (non-violence),” said an official statement from the makers.

Speaking about the reason to make a documentary on him, Kasliwal said in an official statement, “I was moved to tears by his aura in the sheer presence of Acharya Shri. This is what drove me to taking on this film. The more I read about him and observed his restraint and discipline, the more in awe I grew of him and his conduct. How could there be such a being in today’s day and age?”

Acharya-Vidyasagar

She added that shooting the documentary wasn’t easy. “It was a difficult project to helm, but I was fortunate to have a wonderful team and we got utmost co-operation from all of Acharya Shri’s pupils and followers all over the country. It took extensive research, intensive fieldwork, strenuous shooting, intricate editing and post-production work by close to 80 people over 1000 days canning 200 hours of footage to complete this 108-minute documentary,” she said.

Kasliwal also stated the importance of the project. “And I speak for my entire team when I say this – working on this documentary has been one of the highlights of our careers and it has certainly left each one of us elevated and enriched,” she said.

Kasliwal’s recent productions include acclaimed Marathi films like Ringan (2017), Gacchi (2017) and Pipsi (2018).

Watch the teaser of the documentary by clicking HERE.

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.

Book Review: Shrouded Truth – Biblical Revelations Through Past Life Journeys

Reincarnation has been one of the most favourite subjects for Indian filmmakers irrespective of the language. The whole idea of a person getting reborn in another body after dying is truly filmi indeed. But as they say, truth is stranger than fiction.

This filmi idea is very much accepted today even by modern psychiatrists or psychologists as therapy to treat their patients. Reena Kumarasingham is one such practitioner of past live regression therapies.

Co-incidentally, she came across more than a handful of people who regressed back to the life of people who were around Jesus Christ and somewhere related to him. The recording of the regression sessions is what Shrouded Truth is all about.

The book is an interesting, insightful, at times shocking and a challenge to the popular belief around Christ. The most significant one being the claim from all participants that Jesus didn’t die on the cross (not divulging further to avoid spoilers).

Shrouded-Truth.jpgHowever, deep inside the book gives an overwhelming message of love, unity and equality among human beings across of all races the world, which is so vital in the times we are living.

Although the entire book is a non-fictional account of a group of people’s past life experiences, it follows a story format. In a lot of fictitious books and movies, a story is told through different characters, which is then merged as a single story.

This is exactly what happens with Shrouded Truth. As the individuals keep sharing their past life experiences, slowly but steadily a story forms developing. It turns out to be an enlightening affair about the Biblical era, even for someone like me who had hardly any knowledge on the period before reading it.

The stories do bring back memories of Ashwin Sanghi’s The Rozabal Line. Of course, the big difference is that it was purely a work of fiction.

This isn’t a book where there is scope for criticisms on the writing style. This is simply because the major portion of the book is the conversation record between Kumarasingham and the participants. The explanations provided in between is simple and to the point.

Perhaps the only issue is the length. The book could have been little shorter by omitting out few conversations that are repetitive. In other words, it could have been crisper.

How much to believe?

The most obvious question any reader would ask here is how genuine is the book and whatever it claims. The author’s honest approach is felt throughout, especially during the very last chapter, at least for me. In fact, she herself has raised this concern few times in the book. It is also possible to contact her in case of any questions, thanks to the era of the internet.

But there are also people who don’t believe in reincarnation or the existence of the soul. Personally, I feel they can still read the book with an open mind just to know the fascinating story of a group of people who selflessly strived to spread the message of humanity across the world.

Rating: 4/5

Review by: Keyur Seta

Author: Reena Kumarasingham (Contact her by visiting divineaspect.com or blog.divineaspect.com or facebook.com/divineaspectiam

Pages: 393 (including the preview of her next book Illuminated Truth)

Publishers: Heart Press

Promoters: Publishing Push

Cover: A simple illuminating image of a light, which goes with the theme

Pictures: Shiva Temple in the snow-clad Gulmarg where Quran is recited

Gulmarg, the small town in Kashmir, gets garnished in snow with the arrival of winter every year. In between the snow-peaked mountains lies a Shiva temple on top of a hill. Named Rani temple, it is visible from all corners of Gulmarg.

Spotting a Hindu temple in Kashmir is a rare sight as there are hardly any left in the region. The Rani temple is one of the last signs of the Dogra Dynasty and was built by Maharaja Hari Singh in the 20th century. He was the last Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Gulmarg-snow
Far view of the Rani Temple in Gulmarg

The temple is named after his wife Maharani Mohini Bai Sisodia since she used to ardently perform prayers over here. She was one of his four wives.

The most incredible feature about the temple is the priest. He is not an ordinary priest. His name is Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh. Yes, the Hindu temple is guarded by a Muslim priest. But that’s not all. The priest daily recites verses from the Gita as well as the Quran. I guess this practice isn’t seen anywhere else. Unfortunately, he wasn’t present when we visited the temple.

Gulmarg-Shiva-templeThe Rani temple is also famous for being featured in the classic Hindi song ‘Jai Jai Shiv Shankar’ from J Om Prakash’s Aap Ki Kasam (1974) and was picturized on Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz.

The way to the temple is through a long staircase. As Gulmarg lies at a high altitude of 8690 feet, one is bound to become breathless after the climb. But the effort is truly worth for the peaceful atmosphere the temple offers and the breathtaking view of this beautiful snow-clad town.

Gulmarg is known for its iconic Gondola ride that takes you almost as far as the PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) at a height of close to 13000 feet at Mount Apharwat Summit. It is a place that is worth innumerable words.

Pictures and article: Keyur Seta

More pictures from the temple and Mt Apharwat:

Gulmarg
View from the Rani temple
Gulmarg-Kashmir
View from the Rani temple

Shiva-temple-Gulmarg

Shiva temple-Gulmarg

Rani-temple-Gulmarg

Gulmarg-Apharwat
Mount Apharwat
Gulmarg-gondola
Gondola ride to Mount Apharwat

 

 

 

Photos: Huge Shiva statue at Nageshwar Mahadev temple in Dwarka

Dwarka is famous for being the holy place of lord Krishna. The Dwarkadhish and Bet Dwarka temples are the ones that are thronged the most by Krishna devotees. But during our recent trip to the place, we realized that the Nageshwar Mahadev temple or Nageshwar Jyotirling temple also holds a lot of significance in the town of Gujarat.

When our driver-cum-guide told us that he is taking us to a temple of Lord Shiva which is some distance away from the town, we were interested but not excited. However, even when we were some distance away from the destination, excitement suddenly crept up.

Also read: Mercure Dwarka Review: Serene hub in the land of Lord Krishna

Nageshwar-Jyotirling-DwarkaIt was the huge statue of lord Shiva or Shankar that appeared fascinating as we approached the place. As expected, we were in complete awe of the mammoth piece of art work as we finally reached the place.

The huge white coloured Shiva statue stood as an astounding figure commanding respect. The rudraksh necklace around His neck and fingers, tiger skin costume and the presence of the snake, damru and trishul along with the calm facial expression made it appear like a real person.

The sight almost made me forget that the main temple was actually inside. Like what you expect from a place of worship, the atmosphere inside the Nageshwar Jyotirling temple provides peace and serenity. We were easily able to do darshan of the main Shivalinga as there was hardly any crowd (they don’t allow pictures). The compound also has an artistic little Shiva-Parvati temple.

A large photo frame of the late music mogul Gulshan Kumar is also hung inside the temple. We assumed that he must have done a hefty donation to the temple trust.

Like every well-known temple, there is a legend about this place too. The Shiva Purana says that Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is in the Darukavana, which means forest. According to the legend, a Shiva devotee named Supriya was attacked by the demon Daaruka. After chanting Shiva’s name, Supriya was saved by Him, who resided there in the form of a Shivalinga.

By: Keyur Seta

More pictures from the Nageshwar Mahadev or Jyotirlinga Temple in Dwarka:

Nageshwar Mahadev-temple-Dwarka

DSCN1023
The entrance

Nageshwar-Jyotirling-Dwarka

Nageshwar-Jyotirling-Dwarka

Nageshwar-Mahadev-Dwarka

Nageshwar-Jyotirling-temple-Dwarka

Nageshwar Jyotirling Dwarka

Nageshwar Jyotirling-Dwarka

Nageshwar Mahadev Dwarka