Discussion: Narsinh Mehta #6: Listen Dearest One

In Sambhalo Kamani or Listen Dearest One, poem #6, Narsinh Mehta gives the Divine Lover His own voice.

Utterly undone, enchanted, by the simple-hearted gopi’s plan to hold Him, to restrain the Lord of the universe, with the gentlest of bonds and keep Him for her own, Krishna yields totally. For the devotee whose passion is so deep and innocent, He is willing to be a bound slave. He will do exactly what she has asked; nurture her growth. He extends her metaphor and promises a protective enclosure, cooling waters to bathe her feet, and nectar to nourish.

This is no ordinary cultivation brew, however. This is nothing less than the divine elixir, heavenly nectar. The physical fostering transforms into spiritual salvation. When Krishna commits to abandoning the fourteen created universes for the gopi, He whisks her into the realm of the eternal.

For the individual soul, what can be an understanding of eternity? God must be within that beating heart and nowhere else. So all the metaphorical love-play ends with Krishna’s promise to never leave the gopi’s temple. The poet offers his editorial comment at this point; his Lord appreciates passion, the magic mantra, mohani mantra, to such an extent that He enjoys yielding in the battle of love instead of winning.

Moha, the Sanskrit root of the phrase, carries connotations that contradict each other and thus provide the rich contextual environment for stating paradoxical truths. It means “passion” but also “delusion,” as often used in the Bhagwad Gita and in many sacred texts. Another term, maya, mostly translated as the “veil of illusion,” offers the same idea: reality is not easy to grasp. So then, the implication is that to be caught by “delusional passion” is not a good thing. There is an interesting dichotomy here. Cupid, the god of Love, can represent true love, but also some trickery that in its worst form becomes unhealthy cupidity, a hoarding of what is loved. In the language of love, that emotion is jealousy, a hatred of sharing the loved one. But if what you love is the Eternal Divine, how can you hoard that?

In Indian philosophy stories explain every doubt. So there are stories illustrating wrong passion, moha, such as a sage falling in love with a divine dancer, an apsara, instead of maintaining his austere celibacy, and having to undergo long years of penance. And there are stories of the wrong passion put to the right use, such as when in one of Vishnu’s avatars, He took the form of Mohini, the woman no male could resist, to delude demons and draw them to their destruction. And here we have an instance of the right passion, absolute love of the Lord. This magic spell, mohini mantra, guarantees the devotee a place in the heart of the Divine.

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About semiophile2010

word lover, meaning maniac, bilingual with metalingual interests, sometimes potter, poet, playwright, writer, mover to music, always a pontificator.
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One Response to Discussion: Narsinh Mehta #6: Listen Dearest One

  1. Folks,
    Poem 5 and 6 are a pair. Let me know what you think of them!

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