Sunday, 22 January 2012

I will set fire to this house And go away. ~ Chandidas

I who body and soul
am at your beck and call
was a girl of noble family.

I took no thought 
for what would be said of me,
I abandoned everything.

Casting away
All ethics of caste
My heart dotes on Krishna
Day and night.

The custom of the clan
Is a far-away cry
And now I know
That love adheres wholly
To its own laws.

I throw ashes at all laws
Made by man or god.

I am born alone,
With no companion.

What is the worth
Of your vile laws
That failed me
In love,
And left me with a fool,
A dumbskull [Ayana]?

My wretched fate
Is so designed
That he is absent
For whom I long.

I will set fire to this house
And go away.

~ Chandidas
( Expression of Love of Radha for Krishna )

* Although Radha's marital status is not specified in the Gitagovinda, there are hints that she belongs to another man. The whole drama takes place at night in the woods and is surrounded by secrecy. It is not a relationship that takes place under the approving eye of society. Whether or not Radha is married to another man, Krishna certainly is not married to her and consorts with other women, which makes Radha jealous. The whole mood suggests that Radha's love for Krishna is illicit, that she has no formal claim on him, and that in order to be with him she must risk the dangers of the night, the woods, and public censure.

Radha's illicit love for Krishna is the central theme in the poetry of Vidyapati (1352-1448) and Candidas (ca. fourteenth to fifteenth century). Both authors make it clear that she is married to another man and that she risks social ostracism by pursuing her affair with Krishna. Vidyapati describes Radha as a woman of noble family, but he portrays Krishna as a common villager. In loving Krishna Radha sacrifices her status and reputation.

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