Hauntingly Beautiful India-Maharaas, the Celestial Dance of the Lord
How are you my friends? It has been an amazingly long time to have written to you and I feel bad about it.No excuses, it is a just a matter of laziness, that is all.
I have been pondering about what to write and share it with you as a new blog post and here I am , sharing with you something most of you will enjoy reading.
This is the hauntingly beautiful story of Maharaas, or the celestial dance of Lord Krishna.
Lord Krishna is one of the prominent figures in the history, philosophy and literature of India and the world.He is also considered Yogishwara, or the Lord of all Yogis.One of the 10 avataras of Lord Vishnu, Krishna is a friend, philosopher, guide, loving son and military strategist to various people the world over.
Krishna is associated with Gopis or maidens with whom he engages in aRaaslila all the time.Though, it has been several thousand years since he expired, the devout still see him in their imagination as God perennially engaged in dance.
Pardon me for being a bit philosophical, but this dance is eternal, without beginning or end. We all are participants in this dance without ever realizing it.
According to popular history, Krishna spent much of his childhood in Mathura and the neighbouring villages. Mathura is a few hundred miles south of Delhi.He grew up as a popular boy, having leadership qualities and saving his people from tormentors and demons. He played games with gops and gopis,another name for cowherds.
Upon reaching adulthood, Krishna left for Dwarka but, that is another story.We will talk about his childhood in Mathura here.
Most of the poets who have written about Krishna have characterised him as a naughty young child dancing merrily with his gops and gopis .This dance is called Raas but, the one that happens only once an year is called Maharaas..
Maharaas has evoked awe and great curiosity among the lay public and there are popular legends centered around it.It is even said that whosoever witnesses this Maharaas is turned to stone or tree !
But, what is Maharaas?
I understood its significance only yesterday when I wandered into the world famous Birla Temple, Delhi where a dance troupe was performing it .When the Moon reaches its zenith and attains its full size during the autumn season, called Sharad, Lord Krishna splits himself into different personalities and dances individually with each of his devotees.The devotee thinks that Lord is with him/ her only but, the reality is that Lord is with each and every devotee that moment.
And that night was yesterday, the night of Maharaas!
The Lord is the Supreme Being- Parabramha- and us , the atmans or souls.Maharaas is actually the communion of the soul with the Supreme Being.The gops and gopis are the souls or atmans and represent us.Krishna is the Supreme Being.
By the way, this performance at Birla Temple is on today too! You need to reach there by 5.30 pm IST.
Isn’t it amazing?
Folks, sometimes, it so happens that a philosophical message is understood much better if it is presented in a simple but interesting manner. Isn.t it?
The story isn’t over yet! I have written a blog post on a garden in Mathura where it is rumored that Lord Krishna actually descends at this time of the year with his gops and gopis and performs a Maharaas. And if a common person witnesses it, he or she is turned into a tree!Fantastic, isn’t it?Well, I haven’t been to this garden but am planning to see it.And, hey, I am not interested in becoming a tree otherwise, how will I share stories with you?