Rukmini’s Letter to Sri Krishna: A Translation

One of Pandit Narendra Sharma’s last poetical works showcasing the prowess of the Śuddha Hindi language.

Rukmini’s Letter to Sri Krishna: A Translation

The following is a translation of “Binati Suniye Nath Hamari”, a popular bhajan written by the renowned Hindi poet and lyricist Pandit Narendra Sharma (1913 – 1989). The song was used in B.R. Chopra’s hit TV production Mahabharat (1988 – 1990) as part of the background score, set in the sublime and haunting tunes of the Raga Megh. It was aired in episodes 27 and 28 of the epic TV series. Within the context of the plot in those episodes, the song served the purpose of supposedly informing the audience of the contents of Vidarbha Princess Rukmini’s letter to Sri Krishna, which the former had written to the Lord entreating him to save her from a forced marriage to Shishupala. This episode of Sri Krishna’s life actually appears in the Tenth Canto of Maharshi Vyāsa’s Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, which was presumably the source and inspiration of the two episodes in Chopra’s TV production of Mahabharat. The lyrics of this bhajan is a brilliant specimen of one of the last song lyrics composed for the mainstream Hindi film/TV industry using unadulterated, graceful Hindi; and it thus illustrates that a sufficiently talented poet/lyricist can churn out highly creative, original literary pieces without overburdening them with unnecessary Arabic/Farsi words – half of which actually remain obscure to the Indian audience, who, in their ignorance, take such Urdu songs to be Hindi – thanks to the disingenuous lyricists/poets and directors/producers of our time. This song is also one of Pandit Narendra Sharma’s last poetical works, displaying the resplendent expressive and suggestive prowess of the Śuddha Hindi language at its best.

My Lord! Heed my earnest implorations –
Hear, Thou Ruler of Hearts! Hear me, O Hari!
Whose playground is all these hearts indeed,
And who, draped in a brilliant golden garment,
Sports a resplendent peacock’s plume on His Crown!
In this birth and in births yet to come
Destiny has betrothed me to You, O Lord!
And let this star-studded sky bear witness,
That with every passing breath my hope thus chants:
“Come He shall – He, Sri Krishna – the Nemesis of Mura!”
The longing in my eyes which await You,
Without an end, doesn’t let them flutter for anticipation.
O Remover of obstacles and agonies of the world!
Make them fit to welcome Your Sight, I pray Thee –
These eyes, Thine admirers, have come to take refuge in Thee!
What more can I put in my frail words?
O Knower of every heart! You, who are Sovereign,
Ruling over the body, mind and wealth of all beings,
Should show me some mercy, and coming to me now, say:
“Here I come, yea, and I grant thee thy wish!”

About Author: Sreejit Datta

Sreejit Datta teaches English and Cultural Studies at the Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University in Mysore. Variously trained in comparative literature, Hindustani music and statistics; Sreejit happens to be an acclaimed vocalist who has been regularly performing across multiple Indian and non-Indian genres. He can be reached at: Email: sreejit.datta@gmail.com Blogs: https://medium.com/@SreejitDatta http://chadpur.blogspot.in/

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