Soordas- a name that elicits pictures of a singing blind bard in the mind of almost every Indian. It is a name that has been immortalized in the form of poetry and numerous cinematic references. Soordas- which literally translates to 'servant of melody', the great devotee poet of Krishna is credited with some of the most engrossing poems on Krishna's life. The vivid portrayal of Krishna in Soordas's poems is perhaps only rivaled by Tulsidas's portrayal of Rama. However, it is fascinating how a bard with congenital blindness was able to portray Krishna's childhood in such colorful details...almost as if he saw him growing up!
Neglected and abused because of his blindness, Soordas supposedly left his home as a child and met the Hindu philosopher- Sri Vallabhcharya on the banks of Yamuna. This chance meeting resulted in a lifetime of spirituality and immersion in devotional poetry. Soordas showered his creativity, devotion and love to Krishna - the eternal lover. Soordas saw Radha-Krishna's ethereal love and irresistible attractions in the same way as the relationship between the soul and God. During his lifetime, Soordas wrote hundreds and thousands of poems in the Indian vernacular language of Braj. Contemplative devotion being a key characteristic of Soordas's poetry and a reflection of an era in Indian history when the notion of spiritual empowerment was at it's peak.
Soordas is the first of my series on 'Theophilia & Poets'- a series by which I aim to move beyond the realms of religion to capture the essence of some of the well known theophillic poets from Asian history. Theophilia was often an instrument which ushered in a number of revolutions, movements and even established new sects worldwide. Art, culture and religion have always been closely linked. This series is my attempt at further exploring the universality of the message of these theophillic poets across ages. Soordas is special. Soordas's theophillic poems- preaching a spontaneous, selfless motiveless love for Krishna not only paved way for elevation of the previously crude language Braj but also heralded a movement of spiritual awakening in India. This is my interpretation of Soordas in history.
Red is my favourite colour. Tulips, my favourite flowers. People who know me will tell you that I am full of life. Hence, Vivacious Red Tulip seemed an appropriate title for my blog. Join me as I muse over daily ramblings and share my very opinionated thoughts over all things random..