In this series, we will go on a pradakshina of Bharata desha as we present, each month, a kirtan composed by His Holiness Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji on a particular kshetra, starting from south India and then going north.
Nathdwara – Srinathji
A visit to Dwaraka is not complete without visiting the shrine of Srinathji in Nathdwara, a town in the state of Rajasthan and about 700 km from Dwaraka. Here Srinathji is worshipped according to the principles of Pushti Marg, a path described by Sri Vallabhacharya.
Srinathji was originally discovered near Govardhan hill, Mathura and worshipped by the locals. The locals could see only the head and face of the Lord. It was Vallabhacharya who discovered Him in his entirety. Sri Vallabhacharya entrusted the worship of the Lord to his primary disciples Kumbhandas, Paramanandadas, Surdas and Krishnadas. Later, Sri Vallabhacharya’s son Vittalanatha and his 4 disciples took the responsibility of service to the Lord. The 8 followers of Vallabhacharya and Vittalanatha are together known as the “ashta sakhas” of the Lord.
It was in the year 1672 that ardent devotees moved Srinathji from Mathura to present day, Nathdwara to save him from Aurangazeb’s soldiers who were on a rampage, desecrating and looting Hindu temples and forcefully converting the citizens to Islam.
Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji has visited Nathdwara and has had the darshan of Srinathji. He describes the Lord in a beautiful song. The song has been set in the raga Kedara Gowlai. The song and its meaning is presented here:
Srinathah Mama Nathah
Raga: Kedara Gowlai Tala: Adi
shrI nAthah mama nAthah
mama nAthah jagannAthah (shrI nAthah…)
devAdi devah rAjAdi rAjah
sujana vinutah vallabhasulabhah(shrI nAthah…)
bhAvarasa bharita bhakta pUjita
bhava brahmAdi suragaNa sevita(shrI nAthah…)
parama sukha pradha lIla vinodah
paramahamsa shuka mukha kIrtita nAthah (shrI nAthah…)
puShTimArga jana vanditha mUrtih
taveshTa muraLIdhara lAlita mUrtih (shrI nAthah…)
Srinatha is My Lord
And, my Lord is the Lord of this universe (shrI nAthah…)
He is the God of gods and the King of kings
He is the Lord praised by the good and virtuous and easily approachable to Vallabha (shrI nAthah…)
He is worshipped by devotees brimming with the feeling of love
He is worshipped by Shiva, Brahma and other Devas.
He is the bestower of permanent bliss and a lover of past times
He is the Lord who has been sung by the supreme renunciate Sage Shuka
He is the Lord who is worshipped by the followers of Pushti Marg
He is cherished by your favorite Muralidhara!
Sowmya Balasubramanian, Fremont, CA