Soaked In Sublime Love – Mere Toh Giridhar Gopal – Meera
Krishna is the origin. He is the source of all that exists. He is the consciousness and the awareness. He is complete in Himself, without depending on anybody. He is the all attractive one. He is the only one with an unequal charm. Serving Him with love, seeking Him, yearning for Him, singing His praises, chanting His name is said to set us free from the mundane world. Meditating on Him or His name brings us to an awakening. It brings us face to face with our soul. He is consciousness, consciousness is Him. The path of devotion leads to purification of one’s soul. It is not recurrent or occasional. It is progressive. And when it comes to devotion, Meera ( the 16th century devotee of Lord Krishna) is the name which comes to our minds impromptu. The mystical aura of Meera, her legends, make her one with the Supreme. Her unmatched demonstration of love and devotion set her apart from other Krishna devotees. She regarded Krishna as the purpose of her existence.
Meera (1979) portrayed by Hema Malini on screen, shows the sublime love of the devotee for the God. It enhances the spiritual connect between Lord Krishna and Meera. It is a sublime offering by Gulzar, who has emphasised to show the story through Meera’s eyes. Hema Malini dominates the screen with finesse. Meera seeking enlightenment, her spiritual union with Krishna, is expressed in most serene way. The narration of the story through Meera’s ecstatic bhajans is the highlight of the film.
Mere toh Giridhar Gopal, bhajan based on Raag Khamaj. Rendered by Vani Jairam with sheer sweetness. Pandit Ravi Shankar has so skillfully used this late evening, elegant Raag for bhajan!! It aptly expresses the complete surrender to the Ultimate. Its melody brings out beauty of devotion, magnificence of soft love and the grandeur of a heart’s expressions. The song has 2 versions – one, where she says that she’s in love with her Giridhar Gopal – Jaake sar mor mukut, mero pati soi – the one who bears the crown with a peacock feather, is my husband, my beloved. Koi kahe kaaro, koi kahe goro, liyo hai ankhiyaan khol – Some say He has a dark complexion, some say he is fair, but I’ve seen him with open eyes, whatsoever he’s mine. Koi kahe chane koi kahe chaure, liyo hai bajata dhol, tann ka gehnaa, sab kuchch deena, deeyo hai baajuband khol – some say it in whispers and some say it openly (about the love) but I’m ready to announce it in front of everyone that I’ve given my everything to Him, including the heart!!
The 2nd version of the song sounds more sublime, however. Meera, though married to Rana Bhojraj Sesodia (Vinod Khanna), her love for Lord Krishna (which is now turned into deep rooted devotion) remains the same and she follows her own principles and way of living which are not very acceptable to Bhojraj and his family. Despite the public ordeal, Meera is still unshakable and her spirituality keeps her going. She is not even afraid of death. The stories of her devotion spread wide so much that Emperor Akbar (Amjad Khan) himself along with Mia Tansen (Bharat Bhushan) come visiting to her as ordinary men. Both are mesmerised by her singing and devotion, Tansen, overwhelmed, also joins her in singing the bhajan (So spectacular are the expressions of Bharat Bhushan and Amjad Khan, that you feel like treasuring that moment) In this version, Vani Jairam is joined by Pandit Dinkar Kaikini towards the end of the bhajan.
The devotional strums of Ektara merge with Sitar strings as the bhajan progresses, accompanied by dholak in the background.
Mere toh Giridhar Gopal dusro na koi, jaake sar mor mukut mero pati soi – here it means my Lord is none other than Lord Krishna. Asuvan jal seench seench, prem bel boi, ab to bel phail gayi, anand phal hoi – I have gone through all the pain in this love towards you. Watered it with my tears, this prostrated tree of love. The creeper has now spread so widely, it is flourishing on your love and giving me the fruit of bliss. Taat, maat, brat, bandhu aapno na koi, chhandi lai kul ki kaani kaha karilai koi – I’m so desperate in your love that I have crossed the threshold of dignity of my family, now I do not know anyone, be it father, mother, brother or even my friends. Chunari ke kiye tuk odh lini loi, moti moonge utaar banmala poi – I have shed my embroidered rich wear and dressed myself in ochre coloured sari. Discarded the pearls and the corals and have adorned myself with the garland of wild flowers. The riches are of no value for me. I’m yours, take me out of this turmoil.
The purity of Meera’s love and devotion remains unparalleled!!!