“Jagannath hare” is an “ Ashtapadi”, a mystical, poetic work of Sri. Jayadeva, capturing the eternal love of the gopikas for Lord Sri Krishna.
Ashtapadis are presented in the traditional Indian dance recitals notably - Bharatanatyam / Odissi and originated in the current state of Orissa, India. Jayadeva’s Ashtapadi is filled with “rasa” (essence) and devotion and offers ample scope for the artist to experience that ultimate love for the divine. Of significant note is that even though Ashtapadis originated from the central parts of India, they are offered everyday as recitals in the famous and powerful Lord Krishna temple in Guruvayoor, Kerala.
Krishna represents the multifaceted avatar and Radha epitomizes the fragrance of divine love, a true devotee eternally waiting to merge with the Lord. While most Ashtapadis describe this state of separation of Radha from Krishna - the Supreme consciousness, Jagannath Hare culminates in a way that shows the sublime state attainable when one is at the crest of pure devotion - that of the seeker becoming the sought.
In this Ashtapadi, three popular verses are usually sung or portrayed. The ashtapadi starts with the description of Radha longing for the arrival of Lord Krishna at her abode and Krishna/Jagannath being informed by Radha's friend about how Radha pines for him, eagerly expecting his arrival. Radha’s eyes are always in search of her dear beloved, expecting his arrival every moment. She relives the days she spent with her Lord experiencing the bliss when He imbibed the nectar of love during their time together.
Krishna fills the very breath of Radha, so much so, that even dark clouds remind her of Him and she lovingly embraces the darkness imagining them to be her “Sweet Lord”. Finally, Radha adorns herself with gorgeous jewelry carefully adjusting them in eager anticipation of Krishna. One precious adornment is waiting to be picked up - the peacock feather. As she picks up the peacock feather and places it on her hair, she finds the one she has been looking for - “I am Krishna!!”, exclaims Radha, looking at her own reflection, deeply immersed in that supreme state of oneness.
I am reminded of Mohanji’s anecdote on Radha and Krishna of how Radha was always integrated into Krishna in every pulse and heart beat.
When some of Radha’s jealous friends give her a piping hot kheer/sweet pudding, telling her that Krishna had sent it lovingly to her, she drinks with joy not minding how hot the kheer is. Nothing happens to Radha. Later when her friends go to Krishna, he tells them that his throat is burnt!!
Radha is the epitome of supreme love and devotion and essentially is showing us the way to be so.
As Jayadeva says, may we all soak in the essence of the song “Nath Hare” and be blessed to experience that elusive state of oneness with the divine
"I missed myself.
Then I set out to find myself.
I saw my reflections, yet I couldn't find myself.
Sad and depressed with reflections and illusions,
I sat down alone.
I stopped searching.
Then I found myself within myself.
Finally, when I found myself, I lost myself forever. ”
Enjoy watching “Nath hare “ - Nath hare Jagganath Hare
Mohanji’s parable - https://mohanjiparables.wordpress.com/tag/devotion/
Author: Sathya Shivakumar - Global member HSTD