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Author QuotedEdward C. Dimock and Denise Levertov
Title QuotedIn Praise of Krishna: Songs from the Bengali
Date (Year/Month/Day)1968/11/05
ImprintLondon : Cape. 1968
QuotationE. C. Dimock, Jr., on Vaishnava poetry: Vaishnava (Bengali) poetry originated in the Vaishnava bhakti sects of the 16th and 17th centuries. For the most part they are love poems, of the love between the god Krishna and Radha, most beautiful of the gopis, sung in kirtan ("prais") gatherings with drum and cymbals. But some are hymns to Chaitanya, a 15th-century Bengali Vaishnava saint considered to be an incarnation of Krishna. Krishna has many aspects, but for the Vaishnavas, "Krishna was the lover and beloved, whose foremost characteristic is the giving and receiving ofjoy, who is approachable only by bhakti, by devotion and selfless dedication." The sardaya, "the man of sensibility," who is aware of certain associations in Bengali, can appreciate in Vaishnava lyrics their interplay of the erotic and the mystical. The mood of the poems is called madhurya-bhava, a mood of identification in which poet or reader enters into the love-longing of Radha or another of the gopis. One of the formalities is the bhanito, or signature line, usually at the end of the poem, in which the poet identifies himself by name.
JournalThe Other Side of the Mountain: The End of the Journey. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 7, 1967-1968.; Edited by Patrick Hart, O.C.S.O. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1998, p. 255-56
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