Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Suno suno hey Krishn kaalaa

Posted on: July 10, 2011


This article is written by Sudhir, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular contributor to this blog.

With the songs of Saigal Saab, there is an interesting phenomena; every time you listen to one of his renditions, the mind’s response is that there is nothing better than this soulful song or ghazal just heard. And then one gets to hear another song or ghazal, and the mind searches for newer adjectives now to suit another creation by this perceptive artist.

This song, along with ‘Madhukar Shyaam Hamaare Chor’, are two bhajans that have been with me since I was a child. These are favorites of my mother, and as a child, I have heard her humming these bhajans as she would be working in the kitchen or preparing for pooja in the morning. And I used to follow the words and the tune, and started to love these wonderful creations. Then I chanced to hear them on the radio, in this wonderfully poignant voice – it was almost an emotional revelation for me. Many years later, when I would be earning enough to buy a two-in-one for myself, one of the very first collections that I got recorded from a friend of mine is that of Saigal Saab; and of course I ensured that these two bhajans are included. That’s how these two are so special for me.

Historically, Chandidas is the great medieval poet saint of Bengal who lived in the (14th or) 15th century. He was a great devotee of Lord Krishna, and has written more than 1250 songs and poems in the praise of Lord Krishna and his eternal consort, Shri Radha. One of the greatest exponents of ‘Prema Bhakti’, his creations eulogize the loving relationship between the two. His songs form the traditional Shri Krishna Kirtan form of singing worship prevalent in the rural Bengal. These songs, in turn are based on the leela (divine activities) of the Lord, as narrated in the Srimad Bhagwat Puraan. The songs and poems however add new and original interpretations to the narrations in the Srimad Bhagwatam, making them a masterpiece in the tradition of the medieval Bengali literature. (NOTE: Scholars and historians differ as to the actual passages of life of Chandidas, and the great literary legacy that he has left behind. There are various opinions whether it is one person who created this great literary and spiritual collection of poetry, or maybe more than one). But, apart from these historical research, the fact of the superb emotional, spiritual and literary content of these songs and poems is undebatable.

In the domain of Prema Bhakti, Lord Krishna is considered as the supreme being and the master of all living souls. This relationship, in mundane terms, can be compared with the relationship of a lover and his beloved. Yet it is dimensions apart and wholly transcends the customary understanding of this relationship. The discipline of Bhakti is basically to establish a very personal and an emotional relationship with the Lord. This relationship can be any – a devotee, a server, a friend, a parent, a child, a sibling, even as a spouse. The various relationships are actually the varying and progressive representations of the relationship that a human person can experience. It is believed that a seeker truly on this path, will transition across the various emotions of relationship to the Lord, in one or many life times. The progression is marked by the focus and the purity of thought one can apply to this search. And the supreme stage of a soul is that of the ‘Kaant Bhaav’ – a relationship that can be represented the closest by a lover-beloved analogy, but is in fact much more profound and emotionally adept than the simple lover-beloved relationships that we see, experience or read about. The eventual stage is of the soul truly coming face to face with the supersoul after transcending all the physical barriers presented by the existence of this body and all the apparatus of mind, intellect, experiences and ego.

As one distills the residue of this experiential phenomena, the soul of the being, which is called the ‘aatman’, embraces the qualities of a female existence, whereas the Lord, the super soul, who is called the ‘Paramaatman’ is endowed with the qualities of the Supreme Master, the ‘Purusha’ or the fundamental and supreme representation of the male characteristic. In the discipline of Prema Bhakti, that is the reason for the practitioners of either gender to consider themselves to be the female soul representation, in the loving service of the Lord, the supersoul ‘Purusha’. That is one explanation to Atul ji’s query of why so many male singers sing songs of Bhakti as if they were of the female gender.

The famous song ‘laaga chunri mein daag’ – the poet is identifying self with the soul of the being, that is wearing the ‘chunri’ that is this body. When it is time to leave this existence (i.e. life on this earth) and return to ‘baabul’, the Maker, the Master, the Supreme Soul, at that time the self is analyzing that the life’s experiences and actions have not been pure, and the ‘chunri’ now has blemishes and stains, and is feeling apprehensive and nervous on how to face Him, “Jaa ke babul se nazren milaa’un kaise, ghar jaa’un kaise, Laaga chunri mein daag . . . “. In this representation, the relationship being expressed with the Supreme is that of the child with the Father.

Another song, ‘Babul mora naihar chhooto hi jaaye’ – consider the emotions and sentiments above, with a different relationship perspective, this time that of a lover-beloved, or a spouse. In this case, the emotions are different, however the undercurrent of going to meet the Object of the relationship is the same – ‘le babul ghar aapno, mein chali piyaa ke des”. The emotional content is different; there is some small regret in leaving this existence, but there is a greater anticipation, almost an excitement of being able to travel to the abode of the Master of my soul.

As one would search through the Sufi poetry of Rumi, Omar Khayyaam, Amir Khusro, Farid, Bulle Shah etc., one finds an almost identical representation of this emotional relationship to the Supreme Being.

In this song, the emotional threads being followed are similar. There is an entreaty to the One for whom the poet considers him(?)self to be the beloved, and He is the lover – ‘aayee tumre dwaar, suno meri pukaar, ab sun le baansari waala’. There is nothing that the poet wants, than a simple ‘darhsan’ – ‘haaye morey nainan ne, dekha naahin abhi Shyaam’. Here the feelings represented are those of ‘Sakhi’ bhaav or the ‘Gopi’ bhaav. The mind and the soul of the seeker actually does not want anything from the Lord, except for an opportunity to serve Him. The seeker does not want anything for himself/herself, but only wants to some way, somehow please Him. In the Sakhi bhaav, there is an explicit acknowledgement of Shri Radha and the divine relationship between Lord Krishna and Shri Radha. The desires of the seeker is not to intervene in any way, in this divine relationship, but seeks opportunities to serve Them, and derive – not happiness for the self, but a solace.

Although the words of this song contain the name Chandidas, this song is not from the 1934 movie Chandidas, but is a non film offering. As per available information, this song was recorded by Saigal Saab in 1935. The information also indicates that the author of this song is Kidar Sharma ‘Hasrat’. I have not been able to trace more information about the authorship of this song – whether it is written by Kidar Sharma, or it is adapted by him from an original work by Chandidas, in Bengali. Regardless, I am glad that the content of this song gave me an opportunity to present this write up here on this blog.

As with all other renditions of Saigal Saab, just let this song play, and with your eyes closed, let this soak into your mind and existence.


Song-Suno suno he Krishn kaala (Saigal NFS)(1935) Singer-K L Saigal,Lyrics-Kidar Sharma “Hasrat”

Lyrics

suno suno hey Krishn kaala aaaaa
suno suno hey Krishn kaala
aayee tumre dwaar
suno meri pukaar
ab sun le baansri waala
suno suno hey Krishn kaala
tum jaante huye jo na jaano na
ab kaa se kahoon dukh saara
suno suno hey Krishn kaala
mere paaon to hon
aur main aa na sakoon
hoon adheen main hey dinanaath
jo mein chhal se aa’un
kahoon jal le aa’un
to log karen badnaam
jaisi jo chaahe baaten udaaye
baaten udaaye
jaisi jo chaahe
jaisi jo chaahe baaten udaaye
kahey Radha bhi mohe kalankini
Radha bhi mohe kalankini
tose chori jo milan aaye
jaisi chaahe jo baaten udaaye

main to bol sakoon
munh na khol sakoon
Prabhu jab hi to ablaa naam
mora jeewan jaaye
na daras dikhaaye
na dikhaaye daras ghanshyam
na dikhaaye daras
mo pe dekho sakhi
na hi khaaye taras
morey mann ki rahee
morey mann ki rahee mann mein haaye
haaye morey nainan ne
dekha naahin abhi Shyaam
ablaa ka dukh, hey dinanaath
mann ka rahey hai mann mein

chandidaas kahey
chandidaas kahey
chandidaas kahey
sakhi heyyyy
sakhi heyyyy
chandidaas kahey
jis tan lagey
wo hi tan ye dukhdaa jaane
wo hi tan ye dukhdaa jaane

6 Responses to "Suno suno hey Krishn kaalaa"

Sudhir ji,
I have never read a better commentary on the perception of love to God.Excellent article.
I think,almost all the saints,in some or the other Bhajans,have appealed to God in the guise of a woman.May be this is because women are considered a symbol of selfless love,a total committment,a sacrifice and devotion.
I once again thank you for this superlative write up !
-AD

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Arun ji

Thanks for your kind appreciation, and encouragement. 🙂

There is one incident recorded in the history of Meerabai. It is said that once, when she was in Virndavan, she was desirous of having darshan of another saint who also resided in Vrindavan at the same time. (This saint is Sri Roop Goswami, one of the four main disciples of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu). When the message was sent to him for coordinating a darshan, he responded that he does not meet with ladies. On this statement from Sri Roop Goswami, Meerabai reacted by saying that so far she believed that there is only one Purusha in Vrindavan, and that is Shri Krishna. On hearing this, it is said that Sri Roop Goswami relented and came to Meerabai to pay his respects.

This anecdote says a lot about the state of mind of the the realized people in the path of ‘Prema Bhakti’.

Rgds
Sudhir

Like

Your effort in writting regarding the poetry and song and the singers is really extra ordinary and laudable.
Ravinder Nath Watts (Pandit Vats) San Lorenzo CA USA

Like

Pandit Vats ji

Thanks for your kind appreciation. 🙂

Rgds
Sudhir

Like

I often sing Saihgal’s songs in our club. But this bhajan Suno suno, moves me and my listeners to tears as if souls of the poet and singer with lord Krishn have come to visit us all.Thanks to you and Mr Atul in making this superb treasure for eternity.Pls keep it up. Can we have Mehdi Hasan’s ghazals also here?

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This song is one of the three creations by kidar sharma which he had to sell at the rate of Rs.5=00 per piece at the hands of Hindustan Recording company as he was facing an acute spell of poverty. The other two are shama ka jalna hai ya sozishe parwana hai and panchhi kahe hot udas. It seems that finding the songs good, the recording company asked Sehgal sahib to sing. kidar sharma was a regular urdu poet with hasrat as takhhllus and quite a good poet at that. He stopped using hasrat after hasrat jaipuri entered the film world in the year 1949. Your write up on Krishna kala is in deed wonderful.

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