Thou givest to the shadows on the mountains
The colours of thy glory, Ghanashyam,
Thy laughter to high secret snow-fed fountains,
To forest pines thy healing breath of balm.
Thou lendest to the storm's unbridled tresses
The beauty and the blackness of thy hair,
And scatterest the joy of thy caresses
In lustrous rain upon the limpid air.
Thou dost vouchsafe to pilgrim-hearted ages
The music of thy mercy, Ghanashyam,
And grantest to thy seekers and thy sages
Mystic sanctuaries of transcendent calm.
O take my yearning soul for thine oblation,
Life of all myriad lives that dwell in thee.
Let me be lost, a lamp of adoration,
In thine unfathomed waves of ecstasy.
Ghanashyam, Ghanashyam, how the music of the word, Ghanashyam, how the literal meaning? Who is Ghanashyam? The same Krishna Murari, Muraliwalla, Manamohan. But here Ghanashyam, one who is deep blue coloured, one who is dark coloured as the hanging clouds seem to be laden with showers lurking over the hills, looking darker blue, bluish darkness. And here lies in the mysticism, the mysticism of the word. Can one somewhat dark but with a nicer face-cutting be not called beautiful? The answer is, of course, without any doubt. Is dark not beautiful? Generally in musical notes with the ragaas the word, Ghanashyam, my Ghanashyam spreads the melody and music of its own and this is often done in classical music. He went on playing the music, the murali and I went on hearing the melody so breathtaking, awe-striking is it, if one can feel about, as such is the impact cast or exerted upon. Where is Krishna? The Krishna of heart? How to search him? Where the blue-coloured idol? Where the blue-complexioned boy of Brindavan? How this trend of bhakti? Indian classical tradition of devotees, singers and fakirs lost in Krishnadhun, the rhythm and recitation of Ghanashyam? The heart is submerged in bhakti, Krishna-bhakti, the music of Shyam and it taking away the heart with him. As the halo of the blue lotus is, the azure of the skies, the colour of the hills in the sunshine or during the cloud around, changing into a gloom so is his colour and complexion. When lightning flashes or the thunderbolt crashes, the heart beats it with fear, taking the name of Shyam, Ganashyam just like the birds afraid of and screaming in fear.
Here the blue image is so prominent and the yearning merges with the Divine through the music and devotion of heart, through spiritual thirst and longing. Ghanashyam, how to see the image of his? How the painting of his? How the blue-complexion? How the blue colour alluring to all? Without being a devotee, how to be lost in? In Krishna-rasa, Krishna-prema? The blue colour and complexion of his matches with the clouds hanging over the hills and the mountain ranges, in the loom seen far as the outbursts of lurking clouds combined with thunder and lightning, seen in the blue waters of the lake or in the blue lilies fascinating it all. First, love him then feel you the magic of the Love Divine.
The poetess means to say it whose colour is it reflected in the mountains and the gloom around it, whose is it sunniness during the daytime reflecting as strangely, radiating blue, so attractive and charming to core. It is but his colour reflecting over, reflecting in and he is just like that, like that. The snow-fed so high secret fountains from which the crystal and blue waters flow form, drip as the pearls do not misunderstand them as carry forth the laughter of the same. It is none but he who heals with a breath of balm the forest pines. The storms which take us by surprise and awe carry out the beauty and blackness of his hair. But that gloom and storm result in a downpour dispelling and discarding the thaw in the air.
It has been continuing for long, for ages and ages and it will go by as long as the creation is, drenched in your bhakti, is the thing. There will be no life without his Krishnalila, Krishnalila Divine. Where is not Krishna? At the root of all. This romantico-devotional heart is his; this classico-devotional heart is his, is what we know it not the truth. Just we need to be lost in Krishna-consciousness, Krishna-ananda. Wherever go you, goes it the heart with you, with Krishna, my Ghanashyam. One who is present it in all, how the world to go without his mercy divine?
He is in everything that we do and dream. The ages with time-spirits are the makings of his. There is nothing as hidden from. He is the Lord-god whose blessing is reflected in it all. What can be greater than the soul drenched in Krishna-bhakti? Who is it who gives transcendent calm? It is but he, the power behind our grace and blessing. The poetess prays to him for his grace, blessing and love. When we read the poem Ghanashyam, the picture of Radha who is bluish also dances before the eyes. If there is none, he is but Ghanashyam, if the heart submerged in him, the soul lost in him, why to fear? The world is the leela, ground of his and he playing the flute from the orchards, hills, bowers and arbours, hills, dales, vales and mountains, woodlands, forest tracts and rocky domains. Such is the melody of his flute; such is the lyricism of love-song; such is the power of love. He is Shyam, Ghanashyam, the Blue Boy of Brindavan. Where do you lie, fluting, my Lord? Where do you? Where is the melody coming from? The heart stays it not put in. Such is Krishnabhakti. The ecstasy of deep devotion is fathomless and immeasureable.
Ghanashyam is a poem of Krishnabhakti and Krishnaprem, dealing with classical love poetry and bhakti-tradition continuing to since long, so full of folkloric music, dance and song incantations, taking us to Krishnalila and Raaslila, to Brindavan and Mathura, the banks of the Yamuna river and the kadamba trees with the gopis moving about in search of and Krishna playing the flute.