Radha Krishna

This choreographic effort of Natyavihar Kalakendra, under the stewardship of Hema Malini, attempts to bring to light a few notable events in Lord Krishna’s sojourn on earth, more particularly, his youthful leelas for which he is adored, admired and venerated. The stage presentation depicts the Lord’s dalliance with the gopis of Brindavan and the special bond that exists between Radha and Krishna. Interspersed are incidents showing how the Lord invokes his extraordinary powers to annihilate the demon like Arishtasur.

In the Indian mythological tradition, Krishna, the most charming of all the Hindu Gods, uses his magical flute to great effect.

He draws the gopis of Brindavan into a state of trance by seducing them with the melodious call of his flute. On a night of full moon, he goes towards the forest of Brindavan on the banks of the river Yamuna, playing his flute. The gopis swarm around Him forming a circle, like stars around the moon. By His magical powers, he multiplies himself, to dance with all the gopis at once, in a truly transcendental form of dance, called the Raas Lila. Radha, however, grows to occupy a special place in the Lord’s heart by virtue of her unalloyed devotion to him. In fact, she becomes Krishna’s partner in a secret and exclusive love, in contrast to the Raas he performs with the other gopis.\

Radha is paramount in Krishna’s thoughts. He places his attachment to Radha on a plane where he willingly submits to her authority. He even extends his grace to allow her name to be juxtaposed ahead of him in any combined mention of their two names. The popular appellation “Radha-Krishna” has come about in this context.

The Lord’s soothing words to Radha, as she often laments their impending separation, is that Radha and Krishna were never separate in the aeons that preceded and would never part company in the millennia that will follow. This mystique statement is no palliative for Radha as she continues to apprehend that Krishna would leave her some day. The message sought to be conveyed by the Lord makes it abundantly clear that the restless Jeevatma represented by Radha will one day find comfort and tranquility in its union with Paramatma. However, it is remarkable that the Lord himself accords the Radha-Krishna union a timelessness and a place in eternity.

After responding to the delirious entreaties of the gopis in Maharaas, the call of duty takes Krishna to Mathura where he confronts Kamsa and annihilates him. The gopis, however, are not prepared to come to terms with Brindavan without Krishna. They bemoan his departure and pine for his return. Understanding the distraught condition of the gopis, Krishna sends his bosom friend Uddhav, to console them. Uddhav meets the gopis and advises them to take the path of Yog and Brahmagyan and to forget the transient Krishna.

The gopis are not taken in by these platitudes.They begin to mock the entire system of Yog, telling Uddhav that they are already united with the Lord and that there was no need for further education on yogic austerities to reach the Lord. Uddhav’s ego is thus shattered. but in the process, he learns from the simple cowherdesses of Brindavan, a lesson of true love towards the Almighty. The gopi’s state of God-intoxication is best reflected in the Uddhav-gopi dialogue (samvad) and it is this aspect of the Lord’s play that will form a sequel to the Maharaas in this choreographic effort.