VRINDAVAN DIARIES gives us intimate accounts of happenings in the woods of Vrindavan, in the local Vraja dialect of Vrindavan. These folk-accounts that are passed on in oral traditions are traceable to Shri Rupa Gosvami’s early 16th century Sanskrit plays. Amazingly the basic story line loosely follows the plot of Rupa Gosvami´s Sanskrit drama ‘Lalita Madhava’ and Rupa Goswami is also seen to be the narrator of these accounts. Artist Mumbiram’s English translation of the incessant Vraja prose is engaging beyond imagination and has an unmistakable déjà vu quality.
Déjà vus of a far away place
The reader is certain to be reminded of the intensity and desperation of adolescent love, the long summer afternoons when time appeared to come to a standstill and all the colours, smells and sounds of nature coming alive like never before. It makes one feel the long hot afternoons of an idyllic Indian summer of adolescent passions. The mood it invokes is great to share. It is something very familiar from some place far far away. The year Krishna was on the threshold of manhood (Kishor stage), in the month of Margashirsha (Orion), the unmarried cowherd girls of Vrindavan would all go together to the Yamuna river before daybreak. There they would bathe and pray to Goddess Katyayani. Each one of them would ask to have Krishna as her husband. They never were jealous of each other in their attachment to Krishna. This fascinating quality of “The Nectarean Ways of Love in Vraja Vrindavan” (vraja anuraaga reeti) is what distinguishes Divine Love from mundane enamorment. This presentation happily brings out the feeling of continuity and obsession that overtook those guileless adolescent associates of Krishna in the forests of Vrindavan.
Unique Aura of Rasa Art
Details from Mumbiram’s painting “Gopis waiting for Krishna at Sundown” adorn the pages of the Vrindavan Diaries. Every Gopi relishes a very unique rasa with Krishna just as everyone has a very unique relationship with God. Look closely. Every Gopi has dressed herself very uniquely to arouse conjugal attraction in their Beloved. Every painting of Mumbiram takes on a unique style and aura.