Rajan Parrikar Photo Blog


Birth of Krishna.

Today is Janmashtami. On this occasion I present an old post from 2013 prefaced with a fresh verse in Sanskrit.

Verse and translation provided by Dr. V.N. Muthukumar:

The verse is attributed to Sri Madhusudana Sarasvati (ca. 15th century CE), the celebrated author of Advaitasiddhi.

ध्यानाभ्यासवशीकृतेन मनसा तन्निर्गुणं निष्क्रियं
ज्योतिः किञ्चन योगिनो यदि परं पश्यन्ति पश्यन्तु ते ।
अस्माकं तु तदेव लोचनचमत्काराय भूयाच्चिरं
कालिन्दीपुलिनोदरे किमपि यन्नीलम्महो धावति ॥

With minds brought under control
through the practice of dhyAna,
if the yogi-s see a Light
without qualities and action,
may they see!

But for us
for filling our eyes with awe,
may there be forever
that Blue Light
which runs here and there
on the banks of the kAlindI (yamuna).

The village of Mashel (also spelled Marcela) in Goa holds a unique distinction: it is the only site in India where Krishna is worshipped alongside his biological mother, Devaki. The origin of this singular practice has its own story in Goa.* An ancient temple of Devaki-Krishna was the pride of the island of Chodan (Chorão). After it was sacked by the Portuguese following their arrival in the early 16th century, the idol was squirreled away by the distraught villagers to the hamlet of Mayem. Eventually it found a safe haven in Mashel where it was reconsecrated around the year 1560.

Devaki-Krishna is the family deity of the Parrikar clan.

*When Sri Krishna and Balarama found themselves in Chodan, they met Devaki there. Upon seeing what was now a grown Krishna, she was taken aback, scarcely recognizing her little Balakrishna. Sensing his mother’s predicament, Sri Krishna immediately assumed the form of a child, jumped on her lap, and granted her the special privilege of reliving all the pastimes of his childhood. The idol in Mashel depicts this moment of Sri Krishna ensconced in Devaki‘s lap and the deity is referred to as Devaki-Krishna.

Devaki-Krishna of Mashel, Goa

Devaki-Krishna of Mashel, Goa
5D Mark III, Zeiss ZE 100 f/2 MP


The utsav moorthy below is made from the stem of the Neem tree.

Krishna, at Mashel, Goa

Baby Krishna
5D Mark III, Zeiss ZE 50 f/2 MP

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