Bhajan is a Gujarati word meaning a devotional song. Gujarati is the language of Gujarat State, India. It is the native language of Swami Kripalvanandaji and is spoken by over 35 million people.
Bhajan Fever is the fever of devotion. This section of Power Of Love Temple's website is an attempt to render a selection of Swami Shri Kripalvanandaji's devotional songs from his book Premdhara into English with an effort to match the original meanings, classical Indian melodies, rhythms and rhyming patterns. Each translation was a combination of efforts and I thank God for all the people who have given their helpful support.
Swami Kripalvananda, whose nickname is Kripalu, throughout the years has had the unusual karma of many different spellings of his name. Those who know him and love him as Krupalu, should not be offended by the Kripalu spelling of his name. Just as God cannot be contained, thus the great Guru can not also be contained by a few letters of the alphabet. Each song contains the word "Kripalu" in the last verse. Kripalu is a name for Krishna meaning Bestower of Grace. In Indian poetry, the poet puts his name in the last verse in the same manner in which an artist signs a painting. Bapuji's nickname was Kripalu. He emphasized putting our attention on the Lord and made this possible by signing these bhajans in this manner.
If Kripalu was not your personal guru, do not let that signature become a barrier in enjoying these bhajans. Swami Kripalvanandaji, wrote these bhajans from the heart which is beyond words. Translations vary and the reader is really at the mercy of the translator. One single word can color a phrase. I pray that God have mercy on me if my translations have discolored any of Bapuji's intended meanings.
The English version is dedicated to the the children and grandchildren of first generation Hindu Americans. It is my hope that you can delight in the touches of Indian culture as well as the devotion of Saint Swami Kripalvananda and his quest for God.
Leela Bruner 04/26/02
Seven of these translations were the combined effort of Narad Romaguera and myself with the aid of the book Streams of Love from Kripalu Ashram, Pennsylvania. Neeta Ramesh Panchal helped by giving the word for word translation of "A Portrait of Joy." Veena Bhupendra Panchal provided many word for word translations, and Vinit Muniji of Pransali India, provided me with 23 word-for-word translations and spent many hours discussing these bhajans. Usha Mahendra Panchal proof read the Gujrati and Shri Vidyarani Ma (Lisa Hofmann) proof read the English.
These translations were churned between 1977 - 1985. Although, even to today, Leela is making adjustments to them. This book was hand drawn in calligraphy by Leela in both English and Gujrati between 1977-85. The book Premdhara was published over 35 years ago in Gujarati by Shri Kayovarohan Tirth Seva Samaj and as far as we know has been out of print. Bapuji (Kripalu) has freely blessed our lives in all areas. His teaching are beyond time, but after all these years, this is the first exposure that has been given of the translations and in the same spirit as Kripalu, Leela's intention to offer Kripalu's teachings freely to all.
It was the vision of Leela's inner heart to sculpt the form of Bhagwan Brahmeshwara i.e. Lakulish (his guru) facing 4 directions and at least 20 foot tall. When Leela was in India in 1983 and wanted to dearly to see Dadaji's (Lakulish) form, all she could see was light. She was heartbroken. This was the huge motivation to build this temple.... and now that is built, the necessity to put this form on top has dropped as Lakulish is seen within everything.
Over the years the temple has grown and it's always been a learning process. Lakulish is no longer seen as a specific form, instead he is seen in everything. All the Goddess images to tell of various aspects of feminine energy, are seen as Lakulish. It is as if the veil that Leela thought of these energies as being separate was lifted. All is God. Sounds corny - but that is her experience thus her personal truth. Whether we call this light Narayana or Gayatri or Brahmeshwara or Lakulish it just doesn't matter.
Special acknowledgment belongs to the great karma yogi's known as Dale Bruner and to Steve Kelley for the thousands of hours of selfless service with the Temple's construction and for their unswerving support. Without Dale's cooperation Leela would not have had the time for the yogic sadhana necessary for these translations, calligraphy, etc. or for the construction of the Temple. He is indeed a yogi of very high standing.
Preface & Acknowledgments