Pt. Bhimsen Joshi

A few days back, the world of Hindustani classical music lost a giant pillar by the passing away of 89 year old Bharatratna Pt. Bhimsen Joshi. Although there are many sources where one can learn about Pt. Joshi, I'd like to mention my personal relation with his music. His soulful Marathi abhangas on Vitthala or Sant Jnaneshwar have been my source of bhakti rasa for a long time. On hearing the sad news of Pt. Joshi, I got lost in his melodious voice where he still lives on and perhaps always will. Pt. Joshi's singing spreads across several languages and one can delve into one's own spirituality be it through his bhajans or alaps. Some of his noted performances are Jo bhaje Hari ko sada, Jaya Jagadeeshwari Mata Saraswati, Sun bhai sadho dohes of Sant Kabir in Hindi and Pandharicha vasa Chandrabhagya snana, Tirtha Vitthala Kshetra Vitthala, Arambhi Vandina Ayodhyecha Raja, Dnyaniyancha Raja in Marathi.

In the past couple of days, I also came across his bhajans and awesome rendition of Dasara bhaktigeete in Kannada. Some of these are Bhagyadalakshmi baramma, Deva banda namma, Sada yenna hridayadalli vasa mado Shri Hari and Kailasa vasa Gaurisha Isha. I'm trying to dearly hold on to the spiritual depth that the last two have taken me to. When Pt. Joshi sings Sada enna hridayadalli, it feels as if my heart cries out to Hari to reside within and with Kailasavasa, the dvaita bhakti rasa itself results in advaita bhakti for me! The lyrics to the last two bhaktigeete are below.


sadA enna hRRidayadalli
sadA enna hRRidayadalli vAsamADo shrI hari
nAdamurti ninna pAda mOdadinda bhajisuvE
 

j~nAnavembo navaratnada maNTapada madhyadalli
veNulOlane kuLLirisi dhyAnadinda bhajisuvE
 

bhakti rasavembo muddu mANikyada harivANadi
muktanAga bEku endu muttinArati ettuvE
 

ninna nAnu biDuvanalla enna nInu bidalusallA
ghanna mahima vijayaviThala ninna bhakutara keLusolla
(ghanna muruti vijayaviThala keLo ninna bhakutara solla)



kailAsavAsa gaurIsha Isha
kailAsavAsa gaurIsha Isha
tailadhAreyante manasu koDo hariyalli shambhO

ahorAtriyali nAnu anujarAgraNiyAgi
mahiyoLage carisidenO mahAdEvanE
ahibhUShaNane enna avaguNagaLa eNisadale
vihita dharmadi viShNu bhakutiyanu koDo shambhO

manasu kAraNavalla pApapuNyakkella
analAkSha ninna preraNe illade
danuja gajamada hAri danDa praNAmamAlpe
maNisO I shirava sajjana caraNa kamaladali

bhAgIrathIdharane bhayava pariharisayyA
lEsAgi nI salahO santata sarvadevA
bhAgavatajana priya vijaya viThalananghri
jAgu mADade bhajipa bhAgyavanu koDo shambhO


The simplicity of this great man reflects in his interview: Pt.Bhimsen Joshi in conversation, a master who taught his students to develop their own style instead of imitating him or anyone else. Although an era ends with passing away of Bharatratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, he is sure to live on in his legendary voice for eras to come.
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