A Little Something About This Track
I loved this song from the very first time I heard it. It was twenty years ago, when I was brand new to the kirtan world. I was browsing through some cassettes and, without knowing which to choose, I picked up Bhakti Rasa by Agnideva Das and went to the check out. Listening back at home I found Radha Krishna Bol to be beautiful yet melancholy, ancient yet relevant, haunting yet soothing.
Then, a few months back, I found myself inspired to record it.
Firstly, I turned the mridanga upside down and played the bottom end like an African djembe and then I added the top end to make a three-handed groove. With a bit of spacey electric piano, tanpura drones and flute I had the backing track done.
The song itself follows Gaura-Nitai 'wandering' around Nadia (West Bengal) inducing the people to chant (bol) the names of Radha and Krishna. For one who does so there is the assurance of no further misery in the land of maya and the promise of one's body shaking in ecstasy and tears of happiness pouring from the eyes. Radha Krishna bol bol, bolo re sobai; Chant! Chant! Everybody chant!
'rādhā-kṛṣṇa' bol bol bolo re sobāi
(ei) śikṣā diyā, sab nadīyā
phirche nece' gaura-nitāi
(miche) māyār bośe, jāccho bhese',
khāccho hābuḍubu, bhāi
(jīv) kṛṣṇa-dās, e biśwās,
korle to' ār duḥkho nāi
(kṛṣṇa) bolbe jabe, pulak ha'be
jhorbe āńkhi, boli tāi
('rādhā) kṛṣṇa' bolo, sańge calo,
ei-mātra bhikhā cāi
(jāy) sakal' bipod bhaktivinod
bole, jakhon o-nām gāi
1) Chant, chant "Radha-Krsna!" Everyone chant! When Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda came dancing through Nadia, They gave these teachings: Chant, chant "Radha-Krsna!" Everyone chant! You are caught up in a whirlpool of senseless action and are sinking lower and lower. Chant, chant "Radha-Krsna!" Everyone chant!
2) If you just understand that the spirit soul is the eternal servant of Krsna, you will never have any more sorrows. Chant Hare Krsna and your eyes will fill with tears and your body will feel transcendental shivering. Chant, chant "Radha-Krsna!" Everyone chant!
3) Simply chant "Radha-Krsna" and join with us. Those are the only alms we beg. Chant, chant "Radha-Krsna!" Everyone chant! "All dangers will be gone when that Name is chanted," says Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Chant, chant "Radha-Krsna!" Everyone chant!
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
‘Radha-krsna’ bolo bolo bolo re sobai. This is a song sung by Thakura Bhaktivinode. It is said that Lord Caitanya and Nityananda, They are walking through the streets of the of Nadiya town chanting this instruction, addressing everyone. They say, “You all people, please chant Radha-Krsna or Hare Krsna.” ‘Radha-krsna’ bolo bolo bolo re sobai. “Every one of you, simply chant Radha-Krsna or Hare Krsna.” This is the instruction. Ei sikha diya. Lord Caitanya and Nityananda, both together, while walking and dancing through the street, He was instructing that “All of you simply say Radha-Krsna.” Ei sikha diya, sab nadiya, phirche (abhay?) gaura-nitai. Phirche, phirche means walking. All over the town Nadiya They were teaching this. Ei sikha diya, sab nadiya, phirche (abhay?) gaura-nitai. Then he says, (keno?) mayar bose, jaccho bhese’, “Why you are being washed away on the waves of this maya, material nescience?” Khaccho habudubu, bhai. “And whole day and night you are merged into full of anxieties, simply. Just like a man, when he is put into the water, sometimes drowning, sometimes coming up, but he is struggling very hard. Similarly, in the ocean of maya, why you are so much struggling? Sometimes being drowned, sometimes coming up, sometimes feeling happiness, sometimes no happiness. Actually, there is no happiness. In the water, if you are put into the water, and if you are sometimes drowned and sometimes come out, that does not mean happiness. To come out for the temporary time, for the time being, and again being drowned up, that is not happiness.” So Caitanya Mahaprabhu is instructing that “Why you are troubling so much,” mayar bose, “under the spell of maya?” Then what is to be done? He says that jiv krsna-das, e visvas, “Simply just believe it that you are servant of God, you are servant of Krsna.” Jiv krsna-das, e visvas, korle to’ ar duhkha nai: “As soon as you come to this point that you are servant of God or servant of Krsna, immediately all your troubles become ceased. There is no more trouble.” So this instruction is given by Lord Caitanya walking over the streets. Jiv krsna-das, e visvas, korle to’ ar duhkha nai. Then Bhaktivinode Thakura gives his own personal experience. He says, jay sakal vipod, “I become released from all kinds of dangers.” Gai bhaktivinod. Bhaktivinode Thakura, he is acarya, he is experienced, he says that “Whenever I chant Radha-Krsna or Hare Krsna, I become freed from all kinds of dangers.” Jay sakal vipod. Jakhon ami o-nam gai, “Whenever I chant this Holy Name, Hare Krsna or Radha-Krsna, immediately all my dangers are over.” ‘Radha-krsna’ bolo, sange calo. So Lord Caitanya therefore says that “I am walking on the street and begging from you. What is that begging? That you simply chant. This is my request, begging.” ‘Radha-krsna’ bolo, sange calo. “And just follow Me.” ‘Radha-krsna’ bolo, sange calo, ei-matra bhiksa cai, “I am simply asking you for this contribution, that you chant Hare Krsna and follow Me so that your struggle for existence in this material ocean will cease.”
released November 1, 2012
Written by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura.
All instruments, vocals and programming by Krishna Sharma.
Artwork by Cristina Cervera
Produced by Krishna Sharma
all rights reserved