Cherussery Krishnagatha: A Malayalam Epic Poem on the Life of Krishna
Cherussery Krishnagatha is a long poem of epical dimensions written by Cherussery Namboothiri, a Malayalam poet and scholar who lived in the 15th century. It is the first Maha Kavya (great poem) in Malayalam literature and one of the most celebrated works of Malayalam poetry. It narrates the life story of Lord Krishna from his birth to his ascension to heaven, based on the Bhagavata Purana and other sources.
The poem consists of 47 cantos, each containing 25 to 30 stanzas of four lines. The language is simple and elegant, with a predominance of second-syllable rhyme (dvitiyakshara prasa) and occasional use of third-syllable rhyme (tritiyakshara prasa). The poem is rich in imagery, emotion, humor, and devotion. It depicts the various aspects of Krishna's personality, such as his childhood mischief, his love for Radha and the gopis, his role as a statesman and a warrior, and his supreme divinity.
Cherussery Krishnagatha is not only a literary masterpiece but also a spiritual treasure. It expresses the poet's deep faith and devotion to Krishna and his desire to attain his grace. It also reflects the cultural and social milieu of Kerala in the 15th century, with references to local customs, festivals, places, and people. The poem has influenced many later poets and inspired many adaptations and translations.
If you are interested in reading this epic poem, you can download a PDF version of it from this link[^2^]. You can also read more about the poet and his work from this Wikipedia article[^1^]. Cherussery Krishnagatha is a must-read for anyone who loves Malayalam literature and Krishna bhakti.
One of the most remarkable features of Cherussery Krishnagatha is its portrayal of Krishna as a human being with all his flaws and virtues. The poet does not shy away from depicting Krishna's misdeeds, such as stealing butter, lying to his mother, and eloping with other women. He also shows Krishna's compassion, wisdom, courage, and sacrifice. The poet presents Krishna as an ideal role model for humanity, who can overcome his weaknesses and achieve his destiny.
Another notable aspect of Cherussery Krishnagatha is its use of humor and satire. The poet often employs witty dialogues, puns, irony, and exaggeration to create comic effects and to criticize the evils of society. He mocks the hypocrisy of the priests, the arrogance of the kings, the ignorance of the people, and the absurdity of the rituals. He also makes fun of himself and his own poetic skills. The humor in the poem serves to lighten the mood and to convey the poet's message in a subtle and effective way.
A third remarkable feature of Cherussery Krishnagatha is its expression of love and devotion. The poet describes the various forms of love that Krishna experiences and inspires, such as maternal love, fraternal love, friendly love, romantic love, and divine love. He also expresses his own love and devotion to Krishna in every canto, often ending with a prayer or a plea for his grace. The poem is a testimony of the poet's bhakti (devotion) to Krishna and his belief in his power and mercy. 061ffe29dd