About the Book
Love Songs of Narsinh Mehta is a commentary on Narsinh Mehta's love songs. Narsinh (1408-65), a Vaishnava bhakti poet of medieval India, is considered as the adi-kavi of Gujarat. He is also regarded as a shringara kavi, a poet of romance. The quintessence of his bhakti is prem and his prem has inherent bhakti, and therefore his poetry is regarded as shringara bhakti kavya. Essentially shringara is the romantic celebration of the other, and when Narsinh's other is none other than Krishna, his shringara kavya becomes Krishna bhakti, where Krishna is both divine and human, at the same time. Singing for Krishna, Narsinh celebrates his swami through amorous verses and divine surrender like Jayadeva.
He sat in a temple and relentlessly sang for his Lord, living through absolute poverty. Nothing made him more jovial than singing the glory of his Krishna. The only man for Narsinh is Krishna, and for the latter Narsinh is a woman at heart. Narsinh, through his songs, brings in the cue of all romantic feelings and moments, recreates the idyllic Vrindavana in one's mind, and he returns that Vrindavana a Vaikuntha with the footfalls of his Krishna.
Through this commentary, the author Harsha V. Dehejia introduces one to the fullness of Narsinh's poems, thereby making one known to Narsinh in and out.
About the Author
Harsha V. Dehejia has a double doctorate, one in medicine and other in ancient Indian culture, both from University of Bombay. He is also a member of the Royal College of Physicians of London, Glasgow and Canada all by examination. He is a practising Physician and Professor of Indian Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. His main interest is in Indian aesthetics. He has published more than twenty books, curated many exhibitions and made a documentary film, Ateliers of Love, 500 Years of Krishna Paintings.
Vijay Sharma, a Padma Shri awardee, is a noted Pahari miniaturist and works as artist in the Bhuri Singh Museum, Chamba, Himachal Pradesh. He has studied major collections of Indian paintings across the world. Vijay Sharma has held several exhibitions and lecture-demonstrations in the leading museums and institutions in India and abroad. He has written several articles on Pahari miniature painting. He paints in various styles of Indian painting, chiefly Basohli and Kangra Schools of Pahari
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