Yashoda Krishna

Yashoda and Krishna – who doesn’t understand the bond between them? They stand as an example of the mother-child relationship and its innate divinity. Its interesting that we seldom mention Krishna’s birth mother Devaki as His mother. Motherhood is indeed far more than bearing a child in one’s womb.

What kind of mother was Yashoda? She loved her little Krishna, that goes without saying. She was strict at times, tying Him down when he was especially naughty. She turned a blind eye at other times, ignoring the butter He stole with his friends. She was supportive when needed, defending Him against the complaints of the other ladies of the community. And she let Him leave her and go far away when it was time to undertake what He needed to do. In effect, she was a mother like most mothers.

Did she know He was the Lord? How could she have missed it? He performed miracles like slaying demons when He was just a babe, showing the world in His mouth when she demanded to see if He was eating butter, by multiplying Himself to dance with all the Gopis. So she knew and yet she didn’t know, for when He behaved as a child, she treated Him as a child. That then is Maya, the illusion which we all suffer on earth. The same Maya which makes us ignore the divinity of each soul around us and the presence of God everywhere.

Yashoda is often cited as the epitome of Vatsalya Bhakti Bhava. Hindusim defines five forms of Bhakti or devotion to God. These are called Bhakti Bhavas. They are

  • शांत Shanta – Peaceful or placid devotion
  • दास्य  Dasya – Servile devotion
  • साख्य Sakhya – Friendly devotion
  • वात्सल्य  Vatsalya – Parental devotion
  • माधुर्य/कान्त/शृङ्गार  Madhurya/Kanta/Shringara – Romantic devotion

How reassuring to think that one can love God in the same manner as one loves one’s child!  Today I present a song which celebrates this maternal love.  It is also a commentary on Maya because even Yashoda was blinded by it.

Purandaradasa (1484-1564) writes ‘Yashoda played with the Lord of the Universe, thinking Him to be her son’.  The song is written in Kannada and is set to Raga Kapi.  If you would like to know more about this raga, click here. The song was made famous by the great vocalist M.S.Subbulakshmi. Today I present an instrumental version by the Saxophone Maestro, Kadri Gopalnath in a jugalbandi with Pravin Godkhindi on the Bansuri (flute).

Now listen to this rather modern vocal rendition by Bombay S.Jayashri whose voice is a great gift from God to us listeners.

Post Script: It has been a long time since I posted this but today I came upon this soulful live rendition by T.M.Krishna and felt that it too should be included in my post. There are songs which I like in a female voice and others in a male voice but for this song, I cannot quite make up my mind!

Footnote (Lyrics) :

jagadOddAraNa ADisidaLe yashOde

jagadOddhAraNa maganendu tiLiyuta
suguNAnta ranganA AdisidaLe yashOde


nigamakE silukada agaNita mahimana
magugaLe mANikyana ADisidaLe yashOde

aNOraNIyana mahatO mahImana
apramEyana na ADisidaLe yashOde

parama puruSana paravAsudEvana
purandara viThalana ADisidaLe yashOde


Yashoda played with the Savior of the world.

Thinking that the Savior of the world was her son, Yashoda played with embodiment of all great qualities.

The one whose greatness is infinite and beyond measure, Yashoda played with the gem amongst children.

The one who is smaller than the atom and bigger than infinity, Yashoda played with him.

The one who is the supreme being, son of Vasudeva, the Vitthala of Purandara (note: the composer’s signature), Yashoda played with him.

Click here for notation.




Filed under Bombay Jayashri, Carnatic Music, Compositions in Kannada, Kadri Gopalnath, Pravin Godkhinde, Purandaradasa, T.M.Krishna

16 responses to “Jagadodharana

  1. Hi Suja, I am catching up with the wonderful posts one by one.A treasure house really, your blog!
    The tune to Jagadodhharana was set by my great grand father Sri Belakavady Srinivasa Iyengar. I have listened to various renditions many number of times, each time it is a unique experience. Loved your explanation!
    Thanks for all the feed back you left, made my day 🙂

    • Hi Padmaja, Thank you! Oh, I didn’t know who set the tune to this song, I am very pleased to learn about it. I am sure my readers will be too.

      I enjoyed visiting your site. I am also a self-taught artist who experiments with all kinds of arts, so it was a meeting of minds!
      Cheers. Suja


    Dear Ms Suja,
    Jagadodharana is an old favorite. This version is featured quite frequently on AIR Bengaluru. It is by Mysore BS Raja Iyengar. I could say it is part of my growing up.

    Also, about 60 km from Bengaluru is the temple where Purandaradasa sang this song. It is Doddamallur Aprameya temple. The name aprameya appears in the kriti. Refer Wikipedia for more info.

    With best regards,

    • Hi Ganesh, I enjyed BS Raja Iyengar’s version, I hadn’t heard it before. I didn’t know that the associated temple is so close to Bengaluru! Thanks for the info.
      Cheers. Suja

  3. Totally by chance, or should i say by the Grace of our Lord, i came upon your site – looking for the meaning of Jagadhodharana — i feel so, so, so blessed – what a treasure house you have created here. Thank YOU with much, much gratitude. Your writing about this magical kriti, the singers and translation are so, so, sooooo awesome!!!! Thank YOU so much Suja ji. 🙂

  4. The notation page is not working. Don’t want to bug you in any way – just fyi. Thank you! 🙏 i am soooo loving just listening to all these versions again and again. Thank YOU!

    • Oh I am sorry that the link is not working. Actually I need to go through all the posts as I think there are many links which are missing. I am up very busy at the moment, in the process of moving from one country to another so I cannot fix things at the moment. Sorry for that!
      Cheers. Suja

      • No problem or issues! You are doing this magnificent seva for all of us and sweet music. Thank you from my heart for that! Best wishes for a beautiful and smoothest of all possible moves! Jai Ganesh. 🙂

      • Ashok

        could you post rendition by DK Jayaraman, please. Loved it much but couldn’t find it now

      • Sorry Ashok, I don’t post music. I just use what is already available online.
        Cheers. Suja

  5. Krishnakumar


    Great blog. Sharing one more version by Sreevalsan J Menon https://youtu.be/bZs00kyapEg

  6. Anand

    This is really great. I was reading through and realize this is not a new blog post but very relevant. thanks for the compilation. I had heard this song many times in my childhood and listened to T.N Krishna version with Smt.Kaleeshabi Mahaboob just days ago. Really mesmerizing. Thank you.

    Sharing that link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Dp88V6m8Tw

    • Thank you Anand. Indeed it is an old post but my posts are meant to be a time independent reference. I often have readers comment on old posts! Thank you for the link, I will definitely have a listen.
      Cheers. Suja

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