Yashodha & Krishna

One talks about Yashodha and her famous son Krishna in the same breadth. The stories that describe the relationship and interplay between this mother and son are well-known. There are several songs in different languages by famous composers centered around this theme that I had a hard time picking out a few. 

In the Kannada song Jagadhodharana, a composition of Purandaradasa in raga Hindustani Kapi, Yashodha only sees Krishna as her son – the same son who is a saviour of the world, a slayer of demons, a gem among children and much more. But to his mother, Krishna is her child and she is oblivious to anything else. Here is an old Doordarshan recording of MS Subbalakshmi singing this classic song. I am told it was one of the singer’s favourites.

In the Tamil song Thaaye Yashodha in raga Thodi composed by Oothakadu Venkatasubba Iyer, the pranks played by Krishna is described in great detail to Yashodha by the gopis. The song is merely an account of a naughty boy’s mischief but the lyrics are poignant and funny. I can only imagine the mother’s reaction when she hears of her son’s antics described in such a manner.  Here is a rendition of the song by vocalist Madurai Somasundaram. Madurai Somu was a maverick musician known for his soul-stirring music especially his rendition of Tamil songs. 

In the Telugu song Muddugare Yashodha in raga Kurinji, the composer Annamacharya describes the child Krishna being cossetted by his mother Yashodha and likens it to a tub of pearls drowned in her kisses. Here is a rendtion of this song by young popular singer Abhishek Raghuram

In the Surdas bhajan Rani Tero Chirjeeyo Gopal, the composer wishes that Gopal, son of Yashodha (addressed as Rani or Queen) lives for a long time. Here is a lovely rendition of the bhajan in raag Yaman by Pandit Jasraj.

Do share with me your favourite songs that describe this beautiful mother-son relationship.

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About Chitra Srikrishna 50 Articles
Chitra Srikrishna is a Carnatic vocalist and writer living in Bengaluru & Columbus. Chitra blogs for Sruti, runs the podcast Raga Ruminations and produces RaagTime, a radio show on Indian music. Her albums include devotional poetry of Tamil Alwars & Dasa kritis, & thematic compositions on Rama and Hanuman. She's the musical half of a multimedia performance duo HumRaag. Her program BHAKTHI explores the journey of the mystics of India. Her latest Antah Prerna -A Musical Telling of an Entrepreneur's Journey debuted at Bangalore International Centre in 2018.