[ by Charles Cameron — Muslims in India celebrate Krishna and his beloved ]
Here we see a Muslim father in India, with his daughter arrayed as Radha, the beloved, lover, and companion of the Hindu deity Krishna:
I’m posting it here because it beautifully complements another photo which you may have seen before, since I’ve posted it here at least once:
Here a Muslim mother is walking with her son dressed in the costume of Krishna.
Krishna is a manifestation of the divine as playful, beautiful, musical, seductive. He steals the hearts of his devotees, both male and female, with the entrancing music of his flute — but it is Radha who is his beloved.
For a full appreciation of the love between Radha and Krishna, the Bengali poet-saints have composed numerous songs. In this one, it is Radha who speaks:
How can I describe his relentless flute,
which pulls virtuous women from their homes
and drags them by their hair to Shyam
as thirst and hunger pull the doe to the snare?
Chaste ladies forget their wisdom,
and clinging vines shakes loose from their trees,
hearing that music.
Then how shall a simple dairymaid withstands its call?
Kala the puppet master leads the dance.
I can recommend two books on the topic, the first exploring the theology of Radha and Krishna as sung by the wandering saints of Bengal, the second offering a selection of poems which might be sung of an evening to recount the story of their love, and from which the example above was taken:
Edward Dimock, The Place of the Hidden Moon: Erotic Mysticism in the Vaisnava-Sahajiya Cult of Bengal
Edward Dimock and Denise Levertov, In Praise of Krishna: Songs from the Bengali