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Hindi - Words and music by Pradip Nitnavare

There is a story in Hindu mythology about the King Baliraja, who is also known as Maha Bali, the benevolent ruler whose kingdom was so extensive, due to his righteous reign, that his popularity threatened the gods. Vishnu, the supreme deity, wanted to guarantee that all would worship only him. He played a trick on Baliraja, knowing that the king had a reputation for extreme generosity. Appearing to him in the form of the dwarf, Vamana, he asked Baliraja for as much land as he could cross in three steps. Having been granted this request, he then revealed his gigantic size, taking two steps to claim the earth and heaven. In order to fulfill his promise, Baliraja offered his own head for the third step, so that he was pushed down into patala, the netherworld. In some commentaries on the story, Baliraja’s action is seen as a testament to his humble righteousness and devotion, despite being deceived and insulted. Vishnu is said to have rewarded this devotion by allowing Baliraja to come back to earth once a year to see his beloved subjects, and this is celebrated by people of all religions in the state of Kerala during the festival of Onam.

The story took on new meaning through the writings of Jyotirao Phule (1827-1890) who was an activist, writer and social reformer from Maharashtra, India. He and his wife, Savitribai Phule (who is also remembered as the first Indian woman school teacher) worked together as pioneers to further the education of girls, and Dalit children. Phule is given credit for adopting the Sanskrit term Dalit (oppressed,crushed) as the name for the people groups of India who have historically been considered ‘outcastes’ and fall outside the traditional Indo-Aryan four-fold caste system. Jyotirao and Savitribai supported widow remarriage, and sought to end female infanticide along with the stigma of “untouchability.” In 1873, they founded an organization called Satya Shodhak Samaj (The Society for the Seekers of Truth), which focused on bringing equal rights to the depressed classes. In recent decades, inspired by the Phules, who saw a connection between the figures of Baliraja and Jesus, some Yeshu bhaktas (devotees of Christ), who are connected with liberation movements among Dalits, refer to Jesus as Baliraja, the “sacrificial king.”

The Scriptures speak of the character of Satguru Yeshu in Philippians chapter 2, verses 5-8:
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross!” - M.S.

lyrics

Baliraja, Baliraja
Sacrificial King, Sacrificial King

Swarga se utar aaya Baliraja
Down from heaven came the Sacrificial King

1. Sansar ka swami Baliraja
Lord of the World, Sacrificial King

Dina ho gaya Baliraja
Became poor, Sacrificial King

2. Daasa ka rup liya Baliraja
Took the form of a servant, Sacrificial King

Mrityu par vijay hua Baliraja
Victory over death, Sacrificial King

3. Moksha diya tune Baliraja
You gave Salvation, Sacrificial King

Paapo ko hara liya Baliraja
Took away sins, Sacrificial King

Song No. 37 from the Kshama Sagar Bhakti Mala (Songbook)

credits

from Bhakti Geet - Volume One, released June 22, 2017
Vocals - Miranda Stone and Chris Hale
Guitar - Chris Hale
Tabla - Miranda Stone
Harmonium - Luke Parker
Sitar - Duke Vipperman
Bass Guitar - Chris Padiath

Mixing and mastering - Ed Hanley
Recorded live on June 24th, 2016

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Yeshu Satsang Toronto Toronto, Ontario

In India, Yeshu is Hindi for “Jesus.” Satsang means “gathering of the truth.” Typically, satsangs in India are gatherings of people who worship together, often using devotional songs called bhajans and kirtans. You are invited to join us! We meet once a month and you can find out about our monthly satsangs at facebook.com/YeshuSatsangToronto - Christopher Dicran Hale and Miranda Stone ... more

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