Brides of God
Series exploring spiritual themes. Musician Jahnavi Harrison interweaves music, prose and poetry in a celebration of women who choose to dedicate their lives entirely to God.
Musician Jahnavi Harrison interweaves music, prose and poetry in a celebration of the women who choose to dedicate their lives entirely to God.
She explains that she has always been fascinated what it is that drives a woman to leave behind worldly affairs and adopt a life of seclusion and near-constant prayer. Though the tradition is timeless, with today's calls for feminine independence and gender equality the choice to be a nun feels just as radical and relevant as it might have in the past.
Jahnavi explores the life of Emahoy Maryam Tsegue-Gebroue, an Ethiopian nun whose prodigious talent as a pianist has led to her records being adored all over the world. We also meet the "maharis", Indian temple dancers who were dedicated at a young age, considered to be brides of God, taking part in a wedding ceremony and wearing all the markings of married women.
With readings from the 13th century Christian mystic Mechtild of Magdeburg, St Saint Clare of Assisi, the Bhagavad Gita and ancient Buddhist poetry from the Therigatha and music including the work of Christian polymath Hildegard of Bingen, The Flamingos and Yamuna Devi.
Presenter: Jahnavi Harrison
Producer: Max O'Brien
A TBI Media production for BBC Radio 4.
Title: A Fish Connor Drown in Water
Author: Mechtild of Magdeburg, Jane Hirshfield (trans)
Davids (trans), K.R.Norman (trans)
Title: Poems of Early Buddhist Nuns (Therigatha, Psalms of the Sisters and Elders Verses II)
Publisher: Pali English Text Society
Title: The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 5, Verse 24
Author: Juan Mascaro (trans)
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Title: When You Have Loved, You Shall Be Chaste
Author: Clare of Assisi, Regis J. Armstrong (trans), Ignatius C. Brady (trans)
Publisher: Paulist Press
Title: Gita Govinda
Author: Jayadeva, Jahnavi Harrison (trans)