Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gita-Govinda of Jayadeva - A Literary Observation : Dr. Harekrishna Meher

Research Article By : Dr. Harekrishna Meher
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Sanskrit literature is very prosperous with the tradition of sweet lyric poems. In comparison to prose, Gīti or Song has some distinct attractive and appealing feature that directly touches the core of the heart of connoisseurs. Starting from Meghadūta kāvya of Kālidāsa, the lyric poems in classical literature enjoy a prominent position in the pen of some eminent poets. Compositions such as Moha-Mudgara and Bhaja-Govindam of Adi Śańkarāchārya enhance the beauty of Sanskrit lyric tradition with their melodious structure. To the arena of lyric poetry, a twelfth-century poet, Jayadeva has unique contribution in his nectar-showering pen. 

Jayadeva is one among the distinguished revered poets of Orissa who has been immortal for his Sanskrit work. Born in the village Kenduvilva on the bank of River Prāchī, Jayadeva, a great devotee of Lord Jagannātha and the loving husband of Padmāvatī, wrote such a marvellous kāvya that delights the people even in the present age with its literary loveliness and musical splendour.

Gīta-Govinda of Poet Jayadeva is a great creation depicting the eternal love-story of Rādhā and Krishna. Conglomeration of Sāhitya, Sańgīta and Kalā (literature, music and art) are simultaneously preserved in this kāvya. Sańgīta consists of Nritya, Gīta and Vādya (Dance, Song and Musical Sound). Odissi Dance and Odissi Sańgīta have intimate and inevitable relationship with this work. Regarding own lyric poem, the poet himself writes :

“Yad gāndharva-kalāsu kauśalamanu dhyānam cha yad vaishņavam,
Yachchhrińgāra-viveka-sāramapi yat kāvyeshu līlāyitam /
Tat sarvam Jayadeva-paņđita-kaveh Krishņaika-tānātmanah,
Sānandam pariśodhayantu sudhiyah Śrī-Gīta-Govindatah // ”
(GG. XII / 12).

Jayadeva’s Gīta-Govinda is a masterpiece of lyrical composition that has been bestowing literary taste and aesthetic pleasure captivating ears and minds of the lovers of Sanskrit. Path of Devotion of the Vaishnavites, Musical Excellence of the devotees of Gāndharva Art and Relish of erotic sentiment for the connoisseurs of literature – all these are found intermingled in this kāvya.

From the Vedic literature till today’s literary compositions, human behaviour is attributed to nature and Nature’s behaviour is attributed to the human beings. Every poet, somehow or other, is inclined to delineate Nature, Prakriti, in own style and presentation. In Jayadeva’s work, Nature finds a place of special importance and recognition.

In the very beginning of Gīta-Govinda, Nature is seen vividly delineated. Jayadeva expresses the matter by saying :

“Meghair meduramambaram vana-bhuvah śyāmāstamāla-drumair
Naktam bhīrurayam tvameva tadimam Rādhe ! griham prāpaya /
Ittham Nanda-nideśataśchalitayoh pratyadhva-kuñja-drumam
Rādhā-Mādhavayor jayanti Yamunā-kūle rahah kelayah // ”
(GG. I / 1).

‘The sky is encompassed by clouds.
With the hue of Tamāla trees
darksome appear the sites of woods.
This dear Kāhnā
feels very timid at night.
O Rādhā ! You therefore please
accompany him to reach home aright.’
Thus by the words of King Nanda,
stepped ahead both Rādhā and Mādhava
towards the tree of bowers on the way.
Glory to their plays of love, secret and gay,
on the bank of river Yamunā.’

(English Translation By : Dr. Harekrishna Meher)

Poet Jayadeva announces the word ‘Megha’ (Cloud) which is a prime feature of Nature and the simile of Lord Krishna who is well-known as ‘Ghana-Śyāma’, darkish as Cloud. In the first śloka of the kāvya, it is found that several facets of Nature such as Cloud, Sky, Tamāla Trees, Night and Yamunā River have been illustrated. Moreover, all these aspects are blackish by nature and very similar to the dark-bodied Krishna. It may be undoubtedly stated that the poet has consciously used these aspects of Nature to beautifully enhance the literary value as well as the glory of Krishna who is akin to them.

Further the depiction of darkness is amalgamated with the projection of pleasurable play of Rādhā and Krishna. Rādhā is internally understood as ‘Chit Śakti’, the Divine Power of Knowledge and Consciousness in the form of Light that dispels the murky veil of ignorance in the heart of the mundane beings.

Contextual descriptions of cloud, sky, trees such as Tamāla and creepers such as Labańga, gentle zephyr, cuckoos, mango-blossoms, spring season, Moon, darkness, ocean and the like facets of Nature are found in a very impressive manner.

Among various aspects of Nature, Flower is depicted as a prime symbol of beauty and love in literary works of many poets. Jayadeva is not an exception in this matter. In Gīta-Govinda, 
a beautiful Flowery Figure of Rādhā has been revealed by her lover Krishna in a verse of Canto-X :
“Bandhūka-dyuti-bāndhavo’yam adharah snigdho Madhūkachchhavir
Gaņđaś Chaņđi ! chakāsti nīla-Nalina-śrī-mochanam lochanam /
Nāsābhyeti Tila-prasūna-padavīm Kundābha-danti Priye !
Prāyas tvan-mukha-sevayā vijayate viśvam sa Pushpāyudhah // ”
(GG. X / 6).

Here Krishna addresses her beloved with sweet loving words. Rādhā’s limbs have been said to have acquired the loveliness of several flowers. Her lips bear the beauty of Bandhūka flower. Her cheeks have the lustres of Madhuka flower. Her eyes manifest the beauty of blue lotuses. Her nose has the stature of Tila flower. Her teeth have the radiance of Kunda flower. With these five flowers resting in her fine face, the flower-shafted love-god Cupid verily conquers the universe. Such expression of floral ornamentation is really remarkable and worth-mentioning.

Descriptions of Mādhavī creeper, Varuna tree, Nāgakeśara flower, Kimśuka (Palāśa) flower, Bakula flower, Vanamālikā, Atimuktaka creeper, Mango tree, Betasa creeper-bower, lotus, Kuravaka flower and the like are contextually observed in this kāvya and these matters reflect an intimate relationship with Nature. Portrayal of Nature with an ecological perspective can also be marked in discussion of several figures of speech, sentiment and literary metres.

A popular verse found in Classical Sanskrit literature about the significance of some epical qualities runs thus : 
“Upamā Kālidāsasya Bhāraverartha-gauravam /
Naishadhe pada-lālityam Māghe santi trayo guņāh //” 

Appreciably special significance is the Simile of Kālidāsa, Gravity of Meaning of Bhāravi, Grace of Diction of Poet Śrīharsha, the author of Naishadha Mahākāvya and the combination of these three epical attributes is seen in Māgha-kāvya, known as Śiśupālavadha-kāvya of Poet Māgha. Such remarks are maintained in case of Mahākāvyas or epic poems. But in case of Gīti-kāvya or Lyric poem, Pada-Lālitya or Grace of Diction reigns supreme in the excellent composition of Jayadeva’s Gīta-Govinda. The poet speaks of the special qualities of his own writing in the verse: 
“Madhura-Komala-Kānta-Padāvalīm” (GG 1 / 3). 

This kāvya is endowed with sweet, soft and beautiful words. Musical affluence, serenity, rhythmic eloquence, lucidity, emotional touch and sweetness of meaning are the fine features of this lyric poem. Considering all these matters, it may not be inappropriate to proclaim : “Govinde Pada-Lālityam.”

Grace of diction (Pada-Lālitya) is mostly found in Alańkāras, the Figures of speech such as Anuprāsa (alliteration) and Yamaka. If a consonant is used repeatedly, it forms Anuprāsa, so alliteration, and if certain letters having consonants and vowels are repeated serially with the same consonants and vowels, Yamaka Alańkāra is maintained there. Viśvanātha Kavirāja in Chapter-X of his ‘Sāhitya-Darpaņa’ has thrown much light on numerous Alańkāras along with the related matters.

Gīta-Govinda is a treasure-trove of lyrical jewels. In every line of this kāvya, Alliteration with end-rhymes in the songs is exquisite with definite designs. Pada-Lālitya is seen abundantly with sweet, delicate and beautiful words. Some verses are being presented here as instances. In description of Spring season, very popular lines are :
“Lalita-labańga-latā-pariśīlana-komala-malaya-samīre /
Madhukara-nikara-karambita-kokila-kūjita-kuñja-kuţīre //
Viharati Haririha sarasa-vasante /
Nrityati yuvati-janena samam sakhi ! virahi-janasya durante // ”
(GG. I / 3/1 ).

Contextually in other place, depiction of Spring is found in the following verse :
krīđat-kokila-kākalī-kalakalair udgīrņa-karņa-jvarāh /
Nīyante pathikaih katham kathamapi dhyānāvadhāna-kshaņa-
prāpta-prāņa-samā-samāgama-rasollāsairamī vāsarāh // ”
(GG. I / 9).

Here the consonants ‘m’, ‘dh’, ‘k’, ‘r’, ‘l’, ‘n’, ‘th’, ‘p’, ‘s’,’m’ etc. have been used repeatedly and as such Alliteration is distinctly seen. Yamaka is observed with the word ‘kara’ found in the words ‘madhukara’, ‘nikara’ and ‘karambita’. Also with the word ‘samā’ found in the words ‘Prāņa-samā-samāgama’.

In the above-mentioned two verses, the delineation of Spring season is supported with cuckoos, black bees, mango-blossoms, Labańga creepers, gentle zephyr, delicate pleasure-bowers and the like. So with these aspects, a nice portrayal of Nature is conspicuously obtained along with the human feelings and sentiment of ‘Śrińgāra’.

Aspects of Nature such as Cloud, Mountain, Moon and Chakora bird are seen exemplified in a song of Canto-I. Here Upamā, Rūpaka and Anuprāsa Alańkāras are clearly noticed in the context of praise and worship of Lord Vishņu. The lovely song addressed to Hari appears thus :

“Abhinava-Jaladhara-sundara ! Dhrita-Mandara e /
Śrī-mukha-Chandra-Chakora ! Jaya Jaya Deva Hare ! // ”
(GG. 1 / 2 / 7).

The meaning of this song is : “O Hari ! Handsome like a newly appeared Cloud ! O Holder of Mandara mountain ! O Chakora Bird for the Moon in the form of face of Goddess Lakshmī ! Victory toYour Supreme Self.” In the line “Jaya Jaya Deva Hare” the name of Poet Jayadeva is hidden and it is understood with a pun.

Upamā (Simile) Alańkāra is observed here, because Hari has similarity with comely darkish Cloud (Jaladhara) in appearance. Cloud is ‘Upamāna’ and Hari is ‘Upameya’. Further Rūpaka Alańkāra is found here while Hari is described as a Chakora Bird and Lakshmī’s face as the Moon. In this case of Rūpaka, Upamāna is directly placed in Upameya with ‘abheda āropa’. Besides, in the wording of this sweet song, repetition of consonants such as ‘n’, ‘d’, ‘r’ and ‘ch’ etc. manifests the sweet alliterative design that conspicuously confirms Anuprāsa Alańkāra. Along with these figures of speech, Hari’s hearty love for Lakshmī is indicated in the song.

In other context also, a fine illustration of Nature is observed. Just after the arrival of night, Moon-rise is so beautifully and attractively presented in graceful words of the poet that the verse remains ever-ringing in the ears. The concerned verse appears thus :

“Atrāntare cha kulaţā-kula-vartma-pāta-
Sañjāta-pātaka iva sphuţa-lāñchhana-śrīh /
Dik-sundarī-vadana-chandana-bindur induh // ”
(GG. VII / 1).

Here Moon is depicted as a big dot of sandal paste on the forehead of the Direction-Damsel. The Moon, with own delicate cool rays, illuminates the inner area of Vrindāvana and is said to have borne stain (kalańka), because of the sin caused by own appearance , as a hindrance, on the path of the whores who are inclined to go to their lovers secretly in the deep darkness of night. Here the figures of speech, namely Anuprāsa, Yamaka, Utprekshā, Kāvyalińga and Rūpaka are marked intertwined in the verse.

In the first and second lines, the consonants ‘t’, ‘r’, ‘p’, ‘s’ repeatedly used form Anuprāsa. Also the letters ‘ñja’ and ‘ñcha’ having same ‘cha’ varga of alphabet come under the purview of Anuprāsa. In the third line also, consonants ‘v’, ‘n’, ‘d’ are found repeated and thus form Alliteration. In the fourth line, very sweet words are used having the consonants ‘n’, ‘d’ and ‘r’. So a melodious feature of the verse is automatically maintained. In the first line, the word ‘kula’ twice used, one cut off from the word ‘kulatā’ and another the total word ‘kula’ maintained serially having the letters that are consonant ‘k’, vowel ‘u’, consonant ‘l’ and vowel ‘a’ form Yamaka Alańkāra.

Further the Moon is personified and is depicted as a fellow who has as if acquired sin. So the word ‘iva’ though normally meant for Upamā (simile), here speaks of Utprekshā where ‘asambhava-kalpanā’ is presented. The cause of acquiring sin is that Moon is not helpful, rather inimical doing obstacles or harm to the whores, when they are ready to secretly go to their lovers at night. But Moon with own rays discards the darkness on their path and appears as an impediment to their secret visit to the lovers and hence bears a clear stain on his body as a mark of that sin. Therefore Kāvyalińga Alańkāra is observed here.

Besides, Rūpaka Alańkāra is clearly found here, because Direction (Dik) is depicted as a beautiful dame and Moon is directly delineated to be a big dot of sandal paste (chandana-bindu) on her forehead. In both the cases of Direction and Moon, metaphor has been given and not simile. As such all these Alańkāras inserted collectively form ‘Sańkara’ and ‘Samsrishti’ Alańkāra, as each of them can be traced in the said verse. Such are some examples. Further several figures of speech can be determined in different contexts. All such applications of epical attributes display the dexterity of the poet in this Gīti-kāvya.

Gīta-Govinda comprises twelve Cantos (Sargas), twenty-four Songs and seventy-two Ślokas. All the Sargas are designed with various melodious Rāgas or Tunes such as Mālava, Gurjarī, Vasanta, Rāmakerī, Deśa, Guņakarī, Gauđa-mālava, Karņāţaka, Barādī, Deśa-Barādī, Bhairavī, Vibhāsa etc. along with different (Tāla) musical modes such as Rūpaka, Yati, Ekatālī, Pratimaņţha, Āđava etc. having Ashţapadīs.

‘Vaidarbhī’ Rīti is observed in this sweet lyrical composition of Jayadeva. Having long Samāsas ‘Gaudi’ Rīti is also found intermingled. Profusion of ‘Prasāda’ and ‘Mādhurya’ Guņas delights the heart of the readers and listeners. Here Style of presentation bears the amalgamation of dramatic and epical approach. The poet has used various Rāgas in mātrā-chhanda ‘metre’. In the midst, some traditional metres ‘varņa-chhandas’ are found inserted. Therefore this Gītikāvya Gīta-Govinda is a wonderful and beautiful blend of both kinds of metres ‘varņa-chhanda’ and ‘mātrā-chhanda’, also of dramatic and lyrical presentations. The Varņa-chhandas used in this kāvya are Śardūla-vikrīđitam, Vasanta-Tilakā, Druta-Vilambita, Vamsastha, Śikhariņī, Prithvī, Sragdharā, Upendravajrā, Mālinī, Hariņī, Pushpitāgrā and Anushţup. The poet has used mātrā-chhanda mainly “Āryā” and several lyrical chhandas in his innovation and musical muse. Poring upon the arrangement of Sargas, use of traditional Chhandas, Rasas and depiction of picturesque view of Nature etc., Gīta-Govinda, though a unique Gītikāvya in its genre, can be included in the category of Mahākāvya also.

Western scholars have given different opinions about the design of Gīta-Govinda kāvya. In this regard, A.B. Keith in his ‘A History of Sanskrit Literature’ (p. 191) refers to some scholars. William Jones calls Gīta-Govinda as a little pastoral drama, Lassen styles it as a lyric drama, Schroeder regards it as a refined Yātrā. Pischel and Levi place it in the category between song and drama. Further Pischel styles it as a melodrama.

In Indian tradition, it is marked that Jayadeva has combined both traditional chhandas and lyrical tunes along with a dramatic structure. So amalgamation of these three qualities establishes this kāvya as a wonderful literary creation. As the lyrical melodious tune dominates in this kāvya, modern scholars like Abhiraja Rajendra Mishra describe it as the most ancient rāga-kāvya from which the tradition of rāga-kāvya has emerged. Hence deliberating on various views, it may be opined that Gīta-Govinda is a unique Gīti-kāvya or Rāga-kāvya with its own peerless design.

Sweetness and gravity of meaning are indeed appreciable in a verse where Rādhā is depicted as an embodiment of Rasas present in the earthly region. Here the divine damsels namely, Madālasā, Indumatī, Manoramā, Rambhā, Kalāvatī and Chitralekhā are mentioned and understood with the depiction of Ślesha Alańkāra, the Pun.

The word “Prithvī” means ‘Earth’ and is also mentioned through Mudrālańkāra that indicates “Prithvī” chhanda in the said verse which runs as follows :

“Driśau tava Madālase vadanam Indumatyānvitam,
Gatir jana-Manoramā vidhuta-Rambham ūru-dvayam /
Ratis tava Kalāvatī ruchira-Chitralekhe bhruvā-
Vaho vibudha-yauvatam vahasi tanvi ! Prithvī-gatā // ”
(GG. X / 7).

Contextually this verse is told by Krishna to Rādhā. Its meaning is : “Your eyes are dizzy with maddening attribute (Madālasā). Your face is effulgent having the comeliness of moonbeam (Indumatī). Your gait gladdens mind of all the beings (Manoramā). Your thighs bear the feature of plantain tree (Rambhā). Your love is embellished with art (Kalāvatī). Your brows have lovely lines of paintings (Chitralekhā). O Slim-limbed beloved ! when you step on earth, you bear all the exuberance of divine damsels adorning the region of gods.” Here enchanting is the presentation of pun so sweetly and witfully inserted in the concerned verse composed in ‘Prithvī’ chhanda having definition : “Jasau jasa-yalā vasu-graha-yatiścha Prithvī guruh.” 

Similarly in another place, an example of Varņa-chhanda “Upendravajrā” appears very charming and appealing in the context of Rādhā’s pangs of separation. A maiden-friend of Rādhā contextually tells Krishna in the concerned verse as follows : 

“Smarāturām Daivata-vaidya-hridya !
Tvadańga-sańgāmrita-mātra-sādhyām /
Vimukta-bādhām kurushe na Rādhām
Upendra ! vajrādapi dāruņo’si // ”
( GG. IV / 4).

The meaning is : “O Krishna ! You noble self like the divine doctor ! All the illness of Cupid-stricken Rādhā can be cured only by the ambrosia of your loving embrace. If you do not make her free from this grief, then O Upendra ! you are really very cruel more than the thunderbolt.”

This verse is composed in ‘Upendravajrā’ metre and the definition of this chhanda is: “Upendravajrā jatajāstato gau.” Here the poet mentions the name ‘Upendravajrā’ that with a pun implies the traditional Sanskrit metre, along with the desired theme. Vyatireka Alankāra is found here, because Krishna (Upameya) is regarded as a cruel person more than the thunderbolt (Upamāna).

Again a chhanda named ‘Pushpitāgrā’ is observed in Mudrālańkāra in a verse where Rādhā’s maiden-friend speaks to Krishna :

“ Kshaņamapi virahah purā na sehe
Nayana-nimīlana-khinnayā yayā te /
Śvasiti kathamasau rasāla-śākhām
Chira-viraheņa vilokya Pushpitāgrām // ”
(GG. IV / 6).

This verse explains : “O Krishna ! In the by-gone days, Rādhā was unable to endure your separation, by the grief caused by closing of eyes, and now how can she tolerate having sighs the long estrangement looking at the mango-branch having blossoms at the top ?”

The said verse is written in ‘Pushpitāgrā’ chhanda whose definition is “Ayuji nayuga-rephato ya-kāro, Yuji cha na jau jaragāścha Pushpitāgrā.” The poet has directly used the word ‘Pushpitāgrā’(having blossoms at the top) as an adjective of mango-branch, and with a pun, it indicates the concerned Sanskrit metre.

In another place, name of Sanskrit metre ‘‘Śārdūla-vikrīđitam’ is seen used with a pun. Contextually Rādhā’s lady-companion intimates Krishna about the bewildered condition of Rādhā. The verse runs thus 

“Āvāso vipināyate priyasakhī-mālāpi jālāyate,
Tāpo’pi śvasitena dāva-dahana-jvālā-kalāpāyate /
Sāpi tvad-viraheņa hanta hariņī-rūpāyate hā katham,
Kandarpo’pi Yamāyate viracayañchhārdūla-vikrīđitam // ”
(GG. IV / 2).

The meaning of the verse is : “O Krishna ! Due to pangs of separation, for Rādhā, her home appears as a forest and the group of her dear maiden-friends as a trapping net. With heavy sighs the heat of separation turns to be a vast forest-conflagration. It is a matter of severe affliction that because of your separation, she appears as a doe and Cupid, for her, has become Yama, the Lord of Death, who displays the activities of a fierce tiger.”

‘Śārdūla-Vikrīđita’ literally means playing of tiger, also is a name of Sanskrit metre whose definition is : “
Sūryāśvair masajas tatāh saguravah śārdūla-vikrīđitam.” Composing the verse in this metre, the poet has befittingly utilized both the meanings with a literary pun. Though several verses of this kāvya have been composed in this metre, the poet has distinctly illustrated this name in this context once only.

‘Rasa’ is regarded as the form of Brahman. The Upanishadic statement “Raso vai sah” succinctly manifests the Supreme Self as Blissful Relish. In rhetorical works, Rasa has been explained as ‘Brahmāsvāda-Sahodara’ (Sāhitya Darpaņa, Chapter-3 / 2). Life and literature, both are inevitably interrelated to each other. The prime sentiment of life of mundane beings is Eros. Beauty, attraction, union and creation are the series of the artistic world. Rati, erotic pleasure, is the main instinct of all the creatures of the world. Therefore ‘Śrińgāra’ is widely known as ‘Ādi Rasa’, the first sentiment enumerated in literature.

In most of the bodies of Indian temples, erotic designs are generally found, even if devotees having a heart filled with devotion to gods and goddesses enter into the sites. Such designs or depictions though externally carry some unpalatable taste in contrast with inner devotional relish, yet they symbolize duality and creation of the world with a touch of aesthetic sense in the form of Eros. Mahābhārata and other various epical compositions contextually exhibit numerous verses of erotic pleasures. Such delineations may be construed as poetic lapses in one sense, but intrinsically they portray the inevitable experiences of human life filled with feelings and emotions

‘Śrińgāra’, Eros is the prevailing sentiment of Gīta-Govinda kāvya. Both ‘Vipralambha’(Love-in-Separation) and ‘Sambhoga’(Love-in-Union)Śrińgāra have been elaborated in the entire lyrical composition. Without feeling of separation, happiness or excellence of pleasurable union cannot be experienced. The noted rhetorician Viśvanātha Kavirāja, has rightly discussed this matter in his Sāhitya-Darpaņa and has opined :
“Na vinā vipralambhena sambhogah pushţim aśnute.” (Chapter 3 / 213 ).Sans separation, love-in-union does not acquire proper nourishment. So for excellence and strong effect in Sambhoga, Vipralambha has been elucidated as an essential phenomenon in human life.

Poet Kālidāsa in his famous gītikāvya Meghadūta depicts :

“Snehānāhuh kimapi virahe dhvamsinaste tvabhogād /
Ishţe vastunyupachita-rasāh prema-rāśībhavanti // ”
(Megha. Verse 118).

During the gap of separation (Viraha), due to lack of enjoyment, relish of affections becomes enhanced, and the affections turn into accumulated love immensely enjoyable at the time of union.

In the pen of Jayadeva, Rādhā is contextually described as a ‘Virahiņī Nāyikā’ and finally she enjoys union with her eternal lover Krishna. Here Krishna is presented as Dhīrodātta Nāyaka. He enjoys pleasure with several Gopī damsels. Rādhā is Parakīyā Nāyikā. She has been contextually described as Virahotkaņţhitā, Khaņđitā, Kalahāntaritā, Abhisārikā, Vāsaka-Sajjā and Svādhīna-Bharttrikā Nāyikā. In the sensuous scenario of love, Rādhā is a lovely murmuring effulgent fountain and Krishna is the vast ocean of love. Both the lives attain supreme bliss in union only.

Ŗādhā in an inner sense is deemed as Individual Self (Jīvātmā) and Krishna as the Supreme Self (Paramātmā). The external design of eroticism gives an internal meaning of philosophical phenomenon. Rādhā is considered as ‘Prakriti’ (Primordial Matter), while Krishna is regarded as the Supreme Being ( Purusha). Union of Jīvātmā with Paramātmā, or of Prakriti with Purusha is understood here.

Poet Jayadeva clearly indicates the main theme of amorous pleasures of Śrī (Rādhā) and Vāsudeva (Krishna) in the verse :

Etam karoti Jayadeva-kavih prabandham // ”
(GG. I / 2 ).

In Sanskrit literature, ‘prabandha’ is a general term for kāvya or gīta or literary composition. Gīta-Govinda is not simply the descriptive work of erotic pleasure of Rādhā-Krishna. Here in inner perspective, humanistic, philosophical and spiritual or theistic trends of life are also observed.

Traditionally several verses of Gīta-Govinda are melodiously sung in the temple of Lord Jagannātha. In almost all the cantos of Gīta-Govinda, for Lord Krishna, the poet has befittingly used the word “Mādhava” which means Lakshmī’s husband. (‘Mā’ means ‘Goddess Lakshmī’ and ‘Dhava’ means ‘Husband’). Further, the poet has portrayed Krishna as the source of all the ten incarnations of God in other context :

“Vedānuddharate jaganti vahate bhūgolamudvibhrate,
Daityān dārayate Balim chhalayate kshatra-kshayam kurvate /
Paulastyam jayate halam kalayate kāruņyamātanvate,
Mlechchhān mūrchchhayate daśākriti-krite Krishņāya tubhyam namah //”
(GG. I / 5).

In another place, embraced by beautiful Gopī damsels, Krishna playing in Spring has been delineated as the Embodiment of ‘Śrińgāra’ Rasa. The verse is : 
“Svachchhandam vraja-sundarībhir abhitah pratyańgamālińgitah ;
Śrińgārah Sakhi ! mūrttimāniva madhau mugdho Harih krīđati // ”
(GG. I / 11).

So Bhakti (Devotion) and Rati (Erotic Pleasure) , both are beauteously blended in the inner sense of spiritual and philosophical speculations in this gīti-kāvya. Apropos of own composition, the poet himself has rightly indicated : 
“Yadi Hari-smaraņe sarasam mano
Yadi vilāsa-kalāsu kutūhalam /
Śriņu tadā Jayadeva-Sarasvatīm //”
(GG. I / 3).

Thus a marvellous and sweet admixture of both Devotion-to-God and Relish of Erotic pleasure is maintained in the melodious work of Jayadeva.

Human life attains success with four achievements (purushārtha) that are Dharma, Artha, Kāma and Moksha. Love emerges from pleasure and a pure Sāttvika thinking emanates from love. Pure thinking paves the way for attainment of God. Complete submission of Self in the Supreme Being is the salvation. Rādhā has accomplished Kāma, the mundane enjoyment. Both Rādhā and Krishna have unveiled the passionate feelings of their hearts in the context of love elaborated in Gīta-Govinda. Relish of Rasa is regarded as Brahmānanda. In this connection, the poetic delicacy of Jayadeva is remarkable indeed. His lovely words expressing sentiments of love are sweeter than all other sweet things such as madhuka-liquor, sugar, grape, nectar, milk, ripe mango and the lovely lips of beloved maiden also. Really significant is the following verse in praise of his composition :
“Sādhvī Mādhvīka ! chintā na bhavati bhavatah Śarkare ! karkarāsi,
Drākshe ! drakshyanti ke tvām Amrita ! mritamasi Kshīra ! nīram rasaste /
Mākanda ! kranda Kāntādhara ! dharaņi-talam gachchha yachchhanti yāvad,
Bhāvam śrińgāra-sārasvatamiha Jayadevasya vishvag vachāmsi //”
(GG. XII / 13). 

From the above discussions, it may be appreciated that Gīta-Govinda of Poet Jayadeva forms a glorious, magnificent and unparalleled literary asset of overflowing love in the sphere of Sanskrit literature. For its own epical, lyrical and aesthetic attributes as well as universal appeal, with heartiest endearments it will remain ever-remembered as a sweetest, excellent and eternal composition for all the lovers of literature all over the world.
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1. Gīta-Govinda-Kāvyam (Mahākavi-Jayadeva-Virachitam)
Edited By : Pandit Kedarnath Sharma.
Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office, Varanasi, 1968.

2. The Gīta-Govinda of Jayadeva (Love Song of the Dark Lord)
Editor and Translator : Barbara Stoler Miller.
Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi, 1984.

3. Kavi-Jayadeva-krita Gīta-Govinda
(With Oriya Translation of Dharanidhara).
Dharma Grantha Store, Cuttack.

4. Sāhitya-Darpaņa of Viśvanātha Kavirāja,
Edited By : Sālagrāma Sāstri.
Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi, 1977.

5. Sanskrit Sāhitya Kā Itihās,
By : Āchārya Baladeva Upādhyāya.
Sāradā Niketan, Varanasi, 1990.

6. A History of Sanskrit Literature,
By : A. B. Keith.
Oxford University Press, London, 1966.

7. The Meghadūta of Kālidāsa.
Edited By : M.R. Kale.
Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi, 1991.

8. Chhandomañjarī of Gańgādāsa.
Edited By : B.Tripathi.
Chowkhamba Surbharati Prakashan, Varanasi, 1990.

9. Contribution of Orissa to Sanskrit Literature (Vol.-I ).
By : R Panda and G.C. Nanda.
Prachya Bharati Publications, Bhubaneswar, 1994.
10. 'Mātrigītikāñjalih' (Modern Sanskrit Gitikavya)
Author : Dr. Harekrishna Meher
(Preface by Prof. Dr. Abhiraja Rajendra Mishra)
Publisher : Kalahandi Lekhak Kala Parishad, Bhawanipatna, Orissa, 1997.
= = = = = = = 
(This article was presented in the 'National Seminar on Jayadeva' held on 3-11-2008 
by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi in its Conference Hall and  has been published 
in SOUVENIR of Jayadeva Utsav-2008 organised by Odissi Akademi, Delhi.)
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Award of Appreciation to Dr. Harekrishna Meher :

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This page is magnificent.i want to know that what is the element of nature in Gita Govinda?