India (12th Century) Timeline
Yoga / Hindu : Vaishnava (Krishna/Rama)
Poems by Jayadeva
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For many in the Krishna bhakti tradition, the Gitagovinda is revered in a way similar to the Song of Songs in the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Through song, it tells of the love play, separation, and union between the God-man Krishna and the cowherdess Radha.
On an esoteric level, Radha is understood to be the individual soul that petulantly feels abandoned by God (Krishna) who, in turn, loves all souls (and is therefore accused of infidelity by Radha). But Radha finally overcomes her hurt and rejoins her lover in passionate union. Using the hugely magnetic power of desire, this bhakti classic describes a pathway to return to Oneness with the Divine.
Little can be said with historical certainty about the life of Jayadeva, though legend suggests that he was born into a Brahman family and educated in literature and sacred texts before he abandoned scholarship for the life of a sadhu, a wandering ascetic. It is said that he later married Padmavati, a high caste temple dancer, and as he wrote his masterpiece the Gitagovinda, Padmavati danced -- a dynamic play between conception and expression, mirroring the classical balance between the transcendent Male and the manifesting Female.
Jayadeva's name can be translated as "God triumphs" and he often plays with this meaning in his poetry.
A couple of Jayadeva's songs are also gathered in the Sikh holy book The Adi Granth.
Poems by Jayadeva
- Raga Gujri
- Raga Maru
- My heart values his vulgar ways (from The Gitagovinda)
- When he quickens all things (from The Gitagovinda)
- When spring came, tender-limbed Radha wandered (from The Gitagovinda)
- You rest on the circle of Sri's breast (from The Gitagovinda)
Gita Govinda - Digital General Collection
The complete text of the Gita Govinda in scanned form.
Gita Govindam of Jayadeva
Several selections of the Gita Govinda along with an introduction.
Jayadeva - Wikipedia
Short biography and literary exploration of Jayadeva's works.