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Sanskrit (Samskritam) Literature - Gita Govinda



* 5 Aug 2022
Geeta Govinda (Gitagovinda) by Saint Poet Jayadeva is a medieval text of a Dance-Drama in Sanskrit. Though medieval in dating as it was written during the 12th Century A.D., yet it was highly modern in terms of its contents and presentation. Jayadeva gifted the character of Radha to Sanskrit literature.

The first dated manuscript comes from Nepal (1248 A.D.). Geeta Govinda was sung in Vaishnavite Centres of Patan in Gujrat at the end of 13th Century.
Manank of Gujrat and Rana Kumbha from Rajasthan wrote major commentaries on Gita Govinda.

Whereas some commentaries, such as by the Goswamis, understood the Gita Govinda purely as a theological work, there are others by Rana Kumbha of Rashika Priya Tika, which comprehended and interpreted the work as an Alankar Text dealing with Alankar, Nayak and Nayika Veda. A few other commentaries looked at the text of Gita Govinda as an work of erotica and grouped it with Kama Shastra and Koka Shastra.

The Gita Govinda was taken in performing arts as an work of purely musical excellence dealing with different ragas, talas and chhandas. Gita Govinda was also taken as a Dance Drama and it also induced many works of dramatized prose dealing with the theme of love between Radha and Krishna.

The scripture Gitagovinda of Jayadeva centres round the conjoined love episode of Radha and Krsna. According to Shri Rama Krishna Paramahansa, “As a devotee cannot live without God, so also God cannot live without His devotee. The devotee becomes the sweetness and God its enjoyer. The devotee becomes the lotus and God the bee. It is also the God-head that has become all these in order to enjoy its own Bliss. That is the significance of the episode of Radha and Krsna”. According to one school of Vaisnava religion, the supreme God Himself became Radha and Krsna to enjoy the bliss of their mutual union.
Source: Geeta Govinda - Its Place in History by Dr. Ajit Kumar Tripathy, magazines.odisha.gov.in, 2014


* 5 Aug 2022
Poet Jayadeva is supposed to have lived during the reign of king Raghav Dev, second son of Chodaganga Dev (2256-70) and to have written his Geeta Govinda in the latest part of the twelfth century.
Source: Odissi and the Geeta Govinda by Ileana Citaristi


* 5 Aug 2022
In the year 1792 William Jones translated “Gita Govinda’’ written in Sanskrit by Jaya Deva into English.
Source: gktoday.in


* 6 Aug 2022
Srikrishnakirtan by the Bengali poet Chandi Dasa (15th century) is one of the first Bengali translations of the Gita Govinda.
Source: Odissi and the Geeta Govinda by Ileana Citaristi


* 6 Aug 2022
According to the Madalapanji it was Kavi Narasimha Deva (1278-1309) who initiated the practice of singing the Geeta Govinda in the temple. An Oriya engraving dated 1499 on the temple wall mentions Prataparudra Deva, a Gajapati ruler ordering the telinga sampradaya and the Oriya dancing girls to render verses from the Geeta Govinda only in front of Jagannath as well as Bada Thakur (Balabhadra).
Source: Odissi and the Geeta Govinda by Ileana Citaristi