Synopses & Reviews
Jayadeva, wandering king of bards
Who sing at Padmavati's lotus feet,
Was obsessed in his heart
By rhythms of the goddess of speech,
And he made this lyrical poem
From tales of the passionate play
When Krishna loved Sri.
Jayadeva's dramatic lyrical poem Gitagovinda is a unique work in Indian literature and a source of religious inspiration in both medieval and contemporary Vaishnavism. This volume presents a translation of this exquisite work, which concentrates on the god Krishna's love for the cowherdess Radha in a rite of spring. Intense earthly passion is the example Jayadeva uses to express the complexities of divine and human love.
Although the poem originated in eastern India in the twelfth century and remains most popular there, it spread throughout the subcontinent in the centuries following its composition. Its songs are an important part of Indian devotional music and literature, and the poem is a major subject in medieval Rajput painting.