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Git govind large.jpg
Jaydeva worships Vishnu.
Born est. 1200
East India
Died Odisha, India
Philosophy Vaishnava
Literary works Gita Govinda

Jayadeva (Sanskrit: [dʒəjəˈd̪eːʋə]) (odia:ଜୟଦେବ) a Sanskrit poet c. 1200. He is most known for his composition, the epic poem Gita Govinda, which depicts the divine love of Krishna, and his consort, Radha. This poem, which presents the view that Radha is greater than Hari, is considered an important text in the Bhakti movement of Hinduism.[1]


Jayadeva Pitha, Kenduli Village (Kendu Vilwa)
Basohli painting (c. 1730) depicting a scene from Jayadeva's Gita Govinda.

A Brahmin by birth, the date and place of Jayadeva's birth are uncertain (see Jayadeva birth controversy). Based on a reading of the text of his work, either the village of the village of Kenduli Sasan in Odisha or the village of Jayadeva Kenduli in Bengal are likely candidates though another Kenduli in Mithila is also a possibility.[2] Recent studies show scholars still disagree on the issue.[3] Jayadeva, a wanderer, probably visited Puri at some point and there, according to tradition, he married a dancer named Padmavati though that is not supported by early commentators and modern scholars.[2]

The poet's parents were named Bhojadeva and Ramadevi. From temple inscriptions it is now known that Jayadeva received his education in Sanskrit poetry from a place called Kurmapataka, possibly near Konark in Odisha.[4][5]

Historical records on Jayadeva's life

Inscriptions at Lingaraj temple, and the more recently discovered Madhukeswar temple and Simhachal temple that were read and interpreted by Satyanarayan Rajaguru have shed some light on Jayadeva's early life. These inscriptions narrate how Jayadeva had been a member of the teaching faculty of the school at Kurmapataka. He might have studied there as well. It must have been right after his childhood education in Kenduli Sasan that he left for Kurmapataka and gained experience in composing poetry, music and dancing.[4][5][6]

Literary contributions

Main article: Works of Jayadeva

Jayadeva was instrumental in popularizing the Dasavatara, the ten incarnations of Vishnu in another composition, Dasakritikrite. Furthermore, the classic Tribhangi (threefold) posture of Krishna playing the flute gained popularity due to him.[citation needed]

Two hymns, possibly composed by Jayadeva, have been incorporated in the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikh religion. The hymns are written in a mixture of Sanskrit and eastern Apabhramsa.[7] There are records narrating how Jayadeva's work had a profound influence on Guru Nanak during his visit to Puri.[8][9][10]

He also institutionalized the Devadasi system in Oriya temples. Devadasis were women dancers specially dedicated to the temple deity, and as a result of the great poet's works, Oriya temples began to incorporate a separate Natamandira, or dance hall, within their precincts for Odissi performances.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Miller, Barbara Stoler (1977). Love song of the dark lord : Jayadeva's Gitagovinda. Columbia University Press. 
  3. ^ Reddy, William M. (2012). The Making of Romantic Love: Longing and Sexuality in Europe, South Asia and Japan 900-1200. University of Chicago Press. 
  4. ^ a b The Orissa Historical Research Journal. Superintendent of Research and Museum. 1993. 
  5. ^ a b Harish Chandra Das; State Level Vyasakabi Fakir Mohan Smruti Samsad (2003). The cultural heritage of Khurda. State Level Vyasakabi Fakir Mohan Smruti Samsad. 
  6. ^ Angelika Malinar; Johannes Beltz; Heiko Frese (1 September 2004). Text and context in the history, literature, and religion of Orissa. Manohar. ISBN 978-81-7304-566-0. 
  7. ^ Dass, Nirmal. Songs of the Saints from the Adi Granth. State University of New York Press. p. 130. ISBN 978-0791446836. 
  8. ^ Encyclopaedia of Education, Culture and Children's Literature: v. 3. Indian culture and education. Deep & Deep Publications. 2009. pp. 49–. ISBN 978-81-8450-150-6. 
  9. ^ Harish Dhillon (1 January 2010). Guru Nanak. Indus Source. pp. 88–. ISBN 978-81-88569-02-1. 
  10. ^ Navtej Sarna (1 April 2009). THE BOOK OF NANAK. Penguin Books Limited. pp. 33–. ISBN 978-81-8475-022-5. 

External links