Thursday, 11 August 2011

Jayadeva (1090-1159)

Jayadeva (1090-1159) was born in Bindubilva (Orissa) and later lived in Vangadesha (Bengal) in King Laxmana Sena’s court.  His wife was Padmaavati. They were a  loving couple.  While he was writing and singing Raadha-Krishna’s pranayaleelas in his ‘Geeta Govindam’.  Padmaavati used to interpret them in dance.  Geeta Govindam has twenty-four Ashtapadis.  When he was writing the 19th Ashtapadi, one line disturbed him much, ‘Smaragarala Khandanam mama sirasi mandalam, dehi padapallava mudaaram’.  Here he felt it was not right to write words which imply pushing of Krishna’s head by Satyabhama’s foot.  How can she insult God?  So he struck off the line. But when he went to the river for a bath, Lord Krishna came in his form, re-wrote the same line,  the food served by Padmaavati and disappeared. Hence this 19th Ashtapadi was called Darshana Ashtapadi.

King Laxmana Sena’s wife was jealous of Padmaavati’s love and attachment to Jayadeva.  She wanted to test Padmaavati’s Pativratyam. She told her that Jayadeva was bitten by a snake in the garden when walking with the king. 
Hearing this Padmaavati instantly fell dead. Jayadeva came back, prayed to god and recited the 19th Ashtapadi. At once his wife got up as if from sleep.  Hence this 19th Ashtapadi was also called ‘Sanjeevana Ashtapadi’. 
Geeta Govinda is mainly Shringaramaya, but scholars consider its essence is Vedanta and Radha-Krishna’s pranayasandhana is Jeeva Brahamaika Sandhaana (union).  His Ragas were Maalava, Gujrari, Vaasantha, Ramakriya, Deshavaarali, Gunakar Bhairavi, Vibhaasa and Varali.  Other Ashtapadis like Chandrasekara Saraswati Swaami’s Shivaastapadi, Raamakavi’s Raamashatpadi, Venkatamakhi’s Tyagaraajeshwara Ashtapadi, Skandashtapadi Geetasundaram, etc., followed Jayadeva’s style of writing.  Mysore Kalavaveeraraju literally followed Geeta Govinda and wrote ‘Sangeeta Gangadhara’; Parvati and  Parameshwara being nayika and nayaka.  Jayadeva also wrote Chandra aalokam, Ratimanjari, Kaarakavadam and Tatvachintamani.
Ashthapadis are used in Oddisi, Kuchipudi, Keralanatyam and Bharathanatyam.  Different ragas and different talas are used in different places.  Jayadeva wrote about his kavitha in this way.  ‘Honey from the flowers cannot equal the sweetness of Jayadeva’s kavitha.  His words will give not only sringararasa, but also samastha subhas to the world’.
Article by : S. K. Rajamanichari
Source: Bhavan's Journal 31 July 2006
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