Gita Govindam, lyrical poetry in Sanskrit celebrating the love between Krishna and the gopis, specifically Radha, is authored by Jayadeva, the 12th century devotee-poet from Orissa. The basis for this work is the 5 chapters 29 to 33 of Srimadbhagavatam (known as Rasapanchadhyaayi) which describe the events leading to the rasaleela, the great dance on the banks of the Yamuna where each gopi thinks that Krishna is with her. Srimadbhagavatam, however, does not specifically talk about a gopi named Radha though Radha is described as the very heart of Krishna in some of the other Puranas.
above theme has been developed in Gita Govindam to such an extent that
it is known as ‘Sringara Mahakavya’
wherein the predominant sentiment is sringara
(erotic sentiment) in all its various moods in relation to the divine love
between Radha and Krishna. The ecstasy of union, the agony of separation, the anxious moments
of wait for the loved one are all treated with sensitivity and poetic
excellence. The whole work is divided
into twelve chapters ( sargas), each chapter containing one or more prabandhas.
There are 24 prabandhas each containing couplets grouped into eights
called Ashtapadis, songs with a
refrain specific to that
Ashatapadi. There are in all 24 Ashtapadis
in Gita Govindam. Each Chapter may have one or more slokas
in different metres of Sanskrit poetry
interspersed with the Ashtapadis. It is said that the Poet-devotee Jayadeva
would sing the Ashtapadis and his wife Padmavati would dance to the music. There have been many choreographic works to enact and present the Ashtapadis as a
text of the Tenth Chapter (दशमः सर्गः) with a prosaic
translation in English for those who cannot follow the Sanskrit of the
original. The translation in no way can do justice to the poetic excellence or
the beauty of expression of the original.
this time it was sunset and Radha was still in an angry mood, her breathing was
fast and her face had a tired look.
Seeing Krishna, she looked at her friend with a tinge of shyness on her
face. Krishna, whose happiness knew no
bounds on seeing Radha, spoke to her thus, his voice choking with emotion.
Radha! even if you talk only a little the moonlight-like radiance of your teeth
dispels the terrible darkness of my grief. Your moon-like face is prompting my
chakora-eyes to drink the nectar from your lips.
love, your conduct is indeed charming. Give up this aloofness from me. You have
no cause to be cross with me. The fire of passion is burning my heart; allow me to drink the nectar from your
यदि सुदति! मयि कोपिनी
भुजबन्धनं जनय रदखण्डनं
वा भवति सुखजातम् ॥२॥
(प्रिये चारुशीले ….)
Radha with beautiful teeth! If you are really angry with me, claw at my body
with your sharp nails, bind me with your arms or inflict injury with your teeth-all
of which will be a source of pleasure for me.
My love, etc…..
मम भूषणं त्वमसि मम जीवनं
भवतीह मयि सततमनुरोधिनी
मम हृदयमतियत्नम्॥३॥ (प्रिये चारुशीले ….)
are my ornament, you are my life, you are the gem of my ocean of samsara
. My heart always endeavours to see that you are always in my favour.
My love, etc…
तन्वि! तव लोचनं
॥४॥ (प्रिये चारुशीले ….)
your eyes are like the blue lotus they are also red like the red lotus because
of your being angry. If you use them on
me as the arrows of Cupid, it would be most appropriate. My love, etc..
तव हृदयदेशम् ।
रशनापि तव घनजघनमण्डले
मन्मथनिदेशम् ॥५॥ (प्रिये चारुशीले ….)
necklace of gems shining on your breasts gladden the region of your heart and
the tinkling sound of the girdle around your hips announce the command of
Cupid. My love, etc
॥६॥ (प्रिये चारुशीले ….)
O Radha of soft voice! May I adorn, with shining red lac paint, your feet which
excel the hibiscus and delights my heart…. etc. My love, etc…….
मम शिरसि मण्डनं
मयि दारुणो मदनकदनानलो
तदुपहितविकारम् ॥७॥ (प्रिये चारुशीले ….)
your feet, tender and smooth as leaf buds, on my head so that it will adorn
my head and counteract the poison of
Cupid. It will quench the fire of passion which is burning the inside of
me. My love, etc….
गीतम् ॥८॥ (प्रिये चारुशीले ….)
the poet Jayadeva, consort of Padmavati, sung about the sweet, charming and
pleasing words of Krishna addressed to Radha.
My love etc
कृतातङ्के शङ्कां त्वया सततं घन-
वितनोरन्यो धन्यो न कोऽपि ममान्तरं
विधेहि विधेयताम् ॥१॥
Radha! Do not have any doubt that I am dallying with another young woman. My
heart is fully occupied by you with your heavy breasts and hips and there is no
room there for someone else. Allow me
therefore to embrace you with your breasts pressed against me.
Beautiful One! Inflict on me merciless bites of your teeth. Bind me with the
creepers of your hands. Inflict on me the pressure of your full breasts. You
only can delight me. e. My life is ebbing out pierced by the arrows of Cupid
who is a chandala
moon-faced one! Your arched brows are black serpents which seduce the
young. To counteract the fear from those
brows the nectar of your lips is the only mantra.
वृथा मौनं तन्वि!
तावद्विमुञ्च न वञ्चय
slender one! Your purposeless silence pains me.
Remove the sorrow in my heart by your sweet talk and delight me with
your glance. O pretty one! shake off your aloofness. Do not deceive me. I am extremely loving and I am present here
before very eyes.
तिलप्रसूनपदवीं कुन्दाभदन्ति प्रिये!
विजयते विश्वं स पुष्पायुधः ॥५॥
your lips are red like the bandhuka flower, your cheeks are soft as the madhuka
flower, your eyes are more beautiful than the blue lotus, the nose resembles
sesame flower and teeth are like jasmine buds.
I think that Cupid relies on your face which has the flower-arrows he
uses for conquering the world.
तव मदालसे वदनमिन्दुमत्यान्वितं
कलावती रुचिरचित्रलेखे भ्रुवा-
विबुधयौवनं वहसि तन्वि!
eyes are lazy with exhilaration, your face is like the moon, your gait is
captivating, your thighs are like stems of banana trees, your loving is a fine
art, your eyebrows are pretty and picture-perfect. Being of the Earth, you carry the youth of the
वस्तनुतां हरिः कुवलयापीडेन सार्धं रणे
स्विद्यति मीलति क्षणमथ क्षिप्ते द्विपे तत्क्षणात्
जितं जितमिति व्यामोहकोलाहलः ॥७॥
fighting with the kuvalayapida, Krishna remembered the ample bosom of
Radha and here was the bulging forehead of the elephant. Confused, Krishna closed his eyes for a
moment and then killed the elephant which fell dead. Immediately pandemonium broke out with the
people shouting in confusion “Kamsa has
been vanquished, Kamsa has been vanquished”. May
that Krishna give you happiness.
श्रीगीतगोविन्दे शृङ्गारमहाकाव्ये राधावर्णने
नाम दशमः सर्गः