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 sensitiviy 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
dance drama. 
Given below is the
text of   the Seventh
Chapter (सप्तमः 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.
अत्रान्तरे च कुलटाकुल वर्त्मघात-
सञ्जात पातक इव स्फुटलाञ्छनश्रीः।
By this time all of
Vrindavan  was lighted up by the moon whose
blemish on the body was as if  by the
curse of women of easy virtue (who wanted the cover of darkness). The moon
itself resembled the mark of sandal paste on the face of the beautful woman,
the Eastern horizon.
प्रसरति शशधरबिम्बे विहितविलम्बे च माधवे
विरचितविविधविलापं सा परितापं चकारोच्चैः ॥२॥
With the moon spreading its light and Madhava delaying
his arrival, Radha bewails her fate and laments loudly.
कथितसमयेऽपि हरिरहह न ययौ वनम्।
मम विफलमिदममलरूपमपि यौवनम्
यामि हे कमिह शरणं सखीजनवचनवञ्चिता ॥१॥
Alas! Hari hasn’t come to
the forest at the appointed time. Of what use is my blemishless beauty and my
youth.  Who will give me refuge? (or I
will take refuge in water meaning I will drown myself). I have been deceived by
the words of my friend (sakhi)
[Note: In Sanskrit कं
means  both  ‘who’ and also ‘water’] 
यदनुगमनाय निशि गहनमपि शीलितम्।
तेन मम हृदयमिदमसमशरकीलितम् ॥२॥
(यामि हे ….)
For following whom I practiced staying in the dense forest
during night, because of the same Krishna my heart is being pierced by the
arrows of Cupid.  Who will give……. 
मम मरणमेव वरमतिवितथकेतना।
किमिति विषहामि विरहानलमचेतना ॥३॥ (यामि हे ….)
This body is without a purpose, for me it is better to
die.  I am already half-dead;  how can I endure this separation which is
burning me like fire?  Who will give ……. 
मामहह विधुरयति मधुरमधुयामिनी।
कापि हरिमनुभवति कृतसुकृतकामिनी ॥४॥ (यामि हे ….)
Alas! these nights of
sweet spring season give me only sorrow. Some other gopi who has earned
enough punya  (meritorious deeds)  is enjoying the company of Krishna. Who will
give …..
अहह कलयामि वलयादि मणिभूषणम्।
हरिविरहदहनवहनेन बहुदूषणम् ॥५॥
(यामि हे ….)
Alas! I think that my
gem-studded ornaments like bracelets have ceased to be ornaments (instead of bhushanam
they have become dushanam) since I am being burnt by the fire of
separation (viraha) from Krishna. Who will give ……
स्रगपि हृदि हन्ति मामतिविषमशीलया ॥६॥(यामि हे ….)
By the play of the arrows
of Cupid which have the habit of hurting (lovers) a garland of flowers also hurts
 my heart, my body being as soft and
delicate as flowers. Who will give …. 
अहमिह निवसामि न गणितवनवेतसा।
स्मरति मधुसूदनो मामपि न चेतसा ॥७॥(यामि हे ….)
For the sake of Krishna I am staying here not caring
about the forest.  But Krishna does not
remember me in his heart.  Who will give
हरिचरणशरणजयदेवकविभारती ।
वसतु हृदि युवतिरिव कोमलकलावती ॥८॥(यामि हे ….)
May this song of poet Jayadeva,  whose refuge is the lotus feet of Hari,  stay in the heart like a  pretty young woman skilled in the fine arts. Who
will give me..
तत्किं कामपि कामिनीमभिसृतः किं वा कलाकेलिभि-
र्बद्धोबन्धुभिरन्धकारिणि वनोपान्ते किमु भ्राम्यति।
कान्तः क्लान्तमनाः मनागपि पथि प्रस्थातुमेवाक्षमः
संकेतीकृतमञ्जुमञ्जुललताकुञ्जेऽपि यन्नागतः ॥१॥
Krishna has not yet
reached the bower which is the meeting place. Rather thinks thus: “ Has he gone
to meet some other sweetheart of his?  Is
he tied up in artistic or playful activities with friends and relatives?  Has he lost his way in the darkness of the
forest and is going round and round?  Or
tired in body and mind, he is unable to start even? “
[End of
अथागतां माधवमन्तरेण सखीमियं वीक्ष्य विषादमूकाम्।
विशंकमाना रमितं कयापि जनार्दनंदृष्टवदेतदाह ॥१॥
The friend returned
without Krishna.  She was dejected and
silent. Apprehending that some other girl is giving Krishna company, Radha spoke
as if she saw everything before her very eyes
कापि मधुरिपुणा विलसति
Decked for the Love fight, with petals of the flowers
falling from her disheveled hair, some other young girl with much more merit
revels with Krishna, slayer of Madhu.
कुचकलशोपरि तरलितहारा ॥२॥
(कापि ….)
Emotions heightened by the embrace of Hari and the
necklaces on her pot-like breasts swaying,
some other young girl with more merit revels with Krishna, slayer of
(कापि ….)
With curly hair floating on her moon-like face and
indolence induced by Krishna drinking at her lips, some other young girl with
more merit revels with Krishna, slayer of Madhu.
मुखरितरशनजघनगतिलोला॥४॥  (कापि ….)
With oscillating ear globes striking her cheeks, with
the tinkling sound of her girdle and the swaying of her hip,
other young girl with more merit revels with Krishna, slayer of Madhu.
बहुविधकूजितरतिरसरसिता ॥५॥
(कापि ….)
Laughing shyly when her eyes meet her lover’s and
making different kinds of sounds with heightened feelings
, some other young girl with more
merit revels with Krishna, slayer of Madhu.
श्वसितनिमीलितविकसदनंगा ॥६॥(कापि ….)
With body bristling and shaking, breath quickening and
eyes half-closed with heightened erotice experience
some other young girl with more merit revels with Krishna, slayer of
परिपतितोरसिरतिरणधीरा ॥७॥(कापि ….)
With body glistening with the profusion of sweat,
resting on the breast of her lover after the  battle of Love
some other young girl with more merit revels with
Krishna, slayer of Madhu.
कलिकलुषं शमयतु हरिरमितम्॥८॥ (कापि ….)
May this pretty song composed by poet Jayadeva destroy
all the sins of Kali. 
                 [End of prabandha -14]
द्युतिरयं तिरयन्नपि वेदनाम्।
विधुरतीव तनोति मनोभुवः
सुहृदये हृदये मदनव्यथाम् ॥१॥
Radha says to her friend: “The moon, whose radiance resembles
Hari’s face which is pale because of  viraha
(separation), though concealing sorrow, increases the agony of Love.’’
समुदितमदने रमणीवदने चुम्बनवलिताधरे।
मृगमदतिलकं लिखति सपुलकं मृगमिव रजनीकरे॥
रमते यमुनापुलिनवने विजयी मुरारिरधुना ॥१॥
Krishna makes a mark with deer-musk, just as the
deer-mark on the moon, on the face of the girl who is in the grip of Love and
whose lips have become thin because of kissing. Triumphant Murari revels in the
forest on the banks of Yamuna.
घनचयरुचिरे रचयति चिकुरे तरलित तरुणानने।
कुरुवककुसुमं चपलासुषुमं रतिपतिमृगकानने॥२॥  (रमते…….)
Krishna adorns with kuravaka
flowers,  bright yellow as the lightning,
the  young gopi’s tresses which
are  beautiful as the dark clouds,  which attract young men and which are like
the forest of deer of Kamadeva. Triumphant Murari …..
घटयति सुघने कुचयुगगगने मृगमदरुचिरूषिते।
मणिसरममलं तारकपटलं नखपदशशिभूषिते ॥३॥ (रमते…….)
Krishna adorns with
gem-studded necklaces the young girl’s breasts smeared with deer-musk and embellished
with Krishna’s moon-like nails of the hands, giving the impression of the sky
with the moon and the stars. Triumphant Murari ….
जितबिसशकले मृदुभुजयुगले करतलनलिनीदले।
मरकतवलयं मधुकरनिचयं वितरति हिमशीतले ॥४॥ (रमते…….)
Krishna adorns with
emerald bracelets the hands of the young girl which are soft and slender than
the lotus stalk, cool  as the snow and
the palms of which are red and soft as the petals of the lotus. Triumphant
Murari ….
रतिगृहजघने विपुलापघने मनसिजकनकासने।
मणिमयरशनं तोरणहसनं विकिरति कृतवासने ॥५॥ (रमते…….)
Krishna adorns with a
diamond-studded girdle the young gopi’s hip, broad and heavy, golden
throne of Cupid .  Triumphant Murari …
चरणकिसलये कमलानिलये नखमणिगणपूजिते।
बहिरपवरणं यावकभरणं जनयति हृदि योजिते ॥६॥(रमते…….)
The young gopi’s feet,
soft and tender as leaf buds, abode of Lakshmi and embellished by nails like
jewels, Krishna places on his breast (heart) and decorates them with lac
Triumphant Murari revels
in the forest on the banks of Yamuna.
रमयति भृशं कामपि सुदृशं खलहलधरसोदरे।
किमफलमवसं चिरमिह विरसं वद सखि विटपोदरे ॥७॥(रमते…….)
When the younger brother
of Balaram is reveling with some one with beautiful eyes why should I, tell me
O Friend!,  wait for him under this tree
without any purpose and in utter boredom. Triumphant Murari revels in the
forest on the banks of Yamuna.
इह रसभणने कृतहरिगुणने मधुरिपुपदसेवके।
कलियुगचरितं न वसतु दुरितं कविनृपजयदेवके ॥८॥(रमते…….)
Let not the sins of Kali
touch the king of poets Jayadeva who sings on sringara rasa (erotic
sentiment), praises the qualities of Hari and serves at the feet of the enemy
of Madhu.  Triumphant Murari revels in
the forest on the banks of Yamuna.
[End of
नायातः सखि निर्दयो यदि शठस्त्वं दूति किं
स्वच्छन्दं बहुवल्लभः स रमते किं तत्र ते
पश्याद्य प्रियसंगमाय दयितस्याकृष्यमाणं
रुत्कण्ठार्तिभरादिव स्फुटति तं चेतः स्वयं यास्यति ॥
O friend (sakhi)! Why are
you sad if that unkind deceiver Krishna hasn’t come? If he revels with many
young gopis according to his own wish how can you be at fault?  You will see that today,  drawn by the good qualities of the loved one,
 this heart of mine is raring,  with anxiety and expectation, for union with
न सा किसलयशयनेन||
या रमिता वनमालिना ॥१॥
She will
not be scorched on a bed of tender leaves, O friend!, if she is being courted
by Vanamali, Krishna whose eyes are like the lotus waving in the breeze.
न सा मनसिजविशिखेन ॥२॥
(सखि या …)
She will
not be pierced by the arrows of Cupid
, O friend!, 
if she is being courted by Vanamali, Krishna who has a face
beautiful as the lotus in full bloom.
न सा मलयजपवनेन॥३॥
(सखि या …)
breeze from the malaya mountain will not burn the young girl , O friend!
,  if she is being courted by Vanamali,
Krishna whose words are nectarine, sweet and soft.
न सा हिमकरकिरणेन ॥४॥
(सखि या …)
she will
not be tormented by the rays of the moon, O friend!,  if she is being courted by Vanamali, Krishna whose
hands and feet are soft like the lotus.
न सा हृदि विरहभरेण ॥५॥
(सखि या …)
She will
not suffer the agony of separation, O friend!, if she is being courted by
Vanamali, Krishna,  whose complexion is
beautiful as the water-bearing cloud.
न सा परिजनहसनेन ॥६॥
(सखि या …)
She will
not sigh when relatives laugh at her, O friend!,
  if she is being courted by Vanamali,
Krishna,  who clothes himself in golden
coloured silks
न सा रुजमतिकरुणेन॥७॥ (सखि या …)
She will
not be tormented by Cupid, O friend!, if she is being courted by Vanamali, Krishna
who is the best among the youth of all the worlds and who is very kind.
हरिरपि हृदयमनेन॥८॥
(सखि या …)
My Hari
enter your heart by these words spoken by Jayadeva.         
following are the words of Radha reflecting the state of her mind:
रे दक्षीण मुञ्च वामताम्।
जगत्प्राण विधाय माधवं
मम प्राणहरो भविष्यसि ॥१॥
Breeze carrying the fragrance of sandalwood from malaya mountain and blowing
south (dakshina also means right side) May you be pleased and
leave your crookedness (vamata  also means left side). You are the life of the
world; put Krishna (Madhava also means spring) in front of me for a moment and
then you can take my life. (These are words of Radha who is pining in
separation from Krishna and the cool breeze from the malaya mountain is
scorching her)
सखी संवासोऽयं शिखीव हिमानिलो
सुधारश्मिर्यस्मिन् दुनोति मनोगते।
तस्मिन्नेवं पुनर्वलते बलात्
वामः कामो निकामनिरंकुशः ॥२॥
friend! In this separation from Krishna, the company of friends seems like
enemy, the cool breeze is like fire, the moon is like poison.  Still when I remember him who is very unkind,
my heart forcefully attaches itself to him. 
Cupid indeed is crooked and without  control where lotus-eyed young girls are
विधेहि मलयानिल पंचबाण
गृहाण न गृहं पुनराश्रयिष्ये।
ते कृतान्तभगिनि क्षमया तरंगै-
सिंच मम शाम्यतु देहदाहः ॥३॥
Breeze from the Malaya mountain! you can trouble me as much as you want. O
Cupid! take my life; I will not return home. O Yamuna! Why are you waiting
patiently?  Drench my limbs with your
waves so that the burning sensation in my body is gone. 
वन्दामहे ॥४॥
at the lotus feet of Govinda before whom the blissful Indra and other celestials
bow down with their crowns studded with blue gem stones and from which flows
freely the Ganga carrying the particles from the lotus feet of Lord Krishna.
May he destroy all inauspiciousness in us.    
श्रीगीतगोविन्दे शृङ्गारमहाकाव्ये वासकसज्जावर्णने
नाम सप्तमःसर्गः

Sri P R Ramamurthy Ji was the author of this website. When he started this website in 2009, he was in his eighties. He was able to publish such a great number of posts in limited time of 4 years. We appreciate his enthusiasm for Sanskrit Literature. Authors story in his own words :

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