(late 12th–early 13th centuries)
   Sanskrit poet
   As with most poets, scholars, and saints in the Indian tradition, very little is verifiably known about the life of Jayadeva, the prolific Sanskrit writer best known for the devotional work GITA-GOVINDA. All that we know is gleaned from hints in the author’s poetry, hints that often are subject to several interpretations. Some say that he was born in Kenduli village on the Ajaya River in the Birbhum District of West Bengal. Others say his birthplace was Kenduli village on the Praci River in the Puri District of Orissa. Other claims are made for the same village in Bihar and Maha-rashtra. It is evident that the poet was a Vaish-navite. Jayadeva’s patron while he composed the Gitagovinda was King Lakshmanasena of Bengal (1179–1209 C.E.).
   Jayadeva, as did many poets before him, became a saint for Vaishnavites. In the 17th cen-tury Nabhadas wrote a Hindi text called Bhakta-mala, which retold the lives and miracles of many poet-saints, including Jayadeva. The stories are meant to inspire worship of VISHNU, while show-ing that the poet-saints, as ideal devotees, were themselves worthy of worship. In fact, they refer to the poet-saints as AVATARS of Vishnu, in the looser sense of the term—they are incarnations of the god for the purpose of showing all people the way to devotion.
   The following is a selection from the hagiog-raphy:
   1. When Jayadeva was still a child, his par-ents had to surrender their house to a neighbor. One day it caught fire; as soon as the boy ran inside, the fire extinguished itself.
   2. It is said that Jayadeva was left as an orphan as a child. He lived in rags and survived on water alone, but he sang the praises of God wherever he went. He was said to be so ascetic that he preferred not to write poetry, but instead to perfect his soul. It is said that he did not even carry writing implements, which he felt were luxuries. He would not even sleep under the same tree two nights in a row, lest he become too attached to earthly delights and fail to think of God.
   3. In order to lure him away from asceticism and to get him to write the Gitagovinda, God arranged for Jayadeva to marry a wife, Padmavati. She taught him human love, so that he could write about the divine love of Radha and KRISHNA.
   4. Once in devotion to Krishna Jayadeva made a pilgrimage to Puri. On the way he fell down, fainting from thirst. It is said that Krishna in the form of a cowherd rescued him, gave him water and milk, and fanned him. It is said that Jayadeva composed his poem, the Gitagovinda, after having a direct vision of Krishna playing his flute.
   5. Once Jayadeva went to the home of a merchant to be his GURU or teacher. On the way home he was accosted by two thieves. Jayadeva told them to take what they wanted. They did so and then cut off his hands and feet and threw him into a pit. Jayadeva went into a trance, worship-ping God and thinking of the irrelevance of the body. The king happened to pass by as the mutilated Jayadeva was singing the songs of the Gitagovinda from the pit. When the king got him out of the pit and asked how he had come to have his hands and feet amputated, Jayadeva said that he had been born that way. The king asked to become Jayadeva’s disciple then began making obeisance to every devotee, giving service and alms to every SADHU or holy man. The thieves who had robbed Jayadeva heard of the king’s generosity and went to him. Jayadeva asked the king to take special care of them. The thieves, fearing a stategem, told the king that Jayadeva had lost his hands and feet in another court because of the evils he had committed there. Krishna could not bear hearing this calumny against Jayadeva and the earth opened up and swallowed the thieves before everyone’s eyes.
   Further reading: Lee Siegel, Sacred and Profane Dimen-sions of Love in the Indian Traditions as Exemplified in the Gitagovinda of Jayadeva (London: Oxford University Press, 1978).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jayadeva — (Oriya: ଜୟେଦବ) was a Sanskrit poet, who lived in Orissa, circa 1200 AD. He is most known for his composition, the epic poem Gita Govinda , which depicts the divine love of the Hindu deity Krishna and his consort, Radha , and is considered an… …   Wikipedia

  • Jayadeva — s inclinant devant Vishnu. Miniature indienne (Pahari, 1730). Jayadeva (जयदेव) est un poète indien du XIIe siècle, auteur du Gîta Govinda, un poème lyrique sur les amours de Râdhâ et Krishna, considéré comme l un des chefs d œuvre de la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • JAYADEVA — (XIIe s.) Brahmane bengali à qui est attribué, selon toute vraisemblance, l’un des plus beaux poèmes de la littérature sanskrite, le Gîta Govinda (la «Célébration du bouvier Krishna»). Si l’on en croit les récits traditionnels, Jayadeva aurait… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Jayadeva — (auch Jaydev) war ein indischer Dichter, der im Vishnuismus auch als Heiliger gilt. Jayadeva lebte im westlichen Bengalen zur Zeit des Königs Laksmanasena (ca. 1180–1202) als Hofpoet. Sein Hauptwerk ist das Gitagovinda, das im 12. Jahrhundert… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jayadeva — ▪ Bengal poet flourished 12th century, , Bengal, India       Indian author of the celebrated Sanskrit poem Gītagovinda (“Song of the Cowherd”), which helped to popularize devotional Hinduism.       Born in the village of Kenduli, he was the son… …   Universalium

  • Jayadeva —    An important Sanskrit poet of 12th century Bengal. He was patronized by Lakshamansena (1175 1206). Jayadeva s Gitagovinda was a landmark in the history of Sanskrit literature as well as of the spread of Vaishnava religious beliefs in Bengal …   Historical dictionary of Medieval India

  • JAYADEVA —    a Hindu poet, born near Burdwân, in Bengal, flourished in the 12th century, whose great work, the Gita Govinda, the Song of the Shepherd Krishna, has been translated by Sir Edwin Arnold as the Indian Song of Songs, in celebration of the love… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Jayadeva (mathematician) — Jayadeva (जयदेव) was a ninth century Indian mathematician, who knew the cyclic method (chakravala method) that was called by Hermann Hankel the finest thing achieved in the theory of numbers before Lagrange (18th century). Fact|date=February 2007 …   Wikipedia

  • Jayadeva Uyangoda — is a prominent political scientist and constitutional expert in Sri Lanka.As a leftist student leader and a member of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) movement in the 70s, he was arrested and imprisoned by the government. After the change of… …   Wikipedia

  • Jayadeva birth controversy — Until recently, the origins of the great twelfth century poet Jayadeva had been somewhat obscure, with the two neighboring states of Orissa and Bengal in Eastern India staking a claim to Jayadeva s origins. This had led to a bitter feud between… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.