Jayadeva in Sikhism

Jayadeva
Vishnu.
Born est. 1200 AD
possibly Jayadeva Kenduli, West Bengal or Kenduli Sasan, Odisha
Died Odisha, India
Philosophy Vaishnava
Literary works Gita Govinda

Jayadeva (Sanskrit: [dʒəjəˈd̪eːʋə]) was a Sanskrit poet circa 1200 AD. 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]

Biography

A Brahmin by birth, the date and place of Jayadeva's birth are uncertain. Based on a reading of the text of his work, either the village of Jayadeva Kenduli in Bengal or the village of Kenduli Sasan in Odisha are likely candidates though another Kenduli in Mithila is also a possibility.[2] Recent studies point to the Odisha birthplace as the more likely one.[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.

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 Dr. 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.

The earliest mention of Jayadeva outside Odisha by Chand Bardai, the court poet of Prithviraj Chauhan. The next earliest reference outside Odisha is found in an inscription of Raja Sarangadev in the year 1201 A.D. These records establish that the Gita Govinda became popular throughout India soon after its composition, perhaps because it was regularly performed in the Jagannath temple of Puri.

Some further details about Jayadeva have been garnered from a book by an Oriya Vaishnava poet Madhava Patnaik, who was contemporaneous to Chaitanya in the fifteenth century. Madhava Patnaik's book gives a clear account of Chaitanya's visit to Puri. He mentions that Chaitanya paid a visit to Kenduli Sasan near Puri to pay homage to Jayadeva and to chant passages from the Gita Govinda. The book mentions that Kenduli Sasan was in fact the birthplace of the illustrious poet. Madhava Patnaik's book also gives an account of Jayadeva's early life from the legends around Puri. It mentions Jayadeva as excelling in the Shastras and the Puranas from early childhood.

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.

Two hymns possibly composed by Jayadeva have been incorporated in the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikh religion. Although it is not clear how these medieval Oriya hymns found their way to the Sikh religion, there are records narrating how Jayadeva's work had a profound influence on Guru Nanak during his visit to Puri.

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.

See also

Poetry portal
Odisha portal

References


External links

  • Sanskrit Scholars of Odisha (pdf)
  • -logo.svg 
fr:Jayadeva (poète hindou)
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