Category : Literature
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Details : Jayadeva lived in the twelfth century and is well-known author of the musical epic Sir Geeta Govinda. He hailed from Kenduli village in Prachi Valley between Bhubaneswar and Puri. He spent most of his life at Puri and composed the songs of Sri Geeta Govinda as musical offerings to Lord Jagannath. Padmavati his beloved wife, danced to the songs and choreographed by Jayadeva. The composition was probably performed first on the twin occasions of the dedication on the Srimandir and the coronation of Kamarnava as the crown prince in 1142 AD, during the reign of Chodaganga Deva, the founder of the great Ganga Empire in the east coast of India, Jayadeva, a great scholar and composer was a devetee first and poet next. His Sri Geeta Govinda is a glorification of the essence of Jagannath Chetana or Jagannath Consciousness-the path of simple surrender, which later Sri Chaitanya popularized as the Gopi Bhava or the Radha Bhava. 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.

Gitagovinda has become the major prop of Odissi dance. It also has an enormous influence on the patta paintings of Raghurajpur. As a beautiful, ornate kavya, Gitagovinda received appreciation at home and aboard. It’s sonorous diction and rhythmic musical excellence have created a unique place for it in world literature. Gitagovinda consists of twelve cantos or sargas including twenty-four songs and seventy-two slokas. It is designed to be sung in definite ragas and talas. It has been rightly observed that a narrative thread runs through the songs, lending it a dramatic structure.

Critics have attempted to classify the literary genre of Gitagovinda. Lassen consider the poem as a lyrical drama and Jones calls it a pastoral drama. Levi regards it as a refined yatra. Keith compares it with the festival-plays in Bengal, resembling the rasa of Mathura, where the episode of Krsna-lila is performed accompanied by song and music. 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.

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