GITA GOVINDAM (ಗೀತಗೋವಿನ್ದಮ್)
Gita Govindam, lyrical poetry in Sanskrit celebrating the love between Krishna and the gopis, specifically Radha, is authored by Jayadeva, the ೧೨th century devotee-poet from Orissa. The basis for this work is the ೫ chapters ೨೯ to ೩೩ 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.
The 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 ೨೪ prabandhas each containing couplets grouped into eights called Ashtapadis, songs with a refrain specific to that Ashatapadi. There are in all ೨೪ 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 Eigth Chapter (ಅಷ್ಟಮಃ ಸರ್ಗಃ) 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.
ಅಥ ಕಥಮಪಿ ಯಾಮಿನೀಂ ವಿನೀಯ
ಸ್ಮರಶರಜರ್ಜರಿತಾಪಿ ಸಾ ಪ್ರಭಾತೇ|
ಪ್ರಣತಮಪಿ ಪ್ರಿಯಮಾಹ ಸಾಭ್ಯಸೂಯಮ್ || ೧||
Radha somehow passed the night and in the morning, though tormented by the arrows of Cupid, spoke thus to Krishna, who was bowing down and trying to pacify her, jealousy in her voice.
ಹರಿ ಹರಿ ಯಾಹಿ ಮಾಧವ ಯಾಹಿ ಕೇಶವ ಮಾ ಕುರು ಕೈತವವಾದಮ್|
ತಾಮನುಸರ ಸರಸೀರುಹಲೋಚನ ಯಾ ತವ ಹರತಿ ವಿಷಾದಮ್ || ೧||
Krishna’s eyes are red because of the sleepless night and his eye-lids are idle. There is the mark of passionate love in his eyes. Radha says with jealousy in her voice: “ O Madhava!, O Keshava! please go; don’t tell me deceitful words. O lotus-eyed one! follow her who will remove your grief.”
ದಶನವಸನಮರುಣಂ ತವ ಕೃಷ್ಣ ತನೋತಿ ತನೋರನುರೂಪಮ್ || ೨|| (ಹರಿ ಹರಿ....)
O Krishna! Your lips have become dark by repeatedly planting kisses on eyes adorned with black kajal. Thus the colour of your lips have become the same as the colour of your body. “O Madhava” etc.
ವಪುರನುಸರತಿ ತವ ಸ್ಮರಸಙ್ಗರಖರನಖರಕ್ಷತರೇಖಮ್|
ಮರಕತಶಕಲಕಲಿತಕಲಧೌತಲಿಪೇರಿವ ರತಿಜಯಲೇಖಮ್ || ೩|| (ಹರಿ ಹರಿ....)
O Krishna! Your body bears marks of nails inflicted by your partner during the fight of Love. Those marks on your body resemble the record of her victory in this fight written on emerald bits in white characters. “O Madhava” etc.
ಚರಣಕಮಲಗಲದಲಕ್ತಕಸಿಕ್ತಮಿದಂ ತವ ಹೃದಯಮುದಾರಮ್|
ದರ್ಶಯತೀವ ಬಹಿರ್ಮದನದ್ರುಮನವಕಿಸಲಯಪರಿವಾರಮ್ || ೪|| (ಹರಿ ಹರಿ....)
O Krishna! The lac paint on the lotus feet of your partner has spilled on your chest resembling tender leaf buds sprouting from the tree of Love . “O Madhava” etc.
ದಶನಪದಂ ಭವದಧರಗತಂ ಮಮ ಜನಯತಿ ಚೇತಸಿ ಖೇದಮ್ |
ಕಥಯತಿ ಕಥಮಧುನಾಪಿ ಮಯಾ ಸಹ ತವ ವಪುರೇತದಭೇದಮ್ || ೫|| (ಹರಿ ಹರಿ....)
O Krishna! I am sorry to see the mark of the teeth of your partner on your lips. It says “How even now this body of yours is no different from mine”. “O Madhava” etc.
ಬಹಿರಿವ ಮಲಿನತರಂ ತವ ಕೃಷ್ಣ ಮನೋಽಪಿ ಭವಿಷ್ಯತಿ ನೂನಮ್|
ಕಥಮಥ ವಞ್ಚಯಸೇ ಜನಮನುಗತಮಸಮಶರಜ್ವರದೂನಮ್ || ೬|| (ಹರಿ ಹರಿ....)‘
O Krisha! Just like your exterior your heart will also be certainly dark. Otherwise how would you deceive one who follows you and is tormented by the arrows of Cupid? “O Madhava” etc.
ಭ್ರಮತಿ ಭವಾನಬಲಾಕಬಲಾಯ ವನೇಷು ಕಿಮತ್ರ ವಿಚಿತ್ರಮ್|
ಪ್ರಥಯತಿ ಪೂತನಕೈವ ವಧೂವಧನಿರ್ದಯಬಾಲಚರಿತ್ರಮ್ || ೭|| (ಹರಿ ಹರಿ....)
O Krishna! It is no wonder that you wander the forests to hurt women. The story of Putana tells about your cruelty to women even as child. O Madhava” etc.
ಶೃಣುತ ಸುಧಾಮಧುರಂ ವಿಬುಧಾ ವಿಬುಧಾಲಯತೋಽಪಿ ದುರಾಪಮ್ || ೮|| (ಹರಿ ಹರಿ....)
Thus has Jayadeva chronicled the wailings of the Khandita( one who has been spurned by the lover who courts another young woman) Let the wise and learned hear this song, sweet as nectar and difficult to get even in heaven “O Madhava” etc.
ತವೇದಂ ಪಶ್ಯನ್ತ್ಯಾಃ ಪ್ರಸರದನುರಾಗಂ ಬಹಿರಿವ
ಮಮಾದ್ಯ ಪ್ರಖ್ಯಾತಪ್ರಣಯಭರಭಙ್ಗೇನ ಕಿತವ!
ತ್ವದಾಲೋಕಃ ಶೋಕಾದಪಿ ಕಿಮಪಿ ಲಜ್ಜಾಂ ಜನಯತಿ || ೧||
I see the red mark on your breast which has been planted their from the lac paint on the feet of your love. You deceiver, by your spurning of my love, I feel more shame than sorrow when I see you.
ರಾಧಾಯಾಶ್ಚಕಿತಂ ವಿಲೋಕ್ಯ ಹಸತಿ ಸ್ವೈರಂ ಸಖೀಮಣ್ಡಲೇ|
ವ್ರೀಡಾಚಞ್ಚಲಮಞ್ಚಲಂ ನಯನಯೋರಾಧಾಯ ರಾಧಾನನೇ
ಸ್ಮೇರಸ್ಮೇರಮುಖೋಽಯಮಸ್ತುಜಗದಾನನ್ದಾಯ ನನ್ದಾತ್ಮಜಃ || ೨||
One early morning Radha’s friends are surprised to see Krishna waking up in blue clothes (which belonged to Radha) and Radha wrapped in yellow silk (which was Krishna’s). There is uncontrollable laughter among the friends. Krishna smiles and casts a bashful wavering glance at Radha. May that Krishna, son of Nanda make the world happy.
ಇತಿ ಶ್ರೀಗೀತಗೋವಿನ್ದೇ ಶೃಙ್ಗಾರಮಹಾಕಾವ್ಯೇ ಖಣ್ಡಿತಾವರ್ಣನೇ
ವಿಲಕ್ಷಣಲಕ್ಷ್ಮೀಪತಿರ್ನಾಮ ಅಷ್ಟಮಃ ಸರ್ಗಃ