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 Seventh Chapter (ಸಪ್ತಮಃ 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.
ಅತ್ರಾನ್ತರೇ ಚ ಕುಲಟಾಕುಲ ವರ್ತ್ಮಘಾತ-
ಸಞ್ಜಾತ ಪಾತಕ ಇವ ಸ್ಫುಟಲಾಞ್ಛನಶ್ರೀಃ|
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.
ಪ್ರಸರತಿ ಶಶಧರಬಿಮ್ಬೇ ವಿಹಿತವಿಲಮ್ಬೇ ಚ ಮಾಧವೇ ವಿಧುರಾ|
ವಿರಚಿತವಿವಿಧವಿಲಾಪಂ ಸಾ ಪರಿತಾಪಂ ಚಕಾರೋಚ್ಚೈಃ || ೨||
With the moon spreading its light and Madhava delaying his arrival, Radha bewails her fate and laments loudly.
ಕಥಿತಸಮಯೇಽಪಿ ಹರಿರಹಹ ನ ಯಯೌ ವನಮ್|
ಮಮ ವಿಫಲಮಿದಮಮಲರೂಪಮಪಿ ಯೌವನಮ್
ಯಾಮಿ ಹೇ ಕಮಿಹ ಶರಣಂ ಸಖೀಜನವಚನವಞ್ಚಿತಾ || ೧||
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 ಕಂ means both ‘who’ and also ‘water’]
ಯದನುಗಮನಾಯ ನಿಶಿ ಗಹನಮಪಿ ಶೀಲಿತಮ್|
ತೇನ ಮಮ ಹೃದಯಮಿದಮಸಮಶರಕೀಲಿತಮ್ || ೨|| (ಯಾಮಿ ಹೇ ….)
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…….
ಮಮ ಮರಣಮೇವ ವರಮತಿವಿತಥಕೇತನಾ|
ಕಿಮಿತಿ ವಿಷಹಾಮಿ ವಿರಹಾನಲಮಚೇತನಾ || ೩|| (ಯಾಮಿ ಹೇ ….)
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 …….
ಮಾಮಹಹ ವಿಧುರಯತಿ ಮಧುರಮಧುಯಾಮಿನೀ|
ಕಾಪಿ ಹರಿಮನುಭವತಿ ಕೃತಸುಕೃತಕಾಮಿನೀ || ೪|| (ಯಾಮಿ ಹೇ ….)
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 …..
ಅಹಹ ಕಲಯಾಮಿ ವಲಯಾದಿ ಮಣಿಭೂಷಣಮ್|
ಹರಿವಿರಹದಹನವಹನೇನ ಬಹುದೂಷಣಮ್ || ೫|| (ಯಾಮಿ ಹೇ ….)
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 ……
ಸ್ರಗಪಿ ಹೃದಿ ಹನ್ತಿ ಮಾಮತಿವಿಷಮಶೀಲಯಾ || ೬|| (ಯಾಮಿ ಹೇ ….)
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 ….
ಅಹಮಿಹ ನಿವಸಾಮಿ ನ ಗಣಿತವನವೇತಸಾ|
ಸ್ಮರತಿ ಮಧುಸೂದನೋ ಮಾಮಪಿ ನ ಚೇತಸಾ || ೭|| (ಯಾಮಿ ಹೇ ….)
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 me..
ವಸತು ಹೃದಿ ಯುವತಿರಿವ ಕೋಮಲಕಲಾವತೀ || ೮|| (ಯಾಮಿ ಹೇ ….)
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..
ತತ್ಕಿಂ ಕಾಮಪಿ ಕಾಮಿನೀಮಭಿಸೃತಃ ಕಿಂ ವಾ ಕಲಾಕೇಲಿಭಿ-
ರ್ಬದ್ಧೋಬನ್ಧುಭಿರನ್ಧಕಾರಿಣಿ ವನೋಪಾನ್ತೇ ಕಿಮು ಭ್ರಾಮ್ಯತಿ|
ಕಾನ್ತಃ ಕ್ಲಾನ್ತಮನಾಃ ಮನಾಗಪಿ ಪಥಿ ಪ್ರಸ್ಥಾತುಮೇವಾಕ್ಷಮಃ
ಸಂಕೇತೀಕೃತಮಞ್ಜುಮಞ್ಜುಲಲತಾಕುಞ್ಜೇಽಪಿ ಯನ್ನಾಗತಃ || ೧||
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 prabandha-೧೩]
ಅಥಾಗತಾಂ ಮಾಧವಮನ್ತರೇಣ ಸಖೀಮಿಯಂ ವೀಕ್ಷ್ಯ ವಿಷಾದಮೂಕಾಮ್|
ವಿಶಂಕಮಾನಾ ರಮಿತಂ ಕಯಾಪಿ ಜನಾರ್ದನಂದೃಷ್ಟವದೇತದಾಹ || ೧||
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.
ಕಾಪಿ ಮಧುರಿಪುಣಾ ವಿಲಸತಿ
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.
ಕುಚಕಲಶೋಪರಿ ತರಲಿತಹಾರಾ || ೨|| (ಕಾಪಿ ….)
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 Madhu.
ತದಧರಪಾನರಭಸಕೃತತನ್ದ್ರಾ|| ೩|| (ಕಾಪಿ ….)
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.
ಮುಖರಿತರಶನಜಘನಗತಿಲೋಲಾ|| ೪|| (ಕಾಪಿ ….)
With oscillating ear globes striking her cheeks, with the tinkling sound of her girdle and the swaying of her hip, some other young girl with more merit revels with Krishna, slayer of Madhu.
ಬಹುವಿಧಕೂಜಿತರತಿರಸರಸಿತಾ || ೫|| (ಕಾಪಿ ….)
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.
ಶ್ವಸಿತನಿಮೀಲಿತವಿಕಸದನಂಗಾ || ೬|| (ಕಾಪಿ ….)
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 Madhu.
ಪರಿಪತಿತೋರಸಿರತಿರಣಧೀರಾ || ೭|| (ಕಾಪಿ ….)
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.
ಕಲಿಕಲುಷಂ ಶಮಯತು ಹರಿರಮಿತಮ್|| ೮|| (ಕಾಪಿ ….)
May this pretty song composed by poet Jayadeva destroy all the sins of Kali.
[End of prabandha -೧೪]
ದ್ಯುತಿರಯಂ ತಿರಯನ್ನಪಿ ವೇದನಾಮ್|
ವಿಧುರತೀವ ತನೋತಿ ಮನೋಭುವಃ
ಸುಹೃದಯೇ ಹೃದಯೇ ಮದನವ್ಯಥಾಮ್ || ೧||
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.’’
ಸಮುದಿತಮದನೇ ರಮಣೀವದನೇ ಚುಮ್ಬನವಲಿತಾಧರೇ|
ಮೃಗಮದತಿಲಕಂ ಲಿಖತಿ ಸಪುಲಕಂ ಮೃಗಮಿವ ರಜನೀಕರೇ||
ರಮತೇ ಯಮುನಾಪುಲಿನವನೇ ವಿಜಯೀ ಮುರಾರಿರಧುನಾ || ೧||
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.
ಘನಚಯರುಚಿರೇ ರಚಯತಿ ಚಿಕುರೇ ತರಲಿತ ತರುಣಾನನೇ|
ಕುರುವಕಕುಸುಮಂ ಚಪಲಾಸುಷುಮಂ ರತಿಪತಿಮೃಗಕಾನನೇ|| ೨|| (ರಮತೇ…….)
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 …..
ಘಟಯತಿ ಸುಘನೇ ಕುಚಯುಗಗಗನೇ ಮೃಗಮದರುಚಿರೂಷಿತೇ|
ಮಣಿಸರಮಮಲಂ ತಾರಕಪಟಲಂ ನಖಪದಶಶಿಭೂಷಿತೇ || ೩|| (ರಮತೇ…….)
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 ….
ಜಿತಬಿಸಶಕಲೇ ಮೃದುಭುಜಯುಗಲೇ ಕರತಲನಲಿನೀದಲೇ|
ಮರಕತವಲಯಂ ಮಧುಕರನಿಚಯಂ ವಿತರತಿ ಹಿಮಶೀತಲೇ || ೪|| (ರಮತೇ…….)
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 ….
ರತಿಗೃಹಜಘನೇ ವಿಪುಲಾಪಘನೇ ಮನಸಿಜಕನಕಾಸನೇ|
ಮಣಿಮಯರಶನಂ ತೋರಣಹಸನಂ ವಿಕಿರತಿ ಕೃತವಾಸನೇ || ೫|| (ರಮತೇ…….)
Krishna adorns with a diamond-studded girdle the young gopi’s hip, broad and heavy, golden throne of Cupid . Triumphant Murari …
ಚರಣಕಿಸಲಯೇ ಕಮಲಾನಿಲಯೇ ನಖಮಣಿಗಣಪೂಜಿತೇ|
ಬಹಿರಪವರಣಂ ಯಾವಕಭರಣಂ ಜನಯತಿ ಹೃದಿ ಯೋಜಿತೇ || ೬|| (ರಮತೇ…….)
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 paint.
Triumphant Murari revels in the forest on the banks of Yamuna.
ರಮಯತಿ ಭೃಶಂ ಕಾಮಪಿ ಸುದೃಶಂ ಖಲಹಲಧರಸೋದರೇ|
ಕಿಮಫಲಮವಸಂ ಚಿರಮಿಹ ವಿರಸಂ ವದ ಸಖಿ ವಿಟಪೋದರೇ || ೭|| (ರಮತೇ…….)
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.
ಇಹ ರಸಭಣನೇ ಕೃತಹರಿಗುಣನೇ ಮಧುರಿಪುಪದಸೇವಕೇ|
ಕಲಿಯುಗಚರಿತಂ ನ ವಸತು ದುರಿತಂ ಕವಿನೃಪಜಯದೇವಕೇ || ೮|| (ರಮತೇ…….)
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 prabandha-೧೫]
ನಾಯಾತಃ ಸಖಿ ನಿರ್ದಯೋ ಯದಿ ಶಠಸ್ತ್ವಂ ದೂತಿ ಕಿಂ ದೂಯಸೇ
ಸ್ವಚ್ಛನ್ದಂ ಬಹುವಲ್ಲಭಃ ಸ ರಮತೇ ಕಿಂ ತತ್ರ ತೇ ದೂಷಣಮ್|
ಪಶ್ಯಾದ್ಯ ಪ್ರಿಯಸಂಗಮಾಯ ದಯಿತಸ್ಯಾಕೃಷ್ಯಮಾಣಂ ಗುಣೈ-
ರುತ್ಕಣ್ಠಾರ್ತಿಭರಾದಿವ ಸ್ಫುಟತಿ ತಂ ಚೇತಃ ಸ್ವಯಂ ಯಾಸ್ಯತಿ ||
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 him.
ತಪತಿ ನ ಸಾ ಕಿಸಲಯಶಯನೇನ||
ಸಖಿ ಯಾ ರಮಿತಾ ವನಮಾಲಿನಾ || ೧||
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.
ಸ್ಫುಟತಿ ನ ಸಾ ಮನಸಿಜವಿಶಿಖೇನ || ೨|| (ಸಖಿ ಯಾ …)
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.
ಜ್ವಲತಿ ನ ಸಾ ಮಲಯಜಪವನೇನ|| ೩|| (ಸಖಿ ಯಾ …)
The 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.
ಲುಠತಿ ನ ಸಾ ಹಿಮಕರಕಿರಣೇನ || ೪|| (ಸಖಿ ಯಾ …)
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.
ದಲತಿ ನ ಸಾ ಹೃದಿ ವಿರಹಭರೇಣ || ೫|| (ಸಖಿ ಯಾ …)
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.
ಶ್ವಸಿತಿ ನ ಸಾ ಪರಿಜನಹಸನೇನ || ೬|| (ಸಖಿ ಯಾ …)
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
ವಹತಿ ನ ಸಾ ರುಜಮತಿಕರುಣೇನ|| ೭|| (ಸಖಿ ಯಾ …)
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.
ಪ್ರವಿಶತು ಹರಿರಪಿ ಹೃದಯಮನೇನ|| ೮|| (ಸಖಿ ಯಾ …)
My Hari enter your heart by these words spoken by Jayadeva.
The following are the words of Radha reflecting the state of her mind:
ಪ್ರಸೀದ ರೇ ದಕ್ಷೀಣ ಮುಞ್ಚ ವಾಮತಾಮ್|
ಕ್ಷಣಂ ಜಗತ್ಪ್ರಾಣ ವಿಧಾಯ ಮಾಧವಂ
ಪುರೋ ಮಮ ಪ್ರಾಣಹರೋ ಭವಿಷ್ಯಸಿ || ೧||
O 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)
ರಿಪುರಿವ ಸಖೀ ಸಂವಾಸೋಽಯಂ ಶಿಖೀವ ಹಿಮಾನಿಲೋ
ವಿಷಮಿವ ಸುಧಾರಶ್ಮಿರ್ಯಸ್ಮಿನ್ ದುನೋತಿ ಮನೋಗತೇ|
ಹೃದಯಮದಯೇ ತಸ್ಮಿನ್ನೇವಂ ಪುನರ್ವಲತೇ ಬಲಾತ್
ಕುವಲಯದೃಶಾಂ ವಾಮಃ ಕಾಮೋ ನಿಕಾಮನಿರಂಕುಶಃ || ೨||
O 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 concerned.
ಬಾಧಾಂ ವಿಧೇಹಿ ಮಲಯಾನಿಲ ಪಂಚಬಾಣ
ಪ್ರಾಣಾನ್ ಗೃಹಾಣ ನ ಗೃಹಂ ಪುನರಾಶ್ರಯಿಷ್ಯೇ|
ಕಿಂ ತೇ ಕೃತಾನ್ತಭಗಿನಿ ಕ್ಷಮಯಾ ತರಂಗೈ-
ರಂಗಾನಿ ಸಿಂಚ ಮಮ ಶಾಮ್ಯತು ದೇಹದಾಹಃ || ೩||
O 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.
ಶ್ರೀಗೋವಿನ್ದಪದಾರವಿನ್ದಮಶುಭಸ್ಕನ್ದಾಯ ವನ್ದಾಮಹೇ || ೪||
Prostrations 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.
ಇತಿ ಶ್ರೀಗೀತಗೋವಿನ್ದೇ ಶೃಙ್ಗಾರಮಹಾಕಾವ್ಯೇ ವಾಸಕಸಜ್ಜಾವರ್ಣನೇ
ನಾಗರನಾರಾಯಣೋ ನಾಮ ಸಪ್ತಮಃಸರ್ಗಃ