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 sensitivity 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 Eleventh Chapter (ಏಕಾದಶಃ 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.
ಸುಚಿರಮನುನಯೇನ ಪ್ರೀಣಯಿತ್ವಾ ಮೃಗಾಕ್ಷೀಂ
ಗತವತಿ ಕೃತವೇಷೇ ಕೇಶವೇ ಕುಞ್ಜಶಯ್ಯಾಮ್|
ರಚಿತರುಚಿರಭೂಷಾಂ ದೃಷ್ಟಿಮೋಷೇ ಪ್ರದೋಷೇ
ಸ್ಫುರತಿ ನಿರವಸಾದಾಂ ಕಾಪಿ ರಾಧಾಂ ಜಗಾದ || ೧||
Having made Radha happy by his conciliatory words, Krishna, decked in his fine clothes, went to his arbour-bed for rest . It was twilight which steals one’s eyes and someone spoke thus to Radha who was decked out in her finery and was in a cheerful mood.
ಸಂಪ್ರತಿ ಮಞ್ಜುಲವಞ್ಜುಲಸೀಮನಿ ಕೇಲಿಶಯನಮನುಯಾತಮ್|
ಮುಗ್ಧೇ ಮಧುಮಥನಮನುಸರ ರಾಧಿಕೇ || ೧||
O Radha! Having spoken sweet words to you and having bowed at your feet Krishna has retired to his arbour and is lying on his bed. O pretty Radha! follow him, enemy of Madhu, into the arbour.
ಮುಖರಿತಮಣಿಮಞ್ಜೀರಮುಪೇಹಿ ವಿಧೇಹಿ ಮರಾಲವಿಕಾರಮ್|| ೨|| (ಮುಗ್ಧೇ ….)
O Radha! Walking slowly with your heavy breasts and hips and with the tinkling sound of the small bells in your girdle, imitate the swan in your gait and (approach Krishna). O pretty Radha! etc.
ಶೃಣು ರಮಣೀಯತರಂ ತರುಣೀಜನಮೋಹನಮಧುರಿಪುರಾವಮ್|
ಕುಸುಮಶರಾಸನಶಾಸನವನ್ದಿನಿ ಪಿಕನಿಕರೇ ಭಜ ಭಾವಮ್ || ೩|| (ಮುಗ್ಧೇ ….)
Hear the melodies from the flute of Krishna which are sweet and captivate the hearts of young women. Listen to the cuckoos which praise the commands of Cupid. O Pretty Radha! etc.
ಅನಿಲತರಲಕಿಸಲಯನಿಕರೇಣ ಕರೇಣ ಲತಾನಿಕುರುಮ್ಬಮ್|
ಪ್ರೇರಣಮಿವ ಕರಭೋರು! ಕರೋತಿ ಗತಿಂ ಪ್ರತಿ ಮುಞ್ಚ ವಿಲಮ್ಬಮ್|| ೪|| (ಮುಗ್ಧೇ ….)
O Radha! whose thighs resemble trunks of elephants! These creepers, with their hands of leaf buds waving in the wind, prompt you to go to Krishna. Don’t delay any more. O Pretty Radha! etc.
ಪೃಚ್ಛ ಮನೋಹರಹಾರವಿಮಲಜಲಧಾರಮಮುಂ ಕುಚಕುಮ್ಭಮ್ || ೫|| (ಮುಗ್ಧೇ ….)
O Radha! ask your pot-like breasts, adorned by a necklace which is like a pure slender column of water, which are trembling as if in a wave of passion indicating Hari’s embrace. Pretty Radha! etc
ಅಧಿಗತಮಖಿಲಸಖೀಭಿರಿದಂ ತವ ವಪುರಪಿ ರತಿರಣಸಜ್ಜಮ್|
ಚಣ್ಡಿ! ರಣಿತರಶನಾರವಡಿಣ್ಡಿಮಮಭಿಸರ ಸರಸಮಲಜ್ಜಮ್ || ೬|| (ಮುಗ್ಧೇ ….)
O Radha! all your friends know that you body is ready for the love-fight. O Chandi! go to the rendezvous with your girdle announcing your arrival, shaking off your shyness and in a joyous mood. Pretty Radha! etc
ಸ್ಮರಶರಸುಭಗನಖೇನ ಸಖೀಮವಲಮ್ಬ್ಯ ಕರೇಣ ಸಲೀಲಮ್|
ಚಲವಲಯಕ್ವಣಿತೈರವಬೋಧಯ ಹರಿಮಪಿ ನಿಜಗತಿಶೀಲಮ್ || ೭|| (ಮುಗ್ಧೇ ….)
Playfully taking the support of your Sakhi with your hand having nails as the arrows of Cupid, announce your arrival to Krishna by the tinkling of your bracelets. Pretty Radha! etc
ಹರಿವಿನಿಹಿತಮನಸಾಮಧಿತಿಷ್ಠತು ಕಣ್ಠತಟೀಮವಿರಾಮಮ್|| ೮|| (ಮುಗ್ಧೇ ….)
May this song by Jayadeva more beautiful than the necklace stay perpetually in the throat of those whose minds always rest in Hari. Pretty Radha! etc
ಸಾ ಮಾಂ ದ್ರಕ್ಷ್ಯತಿ ವಕ್ಷ್ಯತಿ ಸ್ಮರಕಥಾಂ ಪ್ರತ್ಯಙ್ಗಮಾಲಿಙ್ಗನೈಃ|
ಪ್ರೀತಿಂ ಯಾಸ್ಯತಿ ರಂಸ್ಯತೇ ಸಖಿ ಸಮಾಗತ್ಯೇತಿ ಚಿನ್ತಾಕುಲಃ|| ೧||
ಸ ತ್ವಾಂ ಪಶ್ಯತಿ ವೇಪತೇ ಪುಲಕಯತ್ಯಾನನ್ದತಿ ಸ್ವಿದ್ಯತಿ
ಪ್ರತ್ಯುದ್ಗಚ್ಛತಿ ಮೂರ್ಛತಿ ಸ್ಥಿರತಮಃ ಪುಞ್ಜೇ ನಿಕುಞ್ಜೇ ಪ್ರಿಯಃ|| ೨||
Sakhi tells Radha: O Radha! Krishna in his dark bower is immersed in thought thinking about you : “Radha will come, she will see me, tell me about her love, embrace every limb of mine and feel happy and engage in love play”. He mentally visualises seeing you, trembles, bristles, makes love, sweats and when he recovers from his reverie, he swoons not seeing you.
ಅಕ್ಷ್ಣೋರ್ನಿಕ್ಷಿಪ ಕಜ್ಜಲಂ ಶ್ರವಣ್ಯೋಸ್ತಾಪಿಚ್ಛಗುಚ್ಛಾವಲೀಂ
ಮೂರ್ಧ್ನಿ ಶ್ಯಾಮಸರೋಜದಾಮ ಕುಚಯೋಃ ಕಸ್ತೂರಿಕಾಪತ್ರಕಮ್|
ಧೂರ್ತಾನಾಮಭಿಸಾರಸತ್ವರಹೃದಾಂ ವಿಷ್ವಙ್ನಿಕುಞ್ಜೇ ಸಖಿ!
ಧ್ವಾನ್ತಂ ನೀಲನಿಚೋಲಚಾರುಸುದೃಶಾಂ ಪ್ರತ್ಯಙ್ಗಮಾಲಿಙ್ಗತಿ|| ೩||
O Radha! apply mascara (kajal) to your eyes, put tapinchcha blossoms in your ears, adorn your head with blue lotus flowers, mark your breasts with deer musk. This is how women deck themselves while going to the rendezvous where they meet their paramours. Darkness completely envelopes these young women in dark blue clothes.
ತತ್ಪ್ರೇಮಹೇಮನಿಕಷೋಪಲತಾಂ ತನೋತಿ || ೪||
The women of easy virtue on the way to meet their paramours are completely enveloped by this darkness which is darker than the tamala petals and which, like the touchstone for testing gold, serves as the touchstone for testing their love.
ದ್ವಾರೇ ನಿಕುಞ್ಜನಿಲಯಸ್ಯ ಹರಿಂ ನಿರೀಕ್ಷ್ಯ
ವ್ರೀಡಾವತೀಮಥ ಸಖೀ ನಿಜಗಾದ ರಾಧಾಮ್ || ೫||
Seeing Hari, radiant in gold and gem-studded necklaces, armlets, bracelets, girdle etc, at the entrance to the love-bower Radha was overcome by shyness. Her friend (sakhi )spoke to her thus:
ಗಿತಗೋವಿನ್ದಮ್ – ಅಷ್ಟಪದೀ-೨೧
ಇಹ ವಿಲಸ ರತಿರಭಸಹಸಿತವದನೇ||
ಪ್ರವಿಶ ರಾಧೇ! ಮಾಧವಸಮೀಪಮಿಹ|| ೧||
O Radha with face lit up in a smile with the urge for love sport in this beautiful bower-house! enter the bower and go near Madhava.
ಇಹ ವಿಲಸ ಕುಚಕಲಶತರಲಹಾರೇ || ೨|| (ಪ್ರವಿಶ …)
O Radha with necklaces curling on your breasts! sport with Hari on the bed made of fresh ashoka blossoms. Enter the bower....
ಇಹ ವಿಲಸ ಕುಸುಮಸುಕುಮಾರದೇಹೇ || ೩|| (ಪ್ರವಿಶ …)
O Radha of body as soft as flower! Sport with Hari in the clean bower-house made of heaps of flowers. Enter the bower.....
ಇಹ ವಿಲಸ ರಸವಲಿತಲಲಿತಗೀತೇ || ೪|| (ಪ್ರವಿಶ …)
O Radha whose songs are full of rasa and melodious! sport with Hari in the bower which is cool and fragrant as the breeze from the malaya mountain. Enter the bower.....
ಇಹ ವಿಲಸ ಪೀನಕುಚಕುಮ್ಭಜಘನೇ || ೫|| (ಪ್ರವಿಶ …)
O Radha of heavy breasts and broad hips! sport with Hari in the bower of thick creepers and tender leaves. Enter the bower.....
ಇಹ ವಿಲಸ ಮದನಶರರಭಸಭಾವೇ || ೬|| (ಪ್ರವಿಶ …)
O Radha urged on by the arrows of Cupid! Sport with Hari in the bower where bees intoxicated by the flower honey are humming. Enter the bower.....
ಇಹ ವಿಲಸ ದಶನರುಚಿ ರುಚಿರಶಿಖರೇ || ೭|| (ಪ್ರವಿಶ …)
O Radha of radiant white teeth and beautiful tresses! Sport with Hari in the bower which is full of the sound of cuckoos cooing. Enter the bower.....
ಕುರು ಮುರಾರೇ ಮಙ್ಗಲಶತಾನಿ|
ಭಣಿತಜಯದೇವಕವಿರಾಜರಾಜೇ || ೮|| (ಪ್ರವಿಶ …)
O Murari! Bestow hundreds of auspicious things on the king of poets Jayadeva who creates all comforts for Padmavati. Enter the bower.....
ತ್ವಾಂ ಚಿತ್ತೇನ ಚಿರಂ ವಹನ್ನಯಮತಿಶ್ರಾನ್ತೋ ಭೃಶಂ ತಾಪಿತಃ
ಕನ್ದರ್ಪೇಣ ಚ ಪಾತುಮಿಚ್ಛತಿ ಸುಧಾಸಮ್ಬಾಧಬಿಮ್ಬಾಧರಮ್|
ಅಸ್ಯಾಙ್ಕಂ ತದಲಙ್ಕುರು ಕ್ಷಣಮಿಹ ಭ್ರೂಕ್ಷೇಪಲಕ್ಷ್ಮ್ಯಾಸ್ತವ
ಕ್ರೀತೇ ದಾಸ ಇವೋಪಸೇವಿತಪದಾಮ್ಭೋಜೇ ಕುತಃ ಸಂಭ್ರಮಃ || ೬||
O Radha ! Krishna has been carrying you in his heart for long and he is very much tired and tormented by Cupid. He wants to drink the nectar of your lips which are red as the bimba fruit. Adorn his lap for a few seconds; don’t be agitated; he has been bought over by the beauty of your arched eyebrows and is bowing down at your lotus feet.
ಗಿತಗೋವಿನ್ದಮ್ – ಅಷ್ಟಪದೀ-೨೨
ಸಾ ಸಸಾಧ್ವಸಸಾನನ್ದಂ ಗೋವಿನ್ದೇ ಲೋಲಲೋಚನಾ|
ಶಿಞ್ಜಾನಮಞ್ಜುಮಞ್ಜೀರಂ ಪ್ರವಿವೇಶ ನಿವೇಶನಮ್ || ೭||
With fear and joy she glanced at Govinda with wavering eyes and entered the bower-house with her pretty anklets tinkling.
ಜಲನಿಧಿಮಿವ ವಿಧುಮಣ್ಡಲದರ್ಶನತರಲಿತತುಙ್ಗತರಙ್ಗಮ್|| ೧||
ಸಾ ದದರ್ಶ ಗುರುಹರ್ಷವಶಂವದವದನಮನಂಗವಿಕಾಸಮ್||
Radha saw Hari who, like the ocean with its tumultuous billows on a full moon day, was filled with different moods and emotions on seeing her. She saw Hari, who had long been desiring her with one emotion, his face in the grip of joy as well as of Cupid.
ಹಾರಮಮಲತರತಾರಮುರಸಿತತಂ ಪರಿಲಮ್ಬ್ಯ ವಿದೂರಂ|
ಸ್ಫುಟತರಫೇನಕದಮ್ಬಕರಮ್ಬಿತಮಿವ ಯುಮುನಾಜಲಪೂರಮ್|| ೨|| (ಹರಿಮೇಕರಸಂ…)
The pure white chain of pearls on Hari’s chest was long and far-reaching like the foams on the dark waters of the Yamuna. She saw Hari ….
ನೀಲನಲಿನಮಿವ ಪೀತಪರಾಗಪಟಲಭರ ವಲಯಿತ ಮೂಲಮ್ || ೩|| (ಹರಿಮೇಕರಸಂ…)
The bright yellow silks on his dark and soft body resembled the blue lotus flower surrounded by the yellow-coloured particles of pollen . She saw Hari ..
ಸ್ಫುಟಕಮಲೋದರಖೇಲಿತಖಞ್ಜನಯುಗಮಿವ ಶರದಿ ತಡಾಗಮ್|| ೪|| (ಹರಿಮೇಕರಸಂ…)
The liquid roving eyes were red with passionate love as if they were a pair of khanjana birds on a lotus flower blooming in the midst of a lake in Autumn. She saw Hari…
ಸ್ಮಿತರುಚಿರುಚಿರಸಮುಲ್ಲಸಿತಾಧರಪಲ್ಲವಕೃತರತಿಲೋಭಮ್ || ೫|| (ಹರಿಮೇಕರಸಂ…)
The two ear-globes shining like the sun looked as if they were together examining the lotus-face of Hari. His lips red like tender leaves were lighted up by a beautiful smile creating desire for love sport in women. She saw Hari …
ತಿಮಿರೋದಿತವಿಧುಮಣ್ಡಲನಿರ್ಮಲಮಲಯಜತಿಲಕನಿವೇಶಮ್ || ೬|| (ಹರಿಮೇಕರಸಂ…)
His hair adorned with flowers resembled like dark clouds penetrated by the rays of the sun. The mark on his brow by sandal paste resembled the orb of the moon rising out of darkness. She saw Hari …
ಮಣಿಗಣಕಿರಣಸಮೂಹಸಮುಜ್ಜ್ವಲಭೂಷಣಸುಭಗ ಶರೀರಮ್|| ೭|| (ಹರಿಮೇಕರಸಂ…)
Hari’s body was bristling, he was excited about love sport and his body was handsome with the radiance of the gem stones in his ornaments. She saw Hari….
ಪ್ರಣಮತ ಹೃದಿ ವಿನಿಧಾಯ ಹರಿಂ ಸುಚಿರಸುಕೃತೋದಯಸಾರಮ್ || ೮|| (ಹರಿಮೇಕರಸಂ…)
Hari is adorned with twice as many ornaments as have been described by Jayadeva. Instal in your heart Hari who is the essence of meritorious deeds done by you
ಇದಾನೀಂ ರಾಧಾಯಾಃ ಪ್ರಿಯತಮಸಮಾಲೋಕಸಮಯೇ
ಪಪಾತ ಸ್ವೇದಾಂಬುಪ್ರಸರ ಇವ ಹರ್ಷಾಶ್ರುನಿಕರಃ || ೮||
Now, when Radha was looking at her dearest lover, her eyes shed profuse tears of joy as if it was the profusion of sweat produced in their (eyes’) effort to reach upto the ears transgressing their corners.
ಸ್ಮಿತೇ ಯಾತೇ ಗೇಹಾದ್ಬಹಿರವಹಿತಾಲೀಪರಿಜನೇ|
ಪ್ರಿಯಾಸ್ಯಂ ಪಶ್ಯನ್ತ್ಯಾಃ ಸ್ಮರಶರವಶಾಕೂತಸುಭಗಂ
ಸಲಜ್ಜಾಯಾಃ ಲಜ್ಜಾ ವ್ಯಗಮದಿವ ದೂರಂ ಮೃಗದೃಶಃ|| ೯||
Radha was sitting at the edge of the bed and was concealing her smile in the guise of scratching her ear or some other part of her body. When her friends left the bower she looked at the face of her lover who was under the control of the arrows of Cupid. Then it was as if doe-eyed Radha’s shyness itself fled ashamed.
ಜಯಶ್ರೀವಿನ್ಯಸ್ತೈರ್ಮಹಿತ ಇವ ಮನ್ದಾರಕುಸುಮೈಃ
ಸ್ವಯಂ ಸಿನ್ದೂರೇಣ ದ್ವಿಪರಣಮುದಾ ಮುದ್ರಿತ ಇವ|
ಪ್ರಕೀರ್ಣಾಸೃಗ್ಬಿನ್ದುರ್ಜಯತಿ ಭುಜದಣ್ಡೋ ಮುರಜಿತಃ || ೧೦||
Victory to the arms of the slayer of Mura whose arms were dotted with the blood of the elephant, Kuvalayapeeda, which was playfully killed by Krishna with his strong arms which were adorned with mandara flowers by Lakshmi to mark this victory and which Krishna himself adorned with saffron to celebrate the joyous occasion.
ಇತಿ ಶ್ರೀಗೀತಗೋವಿನ್ದೇ ಶೃಙ್ಗಾರಮಹಾಕಾವ್ಯೇ ರಾಧಾವರ್ಣನೇ
ಸಾನನ್ದಗಿವಿನ್ದೋ ನಾಮ ಏಕಾದಶ: ಸರ್ಗಃ