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 Tenth Chapter (ದಶಮಃ 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.
ನಿಃಶ್ವಾಸನಿಃಸಹಮುಖೀಂ ಸಮುಪತ್ಯೇ ರಾಧಾಮ್|
By this time it was sunset and Radha was still in an angry mood, her breathing was fast and her face had a tired look. Seeing Krishna, she looked at her friend with a tinge of shyness on her face. Krishna, whose happiness knew no bounds on seeing Radha, spoke to her thus, his voice choking with emotion.
ವದಸಿ ಯದಿ ಕಿಞ್ಚಿದಪಿ ದನ್ತರುಚಿಕೌಮುದೀ
ಸ್ಫುರದಧರಸೀಧವೇ ತವ ವದನಚನ್ದ್ರಮಾ
ಪ್ರಿಯೇ ಚಾರುಶೀಲೇ ಪ್ರಿಯೇ ಚಾರುಶೀಲೇ
ಮುಞ್ಚ ಮಯಿ ಮಾನಮನಿದಾನಮ್ |
ಸಪದಿ ಮದನಾನಲೋ ದಹತಿ ಮಮ ಮಾನಸಂ
ದೇಹಿ ಮುಖಕಮಲಮಧುಪಾನಮ್ || ೧||
O Radha! even if you talk only a little the moonlight-like radiance of your teeth dispels the terrible darkness of my grief. Your moon-like face is prompting my chakora-eyes to drink the nectar from your lips.
My love, your conduct is indeed charming. Give up this aloofness from me. You have no cause to be cross with me. The fire of passion is burning my heart; allow me to drink the nectar from your lotus-face.
ಸತ್ಯಮೇವಾಸಿ ಯದಿ ಸುದತಿ! ಮಯಿ ಕೋಪಿನೀ
ಘಟಯ ಭುಜಬನ್ಧನಂ ಜನಯ ರದಖಣ್ಡನಂ
ಯೇನ ವಾ ಭವತಿ ಸುಖಜಾತಮ್ || ೨|| (ಪ್ರಿಯೇ ಚಾರುಶೀಲೇ ….)
O Radha with beautiful teeth! If you are really angry with me, claw at my body with your sharp nails, bind me with your arms or inflict injury with your teeth-all of which will be a source of pleasure for me. My love, etc…..
ತ್ವಮಸಿ ಮಮ ಭೂಷಣಂ ತ್ವಮಸಿ ಮಮ ಜೀವನಂ
ತ್ವಮಸಿ ಮಮ ಭವಜಲಧಿರತ್ನಮ್|
ಭವತು ಭವತೀಹ ಮಯಿ ಸತತಮನುರೋಧಿನೀ
ತತ್ರ ಮಮ ಹೃದಯಮತಿಯತ್ನಮ್|| ೩|| (ಪ್ರಿಯೇ ಚಾರುಶೀಲೇ ….)
You are my ornament, you are my life, you are the gem of my ocean of samsara . My heart always endeavours to see that you are always in my favour. My love, etc…
ನೀಲನಲಿನಾಭಮಪಿ ತನ್ವಿ! ತವ ಲೋಚನಂ
ಕುಸುಮಶರಬಾಣಭಾವೇನ ಯದಿ ರಞ್ಜಯಸಿ
ಕೃಷ್ಣಮಿದಮೇತದನುರೂಪಮ್ || ೪|| (ಪ್ರಿಯೇ ಚಾರುಶೀಲೇ ….)
Though your eyes are like the blue lotus they are also red like the red lotus because of your being angry. If you use them on me as the arrows of Cupid, it would be most appropriate. My love, etc..
ರಞ್ಜಯತು ತವ ಹೃದಯದೇಶಮ್ |
ರಸತು ರಶನಾಪಿ ತವ ಘನಜಘನಮಣ್ಡಲೇ
ಘೋಷಯತು ಮನ್ಮಥನಿದೇಶಮ್ || ೫|| (ಪ್ರಿಯೇ ಚಾರುಶೀಲೇ ….)
Let the necklace of gems shining on your breasts gladden the region of your heart and the tinkling sound of the girdle around your hips announce the command of Cupid. My love, etc
ಸ್ಥಲಕಮಲಗಞ್ಜನಂ ಮಮ ಹೃದಯರಞ್ಜನಂ
ಭಣ ಮಸೃಣವಾಣಿ ಕರವಾಣಿ ಚರಣದ್ವಯಂ
ಸರಸಲಸದಲಕ್ತಕರಾಗಮ್ || ೬|| (ಪ್ರಿಯೇ ಚಾರುಶೀಲೇ ….)
Tell me O Radha of soft voice! May I adorn, with shining red lac paint, your feet which excel the hibiscus and delights my heart.... etc. My love, etc.......
ಸ್ಮರಗರಲಖಣ್ಡನಂ ಮಮ ಶಿರಸಿ ಮಣ್ಡನಂ
ಜ್ವಲತಿ ಮಯಿ ದಾರುಣೋ ಮದನಕದನಾನಲೋ
ಹರತು ತದುಪಹಿತವಿಕಾರಮ್ || ೭|| (ಪ್ರಿಯೇ ಚಾರುಶೀಲೇ ….)
Place your feet, tender and smooth as leaf buds, on my head so that it will adorn my head and counteract the poison of Cupid. It will quench the fire of passion which is burning the inside of me. My love, etc....
ಭಾರತೀಭಣಿತಮಿತಿ ಗೀತಮ್ || ೮|| (ಪ್ರಿಯೇ ಚಾರುಶೀಲೇ ….)
Thus has the poet Jayadeva, consort of Padmavati, sung about the sweet, charming and pleasing words of Krishna addressed to Radha. My love etc
ಪರಿಹರ ಕೃತಾತಙ್ಕೇ ಶಙ್ಕಾಂ ತ್ವಯಾ ಸತತಂ ಘನ-
ಸ್ತನಜಘನಯಾಕ್ರಾನ್ತೇ ಸ್ವಾನ್ತೇ ಪರಾನವಕಾಶಿನಿ|
ವಿಶತಿ ವಿತನೋರನ್ಯೋ ಧನ್ಯೋ ನ ಕೋಽಪಿ ಮಮಾನ್ತರಂ
ಸ್ತನಭರಪರೀರಮ್ಭಾರಂಭೇ ವಿಧೇಹಿ ವಿಧೇಯತಾಮ್ || ೧||
O Radha! Do not have any doubt that I am dallying with another young woman. My heart is fully occupied by you with your heavy breasts and hips and there is no room there for someone else. Allow me therefore to embrace you with your breasts pressed against me.
ಮುಗ್ಧೇ! ವಿಧೇಹಿ ಮಯಿ ನಿರ್ದಯದನ್ತದಂಶಂ
ಚಣ್ಡಿ! ತ್ವಮೇವ ಮುದಮಞ್ಚಯ ಪಞ್ಚಬಾಣ-
ಚಣ್ಡಾಲಕಾಣ್ಡದಲನಾದಸವಃ ಪ್ರಯಾನ್ತಿ || ೨||
O Beautiful One! Inflict on me merciless bites of your teeth. Bind me with the creepers of your hands. Inflict on me the pressure of your full breasts. You only can delight me. e. My life is ebbing out pierced by the arrows of Cupid who is a chandala
ಶಶಿಮುಖಿ! ತವ ಭಾತಿ ಭಙ್ಗುರಭ್ರೂ-
ತ್ವದಧರಸೀಧುಸುಧೈವ ಸಿದ್ಧಮನ್ತ್ರಃ || ೩||
O moon-faced one! Your arched brows are black serpents which seduce the young. To counteract the fear from those brows the nectar of your lips is the only mantra.
ವ್ಯಥಯತಿ ವೃಥಾ ಮೌನಂ ತನ್ವಿ! ಪ್ರಪಞ್ಚಯ ಪಞ್ಚಮಂ
ತರುಣಿ! ಮಧುರಾಲಾಪೈಸ್ತಾಪಂ ವಿನೋದಯ ದೃಷ್ಟಿಭಿಃ|
ಸುಮುಖಿ! ವಿಮುಖೀಭಾವಂ ತಾವದ್ವಿಮುಞ್ಚ ನ ವಞ್ಚಯ
ಸ್ವಯಮತಿಶಯಸ್ನಿಗ್ಧೋ ಮುಗ್ಧೇ! ಪ್ರಿಯೋಽಹಮುಪಸ್ಥಿತಃ|| ೪||
O slender one! Your purposeless silence pains me. Remove the sorrow in my heart by your sweet talk and delight me with your glance. O pretty one! shake off your aloofness. Do not deceive me. I am extremely loving and I am present here before very eyes.
ಬನ್ಧೂಕದ್ಯುತಿಬಾನ್ಧವೋಽಯಮಧರಃ ಸ್ನಿಗ್ಧೋ ಮಧೂಕಚ್ಛವಿ-
ರ್ಗಣ್ಡಶ್ಚಣ್ಡಿ! ಚಕಾಸ್ತಿ ನೀಲನಲಿನಶ್ರೀಮೋಚನಂ ಲೋಚನಮ್|
ನಾಸಾಭ್ಯೇತಿ ತಿಲಪ್ರಸೂನಪದವೀಂ ಕುನ್ದಾಭದನ್ತಿ ಪ್ರಿಯೇ!
ಪ್ರಾಯಸ್ತ್ವನ್ಮುಖಸೇವಯಾ ವಿಜಯತೇ ವಿಶ್ವಂ ಸ ಪುಷ್ಪಾಯುಧಃ || ೫||
Darling! your lips are red like the bandhuka flower, your cheeks are soft as the madhuka flower, your eyes are more beautiful than the blue lotus, the nose resembles sesame flower and teeth are like jasmine buds. I think that Cupid relies on your face which has the flower-arrows he uses for conquering the world.
ದೃಶೌ ತವ ಮದಾಲಸೇ ವದನಮಿನ್ದುಮತ್ಯಾನ್ವಿತಂ
ಗತಿರ್ಜನಮನೋರಮಾ ವಿಧುತರಂಭಮೂರುದ್ವಯಮ್ |
ರತಿಸ್ತವ ಕಲಾವತೀ ರುಚಿರಚಿತ್ರಲೇಖೇ ಭ್ರುವಾ-
ವಹೋ ವಿಬುಧಯೌವನಂ ವಹಸಿ ತನ್ವಿ! ಪೃಥ್ವೀಗತಾ || ೬||
Your eyes are lazy with exhilaration, your face is like the moon, your gait is captivating, your thighs are like stems of banana trees, your loving is a fine art, your eyebrows are pretty and picture-perfect. Being of the Earth, you carry the youth of the celestials.
ಪ್ರೀತಿಂ ವಸ್ತನುತಾಂ ಹರಿಃ ಕುವಲಯಾಪೀಡೇನ ಸಾರ್ಧಂ ರಣೇ
ಯತ್ರ ಸ್ವಿದ್ಯತಿ ಮೀಲತಿ ಕ್ಷಣಮಥ ಕ್ಷಿಪ್ತೇ ದ್ವಿಪೇ ತತ್ಕ್ಷಣಾತ್
ಕಂಸಸ್ಯಾಲಮಭೂಜ್ಜಿತಂ ಜಿತಂ ಜಿತಮಿತಿ ವ್ಯಾಮೋಹಕೋಲಾಹಲಃ || ೭||
While fighting with the kuvalayapida, Krishna remembered the ample bosom of Radha and here was the bulging forehead of the elephant. Confused, Krishna closed his eyes for a moment and then killed the elephant which fell dead. Immediately pandemonium broke out with the people shouting in confusion “Kamsa has been vanquished, Kamsa has been vanquished”. May that Krishna give you happiness.
ಇತಿ ಶ್ರೀಗೀತಗೋವಿನ್ದೇ ಶೃಙ್ಗಾರಮಹಾಕಾವ್ಯೇ ರಾಧಾವರ್ಣನೇ
ಮುಗ್ಧಮಾಧವೋ ನಾಮ ದಶಮಃ ಸರ್ಗಃ