Jayadev: A national poet and Sanskrit scholar
By Deepak Kumar Rath
Jayadev Utsav-2005 was recently organised by the Odissi Academy, Delhi. Jayadev'sGitagovinda, the first Sanskrit poetic composition on Radha-Krishna lila (love play), has a unique place in the literary world and has had far-reaching influences on the culture of the nation. This poem of love explains the physical, metaphysical and spiritual love between Krishna and Radha. Gitagovinda inspired musical compositions in the far south?in Kerala and Tamil Nadu?where the songs are sung in most Vishnu temples.
When the Sanskrit language was losing its vitality, Jayadev wrote the Gitagovinda in a very simple and attractive style which has a universal appeal. In the Gitagovinda, Jayadev has given immense importance to womanhood. He describes that a man cannot reach his destination, his goal without the guidance of a woman. In one stanza he writes: dehi pada pallava mudaram, which indicates the final victory of a woman'slove for man.
Jayadev was born in Kenduli village, Puri, Orissa and wrote the Gitagovinda in the 12th century. The Utsav was held on April 27 and 28, 2005 at India Habitat Centre, Delhi. Former President of India R. Venkataraman inaugurated the Utsav. The Jayadev Utsav began with an Odissi dance performance by Pondicherry-based Odissi dancer, Sangita Das. Renowned Kathak exponent Shobhna Narayan proved her masterly command over both footwork and abhinaya while depicting Surdas'spada ?vrindabanae raas upayo? and blended it with Gitagovinda'sashtapadi ?mamiham chalita vilokyam?. Saroja Vaidyanathan performed dasavatara on the first evening. Anaga utsav, an Odissi recital by Guru Gangadhara Pradhan, marked the conclusion of the two-day long Jayadev Utsav. On the concluding evening, Mohiniattam was presented by Bharati Shivaji who performed to two ashtapadis from Gitagovinda. Kuchipudi dancer Kaushalya Reddy showcased the beauty, mobility and sensuality through her dance performance.
Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, I&B Minister Jaipal Reddy and Orissa Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik were present on the occasion. Revenue Minister of Orissa, Manmohan Samal, Culture Minister of Orissa, Debasis Nayak, Delhi Lt. Governor B.L. Joshi and CBI Director U.S. Mishra graced the occasion. Director, Delhi Odissi Academy, Smt Kavita Dwibedi informed the audience that a national workshop on Jayadev was also organised on the occasion at Sahitya Akademi.