Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ashtapathy 1- Dasavathaara and Jayadeva

When the king Lakshmanasena of Krouncha and Jayadeva had been to the forest in search of the thieves who robbed jayadeva, Padmavathy and the queen were arguing about the “Padivradha dharma”. Padmavathy told the queen, like “savithri”, the pious ladies will call their death when their husband gets moksha. The queen wanted to test this with Padmavathy. She told a lie telling that Jayadeva was killed by wild animals when the king and jayadeva were in forest. Hearing this Padmavathy collapsed. Fearing of the consequences, the queen dumped the dead body in a big box and kept it in her royal palace. When the king and Jayadeva returned from forest, they came to know about the entire episode. Jayadeva sung this Dasavathara song and Padmavathy got her life back. She came out of the box as if she woke up from a deep sleep. Seeing all these happenings the king drew her sword and was about to kill the queen, Jayadeva who was handicapped by the thieves, got the legs by the grace of Lord Jagannatha and came running and stopped the king in killing the queen.
The Dasavatara Stotra is a Hymn in salutation to the ten incarnations of Lord Maha Vishnu. The Stotra forms the first section of Gita Govinda, the masterpiece work of Sri Jayadeva.
Sri Jayadeva in the Dasavatara Stotra enumerates the ten incarnations of the Lord. Sri Krishna Chaitanya, the great Vaishnavite saint took inspiration from his songs. Jayadeva starts his Geetha Govindham with a prayer to Lord Krishna in his Dasavatara song. This song has Buddha as an incarnation of Vishnu. In this hymn he has written about ten incarnations of Lord Krishna and not about ten incarnations of Vishnu. 

In the Sri Krishna temple of Guruvayoor in Kerala, Jayadeva's songs are sung daily in Carnatic Music ragas. In Nepal, they are sung during the Spring festivals. Guru Arjun Singh included two of Jayadeva's songs in Adi Guru Grantha, the holy scripture of the Sikhs.