Thursday, March 17, 2011


The birth and life of Jayadeva are masked in the various legends and regional paeans of the provinces of West Bengal and Orissa, each province claiming him to be their own (Kaminsky 24). Indeed, after completing the Gitagovinda, such was Jayadeva’s fame and eminence that numerous local versions of this legend grew into disagreeing traditions about Jayadeva’s origin and poetic activity. Contemporary scholars of Bengal, Orissa, and Mithila have published claims locating the hamlet of his birthplace in their respective regions. Indeed, two strong traditions say that “Kindubilva” mentioned in the Gitagovinda is either a village near Puri in Orissa or a village in the modern Birbhum district of Bengal. A third tradition recognizes the village of Kenduli near Jenjharpur in Mithila as Jayadeva’s place of birth (Miller 3-5). Sources are ambiguous on whether or not he wrote the Gitagovinda while he was the court poet of Laksmanasena Kam, the last Hindu king of Bengal (1179-1209) (Siegel 209-210), but it is generally accepted that after  the completion of the Gitagovinda, Jayadeva and his wife went on a pilgrimage to Vrndavana.  For now, it is relatively safe to say that Jayadeva resided and wrote in eastern India during the latter half of the twelfth century (Miller 4).
Radhamadhava always took great care of His Jayadeva. It is recorded in Bhaktamala that once Jayadeva was repairing the roof of his cottage during a hot summer afternoon. Lord Hari took pity upon him and to minimize the sufferings of His devotee Jayadeva, The Lord Himself began to drill holes in the covering sheets and pass them to Jayadeva, who was happily thinking that it was his wife Padmavati helping him. However, when he came down after finishing the job he did not find anyone there. Jayadeva realized that he must have been helped by his ever merciful Lord Hari and thus he offered humble prayers to the Lord with renewed devotion.