Showing posts with label Gitagovinda. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gitagovinda. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Is Radha In Hindu Mythology?


Radha is the lady depicted as the deity Krishna's lover and companion in later devotional (bhakti) literature.

Radha's love for Krishna is a metaphor for the soul's longing for unification with the divine, portrayed via passionate love's poetic traditions.

Although there are a few mentions to Radha in poetry dating back to the seventh century, Jayadeva's lyric poem the Gitagovinda, written in the eleventh century, is her earliest detailed representation.

The narrative of Radha and Krishna's love, their fight and separation, and their final reconciliation is told in the Gitagovinda.

Radha is portrayed in a unique way by Jayadeva.

In the poem, Radha expresses her desire to be Krishna's solitary lover and friend.

She pouts jealously when he flirts with other women, and she snubs him violently when he returns to her with hints of another tryst.

They reunite in the end, and passionate love becomes a symbol of their togetherness.

The lyrical text given by Jayadeva's hymn Dashavatara Stotra brings this image of Radha and Krishna's love, separation, and reunion into fuller clarity.

After the text's introductory verses, Jayadeva describes the accomplishments of Krishna's 10 incarnations (avatars).

The hymn's final verses specifically mention Krishna as the ultimate source of the ten avatars, reminding listeners that the person playing a role in this drama of jealousy, repentance, and reconciliation is none other than the Lord of the Universe Himself, who has saved the world from destruction in the past.

Unlike previous representations of Krishna, which portray his relationships with his followers (bhakta) as a type of "play" (lila), the Krishna in the Gitagovinda seems to be less lofty and distant, and more personally and profoundly concerned with Radha as the object of his adoration.

Krishna is shown in the poem as someone who is highly affected by emotions and who reciprocates his devotee's sentiments in a meaningful way.

The inner interaction between the two lovers is the core of Jayadeva's literary attention, and he discloses nothing about Radha outside of this connection.

Radha's character evolved in a variety of ways following the Gitagovinda.

Radha's trysts with Krishna take on the hue of adulterous, forbidden love according to certain poets, who represent her as married to another man.

In Indian poetry, this love is seen as more passionate since the lovers have nothing to gain from the affair other than the love itself, and they risk losing everything if they are found.

Radha is a sign of someone who is prepared to risk and lose all for the sake of love itself.

Radha's character is also explored in a manner that contradicts this adulterous depiction.

Radha is depicted in various traditions not as a simple woman devoured by Krishna's love, but as his wife, consort, and divine force (shakti), through whose agency Krishna may operate in the universe.

For the Nimbarka religious community, who saw Radha and Krishna as manifestations of Lakshmi and Narayana, this deified figure of Radha was very important.

The Radhavallabh community was another sect that promoted equality, with members emphasizing Krishna's devotion for Radha.

See Barbara Stoller Miller (ed. and trans. ), The Love Song of the Dark Lord, 1977, and David R. Kinsley, Hindu Goddesses, 1986, for further information about Radha.

Hinduism - Who Was Jayadeva?

 (12th century) Poet and creator of the Gitagovinda, a lyric devotional poetry that employs the lovers Krishna and Radha's separation and final reunion as a metaphor for the human soul's connection with God.

Jayadeva resided in the temple of the deity Jagannath at Puri, where his wife Padmavati was a dancer, according to legend.

She is supposed to have been the first to dance to Jayadeva's songs as a sacrifice to Jagannath, and the Gitagovinda continues to be sung and performed as part of temple devotion to this day.

Barbara Stoller Miller (ed. and trans. ), The Love Song of the Dark Lord, 1977, has further details.


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Hinduism - What Is The Gitagovinda?


Gitagovinda ("Govinda's Song") is a song written by Jayadeva, a poet from the twelfth century.

The Gitagovinda is one of the last major devotional (bhakti) books composed in Sanskrit and is an exceptional example of Sanskrit poetry.

It was written at a period when vernacular languages were becoming the common medium for spiritual religiosity.

Jayadeva was affiliated with the Jagannath temple in the eastern Indian city of Puri, and his wife Padmavati was a dancer at the same temple, according to legend.

The Gitagovinda is a devotional poem dedicated to Jagannath, the Hindu deity.

The poem was clearly written to be sung, since each of the twenty-four cantos is composed in a distinct musical style (raga), conveying a different feeling.

For at least 500 years, the narrative has been portrayed via dance in the Orissi dance form, which originated in the Jagannath temple.

The Gitagovinda is still employed in Jagannath's daily devotion and has a place that no other literary source can match.

The Gitagovinda is a symbol of the human soul's oneness with God.

This union is shown in the narrative of Krishna's love for his human bride Radha, as they go through an early flush of desire, followed by jealousy, separation, reconciliation, and reunion.

Despite the abundance of motifs from Sanskrit love poetry in Jayadeva's narrative, it is considerably more than a romantic book.

The poem was composed to demonstrate that Krishna is the supreme ruler of the universe.

The Dashavatara Stotra, the first cantos following the introduction, offer praise to Krishna in his 10 avatars or earthly incarnations (Dashavatar), each of whom plays a role in maintaining cosmic balance.

In many portions of Hindu tradition, Krishna is regarded an incarnation of the divinity Vishnu, but for Jayadeva, Krishna is the highest deity.

Krishna's brother, Balarama, takes Krishna's position in the enumeration of the avatars, which he typically occupies.

The next song builds on this topic, describing Krishna's glorious attributes as Vishnu and underlining that the whole Gitagovinda represents the deity's divine pastime (lila).

After establishing the necessary backdrop in the early songs, Jayadeva's writing returns to a more traditional romantic love story.

The symbols of spring are described in the next chapter, which are meant to induce a romantic atmosphere.

However, Radha's jealously marrs the atmosphere when Krishna engages in games with a group of cowherd females, since she seeks Krishna for herself alone.

She withdraws and sits alone, pouting and dejected, only to erupt in wrath when Krishna appears, carrying evidence of yet another amorous connection.

Krishna realizes what he has done as a result of her rage and rejection.

He ultimately manages to calm her down and persuade Radha of his love.

They reconnect and fall in love passionately.

The book concludes with a description of their afterglow love play, in which Radha commands Krishna to decorate her as she likes, demonstrating her total control over him.

The Gitagovinda may be read on many different levels at the same time as a text.

Love, betrayal, and reconciliation are easy to relate to in daily life, yet theological and mystical dimensions are constantly present.

Finally, the god and the devotee (bhakta) are depicted as being in need of and adoring each other.

Without the other, neither is whole.

Radha's quest for exclusive love is first rebuffed, but her perseverance and determination are rewarded in the end.

Barbara Stoller Miller's superb translation of the Gitagovinda, The Love Song of the Dark Lord, was published in 1977.

Goa is one of contemporary India's tiniest states.

On the Arabian Sea's coast, it is sandwiched between the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka.

For more than 400 years, Goa remained a Portuguese colony, and it was not included into the Indian union until 1961, when India orchestrated a bloodless invasion.

Goa maintains much of its Portuguese influence, as seen by its gastronomy, laid-back pace, and continued presence of Roman Catholicism, making it one of India's most peculiar cultural zones.

Christine Nivin et al., India. 8th ed., Lonely Planet, 1998, provides an accessible reference for general information on Goa and all of India's provinces. 

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.