Translations of Gitagovinda

S Krishna mahadevasiva at
Fri Jun 27 16:13:25 UTC 1997

>REPLY TO S Krishna follows:
>On Wed, 25 Jun 1997, S Krishna wrote:
> Among Indian authoresses who have attempted to take a look at the 
>Govinda", we have Kapila Vatsyayan and Monika Verma. A perusal of 
>Vatsyayanas works would be interesting in that it compares Bundi and  
>Mewari Versions of the Gita Govinda. 
>Do you mean it compares the text of the mss?  I saw one of those books 
>and got the impression it was a study of the illustrations of the ms 
>not its text, nor was it a translation. If I am mistaken, please let me 

Krishna uvAca:
You are correct( as always:-))

>>Krishna writes:
> I also have a question for people who are interested in the Gita 
> Govinda:
> Jayadeva is variously depicted as having been a native of Orissa
> and Bengal( since there is a village called Kendubilva , the village  
>where Jayadeva lived in both states) or of KErala, since there is a  
>popular style of singing in Kerala called "sOpAnageetham" which 
>Jayadevas Ashtapadis. My question is:
> Has this question been satisfactorily resolved ? Is it now known for   
>sure as to which place he belonged to?
>Jakub Cejka says:
>>I am not aware about any substantial new material on this issue. 
>>Barbara Stoler Miller in the intro to her version of GG  (Love Song 
>the Dark Lord) from the seventies gave a brief account of the >opinions 
>on Jayadeva's birth-place. Earlier publication (reprinted >several 
>by Sahitya Academy) "Jayadeva" by, I think, S.K. >Chatterjee (?) might 
>be more detailed. It is written by a Bengali, so >you know the 
>conclusion :-) I should add that also Maithilis claimed >he was from 
>Mithila. The village in Bengal, where there is a >"Joydebmela" 
>(Jayadeva-mela) held annually is in Birbhum district and >is nowadays 
>called Kenduli.  Both Orias and Bengalis will always hold >he was from 
>their part of the eastern land. I think Kerala does not >come in 
>question.  Take for example the fact, that Jayadeva >pronounced vocalic 
>R as "ri" (evidenced together with
non-distinction of sibilants in his otherwise always perfect rhymes).
>> In Bengal (Mithila) it is and in Orissa it was pronounced so.

 This is a most interesting point!!!! This would then make one conclude 
that Jayadeva was indeed from Bengal, because  as of today,the letter 
"R" is pronounced as "ri" only in Bengal. In Orissa, it is more often 
than not pronounced as "ru"( I can vouch for the fact that 3 different 
Oriya speaking teachers that I had in high school always pronounced my 
name as "Krushna" instead of "Krishna"). From what I know, R is 
pronounced as "Ru"( with the exception of words like Krishna or Rishi)in 
Gujarat, Maharashtra, the 4 southern states and Orissa. However, I am 
not sure of how this was during Jayadevas days. 
  On the other hand, IF present day pronounciation is no different from 
then and Jayadeva was from Bengal/Orissa, then he should have written 
his name as "Jayadeba" any of his works mention his name as 
"Jayadeba"? If one were to look into this Kerala theory, then
Jayadeva would come out as "Jayadeva".

>Jakub says:
> >  However I found it curious that GG is most popular in those 
>Eastern provinces and in Kerala  which is quite far away, while it is 
>not so popular in the regions in between (if I am not mistaken).

I know for a fact that in the Odissi style of dance, an Ashtapadi is 
always a must in any concert. Sanjukta Panigrahi, Kelucharan Mahapatra, 
Sonal Mansingh and other leading artistes rigidly adhere to this. In the 
south, an Ashtapadi is sung towards the end of a Karnatic music concert( 
this has nothing to do with Sopanageetham) with the difference that the 
Ragas in which it is sung is markedly different from what Dr Stoler 
Miller indicates in her transliteration. Similarly, even in Odissi 
dance, the Raga is markedly different from Dr Stoler Miller indicates.

Coming to think of Bengal, I find it strange that Jayadevas songs are 
seldom sung in Bengal other than the utsava that you refered to...even 
the Kirtans of Bengal donot make use of his lyrics....I therefore am not  
sure if his tradition is all that popular in Bengal on a day to day 
basis. Given the fact that I lived in Bengal for a very long time,
I find it very strange that the Bengalis( who are very culture concious 
and very musically oriented) make no use of his songs if he came from 
that part of India!

In conclusion, I think one should take the theory attempted by Raghava 
Menon and say that Jayadeva was a native of Puri but worked at the court 
of Laksmana dEva of Bengal...this is a neat way of satisfying both 
sides:-). This in a way parallels the controversy about Chopin
( was he French or Polish?). For those who derive immense satisfaction
from thinking that Indians did everything earlier than the rest of the 
world, this should be of immense satisfaction...that India had a 
Chopin-like controversy back in the 12th century while the Europeans had 
to wait until much later:-),:-),:-)



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