Translations of Gitagovinda

Jakub Cejka Visitor-Sanskrit jakub at
Sat Jun 28 00:01:46 UTC 1997

My thanks to all who replied to my query on translations; some of them I
knew or knew about, just forgot to mention them - Arnold's and
particularly Verma's are rather paraphrases quite departing from the
   I have been trying to find a copy of Siegel's work (in
libraries of Pune and Calcutta) without success. However I thought that
was some study; shall I understand that it contains also complete
translation of GG ?
   Comments on the French translations welcome. If I get an idea which
might be probably the best one, I may start learning French by reading it,
it's high time ;-)

I forgot to ask one more question:

Does anybody know who was George Keyt, the author of the 1947 Bombay
translation?  I have not come across this name anywhere else. His
translation is not worse than any of the others I saw. Was he at all a

Btw right now what I see from the window (rains are the most beautiful
season here in Pune!) is just what the first line of GG says: meghair
meduram ambaram, vanabhuva.h /syaamaas tamaaladrumai.h  

And I am a virahii, but how to send a message through clouds which move
in the opposite direction than desired ... 

Ehm, pardon me. 

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 "Gita 
> Govinda", we have Kapila Vatsyayan and Monika Verma. A perusal of Kapila 
> 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 and not
its text, nor was it a translation. If I am mistaken, please let me know!

> 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 utilises 
> Jayadevas Ashtapadis. My question is:
> Has this question been satisfactorily resolved ? Is it now known for 
> sure as to which place he belonged to?

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 of the Dark
Lord) from the seventies gave a brief account of the opinions on
Jayadeva's birth-place. Earlier publication (reprinted several times 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. Perhaps never
so in Kerala (right?). 
   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).

Once more thanks to all who replied	

Jakub Cejka

jakub at   


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