Saint Jaidev

Sant Jaidev

Saint JAIDEV was a poet, two of whose hymns are incorporated in the Guru Granth Sahib, is chiefly known to the literary world as the author of the Gita Govinda, a lyrical poem in which the love of Radha (soul or devotee) for Govinda (the Supreme Being) is described symbolically and mystically. Jaidev was born at Kindu Bilva which, according to some, is now Kenduh, in Birbhum district of West Bengal, on the river Ajay and, according to others, Kenduh-Sasan, on Praclll river, near Jagannath Purl in Orissa. At the end of his poem, he has given his falher's name as Bhojadeva and mother's as Radhadevi, deciphered also as Rarnadevi, or Varnadevi. He is said to have flourished in the reign of Raja Karnarnav (AD 1142-56) and Raja Purushottam Dev (AD 1170-8()), both of Orissa.

Several legends about him are recorded in the Bhaktamal of Chandradatta. In his youth, he led the life of an ascetic and a wandering preacher. The course changed for him as, while in Pun once, a Brahman forced the hand of his daughter on him. It turned out to be a happy marriage. His wife sang with him the devotional songs which were of his own composition. He spent some years at Kalham Kandi, now called Jaidevpur in his memory, where he composed his immortal lyric, the Gita Govinda. From a devotee of Lord Krsna, he became a devotee of the Supreme Lord. He roamed about the country preaching the gospel of love of God and of man. Raja Lakshman Sen (AD 1175-1200), of Bengal, became his disciple. Jaidev lived long and died in the village where he was born, in happy retirement. There is a samadhi of the saint in the village and an annual fair is held on the first of Magh.

Besides the Gita Govinda, two other compositions, the Rasana Raghava, a drama, and the Chandralok, an essay on the grace of style, are also ascribed to him. Jaidev's hymns in the Guru Granth Sahib, one in Raga Gujari and the other in Raga Maru, are in adoration of Hari, the Supreme Being. "Duality," he says, "ended for me as I remembered God who is the fountainhead of all virtue. Cherish the Divine Name in your head. By repeating His praise you will break the circuit of birth and death, and you will dread death no more. Your heart and your word and deed should be imbued with the love of One Hari alone." Bhal Gurdas in his Varan, X. 10, pays tribute to Jaidev's loving devotion whereby he attained the state when no distinction remains between "the devotee and the infinite."


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