Jayadeva Restructured: Gitamilindam

Ananta Ch. Sukla,
Former Professor in English, Sambalpur University, Chief Editor, JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE LITERATURE AND AESTHETICS Manomohan Acharya a contemporary Sanskrit poet has composed a poem of fifteen cantos following the lyrical structure of Jayadeva's Gitagovindam (12th C.AD) a poem of twelve cantos that presents the love of Lord Krsna and the Gopees in its courtly pattern. Jayadeva contributes to the Padavali tradition of Sanskrit poetry that begin with a collection of seven hundred verses Gatha Saptasati attributed to king Hala (1st C.AD) and continues through Vilvamangala’s Sri Krsna karnamrta, an anthology of stray verses in Sanskrit depicting the childhood and youth of Srikrsna. But Jayadeva's poem is a remarkable improvement over the Padavali tradition in depicting the love of Krsna and the milkmaids that transforms the profane form of love to its sacred dimension. Philosophically, he restructured the love of Krsna and the milkmaids as presented in its Bhagavata Purana context that might be charged with a male domination where the milkmaids are subservient to Krsna. But in Jayadeva this feudalist structure of love is subverted links into a reciprocal relationship where both the partners share equal status in surrendering to each others- its bhakti counter being presented by Sridhavasvami in his commentary rescuing the bhakta-bhagavan relationship from any charge of feudalism. Sridhara asserts that bhagavan is himself a bhakta of his bhaktas – (bhagavan bhakta bhaktiman). From religious point of view, Jayadeva is a sahajayanist who treats divinity in terms of mithuna (sexual union) and its experience in terms of sexual union (Sri Vasudeva ratikeli katha / ratisukhasara). Finally, Jayadeva is not simply a poet. He is a musician of the highest order. His lyrics are meant for presenting in dance. Therefore, all the ragas he has used in his poem are presented along with talas. In fact no raga can be conceived of without any tala because Sangita is a unified form gita, vadya and nrtya. Jayadeva, therefore represents the musical tradition as prevalent during the 12th C.AD. Now coming to Manomohan, the author of Gitamilindam, the theme he presents is not courtly love. While subverting the Jayadeva tradition he rather composed a parody that ridicules the lyrical romantic love in the very lyrical structure that is popular for such presentation in the Sanskrit literary tradition. The male and female bumblebees are the hero and heroine of the poem that presents their dialogues in different cantos. The male bee is a passionate lover of sensual enjoyment whereas the female bee opposes it. The male is the hero of the Omar Khayam who wishes to live away the whole life in sensuality, a Tenysonian "lotus eater", heedless to the closure of the lotus flower at sunset and even its death due to this closure. The female partner warns it reminding it of the contemporary social and economic crises in child labour, unemployment, political corruption that shatters the whole society resulting in severe and pitiable that compels an old woman like archetypical Kunti for moving from door to door. Doctors are taking the lives of living human beings whereas the god of death takes away the lives of only dead person. The September 11 horror of the New York City is reminded. Environmental pollution, children's death due to starvation and many other social problems ought to draw the notice of the bee-poets for presenting their experience rather than the ethereal and non-earthy high pitch of romanticism of the bygone days. The female bee of course is not a

materialist, but certainly a representative of the Marxist socialism objecting to the feudalistic luxury and courtly ideology as the age-old Sanskrit literature has dealt with.

Poet Manomohan has proposed for lyricising the theme that has been considered antilyrical so far. The reader wonders how Manomohan has posed a challenging task for reorienting the Sanskrit language for accommodating the contemporary theme in the traditional meters. While using nine ragas from Jayadeva (cantos 1-5, 8-10 and 13), he has used other ragas from other sources, the six ragas, Abhinava being his own invention. For musical purpose he should have also used talas. Otherwise, one might read the whole poem with great pleasure with a conviction that Sanskrit language is very much a living mode of communication for contemporary ideas and experiments.

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