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Gīta Govinda

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Part of the Encyclopedia of Indian Religions book series (EIR)


The Gita Govinda, also known as Love Song of the Dark Lord in English, is written by Jayadeva. On the surface level, this twelfth-century text looks like a regular love songs sung by a lover (Krishna) for his beloved (Radha), but an in depth reading will tell us that it comprises profound allegories of travel of the soul back to God [3]. This mystic text falls under the bhakti tradition, and it deals with the connection of human with the divine love, separation and union, self-surrender, holy inebriation, and many other contrapuntal themes, concerning the unknown alchemy of the soul. Actually, Gita Govinda presents a spiritual quest; this quest refers to a process of metamorphosis of the lover (also writer/reader who experiences it), from the human and materialistic modes of existence to the divine and spiritual modes [2]. So there is union, separation, and reunion till the human being reaches the ultimate spiritual destination: from love and suffering to the...

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  1. Arnold E, Jayadeve (1890) Poems: containing the light of Asia; pearls of the faith, or Islam’s rosary; and the Indian song of songs. To which is added Indian poetry: from the Sanskrit of the Gita Govinda of Jayadeva; two books from “the Iliad of India” (Mahabharata); “proverbial wisdom” from the Shlokas of the Hitopadesa, and other oriental poems. Hurst, New York

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  2. Chandra M, Jayadeva (1980) Gīta Govinda. Published by R.L. Bartholomew for Lalit Kalā Akademi, New Delhi

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  3. Greenberg YK (2008) Encyclopedia of love in world religions. ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara

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  4. Jayadeva, Vācutēvacāstiri K (1989) Gita Govinda with Abhinaya. Thanjavur Maharaja Serfoji’s Sarasvati Mahal Library Society, Thanjavur

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  5. Tripathy AK, Tripathy PC, Jayadeva (2006) The Gita Govinda of Sri Jayadev. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India, New Delhi

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Correspondence to Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi .

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Dwivedi, A.V. (2018). Gīta Govinda . In: Jain, P., Sherma, R., Khanna, M. (eds) Hinduism and Tribal Religions. Encyclopedia of Indian Religions. Springer, Dordrecht.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-94-024-1036-5

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