Miracles in the Life of Sri Jayadev
BY: SOMANATH JEN
Jayadev and Padmavati Worshipping Krsna
Oct 02, MAYURBHANJ, ORISSA (SUN) Jagatguru Shri Sankarcharya has narrated Lord Jagannath of Puri Dham as Kalinditata Bipina Sangitkabaro. Jayadev is the first poet who mentioned Lord Jagannath as Radha and Krishna, Who are mingled together. He is the poet who eulogized Lord Jagannath, the God who is the same who undertook Dasavatar.
Dasavatar is a part of the immortal Sri Gita-govinda. The miraculous incidents relating to the life history of Sri Jayadev and his wife Padmavati, who dedicated themselves to the heart of Lord Jagannath of Puri Dham, go to prove that Sri Jayadev and Padmavati were great devotees of Lord Sri Jagannath.
Jayadev was one of the best writers on Sanskrit musical verses and became known as such throughout India and abroad by writing of Sri Gita-govinda. The musical charm in the composition remains unique to its type in Sanskrit literature and thus has perennial appeal to the audience. His poetic genius was highly appreciated. His Gita-govinda was translated into English by Sir William Jones and then to German, French and other European languages, which made the acceptance of Gita-govinda widespread, causing it to even become one of the masterpieces in world literature.
Sri Jayadev was famous in Orissa, especially at Puri Dham for his composition of Gita-go. His father's name was Bhojadeva and his mother's name was Radha Devi. His wife's name was Padmavati. His birthplace was a village known as Kendubilwa, a few miles away from Puri. In Kendubilwa, he was the sole devotee to Lord Sri Krishna or Lord Jagannath of Puri Dham, Orissa.
Devasharma, a Brahmin devotee of Lord Jagannath, was also living in Kendubilwa. He was childless, and prayed to the Lord to grant one child so that he could offer the same to the Lord. A daughter was born and he offered her to Lord. But the Lord told him in a dream and told the priests of Lord Jagannath to offer her to Jayadev, who was a saint poet engaged in meditation and living a sacred life. She was Padmavati by name.
Accordingly, the marriage was performed through the intervention of Lord Jagannath. Both wife and husband were devoted to the Lord and had a religious life. He composed Gita-govinda and sang the same with his wife before Lord Jagannath. He danced while singing, losing worldly consciousness. Gita-govinda deals with the divine play of Sri Krishna with Radha and their conversation while playing, both being affected in Spring by Cupid.
Being irritated by envy, listening to the popularity of Gita-govinda of Jayadev, Maharaja Gajapati, the king composed one poem himself with the same theme and music, and asked the singers to sing it in the temple, asking that Jayadev's Gita-govinda not be sung in temple. But still, through grace of the Lord, Jayadev sang Gita-govinda while dancing in devotion in that temple. When asked by Maharaja, why he did not sing the song composed by the King, he replied that the Lord considered his Gita-govinda as superior. To test this, both the composition of Maharaja and Jayadev were kept in front of the Lord, the door of the temple was closed, and all vacated the temple. A few minutes later, when the door was opened, it was seen that Gita-govinda was placed above Maharaja's composition. The test of superiority of Gita-govinda was thus cleared up by Lord Jagannath himself.
Another miracle can be mentioned here, one among many that the Oriyans believe to be part of the famous pastimes of Jayadev and his wife Padmavati. It is said that an old lady, a seller of Bruntap-fruit (sweet fruit grown in thorny trees) went to the jungle filled with thorny Bruntap trees. While collecting fruits, she sang devotional Gita-govinda in a melodious voice with whole-hearted devotion. It was a moonlit autumn night. Lord Sri Krishna was enchanted, left His seat and followed her. His clothing was torn into pieces coming in contact with thorns. The priests in the morning found the night dress of the Lord torn throughout the temple of Lord Jagannath. In a dream, the priests and Maharaja could know the real incident of Lord Jagannath in the Form of Sri Krishna, following the old lady in the thorny jungle, lured by the devotional singing of Gita-govinda.
While Padmavati was in the palace of the Gajapati King, the queen out of joke told that Jayadev breathed his last while in meditation in the temple of Lord Jagannath. Hearing this news Padmavati also breathed her last, out of sorrow. The King told Jayadev about the mischief of his queen. Jayadev never minded. He prayed to the Lord and sang the appropriate line from Gita-govinda, "Priye, Charusile, munch mayee mana manidanam", with the help of musical instruments. This forms the part of the composition in the 10th canto of his lovely epic, Gita-govinda, which refers to the story that when the Lord was Cupid-affected and felt the absence of his Goddess, the Lord was singing a song to get the love of His consort, lying affected by the separation. The Lord had wished to get a sight of her eyes in order to get the nectar, like drips from the lips of the man's face besmeared with glistening light from white teeth. Hence, the Lord was approaching the goddess saying, "O' my lovely darling of very gentle behaviour, give up your fear uselessly arising in your heart. Now my mind is burnt by a sensation of Cupid, give me a drink of honey dripping from your lotus like face and let my eyes become very much pleased at your sight." At this, Padmavati returned to her senses, got up, and sang the song with Jayadev, joining herself in the chorus.
Sri Jayadev spent his last life at Banaras and left his mortal body there.
There is another miracle witnessed at Banaras. Once, Jayadev felt weak due to his old age. On the way to the Ganga, after performing the call of nature, he stopped and took rest on the way. The king requested him to avail a conveyance to go to Ganga at this old age, but he declined and pleaded that according to his ability, he would proceed to Ganga and take bath. At night, Jayadev dreamed of Ganga in the form of a lady who approached him, saying that henceforth from the morning for all the time, I will reside in the well used by Jayadev. The fact became true. Next day, Jayadev narrated the story and with Padmavati, the king and the queen went to the well to take bath. Jayadev worshipped Ganga. While reciting the Mantras before taking bath, he found that the water of the well swelled up high, the colour of the water changed and became as transparent and as white as milk. People were surprised at this and Jayadev's eyes became filled with tears of joy. Worshipping the Ganga, he took his bath. This is the devotion of the great Jayadev.
Adapted from an article by Somanath Jen in Orissa Review.