Jayadeva Goswami, the 12th century author of the immortal Sanskrit devotional epic poem Gita Govinda, is one of the most celebrated Vaishnava Hindu poets of India. As a masterpiece of Vaishnava literature, Gita Govinda is as erotic as spiritual, dedicated to Lord Krishna and recounting his love affairs, separation and union with the cowherdess Radha.
Below is an excerpt from Barbara Stoler Miller's translation - Love Song of the Dark Lord
When spring came, tender-limbed Radha wandered
Like a flowering creeper in the forest wilderness,
Seeking Krishna in his many haunts.
The god of love increased her ordeal,
Tormenting her with fevered thoughts,
And her friend sang to heighten the mood.
Soft sandal mountain winds caress quivering vines of clove.
Forest huts hum with droning bees and crying cuckoos.
When spring's mood is rich, Hari roams here
To dance with young women, friend --
A cruel time for deserted lovers...
The life and times of Jayadeva are shrouded in mystery. It is generally believed that he was a poet of the court of King Lakshman Sen, and lived in the 12th century AD, as has been proved by a colophon of an ancient copy of his poem discovered in Kashmir. Read more