Geetagovinda Mantras
        Oriya Geetagovindasongs
        Sanskrit Geetagovindasongs

        Sri Jayadev’s Sri Geetagovinda is a great poetry in Indian Literature. The whole song of eight padas(also called as Astapadi) comprises twelve Sargas or Cantos containing 24 Songs (72 Slokas) which is rhythmic and perfectly lyrical to sing. It was written in the period of rise of regional literatures in ancient India. From the beginning of the Christian era to the end of the 10th Century, the poets like Bhasa, Kalidas, Asvaghose, Bharavi, Bhartrihari, Bhavabhuti, Banabhata, Magha, Sriharsa and others had fueled the lamp of Sanskrit poetry and kept it glowing. These poets raised the flame of golden lamp of Sanskrit literature to great heights and extended the area of illumination all around and Sri Jayadev‘s Sri Geetagovinda was the closing song of that era which consists of soul stirring heart penetrating lyrics. Its poetic greatness is enhanced by its appeal of music, poetry and mystic spiritual content. Its popularity throughout India was so great that the book was adored, appreciated, imitated and even worshiped as a religious book. After reading the English translation of Sri Geetagovinda, the German Poet Goethe was so impressed that he translated Sri Geetagovinda in German Language as it engendered feelings of wonder in him. He compared Sri Geetagovinda with “Meghadutam” by Mahakabi Kalidas.     

Language and Literature

         Songs or Gitas have been taken in India to be one of the best things that please God. It is an unquestionable truth that there has been the happiest blend of 'Pada' and 'Tala' in the composition of Gitagovinda and the performer has to introduce the blending of "Swara".

        Due to the advent of Islamic rule and particularly due to the advent of Amir Khusro who introduced some confusion in to the field, the music of Gitagovinda could not find proper expression and its continuation in its pure melodic form was not possible. Too many people took to singing it in too many ways as its popularity went beyond the Guru Sisya Parampara.

        In the languages of Orissa, Bihar, Assam and Bengal a large number of songs have been composed by the Buddhist monks which are known as Charyapada which were esoteric and spiritual in content. Gitagovinda is almost a religious scripture for a large number of people and like Charyapada it has an inner different spiritual meaning under the apparently erotic garb. It had an appeal to saints and common men in equal measure. It is much more exoteric than esoteric.

Art & Sculpture

Dasa-avatara sculptures is one of the best traditions in India's cultural arts. But it achieved the highest popularity after the Dasa-avatara slokas were composed in Gitagovinda. Dasavatara images are noticed on the Jagannath temple of Puri, Madhav Temple at Madhav(very close to Kenduvilwa). Themes of Dasa-avatar versions of Jayadev, depicts Krishna as one who has assumed ten avataras and this is due to the influence of Gitagovinda in Orissa's Dasa-avatara Sculptures.


Kastapa Baraha

Narasinha Bamana Parasurama Rama

Haladhara Buddha Kalki

Music and Dance

The Gitagovinda Seva was being performed for centuries by the Maharies/Debadasis. The tradition of dance and music performing in temples is very ancient in India, particularly in this region, as can be seen from the Udayagiri Cave inscription of Kharvela in 1st century BC. Debadasi/Mahari is a local term used specifically for the women, who performed music and dance in the temples.

 After  literature. That explains its popularity throughout India. Thus, Gitagovinda dance, which is performed even now with proper Avinaya, matching with the subject and sentiments of the song, belonged to the family of traditional Odissi form. Its verses as well as songs guide, place, time, sing and sequence with the progress of the plot. Gitagovinda is also recited before the deities in many temples in their daily rituals whether they may be Saiba, Shakti or Baishnaa. Sri Gitagovinda has been adopted in every household in their morning  and evening prayer  before their family deity. It is also sing by people of other states.

Dungi Mahari

Sasimani Debadasi(the last Mahari of SriMandir)

Dasabatara Poses in Odissi Dance

Mastya Kastapa Baraha

Narasimha Bamana Parasurama Rama

Haladhara Buddha Kalki

Krushnaya tuvyam namah


Sri Geetagovinda's influence on the paintings and textiles are amazing. Gitagovinda has influenced the arts, paintings to a great extent in the whole of the country. In Orissa more than thirty illustrated Gitagovinda Palm Leafs have been collected and preserved in the State Museum.




The Gitagovinda mala is also presented to the bride and groom at the time of their marriage in past.


It is said that Orissa, Gitagovinda and poet Jayadev are inseparable. Without Sri Jayadev, Gitagovinda can not be discussed outside the cultural contexts of Orissa. The Sri Geetagovinda bandhas are made of pure local silk, decorated by the interesting bandh technique. Particularly, Gitagovinda Khandua is prepared and offered to Lord Jagannath. This Khandua is very attractive with the stanzas and illustrations from Sri Geetagovinda. This textile is regarded as a very sacred and very favorite to Sri Jagannath and as well as Oriya people. It is offered as a 'Seva' to the Supreme Lord. The weaver society of Nuapatana, Tigiria of Cuttack District and Sonpure of Subarnaur District are preparing the Gitagovinda khandua & Govt. of Orissa is now encouraging the other society to take-up this work.


Sri Geetagovinda Khandua


"kansarirapi Sansaram basana baddha srunkhalam

Radhamadhaba Hrudayai Tatyaja Brajasundari"

In memory of said poet


 Kasmiramudrita muro Madhusudanasya"



Replica of this image of Laxminarayan of 10th century A.D. at Chaurasi and Kalapanchana very near to Kenduvilwa as narrated above in Gitagovinda at 1st canto.

(The imaginary statue of Sri Jayadev with Palm leaf and Lekhani is seated in front of Laxminarayan.)



Jayadev Vatika at Khandagiri, Bhubaneswar

View of Jayadev Vatika View of Jayadev Vatika

The influence of Sri Gitagovinda on Orissa's literary tradition and the palm manuscripts is substantial not-withstanding the religious affinity of Sri Gitagovinda. Therefore, the cultural contents of Orissa in any form can not be properly appreciated except in it's best influence of Sri Gitagovinda of Jayadev.


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