JAYADEVA, the Last of the Ancients and the First of the Moderns in Indo-Aryan Poetry, is acknowledged university to be the writer of the sweetest lyrics in the Sanskrit language. Flourished during the second half of the 12th century, he sang not only swan-song of the Classical Sanskrit Poetry, but he also sang in the advent of a new dawn in Indian literature-the 'Vernacular' Age. His Gita-govinda obtained the status of a religious work in the eyes of the devout Vaishnavas. According to a Western scholar, 'Jayadeva belongs to the greatest poetical genii of India.' On the other hand, the view expressed by some of the great literary critics of Bengal is that there are songs in the Gita-govinda, but no Govinda. They are not happy with frank eroticism of these poems which do not form great love poetry, except in rare passages.
Jayadeva has evoked such extreme opinions, and thus he requires close and careful study. In this monograph, Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterji, formerly the national Professor of India in Humanities and former President of the Sahitya Akademi, in his masterly manner has touched all the points concerning Jayadeva. He has discussed the claims of Bengal Orissa, and Mithila regarding his birthplace; he has placed new material in the shape of the 26 verses in the Sadukti-karnamrita, as well as two apabhramsa poems ascribed to Jayadeva from the Sikh Adi-Granth. This historical as well as literary evaluation of Jayadeva forms an exhaustive addition to our literature on the subject.
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