Jayadeva (flourished 12th century), Indian author of the Sanskrit poem 'Gita Govinda'. He is most known for his epic poem 'Gita Govinda', which depicts the divine love of Krishna and his consort, Radha. This poem, which presents the view that Radha is greater than Hari, is considered an important text in the Bhakti movement of Hinduism.


Sri Jayadeva was famous in Orissa, especially at Puri Dham for his composition of 'Gita Govinda'. His father's name was Bhojadeva and his mother's name was Radha Devi. His wife's name was Padmabati. His birth place was a known village, namely Kendubilwa, a few miles away from Puri. He was the sole devotee to Lord Sri Krishna or Lord Jagannath of Puri Dham, Orissa.[1]

Best Sanskrit Writer

Jayadeva was one of the best writers on Sanskrit musical verses and known as such throughout India and abroad by writing of Sri Gita Gobinda. The musical charm in composition remain 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 as one of the master-pieces even in world literature.

Marriage to Padmavati

According to legend, Jagannath Himself ordered Jayadeva to marry his wife, Padmavati. The story is told in the Visvakosa as follows: there once was a Brahmin who was without offspring despite having worshiped Jagannath for many years in the hope of having a son. Finally, he and his wife had a daughter and they named her Padmavati. When she came of marriageable age, the Brahmin brought her to Lord Jagannath to offer her to his lotus feet. When He saw them, Jagannath said to the Brahmin, "I have a servant whose name is Jayadeva. He has given up family life and has dedicated himself to chanting My names. Give your daughter to him in marriage."[2]

The Brahmin took his daughter to Jayadeva and asked him to marry his daughter. However, since Jayadeva had no desire to get married, he refused to agree to any such arrangement. The Brahmin then told him that it was Jagannath Himself who had arranged this marriage; and without another word, he left, leaving his daughter behind. Jayadeva found himself totally unprepared for this situation and told the girl, "Tell me where you want to go and I will take you and leave you there. You cannot stay here." Padmavati started to cry and said, "My father brought me here to marry you on Jagannath Deva's order. You are my husband, my all in all. If you do not accept me, then I will fall down at your feet and die right here. You are my only hope, my Lord." The poet and scholar Jayadev could not abandon her after such a heartfelt plea. So he became a householder.