Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

It is strange that Jayadeva, the court poet of King Laxman Sen of Bengal is not recalled by the Bengalis. This is because, most Bengalis have mistaken Orissa’s Sri Jayadeva as the court poet of Laxman Sena and misled rest of their folk in this regard.

Not that Bengalis are unaware of a Jayadeva hailing from their state. But after mistaking Orissa’s Sri Jayadeva as the court poet of Laxman Sen and after spreading many a concocted stories in support of their misconceived claim, they are now reluctant to admit the truth. The eagerness to bury the truth forever is so very rampant that an eminent scholar like Dr Suniti Kumar Chatterjee has tried to project a group of verses attributable to Jayadeva, the court poet of Laxman Sen, compiled in a work titled Sadukti-Karnamruta, as the verses written by Sri Jayadeva of Orissa who was never a court poet of any king, let alone of Laxman Sen!

A section of the Bengalis had the audacity to claim that Oriya was not an independent language but a part of their own! Later of course, the linguist in Dr S.K. Chatterjee admitted that Oriya was the elder sister of Bengali as a language (vide I.H.Q. Vol XXIII, 1947-page 337). Suffice it would be to say that, envious of the tremendous cultural tradition of Orissa where lucid lyrics were not only written on palm leaves but also carved in the lovely damsels and stubborn lovers, in the devout warriors and divine philosophers, on the countless temples, a section of Bengalis had, in the past, made an all out attempt to misappropriate the Oriya language, culture and literature. In respect of Sri Jayadeva, author of the most popular love-lyrics, compiled under the title Sri Gita Govinda, they have attempted to do the same. Stories and sequences have been cleverly concocted and misinterpretations have been deliberately made to make out a case that Sri Jayadeva of Sri Gita Govinda was not an Oriya by birth, but a Bengali.

As a result, Jayadeva of Bengal, who was a respected writer of his days and famed as Piyusavarsa (meaning one who showers nectar through his writings), is never remembered in the land, where, he was, once upon a time, during the era of Laxman Sen, reigning over the Bengali world of letters. It is a shame that a nation that claims to be culturally very alert is going on ignoring its very own Jayadeva in order to keep alive its totally misconceived claim over Sri Jayadeva of Orissa.

The motive behind showing Orissa’s Sri Jayadeva as Bengal’s is so well-orchestrated that even the Central Sahitya Academy has been used for this false propaganda. It has published a book under the title ‘Jayadeva’ written by Dr Suniti Kumar Chatterjee who has devised new methods to mislead the readers into an impression that Jayadeva belonged to Bengal.

In this book, he has mischievously mentioned that Jayadeva is also claimed by Orissa. Having played this mischief in the caption of chapter III of his book, Dr Chatterjee has mentioned of only one “learned article” of Pandit Kedar Nath Mahapatra wherein Jayadeva has been “claimed for Orissa on literary and other grounds,” and then, with an escapist eagerness, he has shied away from the said article.

The Central Sahitya Academy should have asked Dr Chatterjee to rebut the arguments of Pt Mahapatra-and to rewrite the book before entertaining it for publication (at least by appending the said “learned article,” so that the readers arrive at their own conclusions on the real birth place of Sri Jayadeva after studying both the works). This has not been done lest Bengal’s claim be lost. Why did Dr Chatterjee shy away from the article of Pt Mahapatra? This is simply because it is self-admittedly “well-documented.” He could not have rebutted what Kedarnath has established by quoting evidences from many a non-Oriya authors who have made unambiguous mentions of Sri Jayadeva belonging by birth to Orissa. A few such literary evidences from the article of Kedarnath are reproduced here below:

In Sampradaya-pradipa, vide ‘History of Dharmasastra literature, Vol. I by Dr P.V. Kane-pp.660-written by Gada Dwivedi (1553-54 AD), it is stated that Sri Jayadeva belonged to Utkala.

Mahipati of Maharastra in his Bhakta-Vijaya has described Sri Jayadeva as an incarnation of Vishnu, belonging to the village named ‘Tinduvilva’ near the sacred city of Purusottam i.e., Puri in Orissa.

Navaji of Gwalior in his Bhaktamala in Hindi has assigned Sri Jayadeva to Utkala i.e., Orissa vide J.K.H.R. Society Vol. I p 243 and 245.

Chandra Dutta of Mithila in his Bhaktamala in Sanskrit printed by the Venkateswara Press, Bombay has described Sri Jayadeva to be an inhabitant of the Brahmin village Bindavilva near ‘Jagannath Puri.’ In this work he has described how Gita Govinda was composed at Purusottama i.e., Puri and how it was being recited by the poet and his wife with great devotion to Lord Jagannath.

Relevant portions of such historical documents are quoted by Pt Mahapatra in his “well-documented” article. Had Dr Chatterjee dared to rebut what Kedarnath has proved, he had to have disprove what the aforesaid authors have said of Sri Jayadeva’s Oriya origin. This could never have been possible. Therefore, he has very cunningly avoided the article of Pt Mahapatra, even though according to him it is “well-documented.”

Not only Pandit Kedar Nath Mahapatra, but many others have proved that Sri Jayadeva, the author of the immortal love-songs compiled in Sri Gita Govinda was an Oriya by birth and belonged only to Orissa. All of them have proved on “literary and other grounds” that the Bengali claim over Sri Jayadeva is totally misconceived and absolutely baseless. They have rebutted all arguments advanced by the Bengalis in favour of their claim on Sri Jayadeva.

Mention may be made of Dr Bhagaban Panda who has edited for the directorate of culture, government of Orissa, the Sri Gita Govinda Mahakavyam on the basis of the oldest commentaries thereon known as Sarvangasundari and Srutiranjani in Sanskrit. In both these commentaries, Kenduvilva has been interpreted as the birth place of Sri Jayadeva in Orissa.

This particular work of Dr Panda is worth mention because of its research-based introduction written in English. If for any Bengali or for any member of the Central Sahitya Academy, understanding the works of Kavichandra Kali Charan Pattanayak, Dr Satyanarayan Rajguru, Prof Nagendranath Pradhan, Pandit Nilamani Mishra and a lot others become difficult because of the language, they are invited to go through the aforementioned works of Dr Panda and Pandit Mahapatra published by the directorate of culture of Orissa and the Orissa Sahitya Academy respectively. Then only the ridiculously wrong claim of Benagalis can be comprehended. It is known to history that the Vajrayan school of Buddhism was given birth to by King Indrabhuti of Uddiyana i.e., Orissa who christened Buddha as Jagannatha. His citadel linked to the golden-triangle of Orissa namely the area spangled with the temples of Konarka, Puri and Bhubaneswar witnessed rise of a new civilisation which stands lost under the tide of time.

Mahodadhi is a typical name given to the sea near Puri by the people of Orissa. Nowhere excepting Orissa, the sea is called by this name. The Oriyas of those days not only took culture of our country to foreign lands and settled colonies there, but also built unique monuments the likes of which are never found elsewhere, specifically in Bengal. This civilisation gave birth to temples of Konark, Puri and Bhubaneswar where the philosophy of sexual union was carved out in the stone images as classic symbols of waves rising out of and returning into the sea; of consciousness emanating from and flowing back into the supreme consciousness, of earthly nature blooming forth from and collapsing back into the supreme nature again.

Sri Jayadeva was a creation of this civilisation. He was a part of this civilisation and his Astapadis compiled in Sri Gita Govinda were intentionally composed to provide this civilisation with a supportive literature, the intricacies of which the Bengalis are yet to understand. As the Konark belongs to Orissa, so also Sri Jayadeva.

It is time the Central Sahitya Academy extricates itself from the traps of Bengalis in which it has fallen, by publishing Dr. Chatterjee’s false propaganda on Jayadeva. Being the apex official body of Indian literature, it should have never published the book of Dr. Chatterjee before ensuring final and conclusive settlement of admittedly rival claims. However, it would be gainful for the Academy to read Vachaspati Gairola’s History of Sanskrit Literature in Hindi published by the Choukhamba Vidya Bhavan, where he has discussed on Jayadeva who was the real court poet of Laxmana Sen of Bengal. This Jayadeva, according to Gairola was not the son of Bhoja Deva and Bamadevi and was totally different from Sri Jayadeva of Orissa.

The sooner it is understood the better. Because thereby the unending controversy and confusion shall not only end, but also the world shall know that the Bengalis had a Jayadeva of their own too, who was definitely different from Sri Jayadeva of Orissa, who having taken birth near Puri, authored the love-lyrics compiled in Sri Gita Govinda, for the purpose of providing a supportive literature to the philosophy of Vajrayan, that developed in the Mahodadhi Civilisation of Orissa

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