Both sacred and profane, while this 12th century text details the love play of the fickle god Krishna with Radha, Radha’s pain in separation from him, his eventual pain in separation from her, and their passionate reunion – it is also a metaphor for the cosmic drama which unfolds at macro and micro levels. Poet Jayadeva situates and establishes both these characters (Radha and Krishna) at two levels. The human level of this world, and the level of the divine. At the human level, there is the love of the man and the woman, at the divine level there is the love and separation of the human and the divine. These levels move concurrently and that is the great beauty and complexity of the poem.
In the year 1792, William Jones translated “Gita Govinda” into English.