(A rendering of Ashtapadi XX)
JAYADEVA’S “GITA GOVINDA”
By J. SIVASANKARA SASTRI, M.A.,
(Lecturer S. R. R. College, Bezwada)
Hasten unto the penitent Lord; Radha,
O my foolish happy maid! hasten unto His side.
1. With soft entreaties and remorse
Did He touch thy feet;
Now does He repose on the couth of love
In the heart of Vanjula grove.
2. With stately conduct and slow movement
And vibrant breasts and hips,
Defy the lovely gait of the swan
To the tune of thy chiming anklets.
3. Hearken unto the floating strains
Of the mysterious flute of the Lord,
Entranced are charming maidens;
Mute yearnings stir their souls.
Listen to the mandates of Love
That the cuckoos joyously proclaim;–
(In rapturous notes they herald the spring
This is the hour to live and love.)
4. New-fledge leaves of glowing amber tint
Sway to the passing wind,
Like friendly has beckoning thee
Along the path He took.
Tarry not, O maiden of creeper-like arms
Linger not, O maid, but follow His path.
5. Like a happy augury presaging
Thy celestial embrace with Krishna,
Thy bosom quivers with rippling love,
Shaking thy stringed pearls
As unto the outpourings of a laden pitcher
Tossed about on sea.
If my words command no faith,
Why, then; ask thine own bosom.
6. Forbear from sentiment and doubt
That but assail and weaken intent.
Thy maids perceive and know very well
Thy body quivers, O perverse one!
For love’s impending battle.
Thy jingling golden girdle
Strikes the chords of war.
Go forth, advance and settle the fight.
7. With lovely arms and graven nails,
Tapering as the shafts of Love,
Lean on the shoulders of thy maid
And draw unto the Lord
With hesitant steps of grace,
While the bangles tinkling music
Heralds thine approach.
8. Flawless and passing fair
The beauty of wreathed pearls,
May this song of glory ever adorn
Hearts devoted to Krishna!
70. In the leafy arbour of love, my friend,
71. Darkness, blacker than black Tamala leaves,
Maids who amble in quest of love at night,
Is as unto the touchstone setting off
And irradiating Krishna’s golden love.
72. Coming unto the threshold of the cove,
Of belt and bangles, inlaid with diamonds,
And necklaces of pearls from ocean depths;
Radha cast a furtive look at the Lord,
Saw Him and paused; and felt abashed with love,
Whereon to her a maid addressed these words.