Indian paintings have always been inspired by the legend of Radha and Krishna. Gita Govinda – an amazing piece of Indian literature has inspired generations of Indian artists and different schools of Indian paintings-namely Kangra school of paintings,Rajput school of Miniature Paintings, Patachitras, Madhubani school of paintings and many more. Radha Krishna Paintings are famous all over the world and most of them are inspired by the songs and imageries of Gita Govinda.
Gita Govinda ("Song of the Cowherd") is a landmark literature in Sanskrit by poet Jaidev. It describes the relationship between Krishna and the gopis of Vrindavana, and in particular his love affair with Radha. This work has been of great importance in the development of the bhakti traditions of Hinduism.
The Radha Krishna Legend
The Hindu Paintings of Krishna's playful dalliances with the 'gopis' are interpreted as symbolic of the loving interplay between God and the human soul. Radha's unflinching love for Krishna and their relationship are often interpreted as the human quest for union with the divine.
This kind of love is of the highest form of devotion in Vaishnavism, and is symbolically represented as the bond between the wife and husband.Radha, daughter of Vrishabhanu, was Krishna's faithful companion since childhood and subsequently, lover during that period of his life when he lived among the cowherds of Vrindavan. Their childhood intimacy, as projected through lore, was indicative of the love that was to blossom between them - they played, they danced, they fought, they grew up together and wanted to be together forever, but the world pulled them apart. He departed to safeguard the virtues of truth, and she waited for him. He vanquished his enemies, became the king, and came to be worshipped as a lord of the universe. She waited for him. He married Rukmini and Satyabhama, raised a family, fought the great war of Ayodhya, and she still held a torch for him. So great was Radha's love for Krishna that even today her name is uttered whenever Krishna is referred to, and Krishna worship is though to be incomplete without the deification of Radha.
For ages, this evergreen love theme has engrossed poets, painters, musicians and all Krishna devotees alike.
Jaidev- the poet
Jaidev was the court poet of Sri Lakshman Sena, the King of Bengal. Son of Bhoja Deva,a poor farmer, and Bamadevi, he was fascinated with the Radha Krishna legend from a very young age. They lived in the Birbhum district of what is now West Bengal in a village called Kenubilva Gram. He was born at the beginning of the 12 th century A.D.
Gita Govinda has indeed managed to become a treasure trove of inspiration for all categories of self-expression.