The revered Sri Jayadeva is the author of this great work. Jayadevah – jaya means “the utmost excellence”; deva means dyotayati, prakdsayati or “he illuminates”. Sri Jayadeva is one who illuminates the utmost excellence of the pastimes of Sri Krishna by his devotion. This literary composition entitled Gita-govinda attracts the hearts of its audience in the most excellent way (pro). Alternatively, it awakens Krishna’s pastimes (leelas) in the hearts of the devotees in the most excellent way, thereby liberating them from the bondage of material existence.
The pastimes of Radha and Krishna are the transcendental loving play of the Omnipotent Divinity and his potency. They have the power to sanctify the whole world because they are completely free from even the slightest trace of lust. One should make a diligent study of these pastimes, as such study constitutes one of the limbs of bhakti-yoga.
In this supramundane poem, Sri Jayadeva has given a charming description of the intimate transcendental love of Sri Radha-Krishna. The ultimate excellence of the two aspects of separation and meeting, are both found in this lyrical composition. The poet upholds the opinion that when the union of lovers is first nourished by feelings of separation, it bestows a greater joy upon the perfected spiritualists and the devotional practitioners who are expert in relishing the amorous mellow.
Bhagavan Sri Krishna is the embodiment of eternal concentrated bliss. The conditioned living entity, though searching exclusively for this happiness, is always unsuccessful. However, his good fortune arises when he witnesses the internal emotional ecstasies of the pure devotees. On that day, bliss personified begins to search for him.
Pure devotion is characterized by its power to attract Sri Krishna. The practising devotee may be sitting in his home, but once his heart is infused with devotion, blissful Sri Krishna, who is always greedy for the taste of devotion (prema), becomes anxious for his association.
It is not by chance that Sri Jayadeva has employed a female confidante (sakhi) in the role of a mediator to arrange Krishna’s meetings with Radha. The purport is clear. Unless one is under the personal guidance of such a sakhi and until one attains the help of the sakhi, one cannot attain Sri Krishna. All devotional scriptures proclaim this conclusion. The help of a sakhi and the help of guru are one and the same. To be guru one must take shelter of the disposition of the sakhi, and to attain Sri Krishna one must accept the shelter of a spiritual master who is perfectly situated in the transcendental mood of a sakhi.
Sri Jayadeva has clarified the subject of eligibility in his auspicious invocation:
If your heart yearns to delight in remembrance of Sri Hari; if you are hankering to contemplate upon Him with intense affection; if you are overwhelmed with curiosity to know about his skill in amorous pastimes; then by all means read this book. You will find my lovely poetry to be extremely relish- able. Although it is so emotive and mellifluous, if you are not possessed of the aforementioned qualifications then you must not read it. This literature is not for you.
Why is this poem so attractive? Sri-vasudeva-rati-keli-kathd-sametam. Here the word Sri refers to Radha. Vasudeva refers to the master and indwelling soul of the entire universe, Bhagavan Sri Krishna, who incarnated as the son of Vasudeva. He who brilliantly illuminates the Vasu dynasty, the best of the Vasus, Sri Nanda Maharaja, is called Vasudeva. Consequently the son of Nanda is called Vasudeva Krishna. Sri Jayadeva’s composition has the power to attract the hearts of all because he has elaborately described rati-keii, the divine love-play of Sri Radha-Krishna.
How did this narration come about? Sri Jayadeva replies that Sri Krishna is the presiding deity of the art of speaking. He is the orator, ever present within the innermost region of Sri Jayadeva’s heart, inspiring him to write. As the presiding deity of the poet’s senses, Sri Krishna infuses them with potency. Therefore Sri Jayadeva describes his worshipful deity as vag-devata, the presiding deity of speech, to confirm that Sri Krishna is personally composing this poem.