Madhav Patnaik on Jayadev

BY: SUN STAFF - 6.10 2020

An essay on one of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's associates, by Dr. Ajit Kumar Tripathy Bhubaneswar for the 'Orissa Review'.

A kavya called Vaishnava Lilamruta written by Madhav Patnaik during the early sixteenth century came to light about fifteen years back by extensive research conducted by Dr. Brundavana Chandra Acahrya and Dr. Ghanashyam Rath. Three palmleaf manuscripts copies of this book were found from different parts of Orissa and were edited and published.

This book was written in the years 1530-35 by Madhava Patnaik who was an officer attached to Raya Ramananda, administrator of Sri Jagannatha temple at Puri during the regime of Gajapati Pratap Rudra Deva. Raya Ramananda was a great poet, a philosopher, an eminent Vaishnavite, as well as a warrior. He was the governor of Rajmahendri, appointed by Gajapati Prataparudra Deva. He had composed a unique dance drama in Sanskrit called "Jagannath Ballava" which was enacted in Sri Jagannatha temple.

Madhava Patnaik was a contemporary of Panchasakha and Sri Chaitanya. As is well known, Pamchasakha refers to Balarama Das, Jagannatha Das, Achyuta Das, Ananta Das and Yashovanta Das, the saint poets of Orissa. Madhava Patnaik has described in detail the events in the later part of life of Chaitanya in Puri. In this book is given a graphic description of the development of Vaishnavism in Orissa.

The following are the facts from this book which clearly mentions that:

(i) Chodaganga Deva actually renovated an old temple and started construction of the present Jagannatha temple, and had conducted the Abhiseka of crown prince Kamarnava Deva.

(ii) On this occasion dancers were called from the south to perform dance and drama in the Puri temple

(iii) Natya Mandir was constructed and arrangements were made for presentation of regular dance and drama by Maharis (temple dancers) in the honour of Lord Jagannatha in the temple during the time of Chodaganga Deva and his son.

(iv) Chaitanya after he had arrived at Puri was advised by Pandits to go to Rajamahendri to meet Raya Ramananda Deva, who was Governor of this south province of Orissa. There Chaitanya [heard about] Dvaitavada and Advaitavada from Raya Ramananda.

(v) Bipra Jayadeva was born in Kenduli Sasan on the bank of river Prachi. He worshipped Madhava at Niali. He was an expert in the Shastras and Puranas, music and dance. He was a saint poet who composed the Geeta Govinda in the temple of Jagannatha at Puri and his wife Padmavati danced to the tunes of Geeta before Jagannatha.

(vi) Chaitanya and Panchasakha were going on sankirtan trips to different parts of Orissa for a number of years. One such annual trip started from Ananta Vasudeva temple of Bhubaneswar and ended at Puri touching Balakati-Kenduli-Niali, Madhav, Adaspur, Kakatpur and Konark.

Madhav Patnaik has described as to how Sri Chaitanya and Panchasakha were dancing in sankirtan singing Geeta Govinda at Kenduli village, which was the birth place of Jayadeva. The fact that Chaitanya and his saint-friends made Kenduli a place of pilgrimage establishes undoubtedly the fact that by the 15th century AD, the birth place of saint poet Jayadeva had become a place of pilgrimage for every Vaishnava. If Kenduli of Birbhum in Bengal was the birth place of Jayadeva, Chaitanya who came from Bengal would have surely visited it and he would have objected to go to Kenduli elsewhere and sing in honour of Jayadeva there.

Tirumalla Matha, alias Trimali Matha Puri and its branch at Kenduli were established by Tirumalla Rao, a minister in the court of Krishna Dev Ray, Emperor of Vijayanagaram kingdom. The Kenduli branch Math exists till to-day and has got property in and around Kenduli. It was established so that Vaishnav pilgrims from the south while coming to Kenduli village to pay respects to the memory of Jayadeva stayed there enjoying the hospitality of the Math.

The famous Nilamadhav temple of Kantilo on river Mahanadi in the ex-state of Khandapara (now in Nayagarh district) was constructed during the rule of the Somavansi kings before the arrival of the Gangas. Village Kenduli on the bank of river Prachi was famous for 12 Madhab temples in areas surrounding it. Kenduli had temples of Ambika (Goddess Durga), Gupteswar (Siva) and Madhava (Vishnu).

There were twelve Madhava temples in Prachi Valley, out of which many still exist and Madhav worship continues:

1. Madhav temple at Madhav in Govindpur Police Station
2. Madhav temple near Sovaneswar temple at Niali
3. Angeswara Madhava at Pitapada
4. Madhav temple at Kenduli (now extinct)
5. Madhav temple Sambhu Rameswar or Suagapur
6. Madhav temple at Krushnaprasad (now extinct-Deity worshipped in Siva temple)
7. Madhav temple at Nivaran village near Grameswar temple
8. Mudgala Madhav temple at Mudagala, six miles from Kakatpur
9. Madhav temple at Nasikeswar village near Nateswar or Nrutyeswar Siva temple
10. Madhav temple at Lataharana in Kakatpur Police Station
11. Nilakanthapur Madhav close to Block office of Kakatpur
12. Lalita Madhav on river Prachi near Kenduli

Most of these Madhav temple in the Prachi valley were constructed during the reign of Bhouma and Somavansi kings prior to the arrival of Chodaganga Deva, and this explains as to why Madhav has been referred to as most popular name in Krishna avatar in Jayadeva's Geeta Govinda.

In contrast Kenduli near Ajaya river in Birabhum district of West Bengal does not have a single Madhava temple or Radha Madhab temple of any ancient or medieval period whatsoever.

There are ten villages around Kenduli in the Prachi valley where the Ten Avatars of Vishnu were worshipped. The names of these villages are as follows:

1. Matsyapur or Machhapur — Matsya Avatara
2. Kurmapur or Kurmupada and Kuarmpur — Kachhapa Avatara
3. Barahapur — Baraha Avatara
4. Narasingpur Sasan — Narasimha Avatara
5. Dadhi Bamanpur — Bamana Avatara
6. Bhargavapur (now extinct) from which Bharagabi river has originated (Bhargava is the name of Parasurama)
7. Ramachandrapur Sasan near Kuramsasan and Kurampada — Rama Avatara
8. Balbhadrapur Sasan — Haladhar or Balaram Avatara
9. Boudhha Kanda or Bodhakhandi and Bodhipada — Buddha Avatara
10. Kaliyuga Bagalpur — Kalki Avatara

Bamadeipur, now called Baanrei Sasana was named after Bamadevi, mother of Jayadeva. Parasara Pitha is on the bank of river Prachi, which has been named after Parashar, a close friend of Jayadeva.

Eminent Sanskrit scholars and historians such as Jagabandhu Singh, Pandit Gopabandhu Bidyabhusan, Paramananda Acharya, Bhagaban Pati, Banambar Acharya, Kulamani Mishra, Chakradhar Mohapatra, Kedaranath Mohapatra, Satya Narayan Rajguru, Kalicharan Patnaik, Nilamoni Mishra, Sadasiva Ratha Sharma and Karunakar Kar have conducted a lot of research for the last eighty years in manuscripts of palmleafs, copper plates, temple inscriptions etc. regarding the actual birth place of poet Jayadeva. Many of the present scholars such as Kanhu Charan Mishra and Nagendra Kumar Pradhan, Archaeologist Mahesh Prasad Das, Promod Chandra Mishra, Dukshishyam Patnaik, Bhagaban Panda, Bijaya Rath, Subash Pani, Prafulla Kumar Tripathy and Dinanath Pathy have scanned through various aspects of history, archaeology, drama, poetry, sculpture, linguistics, theology, art, architecture, sculpture and painting etc. and had established it beyond doubt that poet Jayadeva was born at village Kenduli on the bank of river Prachi, which is at present in Khurda district and earlier formed a part of Puri district of Orissa.

The largest number of books in Sanskrit imitating the style and theme of the Geeta Govinda came from Orissa. Similarly the largest number of annotated Geeta Govindas with footnotes and explanations also came from Orissa.

Thus it has been conclusively established by research that Mahakavi Jayadeva was born at Kenduli in Utkal, learnt and later taught literature music and dance at the school in Kurma- Pataka in Kalinga, invited to Puri with a dance troupe during the reign of Chodaganga Deva. Settled there, composed Geeta Govinda in Sri Jagannatha temple, got married to Padmavati, a noted dancing girl from the south, and stayed at Puri till the time of Raghava Deva, younger brother of Kamarnava Deva and the second son of Chodaganga Dev.