When one speaks of the culture of Orissa the mention of Orissi dance becomes a natural thing to do. And when one speaks of the Odissi dance, a mention of the great Sanskrit poet Jayadeva, who wrote the Gita Govinda becomes a must.
It is this stream of sringara that swells into the mighty river of the lover-beloved songs of the Vaishnava and Saiva saints, the Ashtapadi of Jayadeva and the compositions of Kshetragna. In Bharatanatyam, too when it comes to abhinaya, sringara has been the dominant mood.
Like all dances of classical nature, the Odissi is also accompanied by singing in which people specialize and the compositions of Jayadeva and other poets are utilized for the purpose. In fact, the Oriya style of singing and the rendering of the poet’s songs is somewhat distinct and this has given birth to a style of some ragas and musical performance which are unique and special to Orissa.
This eternal lila is the eternal truth , and, therefore, its this eternal lila - the playful love-making of Radha and Krishna , which the Vaishnava poets desired to enjoy. If we analyse the Gitagovinda of Jayadeva we shall find not even a single statement which shows the poet's desire to have union with Krishna as Radha had,- he only sings praises the lila of Radha and Krishna and hankers after a chance just to have peep into the divine lila, and this peep into the divine lila is the highest spiritual gain which poets could think of.
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