Jayadeva birth controversy

Jayadeva Birth Controversy

Jayadeva birth controversy

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Until recently, the origins of the great twelfth century poet Jayadeva ( ) had been somewhat obscure, with the two neighboring states of Orissa and Bengal in Eastern India staking a claim to Jayadeva's origins. This had led to a bitter feud between people on both sides, that lasted for over a century.

The Bengali view

A few earlier accounts by Bengali writers had linked Jayadeva to the famous king of Bengal Lakshman Sen, the fourth ruler of the Sena dynasty and the last Hindu ruler of unified Bengal. These views originated from a single Bengali book, Jayadeva Charita authored by someone called Banamali Das, then subsequently disseminated by Bengali historians. The book was written in 1803 when little was known about the poet's life. Since this was the only published source of information then, it eventually came to be accepted that Jayadeva may have been born in Bengal. This idea was further propagated in 1906 through an article by a certain M. M. Chakrobarty where he mentioned that the great poet belonged to Bengal in the Asiatic Society of Bengal. Since Jayadeva mentions the village of Kendubilva as his birthplace, a location in Birbhum, where a traditional Baul festival is held each year, was identified to have been the original Kenduli village of Jayadeva. Under the assumption that the illustrious poet was born there, that festival too became associated with Jayadeva. A nearby village acquired the...
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