Vidyapati is newly incarnated ‘Jayadev’ that echoed the culture, art and philosophy of Mithila. ‘Naval Jayadev’, ‘Kavi Shekhar’, ‘Rasik-Shiromani’, ‘Sukavi-Kanth har’, ‘Raj pandit’, Nav-Kavishekhar’, ‘Kaviratna’, Kaviranjan’ like several adjectives and subnames decorated this excellent poet. In his local tongue and tone he expanded the sweetness of village-lore and songs, and Padaas. He established the lyrical poetic tradition through his sweet songs of devotion and love, and proved that the local language has a world abroad -
Vidyapati took birth in ‘Vispi’ village of Mithila in a Brahmin family nearly in year 1375 of Christe Calender. His father ‘Ganapati Thakur’ the raj pandit and poet in the court of Ganesh Ray, the king of Mithila, took his son with him in the court of the king. Much possibility is assumed that Vidyapati too pleased the lovers of poetry like his father from his childhood.
The ancestors of Vidyapati were devotee of Lord shiva - ‘Shaiva’. It is heard that lord Shiva performed service of Vidyapati by his name ‘Ugnaa’ or ‘Udna’ . This mythical saying shows his firm to Shiva. But many learned people do not accept him Shaiva. They prove him to be the worshiper of Lord Vishnu – 'Vaishanav’. F.E. Keay writes :
Vidyapati Thakur who lived at Bispi in the Darbhanaga district of Bihar in the Middle of the fifteen century is of the most famous Vaishnav poets of eastern India.”
Some say that he was not Maithil but Bengali and wrote poetry in Bengla. A few dare say that he is not Hindi poet. But above all, Vidyapati was surely a love poet leading a lusty life. After the death of his King Shiv Singh, he gave place to ‘Bhakti’ at the place of ‘Shringar’.
Duel Current in his poetry:The whole poetical sphere of the poet Vidyapati has duel current – one of worldly lust and lusture, the other of deep spiritual devotional spring. Whether he is poet of love or spirituality, whether he is ‘Bhakta’ or ‘Shringari’, is still a disputed theme among critics. Acharya Ramchandra Shukla taunts upon them who think Vidyapati a Bhakta, firmly rejecting his spirituality, and polishing his expression of poems deeply physical burst of lust and love. Falling in such dispute is of no avail while meditating the acute appeal of the poems of Vidyapati. For such worthless discussions are endless. Vidyapati is great – great in appeal, in achievement, in expression and in acceptance – and that’s all.
Lovers seperation and Meeting - ‘Viyoga and Sanyog’, both have par excellency in his songs of love. Radha weeps and the entire nature weeps with her. Cows run here and there, Gopis are dumb as dead in her grief, tears wet the cheeks day and night, and only Shri Krishna can feel what she felt – Who will not weep seeing the parrots weeping in cage?
सोइ यमुना गेले । गोप गोपी नहिं बुले ।
रोदति पिंजर शुके । धेनु धावइ मापुर मुखे॥
सागर तजिब परान । आन जन्मे हेरोन कान।
In conjugation, meeting – Radha, the one with Kanha, is above all in beauty and ferver. The two steps of age – infancy and adultness meet together, and see how she looks in the eye of the poet -
'शैशव जौवन दुहुं मिलि गेल । श्रवन का पथ दुहुं लोचन लेल ।
मदनक भाव पाहिल परिचार । भिन जन देल भिन अधिकार ।
Both characteristic of Sanyog and Viyog- meeting and seperation – are heart touching in this lovely poetical expression. Like Reetikaleen poetic cult, Vidyapati’s presentation and prosperous flexibility of affection is not light and ridiculous. It has sublimity and seriousness.
Lyricism:Rootly, Vidyapati is a lyric poet. Nature, feeling and function of locality flow in his songs as if the spring of sweet nectar is flowing to makeevery reader flow consciously unconscious. Such a rhythmical touching flash is rare any where -
नंदक नंदन कदम्ब क तरुतर धीरे धीरे मुरली बजाव ।
समय संकेत निकेतन बइसल बेरि बेरि बोलि पठाव ।
How sweetly the local speech touches to show ‘desil bayana sab jan mittha’ .
Language and Style:Vidyapati wrote in Sanskrit, Maithili and Apbhransha – and in all these three languages, his expression is ripe and sweet. His symbols and images are so general that everyone’s embracing honesty honours the theme and thought that poet presents. Prosody and Rhetoric is in its bumper flushing. Alankaaraas (Figures of Speeches) are natural and one finds golden treasury of Simile, Metaphor, Hyperbole and Onomotopoea.
Thus, in the poetical realm of Vidyapati, all needed elements of poetry are properly and profoundly fitted. Sweetness of Maithil land is undoubtedly his enexhausible treasury. The langaugae that Vidyapati used was sveet and solely sanctioned – as moonlight -
बालचन्द बिज्जावहिं भाषा । दुइ नहिं लग्गइ दुज्जन हांसा ।
Like Vidyapati, Vidyapati is alone in lyrical song in Hindi Literature.
- Bhanu Parikrama
- Purush Pariksha
- Shaiv Sarvasva Sar
- Pramanbhoot Puran Sangrah
- Dan Vakyavali
- Vibhag Sar
- Ganga Vakyavali, etc.
- Kirti Lata
- Kirti Pataka
- Maithili :
- Goraksha Vijay