By Swami Harshananda
Life of Vidyāpati
Vidyāpati lived in A. D. 1360-1450. Śrīkṛṣṇa Caitanya was fond of the songs composed by Vidyāpati. It was like is a valuable testimony to the latter’s genius. He was the son of Gaṇapati Thākur and Harisinīdevī. Visapi, also called as Gaḍavisapi, in the Darbhāṅga district of Mithilā in north Bihar was his native place. Educated by his father and later by one Harimiśra, he became a great scholar in Sanskrit as also in the local language called Maithilī. He was an intimate friend of Śivasiñha, the ruler of Mithilā.
Local legends say that Lord Śiva, charmed by his poetical talents, worked as a servant named Uganā in his house. During the last days, with the intention of dying on the bank of the river Gaṅgā, he started on the journey in a palanquin. Though he died before reaching the river, it is said that the river itself changed its course and started flowing in the place where he passed away.
Literary Works by Vidyāpati
His works may be listed as follows:
Works in Maithilī language
- Padāvali songs
His songs in the Padāvali are set to music and are very popular. They breathe the spirit of devotion and also the love of the gopīs for Kṛṣṇa.
- He lived in A. D. 1485-1533.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore