The expressive practices of the Vaishnava community reveal how profoundly the Gitagovinda was—and continues to—shape Bengali devotion. It is not difficult to find ardent devotees, in temples across the region, who are so moved when they sing these songs, or other songs that speak to it or take off from it (kirtan), that their eyes well up with tears. They may weep, rise, and sway in response. Jayadeva seems to have anticipated such multisensory, intensely emotional responses to Radha and Krishna’s divine love affair in issuing an invitation to his audience, at the very outset of his work, to engage deeply.
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