Shreekrishna Kirtana

Shreekrishna Kirtana Kabya (Bengali: শ্রীকৃষ্ণকীর্তন কাব্য) or Sri Krishna Kirtana Kabya is a pastoral Vaishnava drama in verse composed by Boru Chandidas. It is considered to be the most significant work after Charyapada in the history of Bengali literature. These verses are believed to be written in the pre-Chaitanya era of the later half of 14th century A.D.

History of Publication

In 1909, Basanta Ranjan Roy Bidvatballava retrived the "punthi" (manuscript) of Sri Krishna Kirtana from a shelf in the cowshed of Debendranath Mukhopadhyay, a resident of Kankilya Village, Bankura. Since the "punthi" was found shorn of its pages including the opening and ending ones, its original name could not be ascertained. A slip inside the "punthi" reveals that it was initially preserved in the royal library of Bishnupur under the name of Sri Krishna Sandarva. However, the "punthi", edited and rechristened as Shreekrishna Kirtana by Bidvatballava, was published by Vangiya Sahitya Parishad in 1916.


The influence of Boru Chandidas’s Sri Krishna Kirtana was Bhagavata and Gitagovindam by Jaydev. The influence of other Puranas and Vaishnava scriptures is also substantial. But there is a strong affinity of popular folk literature of the time in the style of the verse.


Sri Krishna Kirtana has 418 lyrics and 13 books or "Khanda"s, namely, "Janma" (birth), "Tamvula" (piper betel which was considered as a token of love in that time), "Dana" (gift), "Nauka" (boat), "Bhara" (burden), "Chatra" (umbrella), "Vrindavan", "Kaliya Damana" (coercion of Kaliya, the snake-demon), Yamuna, "Haar" (necklace), "Baan" (arrow), "Bangshi" (flute) and "Radha Biraha" (estrangement of Radha). Three characters, Krishna, Radha and Badai, the envoy interrelate the plot of the play. Dialogues and counter-dialogues in payar and tripadi meters has added to the dramatic quality of Sri Krishna Kirtana.


Shrikrsnakirtan is a lyrical composition, embodying the love affair between Radha and Krishna. The storyline is derived from Srimad Bhagwat, the original book in Bhakti based Vaishnavism. However, Baru Chandidas managed to add substantial originality, making it a masterpiece of meieval Bangla literature. He gives the yearning of Radha a distinctly Bengali rendition, and in the process capturing much of the social conditions of the day.


* [ Srikrishnakirtan] , "Banglapedia", Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.

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