JAIDEV (JAYADEVA), saint and poet, two of whose hymns are incorporated in the Gurū Granth Sāhib, is chiefly known to the literary world as the author of the Gīta Govinda, a lyrical poem in which the love of Rādhā (soul or devotee) for Govinda (the Supreme Being) is described symbolically and mystically. Jaidev was born at Kindu Bilvā which, according to some, is now Kendūlī, in Bīrbhūm district of West-Bengal, on the river Ajay and, according to others, Kendūlī-Sasan, on Prāchī river, near Jagannāth Purī in Oṛissā. At the end of his poem, he has given his father's name as Bhojadeva and mother's as Rādhādevī, deciphered also as Ramādevī, or Vāmadevī. He is said to have flourished in the reign of Rājā Karnarnav (AD 1142-56) and Rājā Purushottam Dev (AD 1170-80), both of Oṛissā. Several legends about him are recorded in the Bhaktamāl of Chandradatta. In his youth, he led the life of an ascetic and a wandering preacher. The course changed for him as, while in Purī once, a Brāhmaṇ forced the hand of his daughter on him. It turned out to be a happy marriage. His wife sang with him the devotional songs which were of his own composition. He spent some years at Katham Kandī, now called Jaidevpur in his memory, where he composed his immortal lyric, the Gīta Govinda. From a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa, he became a devotee of the Supreme Lord. He roamed about the country preaching the gospel of love of God and of man. Rājā Lakshman Sen (AD 1175 -1200), of Bengal, became his disciple. Jaidev lived long and died in the village where he was born, in happy retirement. There is a samādhī of the saint in the village and an annual fair is held on the first of Māgh.
Besides the Gīta Govinda, two other compositions, the Rasanā Rāghava, a drama, and the Chandralok, an essay on the grace of style, are also ascribed to him.
Jaidev's hymns in the Gurū Granth Sāhib, one in Rāga Gūjarī and the other in Rāga Mārū, are in adoration of Hari, the Supreme Being. "Duality," he says, "ended for me as I remembered God who is the fountainhead of all virtue. Cherish the Divine Name in your heart. By repeating His praise you will break the circuit of birth and death, and you will dread death no more. Your heart and your word and deed should be imbued with the love of One Hari alone." Bhāī Gurdās in his Vārāṅ, X. 10, pays tribute to Jaidev's loving devotion whereby he attained the state when no distinction remains between "the devotee and the infinite."