New Light on Sri Jaya Dev’s Use of Ancient Oriya in His Lyrics

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

I will present a person, who is trying to improve upon what I have said on Sri Jaya Dev’s language.

HE is an active participant in painting competitions and science exhibitions. He is a B.Tech degree holder in Electronics and Telecommunications; yet has mastered in Journalism and Mass Communication. And, has worked as a Copy Editor in Naxatra News and contributed to Odia Wikipedia. He is presently an Associated Editor in Institute of Odia Studies and Research. But, nowhere in these pursuits has he ever stopped. He simply cannot stop; because quest cannot stop at any point.

During around the last last two years, ever since he has read my work on Sri Jaya Dev – Sri Jaya Dev’nka Baisi Pahacha – we have, in each of our mind, met umpteen times with a few appointments for personal interaction sidetracked by situational exigencies.

And, when day before yesterday we met at my place in the afternoon, I have reason to curse the time, because it passed away so soon so deep into the densifying night, that, I had to bear with seeing him off as he was to start for Puri, where he resides.

Not always in life one meets a young person whose life is dedicated to knowledge. To my highest happiness, he is now after ancient Odia language, and therefore, he is studying Pali, ancient Oriya’s mother tongue, in which the greatest ever Oriya – Gurudev Buddha, whom we worship as Jagannatha – had given his sermons, giving birth to what we call Buddhism.

HE is Sambit Mohapatra, born 2nd December 1987, residing at Daitapara Sahi of Puri.

In my book I had shown how Sri Jaya Dev, whose lyrics are wrongfully forced into the edited format called ‘Gita Govinda’ with profuse purposeful interpolations, had sanskritized Oriya in depicting his emphasis on female factor of life’s advancement in terms with the tenets of Buddhist Sahajayana. Sambit moves a step forward and convinces me that, ancient Oriya, i.e. Pali is what Sri Jaya Dev had transformed into the language of his lyrics.

He has sent me a comparative chat that shows how the words used by Sri Jaya Dev in the Mangalacharan to his Astapadis were Pali, the ancient Oriya language.

You may please peruse it here and enjoy the pleasure.

SRI JAGANNATHA IS NOT VISHNU

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The founder of Vajrayana school of Buddhism, Indrabhuti had created the name Jagannatha for Gurudev Buddha in Jnanasiddhi that began with

“pranipatya jagannatham sarvajinavararchitam / sarvabuddhamayam siddhibyapinam gaganopamam//” (Jnanasiddhi: i, 1).

Nowhere in Jnanasiddhi, he has used the name Vishnu for Sri Jagannatha.

Sri Jagannatha is also known as Kali

(“Niladrou Sri Jagannatha sakshat Dakshina Kalika”, meaning, in Niladri Puri, Sri Jagannatha is Dakshina Kali herself.).

Kali is the epitome of women power that had fought against and vanquished the satyrs from Mahishasura to Raktavirjya whereas Vishnu had impersonated Sambarasura to desecrate his woman like any satyr could have done. So, Kali represents a cult that is in opposition to that of Vishnu.

Kali is unique. She is seen in a pose suggestive of advance movement with a body lying beneath her raised foot. That body is called Siva, known also as Shmasanabasi (one, who lives in the cremation grounds). So most probably that body is a sava (a dead body) but under Kali’s advancing step, it becomes Siva, whom scriptures have described as a factor of destruction and reproduction.

Symbolically, thus, Kali connotes to awakening of the dormant human society to destroy the exploiters and to proceed towards progress, which, Guru Dev Buddha, by organizing the matriarch agro tribes into Sangha with democratic centralism against rising autocracy, had philosophized.

This is why the Vedic imperialists, to whom progress of the natives was intolerable, had aggressively tried to divest Sri Jagannatha of matriarch progressiveness by converting him to Vishnu, the protector of patriarch conservatism. In this endeavor, they had tried to first change Sri Jagannatha from Buddha of Orissa into Sri Krushna of Dwaraka.

Possibly Sri Krishna was the only name that was suitable for their purpose.

India has two Mahapuranas subscribing to two opposite social orders. The first one is Ramayana wherein patriarch hegemony is glorified. Patriarchy being the factor of caste supremacist social order, Rama, who had beheaded Sudra Muni Shambhuka to justify that peoples belonging to “untouchable” castes have no right to worship any God, and who, time and again, had so coldly embarrassed his wife Sita in the public by asking her to establish her chastity, that she ultimately committed suicide, was the hero of Ramayana. Against this patriarch inhumanity, Muni Vyasa, who was conscious of his own birth being the result of rape of his mother by Parasara, a top practitioner of patriarchy, had deliberately created Mahabharata to condemn patriarch hegemony. In his Mahabharata, whosoever has offended any woman has been severely punished even to the extent of extermination. He has redefined religion as rise of the exploited to annihilate the exploiters. In this new scripture of class war, Sri Krishna was the hero. So he was the most beloved epic character that the peoples adored as their redeemer. Therefore the caste supremacists and their cohorts who constituted the exploiter class had tried to tamper with Mahabharata and to interpolate the character of Sri Krishna with such components that his distinction as class war hero would be blurred. Thus they had, in Bhagavata, deliberately plastered characteristics akin to Sahajayana on Sri Krishna by composing this Vaisnv literature in the style of a Mahapurana and promulgating the same in the name of Vyasa.

Crafted legends were cunningly spread to add authenticity to Bhagavata as a genuine work of Vyasa and through massive interpolations and manipulations in the real Mahabharata, Sri Krishna was projected as the God Vishnu of Vedic pantheon. Depicting the massiveness of this manipulation Garuda Purana says,

“daityah sarve biprakulesu bhuta / kalauyuge bharate satasahasrayam / niskasya kashchinna navanirmitanam / nibesanam tatra kurbanti nityam// (Devayani Das, Sambad, 15 Sept.1996),

which roughly means that the wicked persons born to Bipra castes have tampered with the Mahabharata of Vyasa by replacing many of its 6000 stanzas with the ones purposefully composed by themselves.

What was the purpose behind such tampering with the text of the Mahabharata?

Obviously, paving of the path for creation of Bhagavata in the name of Vyasa to make Krishna of Sahajiya character prominent than that of the class war leader the Mahabharata had created. So, it was as per a stratagem. And, it was a shrewd stratagem.

In this stratagem, if Sri Krushna of Sahajiya character could be posed as Jagannatha, the latter being the name of Buddha from whose tenets Sahajayana had emerged, the thread of difference between the two would be so indiscernible that it would not be possible for the common man of Orissa to say that Sri Jagannatha was not Vishnu, because the name Vishnu was also given by them to Sri Krishna. To the Vedic mafias, once Jagannatha was accepted as Vishnu, there would be no difficulty in wiping out Buddhism from its soil of origin, Orissa, with torrents of the Vedic philosophy that Vishnu was standing for.

To execute this stratagem, many a patron saints of Vedic imperialism had for centuries flocked to Orissa and concentrated at Puri to do this conversion.

Sri Jay Dev, belonging by birth to now extinct village of Kenduvilwa on the sea shore near Puri of Orissa, which the yet active agents of Brahmanism have wrongfully been showing to be Kenduli near Bhubaneswar, was deeply disturbed over the decline of Buddhism, his creed by birth, due to spread of Vedic hegemony in Orissa.

Depicting how in Jay Dev’s contemporary Orissa, Buddhism was being dragged into decline, Iswar Das has noted at Stanzas 61-65 in Chapter 148 of Chaitanya Bhagavat that a Keshari king had massacred 667 out of 752 Buddhist monks in the Satapata area within the spread of Kurmapatakapur forcing some of the Siddhacharyas belonging to the monastery at village Chaurashi in the same region, to go underground. In giving another account, the Ekamra Purana has described that kings, patronizing Brahmanism, were giving sumptuous gifts and gold coins to Pasupat Saivas (a sect of Vedic mafias) as rewards for butchering Buddhist Monks.

Against such scenarios, Sri Jay Dev had tried to save Buddhism from Aryan onslaught in his motherland Orissa by equipping Sahajayan (Buddhist philosophy of social unity and female superiority based on her being the primary factor of creation) with an excellent literary weapon in form of Astapadi love songs written in Sanskritised Oriya (Subhas Chandra Pattanayak: Sri Jaya Devanka Baisi Pahacha (SJDBP), Bharata Bharati, Cuttack, 2005).

In the offering song, popular as Dasavatara Stuti, he had reinforced Sri Jagannatha as Buddha and by singing glory therein to Hari, a synonym also of Vishnu, had prodded the caste supremacists to accept Buddha as the object of their worship.

Though a synonym of Vishnu, Jay Dev’s Hari in reality was derived from Heruka, the form of Buddha, whose complexion was black because of density of wrath against the caste supremacists. A Heruka image discovered from Kuruma near the Konark temple (the now extinct Kuruma monastery of Orissa) shows that he even carries the chopped off head said to be of Brahma in one hand and a container full of his blood in the other. So, it was natural on part of Sri Jay Dev to abridge Heruka to Hari in his composition, as therein he had to provide Sahajayan with the needed literature against Vedic imperialism (Ibid).

Besides being Heruka, Buddha was also known as Surya (the Sun) by his clan name (“Adicchanamagotten”– I belong by birth to Aditya (Sun) Clan – Buddha to Bimbisara in Suttanipata). And, Surya was known as Hari. So by singing glory to Hari, Sri Jay Dev had sung glory to Gurudev Buddha.

On the other hand, Sri Jaya Dev had used some other names, which, though synonyms of Vishnu, stand in reality for women-right and against exploitation, such as Murari.

Thus, by singing glory to Hari, Sri Jaya Dev had sung glory to Buddha, not to Govinda.

This aspect is proven by the very fact that he has never used the word Govinda anywhere in his songs. Therefore it is sure, the name Hari and Murari etc were tactfully used by Sri Jay Dev to hoodwink the caste supremacist rule then in possession of Orissa (Ibid) to reinforce the Sahajayana tenets of applied Buddhism. In fact, due to this tact of Sri Jay Dev, the caste supremacists and their cohorts then in power had, in worshiping Jagannatha as Vishnu, been worshiping Buddha.

When this tact was discovered long after his passing away, the caste supremacists, unable to stop its spread, interpolated the songs with 74 clumsy stanzas designed to create confusion in the public over their Buddhist status and edited the same with the most misleading caption of Geeta Govinda. The interpolators had given this caption, no doubt, because the poet, having never used the word Govinda anywhere in his geetas (songs) was not supposed to have given this title.

Further to this, the agents and lobbyists of Vedic imperialism, as observed from cultural history, had also concentrated at Puri to annotate the same to show Sri Jay Dev as a Vaishnava and his songs stood for Vedism, not for Buddhism.

But an inadvertent mistake in interpolating, editing and converting the compilation of his Astapadi poems to Geeta Govinda had left Buddha intact in the Dasavatara Stutee and recitation of Jay Dev’s songs in the inner chamber of Sri Jagannatha being part of the deity’s daily rituals, the caste supremacists, out-and-out against Buddhism, were being compelled to sing glory to Buddha.

To get rid of this contradiction, they used Emperor Purusottam Dev, who after clandestinely incarcerating his father Kapilendra Dev in a southern point of Orissa, had occupied the throne with their help, to replace the said Geeta Govinda with an imitation thereof, styled as Abhinav Geeta Govinda, written by one of them namely Dibakar Mishra (Kedarnath Mohapatra in Contribution of Orissa to Sanskrit Literature, 1960, P.LI), but projected as authored by the emperor. This attempt was designed to replace Buddha with Sri Krishna in the Dasavatara Stutee so that Sri Jagannatha would no more be known as Buddha but be known as Sri Krishna to be worshiped consequently as Vishnu.

But the peoples of Orissa, devout followers of Buddha of their own soil as they were, so sharply revolted against this mischief that Purusottam Dev had to withdraw his steps and to restore the recitation of the original songs authored by Sri Jay Dev. This glorious cultural victory of the peoples of Orissa against their own political emperor was unique.

It is noteworthy that after this defeat, the same emperor Purusottam had tried again to project Sri Jagannatha as Sri Krishna. He had promulgated a Code of Rituals in the temple of Sri Jagannatha styled as “Sri Gopalarchana Paddhatti” that was vitiated with the mischief to worship Him as Gopala (Krushna) under the plea that in Kaliyug (the epical era following Dwapara), worship should be offered only to him as he was recognized as the reigning Lord when the last era was taking leave.

The peoples of Orissa sternly declared that if Sri Jagannatha was to be worshiped in the name of Gopala Sri Krishna in Kaliyug, then that Gopal Sri Krishna couldn’t be anybody other than Kalika, the Supreme Mother.

“Kalau Kali, Kalau Krishna, Kalau Gopala Kalika”: Tara Rahasya.

Nobody, howsoever high in power, had dared to reject this declaration.

At the initial stage of Vedic imperialism trying to terminate Buddhism in its place of origin, Orissa, its strongman Sankaracharya, had established one of the four branches of his school at Puri styled as Gobardhan Peetham, a name deliberately given to assert against Orissa’s Buddhist tribalism.

During days of Purusottam Dev, the caste supremacists had tried to control the Jaganntha temple through a body styled as Mukti Mandap with the then Sankaracharya as its President and with the emperor behind them, they had put the statute of Adi Sankaracharya along with the statue of his first agent at Puri, Padmapada, arbitrarily on the Ratna Simhasana of Sri Jagannatha in order to exhibit their supremacy over the spiritual spectrum and to force peoples to pay obeisance to those two epitomes of anti-Buddhism while offering their prayers to Sri Jagannatha.

Peoples of Orissa at the summit of their consistent battle against this conspiracy had not only forced the emperor to ban the worship offered to Sankaracharya on the podium of Sri Jagannatha but also had executed their wrath by deracinating those two implanted statues from the Ratna Simhasana during the days of Gajapati Divyasingha Dev (Khurudha Itihasa: Kedarnath Mohapatra, p.288) and by throwing them as obnoxious waste to the road for the people to pulverize them under their feet. So the peoples of Orissa never approved transformation of Sri Jagannatha from Buddha to Vishnu under the cover of Krushna.

This victory of the peoples of Orissa over their ruler and the ruling elites has no parallel in history; but due to lapse in recording of history, it has not become conspicuous so far. Culture historians should take note of it.

OFFICIAL VANDALISM ON SRI JAYA DEV IN ORISSA CONTINUES

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

People of Orissa are so loyal to their revolutionary poet Sri Jaya Dev that they have named the stairs of Sri Mandira, the temple of Lord Jagannatha at Puri as Baisi Pahacha in honor of the poet’s twenty-two love lyrics that later day compilers have captioned as Gita Govinda. But in Orissa the immortal poet continues to be vandalized by the occupiers of power.

Looking into the past we see that Emperor Purusottam Dev was the first from the throne to have tried to play the vandal tricks on Sri Jaya Dev. He had used his sovereign powers to promulgate his own work captioned Abhinav Gita Govinda in Sri Mandira by discarding daily recitation of Sri Jaya Dev’s Astapadi lyrics before Sri Jagannatha.

The brave people of Orissa had refused to tolerate this vandalism and had raised their voice most vehemently against the mighty Emperor. The mass upsurge was of such sharp velocity that the sovereign ruler had to relent, had to withdraw his book and had to restore the poet’s Asthapadi lyrics to the original status.

Nowhere in whole of the world common peoples of a Nation had so strongly stood with a poet of their soil and nowhere in the entire world a ruthless Emperor, in order to escape peoples’ wrath, had to withdraw his own work and to restore the poet’s work in a temple system the management of which was under his imperial control.

But while thus stepping back, the shrewd Emperor had legitimatized massive interpolations in the poet’s original work to pave way for the Brahmins to hijack Sri Jaya Dev into their nefarious fold with an ulterior motive to obliterate the Buddhist aura the Astapadi love lyrics were known for.

I have discussed this phenomenon in depth in my published work Sri Jaya Devanka Baisi Pahacha (the twenty-two stairs to Lord Jagannatha that Sri Jaya Dev had created). The hard edition is published and marketed by Cuttack’s eminent publishing house “The Bharata Bharati” and the e-edition is placed in orissamatters.com as well as in scribd.com. We will later return to this phenomenon in course of this serial presentation.

But at this stage it suffices to say that the people of Orissa had refused to remain silent over the tricks Purusottam Dev and his Brahmin ministers had played.

They renewed their agitation against the Emperor and despite having created many legends to impose Krushna of Dwaraka as Sri Jagannatha in place of Buddha of Orissa and to convince the peoples of the Lord’s approval of his action, Purusottam Dev had not succeeded in silencing their protests.

The people did not rest till his son and successor Emperor Prataparudra Dev issued an irrevocable order that no other work of letters can ever replace Sri Jaya Dev’s love lyrics in the ritual of dance and music before the Lord.

People of Orissa had celebrated this victory of theirs by throwing away the images of Adi Samkaracharya and his disciple Padmapada from the podium of Sri Jagannatha where the Brahmins had consecrated those images as a mark of their caste supremacy and in a brute design to impose legitimacy on conversion of Buddha Jagannatha to Krushna Jagannatha.

It is quite thrilling to try to fathom what a great peoples’ upsurge that must have been that could embolden the common man of Orissa to kick out the images of Adi Samkara and his disciple Padmapada from the Ratna Simhasana of Sri Jagannatha and to break them with utmost contempt into pieces and to throw those pieces to the dumping yards by the pavements of Puri.

This wonderful mass rise against practitioners of caste apartheid crowned with Emperor Prataprudra’s irrevocable orders that nothing but the lyrics of Jaya Dev (who had authored them as the literature of Buddhist Sahajayana in order to curb the culture of caste apartheid) could ever be allowed recitation before the Lord had so effectively exterminated the hegemony of Brahminism in Sri Mandira system that the Brahmins had to remain content with a limited role to play.

Thus under Prataparudra Dev the Buddist aura of Sri Jaya Dev and his Astapadi lyrics were restored. Caste apartheid had waned.

But religious revivalism having taken new wings as India has fallen into the labyrinth of plutocratic chaos, a new phase of attempt to extinguish the entire Buddhist aura that holds the real identity of Sri Jaya Dev has begun with official help.

Notwithstanding the poet’s own description and notwithstanding ancient literary evidences showing Kenduvilwa on the sea near the city of Puri as Sri Jaya Dev’s birthplace, modern agents of Brahminism have been trying to establish a Brahmin village called Kenduli near Bhubaneswar as the poet’s birthplace.

When the State Exchequer as well as Bureaucracy of the State was for the first time used in this campaign, we had, in these pages, deemed it proper to object to that offensive endeavor and to urge upon the Government to desist from cooperating with false projection of the most uniquely socio-philosophic revolutionary poet of Orissa.

Orissa’s history has been wronged by vested interest attempts to eclipse Sri Jaya Dev’s real identity with a creed he never belonged to by a section of regional chauvinists amongst the Bengalis as well as by the caste chauvinists amongst the Oriyas.

So, we had in these pages tried to apprise the State Government of Orissa of the necessity of keeping the State machinery away from attempts to push Sri Jaya Dev into the fold of the culture of caste apartheid.

But instead of paying attention to our culturally competent pleadings, the State is increasingly being used to play patron to the caste supremacist design to hijack Sri Jaya Dev again into the culture of caste apartheid. The role of the State Government last week in celebration of his birthday can be nothing but an affront to Sri Jaya Dev and his creed.

It is being marked that at par with official attempts to legalize Sri Jaya Dev’s placement under a caste fold, caste apartheid has increasingly raised its ugly fangs in Jagannatha temples at different places in Orissa. And also it has started infesting Oriya society as a whole.

How long the State shall continue under confusion and how long Sri Jaya Dev shall continue suffering official vandalism in his own State with savage violation of the creed he had propounded in his love lyrics?

Should we not cogitate if at all we have any love for our culture?

GOOD MUSIC VRS. POPULAR MUSIC: RANGABATI SINGER HOLDS FORT

This posting including the caption originating from BISWAJEET PADHI is borrowed from a group mail addressed to CanOSAnet, which was to our hand from Prof. Gopal Mohanty, Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, by way of redirection. Prof. Mohanty deserves all thanks for having circulated it in the yahoogroup.

We agree with every word used in this article. The government has failed to ensure that exploitation of artists by business community stops and a genius like Jitendra Harpal is given his appropriate royalty.

We are publishing this excellent write up for perusal of our esteemed visitors with an appeal that each one of them, in their respective sphere should pay attention to the issues so ably highlighted in it and to please do their best to make at least the Government of Orissa understand how to fix up priority in extending support to culture of the State.

It is a shame that when creative geniuses like Harpal are abandoned by the State, several lakhs of rupees are being squandered away year after year in celebrating Jaya Dev’s birthday in a communal fashion, simply because a senior IAS officer wants it.

All thinking minds, who love Orissa, must rise up and ask the State government to divert the money they are spending in communalizing Sri Jaya Dev to welfare of creative geniuses like Harpal.
-Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Rangabati O Rangabati , kanaka lata , hasi pade kahana kath – , Hai go laze laze o laze, laze, laze laze nai zauche matha go, nai kara nai kara aatha( O my beloved Rangabati, speak to me with a smile; I am not able to raise my face with shame – don’t trouble me much) has set the hearts bubbling of millions all over the world. It has been lapped up by listeners from Los Angeles to London when broadcasted through Radio. Though a sambalpuri folk song, it is as popular in Ranchi as in Delhi . It is still a national anthem for every band party ushering the bridegroom to the house of the bride. This sambalpuri folk song has been the ‘Sholay’ of folk music and has reigned the hearts of young and old alike since it was composed in 1972. But its lead singer , 61 year Jitendra Harpal still lives in obscurity in his house in Sambalpur in western Orissa. The Company that recorded and sold millions of copies of the record way back in 1979, INERCO ( Indian Record manufacturing Company) has allegedly not paid a single rupee as royalty to the singer. Poverty and lack of support are the reasons why he has not been able to wage a legal battle to get his dues. Yet he is determined to work for preserving the folk media of the region.

He supports a large family of 3 sons, 3 daughters, widow sister, her daughter, father in law, 2 grand daughter aptly named Payal and Ghungroo and a grandson named Preet. Harpal has been ailing for quite some years. Yet help has not come from the desired quarters. An all time great of folk music, who still refuses to compromise on his ethics languishes in utter poverty. Following a 27 minute discussion with the Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during his sambalpur visit in May 2005, Harpal was hopeful and has not lost hope till today. The Chief Minister has assured me help for my medical treatment and also financial support of Rs. 2 lakhs for a patriotic album. Western Orissa has a rich treasure of folk dance forms, songs, festivals which over the years may get extinct and needs preservation, lamented Harpal. They need to be preserved, yet finance is a big problem to take up such a gigantic project, he said.

When he came into the scene in 1970s, music was never paying and never ensured a livelihood. It was sheer grit and love for music that he stayed on the scene. With a humble background of even working as a daily labourer, he came into the music scene when he was around 8 / 10 years of age. Such was the love for music, he used to stand outside music schools as he had no money to pay fees. When his mentor Ghulam Abbas started an orchestra named ROCKY in 1965- 66, he got an opportunity to sing. I used to get Rs. 50 per programme in those days and there used to be around 10 programmes per annum, reminiscences Harpal. But the real break came in 1968 -69 when he auditioned for All India Radio, Sambalpur. Though I used to get Rs. 15 per programme, I got recognition after singing in radio confesses Harpal. Infact Rangabti was first aired by AIR in its Surmalia programme in the year 1974.

Now that technology has become affordable, many people are joining the music industry. Mushrooming of recording studios though have been encouraging for the fledging industry, it has it pitfalls too. Earlier music industry was being controlled by big players and many a talent used to go waste. With the advent of Remix and western music, the threat to folk media has multiplied. Double meaning lyrics and some even bordering on obscene are further eroding the track record of the music industry. He is on a mission to preserve sambalpuri folk songs. Lokgeets ( folk songs) are inner voices of People and times and are reflections of the society , asserts Harpal. But with the advent of western culture, we are fast losing it, he lamented.

Arranging finance for cause has been an insurmountable problem. Harpal still refuses to sing cheap and vulgar lyrics where he is offered handsome rewards. There is no short cut to success, he admits and keeps on producing songs which the entire family can listen together. Thankfully his children have also taken to music. His eledest son Prabhat is a rhythm player whereas the eldest of the daughter, Chandrika is a singer. Working against all odds to preserve the culture of the area, has great hopes on the younger generations. Today singing can become a source of livelihood for an upcoming talent, which was not, just a couple of years back. Avoid vulgar lyrics, respect the folk form are the message he wants to give to the younger generations. Meanwhile the dream of preserving the folk media of the region remains a distant dream.

COME THE CAR FESTIVAL, THE TRUTH MANIFESTS IN ORISSA

“Rathastham Bamanam drustwa punarjanma na lavyate”.

By finding the Bamana on His chariot, one shall have no reason for rebirth, this is what the above much quoted stanza says.

But due to decadence in cultural research, the original meaning of the stanza has been lost. The sociological aspect that gave birth to this conception has been buried under spiritual jargons. To understand the real meaning of the quoted stanza we ought to have a critical look at it.

Bamana is one of the ten incarnations of God according to world famous poet of Orissa, Sri Jayadev. If so, why only Bamana is revered in this particular stanza that goes on to say that seeing Him on the chariot there shall be no reason for rebirth?

Let us first see what does the word ‘rebirth’ mean. The learned persons are known as twice born in India. The first birth is coming out of the womb of the mother in a state of knowledgelessness. When one acquires knowledge he gets recognition as ‘twice born'(Dwija). This is the state of ‘rebirth’. So, when one acquires the complete knowledge, for him, there remains no reason for rebirth.

Now let us come to the word Bamana. It means the small shape of a big sort, particularly human. The stanza has depicted Sri Jagannath as Bamana. Why so? And why finding Him as the Bamana on the chariot one’s knowledge is considered to be complete?

The answer lies in the name of Sri Jagannatha. Literally the name means ‘Lord of the Universe’. But, in the system of Sri Mandira, the abode of the Lord, Sri Jagannatha is four in one. Integrated in Him, the other three are ‘Sudarshana’, ‘Subhadra’ and ‘Balabhadra’. These three are His three other inseparable facets.

To understand the significance of these facets one is to watch the colour they bear. When Sri Jagannath is black in colour, Sudarshan is slightly red, Subhadra is yellow and Balabhadra is white. If we look at the world, the entire human race is distributed within these four colours. And, in the body of Jagannath all the four colours are placed. Hence, not only He carries with Him all the facets of human world, but also He personifies all the four facets. In a nutshell, He is symbolic of the entire human race. Therefore He is considered to be the small shape of the entire humankind, the Bamana.

On the second day of the bright phase of Asadha, He comes into the fold of the people of the world of all colour, creed and culture. This is His world famous chariot journey or Ratha Yatra. Anybody belonging to any region or religion of the world, and in any physical condition, can mingle with Him during this unique Yatra.

It is no less symbolic.

Agricultural activities in this part of the globe are heightened during the month of Asadha. Amongst all the activities the human race pursues, agriculture is the most fundamental, because this provides the food on which the human race lives. So, His car festival carries universal significance of the human activities and emphasizes on the common cause of human society.

If one understands this much, what more knowledge he needs to know about how to act for building up of an integrated world on the basis of universal love and brotherhood? It is commonly believed that man takes a rebirth to live in a better world. If we follow the ethics Sri Jagannatha stands for, and the common cause His car festival cultivates, our blind ally with religions, the root cause of disintegration of human race, shall stop and a new world of universal brotherhood based on understanding and tolerance will emerge. When, thus, the Jagannath culture succeeds, the world where we live in would be the best place to live in and there shall be no reason for rebirth to live in a better world. This would be emancipation as contemplated in the quoted stanza.

Welcome to the Ratha Yatra of Puri and Glory to this unique universal truth that manifests in Orissa so enchantingly and always.

KENDULI WAS NOT THE BIRTHPLACE OF JAYADEV

ORISSA GOVT. MAKES A MISTAKE BY ADOPTING A COMMUNAL FESTIVAL

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Orissa State Government has made a mistake by adopting a festival that the Jayadev Foundation Trust and Jayadev Sanskrutika Parisad, twin private bodies, run mostly by Brahmins under leadership of Orissa’s Development Commissioner-cum-Additional Chief Secretary Mr.A.K.Tripathy, to keep buried forever Sri Jaya Dev’s Buddhist identity.

Birthday festival of Sri Jaya Dev has been celebrated this year from May 11 to 13 under the State government banner with total funding by the State without any provision in the Budget for the purpose. The aforesaid private combine was conducting ‘Sankirtan Yatra’ from Bhubaneswar to an adjacent Brahmin village named Kenduli for the last 13 years wrongfully projecting Sri Jaya Dev as a Hindu Vaishnav saint. This writer had shown the poet as a Buddhist who had composed his lyrics as a supportive literature to Kamavajrayana vide Orissa’s popular newspaper ‘Sambad’ (dated 11th May 1997), to which the above combine had resented through its founder-functionary P.C.Tripathy (Sambad, 25th May, 1997, but did not dare to counter academically after this writer established the Kamavajrayani tenets of the lyrics of Sri Jaya Dev (Sambad, 8th June, 1997). Since then the combine has never come forward to academically establish that Sri Jaya Dev’s writing did not connote to Buddhism in Sahajayan sector; but has tried to mislead the people through the ‘Sankirtan Yatra’. It now transpires that the Directorate of Culture and the Directorate of Information & P.R. were also being used to organize this communal ‘Yatra’ “with adequate assistance from the District Administration, District Police, Engineering Departments and local Public Relation Officers”. (Minutes of meeting taken for celebration of Jaya Dev Jayanti and sankirtan yatra, 2005, dated, 8th April, 05) When an IAS officer has a stake in a matter who in the State administration can deny the cooperation sought for?

The private combine succeeded this year in legalizing every illegality committed so far. A cursory look into the matter reveals that Orissa’s Minister of Culture, I & P.R. was prevailed upon to take a meeting with the above two organization which he did on 8th April 05. It was decided that, “henceforth the primary responsibility for organizing these celebrations should be taken over by the Culture and Information & P.R. departments together” whereas the above two organizations “will extend necessary cooperation”. A sum of Rs.1,22,000/- was announced as grant that included Rs.20,000/- for Jaya Dev Sanskrutika Parisad. The avowed aim of this new arrangement was a ‘sankirtan yatra’ from Anantavasudev Temple of Bhubaneswar to Srimandir of Puri via Kenduli village which is being projected as the village of Sri Jaya Dev. Officers like the Executive Engineer of Prachi Irrigation Division and B.D.O.s of the concerned Blocs were asked to look after the comfort of Sankirtan Yatries whereas Executive Officers of Local Bodies were to organize reception for the troupe. The Collectors of Khurda and Puri were asked to personally see that the venture was a grand success. S.P.s of both the districts were asked to ensure that adequate police escort was pressed into action. The State machinery was massively used to convince the people that Sri Jaya Dev was a Hindu saint and that he was born in the village Kenduli near Bhubaneswar.

It is a Brahminic conspiracy to wipe out forever Sri Jaya Dev’s Buddhist identity by use of the State machinery. It is a shame that a minister, without consent of the cabinet, has prompted the administrative machinery of the ‘secular’ state to work for a communal cause to the extent of strangulating history.

After the agents of Brahminism succeeded in eliminating Buddhism in the birth land of Sri Buddha Dev, i.e. Tosala or the coastal belt of Orissa, attempts have been made to misguide the rest of the world about Jaya Dev’s birthplace and philosophy too. His world famous love-lyrics, which were composed to spread the tenets of Kama-vajrayana or Sahajayana School of Buddhism, (Subhas Ch. Pattanayak: Sambad, 11th May 1997 and 8th June 1997) were edited by antagonists of Buddhism with profuse interpolations with a motive to usurp him for Brahminism and in course of time the edited compilation was given the title of “Geeta Govinda”, given his works a permanent Vaishnav colour.

Gajapati Purusottam Dev, who was a blind patron of Brahminism, had tried to stop recitation of Jaya Dev’s love-lyrics in the temple of Sri Buddha Dev christened as Sri Jagannath by King Indrabhuti , the founder of Vajrayan school of Buddhism. By that time Brahminism had succeeded in projecting Sri Jagannath as Bishnu in place of Buddha and Sri Mandira as a Hindu temple. But the general public of Orissa being more attuned to Buddhism, and therefore determined to see that the Kama-Vajrayani lyrics of Jaya Dev are not discarded from Sri Buddha-Jagannath’s abode, the evil design of Purusottam Dev did not succeed. Then attempts were made to project Sri Jaya Dev as a Hindu saint in order only to eliminate his public image as a Buddhist.

When thus his philosophical tenets were under an eclipse, visitors to Puri from outside Orissa were getting acquainted with the peculiarities of the Sri Mandira system wherein recitation of Jaya Dev’s libidinous lyrics was a must in the Deity’s daily worship. That the people of Orissa had compelled their king Emperor Purusottam Dev to withdraw recitation of another book styled as ‘Abhinav Gita Govinda’, the authorship of which was attributed to the emperor himself and which he had promulgated in place of Jaya Dev’s, was a matter of public knowledge that had lifted the poet to a legendary position in their estimation. Naturally, therefore, they were interested in collecting as much information as possible on Sri Jaya Dev. All of them, who had mentioned of him in their respective books during the period when Orissa was under Hindu Monarchs, have recorded that he belonged to a place near Puri, which was known for the shrine of Sri Jagannath. (Chandra Datta in Bhaktamala, or Mahipati in Bhakta Vijay for instance). It is remarkable that these two authors have described Sri Jaya Dev’s birthplace as “Vinduvilwa” and “Tinduvilwa” respectively. But both of them have made it abundantly clear that this village was adjacent to the town of Puri.

Therefore, history does not agree with the propaganda that Sri Jaya Dev was born in village ‘Kenduli’ near Bhubaneswar. Even Sri Jaya Dev himself has not said that he was born in village ‘Kenduli’ near Bhubaneswar. According to him, the name of his village was ‘Kinduvilwa’, if interpretation of the ‘Sarvangasundari Tika’ is accepted. This word Kinduvilwa, of course, is interpreted as the name of his family or clan in the ‘Shrutimanjari Tika’. If this interpretation is accepted then there is no reason to say that Kinduvilwa was his village. In that case, his village was either Binduvilwa or Tinduvilwa near the town of Puri. While editing ‘Sri Gitagovindamahakavyam’, in a footnote to the stanza where the poet has given a hint on his birthplace under the 3rd ‘Sargah’ at page 132, Dr.Bhagaban Panda has also said that in some of the manuscripts, the word has not been shown as ‘Kinduvilwa’, but has been shown as ‘Tinduvilwa’. Hence the village of Sri Jaya Dev can either be Tinduvilwa or Vinduvilwa or Kinduvilwa near Puri, but by no chance it can be the village of ‘Kenduli’ near Bhubaneswar.

Moreover, use of the word ‘Samudra’ in this verse by the poet himself suggests that the he was very much in harmony with the sea as he was composing his verses. Earlier I have shown how the sea was the vital source of philosophy that he depicted in his writing. A popular legend that attributes the writing of the words “dehi padapallavamudarm” to Sri Jagannath, narrates that the poet could not dare to write these words, even though they were contextually most appropriate, because his devoted mind refused to place the Lord in so humble a position. Undecided and perplexed, he left for a bath in the sea. It was, by his time, widely believed that a sea bath at Puri was enough to purify the mind. (A tenth century inscription vide Inscription from Maihar, E I Vol. XXXV part IV edited by Dr.D.C.Sircar and V.S.Subrahmanyam) As the saintly Jaya Dev should have been full of remorse for having conceived the words “dehi padapallavamudaram” which were to show the Lord in sub normality, he was correctly claimed in the legend to have gone for the sea bath. But the Lord was not going to be offended by these words. So, in full approval of what Jaya Dev had conceived, the Lord, before return of the poet, had come himself in his guise and taking the manuscript from his wife, completed the incomplete verse with these very words. This side of the legend may or may not be accepted, but it cannot be ignored that it has emphasized that Sri Jaya Dev was leaving in a place that was so near to the seashore of Puri that he was able to take a bath in the sea as and when he was wishing.

‘Bhaktamala’ of Chandra Datta narrates that Gita Govinda (as is the edited title) was composed by Sri Jaya Dev in the sacred city of Puri and the author was feeling himself accomplished by dedicating the same to the Lord. Neither in this book of reference nor in any other relevant works of the era, the village Kenduli which is adjacent to Bhubaneswar has been shown as the village of Sri Jaya Dev. The famous poet of Maharastra, Mahipati, in his work ‘Bhaktavijaya’ has told that Jaya Dev’s village was Tinduvilwa, which was adjacent to the town of Puri. “Jagannath kshetra samipa jana/Tinduvilwa grama namavidhana”. This is what he has said. In ‘Sri Sri Bhaktamala’ authored by Vishnav poet Krishna Das of Bengal in Bengali language, it is unambiguously told that Jaya Dev’s birthplace was near the sea at Puri.”Kenduvilwa name grama sagar haite/Sriman Jaya Dev dwija haila bidite” is his version.

So, there is no historical reason to take Kenduli village that lies near Bhubaneswar as Sri Jaya Deva’s birthplace. His birthplace must be somewhere near the town of Puri. Where then should it be?

There is a Temple of Bilweshwar, which is not only adjacent to Puri, but also is within the Shankhakshetra zone of the sacred city. The place is on the seashore. The village where Sri Jaya Dev was born should have been there. Agents of aggressive Brahminism like the Pashupata Shaivas who were killing Buddhist monks and their followers in order to extinguish Buddhism from Orissa, and taking gold coins from Orissa Monarch as reward for that, might have destroyed the birthplace of Sri Jaya Dev, who, in his love-lyrics, had contributed the most popular supportive literature to the Kamavajrayan school of Buddhism.

There is a Lingaraj-Temple inscription that informs us that Sadhupradhan Jaya Dev of Kurmapatakapur had visited Bhubaneswar as a guide of Kommi Nayaka (Inscriptions of Orissa, S.N.Rajguru, Orissa Historical Research Journal, Vol.V, No.4, p.179-182). The wrong notion that Jaya Dev was a Vaishnav Saint has prompted Dr. Bhagawan Panda to suggest that this Kurmapatakapur was ‘Sri Kurmam’ of Andhra Country. As Vaishnav Guru Nimbarka belonged to Andhra, Sri Jaya Dev, being his disciple, might have stayed in Sri Kurmam for some time and from there he might have come to Bhubaneswar accompanying Kommi Nayaka, a high-ranking officer of Kalinga at that time, he speculates.(Orissan Oriental Text Series {Sanskrit}-20, Directorate of Culture, Orissa, 1985, pp.41-42).

But ‘Sri Kurmam’ is not the Kurmapataka to which Sri Jaya Dev belonged. Kurmapatakapur is the area of non-Brahmin population on the banks of Prachi spanning up to Puri via Konarka and Sri Jaya Dev, as admitted in the Lingaraj Temple inscription, belonged to this area.

The place, where the Vilweshwar Temple still stands, falls within the limits of this Kurmapatakapur. This was a great place of Kamavajrayana, the philosophy that had given birth to the Konarka Temple.

Agents of Brahminism had destroyed the Konark Temple and removed the image of Buddha Dev, which was being worshiped here as the Deity, from the spot. But people of Orissa did not allow Brahminism to succeed. The King was compelled to bring the image of Sri Buddha Dev to Puri and to consecrate a temple to him within the Srimandira complex. It was done.

Sri Buddha Dev belonged to the Surya Clan and hence was regarded as incarnation of the light giver Surya Dev. So the Konark Temple was known as the Surjya Mandir or Sun Temple and his image being placed in the Temple to be known as Surya Mandir inside the main Temple of Sri Jagannath was acceptable to the people. But the image of that great son of the soil of Orissa, again under Brahminical conspiracy, was kept hidden inside this Temple behind an image of Surya even as an iron barricade debarred the visitors to have a real glimpse of Buddha Dev who was being worshiped in the Konark Temple.

A single image of Sri Jagannath, which was brought from the Kanark Temple along with Buddha Dev’s, was kept in the ‘Surya Mandira’ for public darshan. This had satisfied the people to some extent, as Buddha himself was also Sri Jagannath.

Daily recitation of Sri Jaya Dev’s Kamavajrayani poems in the inner chamber of Srimandira before Sri Jahannatha-Buddha, and the inner campus of Srimandira being named as ‘Kurma Bedha’ in due honor to the poet’s Kurmapataka connection, must have convinced the people of Orissa at that time that notwithstanding the king siding with the Brahmins, Buddhism as practiced by the Kamavajrayan school in Kurmapatak is well settled in Srimandira.

That, Kurmapatak was a great center of Buddhism is slowly but steadily coming to light. Discovery of Buddhist antiquities from a place called Kuruma, around 8 kms to the southeast of the Konark Temple, makes the scenario clear. Kuruma stands for Kurmapatakapur and the Kurmapatak was a landmass that had spread from Konark area to Puri. The entire stretch was associated with Bouddha Tantra in which the Temple of Sri Jagannath-Buddha at Puri had its roots. Therefore, Mangala of Kakatapur in the Konark zone has so much part to play in the life of Sri Jagannath.

Sri Jaya Dev, according to the Lingaraj Temple inscription noted supra, belonged to the Kurmapataka area and his village was within the geographical limits of this Kurmapataka, be it Tinduvilwa or Vinduvilwa or Kinduvilwa.

It is to be noted that authors are confused in grasping and writing the correct name of Sri Jaya Dev’s village due to deference in pronunciation as a result of which different words like ‘Tindu’, ‘Vindu’ and ‘Kindu’ has taken shape; but none has made any mistake in respect to ‘Vilwa’. Be it ‘Tindu’, ‘Vindu’ or ‘Kindu’, Jaya Dev’s village had definitely had the suffix ‘vilwa’. Hence it may probably be the place on the seashore near Puri where still stands a temple of Vilweswhar.

To say that the village ‘Kenduli’ near Bhubaneswar was the birthplace of Sri Jaya Dev is therefore absolutely wrong.

Scholars like Pandit Kedarnath Mohapatra, Pandit Nilamani Mishra, Dr.Bhagaban Panda have erred in accepting this village as the birthplace of the poet. They have fallen in the trap laid by agents of Brahminism who, having failed to thwart Sri Jaya Dev’s lyrics from the Srimandira by using emperor Purusottam Dev, had tried to show the Sahajayani poet as a Hindu vaishnav.

Therefore it is clear that the State Government of Orissa, by patronizing the ‘Sankirtana Yatra’, which is designed to bury for ever Sri Jaya Dev’s Buddhist identity and his contribution to Bouddha Vajrayana under the carpet of time, has contributed to cultural dishonesty besides having gone against the appeal of history.

BENGALIS HAD A JAYADEVA TOO

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

It is strange that Jayadeva, the court poet of King Laxman Sen of Bengal is not recalled by the Bengalis. This is because, most Bengalis have mistaken Orissa’s Sri Jayadeva as the court poet of Laxman Sena and misled rest of their folk in this regard.

Not that Bengalis are unaware of a Jayadeva hailing from their state. But after mistaking Orissa’s Sri Jayadeva as the court poet of Laxman Sen and after spreading many a concocted stories in support of their misconceived claim, they are now reluctant to admit the truth. The eagerness to bury the truth forever is so very rampant that an eminent scholar like Dr Suniti Kumar Chatterjee has tried to project a group of verses attributable to Jayadeva, the court poet of Laxman Sen, compiled in a work titled Sadukti-Karnamruta, as the verses written by Sri Jayadeva of Orissa who was never a court poet of any king, let alone of Laxman Sen!

A section of the Bengalis had the audacity to claim that Oriya was not an independent language but a part of their own! Later of course, the linguist in Dr S.K. Chatterjee admitted that Oriya was the elder sister of Bengali as a language (vide I.H.Q. Vol XXIII, 1947-page 337). Suffice it would be to say that, envious of the tremendous cultural tradition of Orissa where lucid lyrics were not only written on palm leaves but also carved in the lovely damsels and stubborn lovers, in the devout warriors and divine philosophers, on the countless temples, a section of Bengalis had, in the past, made an all out attempt to misappropriate the Oriya language, culture and literature. In respect of Sri Jayadeva, author of the most popular love-lyrics, compiled under the title Sri Gita Govinda, they have attempted to do the same. Stories and sequences have been cleverly concocted and misinterpretations have been deliberately made to make out a case that Sri Jayadeva of Sri Gita Govinda was not an Oriya by birth, but a Bengali.
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