Sudhir Mishra | Balangir
Now, Devi Bhagabata can be read, recited and heard in Oriya as well, thanks to Swami Shakti Bhusananda Saraswati of Shakti Bhavan Yogashram of Deogan near Balangir whose Herculean efforts in translating the seminal work into Oriya has made it possible. Millions of followers of the Shakti cult in Orissa can now study and understand the work much better in their native language.
The holy Srimad Bhagabata, written by sage Byasa Deva and translated into Oriya by Atibari Jagannath Das is entwined in the lives of millions of Oriya people as it is read, recited and worshipped by people all over Orissa. However, there is another Bhagabata written by Sage Byasa Deva called Devi Bhagabata which is relatively unknown to people. The Devi Bhagabata, another work of great significance describing the cosmic power in Sanskrit remains unnoticed, explains Swami Shakti Bhusananda Saraswati of Shakti Bhavan Yogashram of Deogan near Balangir.
Like the Oriya Srimad Bhagabata of Jagannath Das, my Oriya version of Devi Bhagabata also contains 18,000 slokas in 18 chapters. The epic describes that Shakti is the moving force and without Shakti everything including wisdom and intelligence is meaningless, he explained further.
"I came across the Devi Bhagabata 20 years ago and became so much influenced by its philosophy that I delved into it like fish to water and started studying the epic deeply. After gaining a thorough knowledge and expertise on the subject, I started translating it into Oriya only six years ago in 2003," he said.
Although there are lots of Puranas, nowhere the concept of Shakti has been given so much importance like in the Devi Bhagabata, he juxtaposed citing references. Knowledge, devotion and power are essential ingredients of religious scriptures but both knowledge and devotion are under the control of power and without power nothing moves, he explained further.
Elaborating further, he said that if the syllable "Shi" is removed from the word 'Shiva,' it would be 'Sava' (meaning dead body). This sacred and powerful syllable "Shi" represents the Shakti (Cosmic Power) which is controlling the whole world.
The main difference between Devi Bhagabata and the Srimad Bhagabata is that Devi Bhagabata speaks more about the Shakti. While the recitation of Srimad Bhagabata is done for seven days, the recitation of the Devi Bhagabata is done for nine days, he said. The Srimad Bhagabata written by Byasa Deva was translated by Jagannath Das and popularized by the exponents of the Bhakti cult like Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and others who followed Vaishnavism.
As the Devi Bhagabata has been written in Oriya Nnabakshari form, it is hoped that it would be accepted by all and enjoy the same status as that of the Srimad Bhagabata.