Posts filed under ‘Sakti Culture’
The western world is very good at preserving places of historical importance. Even in Asia, countries like China, Japan and South Korea have undertaken tremendous efforts to restore centers of historical and cultural heritage. But, things are very different in western Odisha. Forget about preserving these centers, the Odisha government has systematically erased the history of western Odisha and Somavamsi Kings from the prescribed text books. My native place (the undivided Balangir district) has a very rich history. However, we were never taught about it in schools. Following are few interesting books by Dr. Sadananda Agrawal on the history of western Odisha.
Following images were taken from the FB page of Dr. Agrawal:
On 2008 I joined various e-groups to participate in the discussions about Odisha and western Odisha. On that year April first I received various e-mails protesting the name of Utkala Divasa. The common complain was that the present Odisha is an amalgamation of Kosala, Kalinga and Utkala, which some historians also refer as Trikalinga. Even today, the common complain from the people of western Odisha (Kosal region) is that there is no mention of Kosal in the history books of Odisha.
Culturally and linguistically western Odisha is different from coastal Odisha. There have been significant archaeological excavations of the upper Mahanadi valley (both western Odisha and Chhattisgarh region). It is evident that western Odisha had shakti, tantric and tribal culture unlike the coastal Orissa which is mainly dominated by Vaishnva culture. The 64 Yogini temple of Ranipur-Jharial, Balangir is a living monument of tantric civilization. In this regard, the “Sasisena Kavya” narrate an interesting incident happened in Sonepur with respect to a tantric expert known as “Jynanadei Maluni”. If you are visiting western Odisha through river Mhanadi you will see that on both sides of Mahanadi there are lord Shiva temples. Prof. Sadhu Charan Panda has done lot of research on Nagas found in these temples.
Ramai Dev of Patna (present day Balangir) founded the Chauhan rule in western Odisha. The Somavamsi kings of Sonepur established many of the Shiva temples in Bhubaneswar and they have set the norms for worshiping the lord Shiva in BBSR. Today, the temples of Mandiramalini Sonepur bear a deserted look; whereas govt. is spending lot of money to preserve the temples in Bhubaneswar. Today, the old capital of Somavamsi rulers is no where to be found in the tourist map of Odisha. So far, the intelligentsias of Odisha are running away from the word Kosal and Kosli language. This is also cited as one of the reasons for instigating the Kosli language movement and separate Kosal state movement.
Jitamitra Prasad Singh Deo in his book “Cultural Profile of South Kosala” points out that “in the early period the South Kosala state was formed on the upper Mhanadi valley (western Odisha and Chhattisgarh); and in the early medieval period the people of Kosala tract originally spoke a language which was similar to the Bhojpuri Prakrit; whereas, the language of coastal Odisha had affinity with Magadhi.” This clearly indicates that there is a huge difference in the evolution pattern of languages of western Odisha and coastal Odisha.
In the past former MP Sriballav Panigrahi, former MP and current Odisha minister Prasanna Acharjya and present MP Bhakta Charan Das have raised the issue of Kosli language in the parliament. In addition, some people and organizations from western Odisha are working for the recognition of Kosli language and culture. It is also learned that in some of the schools of western Odisha Kosli language will be a medium of education in the primary level.
Many have pointed out that now the Odisha govt. is observing Odisha day not Utkala Divasa. It is good. I have nothing against Utkala but let govt. establish few institutes like Kalinga University and Kosal University. Let there be Kalinga Gramya bank and Kosal gramya bank. The Odisha govt. should also recommend so that some trains should be named as Kosal express.
One can ask, after all what is in a name! But, this is the same reason why Mumbai is renamed after Mumbadevi and Chennai is named after Chennapattinam. Indeed, Orissa was renamed as Odisha. The local sentiments should be respected. It is better for all of us if we respect the history, language and culture of all the regions. After all, the beauty of India is in its diversity.
Following is a report from OHRJ (Odisha govt’s journal). Click here to download the complete article.
For 37-year-old Sonepur youth Sudam Naik, who comes from a humble background, achieving the distinction of being of the most successful researchers of the history of Western Orissa is no mean achievement.
He never studied in big cities or in renowned institutions. He passed matriculation from Maharaja High School in Sonepur and went to Sonepur College for graduation. Yet he has made a name for himself in the field of research on the history of Western Orissa, particularly Sonepur.
Naik has written over 100 articles in different Oriya journals and authored four books — Subarnapur Sahityara Itihasa (2006), Subarnapur Darbari Sahitya (2008), Mandira Malini Subarnapur (2006) and Subarnapur Itihasa (2011) — on the history of Sonepur.
Naik developed an interest for research on the history of Western Orissa in 1989-90 when he was studying in Sonepur College. “It was 1989-90. I was doing my graduation and developed an interest in research on arts and culture of Western Orissa. Eminent historian Prof Jagnya Kumar Sahu was the principal of our college and there was a book written by him in our course. When I came in his contact, I took interest in the history of Western Orissa, particularly Sonepur”, Naik said.
Naik said Prof Sahu acted as his philosopher and guide in his mission to work on the history of Western Orissa. “It was Prof Sahu who inspired me to take to research. Noted historian Sadananda Agrawal also helped and guided me,” Naik said.
Naik’s first book was Mandira Malini Subarnapur (temple town Subarnapur), which was published in 2006. “My articles on the temples of Subarnapur were serialised in various Oriya newspapers and later compiled into a book called Mandira Malini Subarnapur in 2006,” Naik said.
Talking about his source of research, Naik said he largely depended on the ‘darbari’ literature of Sonepur, which was published during the regime of Maharaja Bikramitradaya Singhdeo.
he annual Sital Sasthi Yatra festival held at Sambalpur in Orissa celebrates the divine wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. Sambalpur in Orissa is a well known place associated with Shiva and Shakti worship. The five-day long festival begins with the ‘Patra pendi’ ritual. In 2009, the Sital Sasthi Yatra festival begins on May 28.
Lord Shiva after the death of Goddess Sati was practicing intense austerity and was no longer interested in family life. Taking this as an opportunity, demon Tarakasura prayed to Lord Brahma and obtained the boon that he will only be killed by a son of Lord Shiva. After obtaining the boon Tarakasura created havoc on earth, heaven and hell and he drove out the ‘devas’ from heaven.
Devas approached Vishnu but he told them about the boon and asked to approach Mother Shakti to find a way out. Shakti agreed to take rebirth as Parvathi and marry Shiva.
But Shiva continued with his intense austerities. Pravathi who was born as the daughter of Himalaya only had Shiva in her mind and wanted to marry him. But Shiva was not willing to take her as his wife. Devas tried several methods but could not change the mind of Shiva.
Finally, Parvati started intense meditation and Shiva had to finally oblige. (This intense fast undertaken by Parvati is annually observed as Hartalika Teej Vrat in North India and Swarn Gouri Vratam in South India by women to get good husbands.)
On Jyeshta Shukla Panchami, the divine couple got married and Kartikeya was born who annihilated demon Tarakasura.
Sital Sasthi Yatra festival celebrates this divine wedding. During the festival, a family in the region adorns the role of the father and mother of Parvati and offers her in marriage to Shiva.
On Patra Pendi day, the first day of the festival, the family adopts Parvati as their daughter. Two days later Goddess Parvati (idol from the temple) arrives at the home of her adopted parents. From her adopted home, the bride is taken in a grand procession for the marriage ceremony, which takes place during the night.
Similarly, Lord Shiva, the bridegroom, arrives for the marriage ceremony along with other gods and goddesses in Hindu pantheon. Lord Hanuman and Narasimha lead the divine procession. All the rituals that are part of normal marriage ceremony in Orissa are followed for the divine wedding.
Next evening the divine couple undertakes a journey to the town known as Nagar Parikrama and this journey is known as ‘Shital Sasthi Yatra.’
Another feature of the festival is the arrival of large number of Eunuchs or Hijadas for the wedding. They claim that they are her to celebrate the wedding of Shiva who is ardhanarishwara – half man half woman.
The festival is also referred as monsoon wedding of Shiva and Parvathi as the wedding takes place at the beginning of monsoon season. The intense austerity performed by Shiva is symbolically represented as the intense heat during summer season. Parvathi is the monsoon showers which calm Shiva. Farmers thus celebrate the arrival of monsoon with this divine wedding.