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  Home > Incredible Orissa

  By Shri. Ramesh Ch. Dash

Khaliapali a little known village of Subarnapur District in Orissa became a holy place with the advent of Saint Bhima Bhoi in 1877. The Village is 11 k.m. from Khambeswaripali, 25 km from Sonepur and 45 km from Balangir. Bhima Bhoi was the chief exponent of Mahima Cult, which spread from Orissa to bordering states. In this village he spent last 20 years of his life, established an Ashram, Composed devotional songs, propagated principles of his belief and brought remarkable changes to prevailing social and political order.

Like Kabir, he denounced idolatry, casteism, ritual and political set up. Bhima Bhoi aimed at forming an egalitarian social structure. He spelt out the theory of one God (Alekh Niranjan) undescribable truth. One religion (Mahima Cult) and one global society. So he preached “let everybody be lyrics, Let my soul be condemned to hell but the universe be redeemed”. His lyrics which were readily accept by common people have no parallel in oriya literature. Contemporary Swami Vivekananda traveled foreign countries and startled people by his rhetorical words but Bhima Bhoi settles at a place and gave solace to famined people by his heart touching songs. Like Ramakrishna to Vivekananda and Bhima Bhoi rose to prominence due to the gratitude of their mentors.


Mahima signifies glory or excellence of God. The followers axalt the splendors of the Almighty. He is all pervading full pervading full within and without. It is fruitless to assign a shape to God, who embodies all souls. He is omnipresent, one and indivisible. The world is his manifestation.


We do not know certainly about his parentage. Many believe that Bhima Bhoi (1845-1895) was bling and illiterate. As lost his parents at an early age he had to start life as a cowboy. Being a tribal Bhima Bhoi was not allowed to sit inside Bhagabata tungi (Place for recitation from the holy scriptures). But he used to attend the evening congregations regularly and commited to memory every syllable that was uttered. He chanted them while tending cattle in the field. Thus Bhima Bhoi had a spiritual bent of mind and became interested in the doctrines of Alekha Dharma at the age of 12. he regarded Mahima Gosain as an incarnation of Lord Budha. Mahima Gosain ordained him and graced him with spectral powers to purify the evil-laden society.

It is said that Bhima Bhoi, came to western Orissa being envied and opposed by other followers soon after the death of Mahima Gosain. So Bhima Bhoi settled at Khallipali in 1877 when the village headman provided land for an Ashram. Next he opened his repository of Bhajans (devotional songs). He could dictate four lyrics of same quality at a time to four scribes who immediately noted on plam leaves by the help of iron stylo.

The agonies of 1866 famine made him a humanist. He narrated his traumatic experiences vividly. He wrote. “nothing to eat, nothing to ware, nothing one can have at ease. Who indeed can bear to see such misery among the world’s creatures. Let me stay in hell for ever if the world hereby be saved.” His poetry springs from an urge to seek both personal salvation and redemption of man in society from a cruel destiny. He has expressed difficult upanisadicideas in simple lyrical and unadorned language. His most important work ‘Stutichintamani’ is published alongwith mny small works. But another work named. ‘Mahima Vinod’ is not yet published. It is a long lyric of short lyrics. This will enlighten more if published.

Bhima Bhoi dedicated his life completely before the supreme soul (Father). He could not withstand the agony, misery, hardship of common. People and prayed to God for their redemption. Thus his mission was to liberate the down trodden from the bondage of superstition, prejudice and immorality. He was helped in his undertaking by one pious lady named Arnapurna Devi. Two sibling named Vasudeva Panda and Hari Panda (scribes).

Bhima Bhoi desired to leave one ideal son and daughter in this world. Thus the women named Rohini Devi and Sumedha Devi gave birth to Lavanyabati and Kapileswar respectively. Lavanyabati was a beautiful girl with poetic knack and Kapileswar had miraculous power. But all his associates passed away soon after his demise. Their mortal bodies are buried inside the Ashram.
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