Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
To Rev. J. Long, Buddhist quest was not to be entirely quenched either in Nepal, Ceylon and China. In ‘Notes and Queries Suggested by a visit to Orissa’, he has mentioned of how these countries, by then world famous in context of Buddhism, were referring to Orissa in matters of Buddha and his ideals. To quote him, “Antiquarian enquiries in Nepal, Ceylon and China show that, the Buddhism so noted in its regard for enlightening the masses and opposing caste, was for ages predominant all through Orissa both among the rulers and the people, though Orissa be now the garden of the Hinduism and Jagannath its Jerusalem” (Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1859, No.III, Vol.XXVIII).
Asoka, the Vedic Empire builder had attacked Orissa to destroy the sanctity of Buddha’s birthplace in Orissa. To protect the sacred place, people of Orissa living in matriarch democracies had vanquished him. History has failed to note that Asoka had fled with his life by accepting Buddhism on the very battle field at Dhauli on the river Daya, near Bhubaneswar of Orissa.
When Buddha, accepted as omnipresent as Mahashunya after his demise, was given by Siddha Indrabhuti an image that his followers may worship, and that image was consecrated by him as Jagannath, the matriarch people of Orissa had equated Jagannath with Kali, the epitome of matriarch militancy that had defeated Asoka and energizes the dormant Ganarajya to defeat and destroy invading imperialism. So, in Puri Sri Jagannath is Kali. (Niladrau Sri Jagannath sakshat Dakshina Kalika).
This is why, on Kali Puja day, people of Orissa pay their fire salutes before Sri Jagannath Buddha to the Buddhist martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the Dhauli battle field in the Kalinga war against Askoka, the wicked Vedic imperialist. People use Kaunria sticks for the fire salute in recognition of the strength of unity.
The following posting in Oriya, extracted from my book Sri Jaya Devanka Baissi Pahacha, published by Bharata Bharati, Gajapati Nagar, Sutahat, Cuttack, throws more lights on this hidden history.
Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Durga is totally different from the Durga the people are presently worshipping. The real Durga is symbolic shape of united uprising of the exploited people against empire builders in ancient India.
Empire building was a patriarch passion and to the patriarchs of Vedic period, tribal people of matriarch society were the greatest insurmountable obstacle. Durga stands for united action of exploited people against class enemies. Let us go into the period when Durga first appeared.
Indigenous people of India were of a settled civilization with cultivation as their principal avocation.
In the beginning stage of that civilization, when like other animals in the forest, sex was a chance union of a female with a stray male in a blowout of physical desire, family comprised only the mother and her offsprings; because, after sexual union with the stray male, due to biological reason, the female was getting pregnant and giving birth to the child with no trace of the male whose progeny she was to deliver. To feed her child, the ancient mother was in search of easier means and this search had given birth to agriculture. So, females are regarded as inventors of agriculture. Thus, in ancient India, families grew as agro-based matriarch families that were settling near water sources on fertile cultivable lands. Naturally, therefore, they were scattered and there was no unity amongst them, no society.
In that primitive state, human bulls, lazy in life-style, but reveling in their individual prowess, were taking away by force the agricultural products of the matriarch families and enjoying their lives by forcing the females of those families into stray sex. This conduct was very akin to that of wild buffalos. Therefore, these male miscreants were, to the matriarch agro-families, wild-buffaloes with demonic prowess (MAHISHASURA). Every matriarch family, every female that was pursuing cultivation to feed her child/children was harassed by the human bulls – perceived as Mahishasura. They were trying to get rid of Mahishasura; but because they were living in different places to carry out cultivation, none of them was able to defeat the demonic looters of their crops and perpetrators of crime against the, By then, the stronger males had started rallying in support of the strongest amongst them so that easy living through looting the agro-products of the matriarch families and reveling in sex sans responsibility would not be difficult. These miscreants had become a class of their own and by sheer strength of their brutality, had started claiming their entitlement to the food products of the matriarch families by clamping their ownership over the soil the matriarch families were cultivating.
The matriarch families decided to be united against these male chauvinists – the looters of their foods and sex-maniacs – who to them were of the class of Mahishasura. They united. For the first time, scattered and unrelated agricultural matriarch families united against their class enemy. For the first time society was formed. The united society vanquished and exterminated Mahishasura. Durgati (turmoil) of the society was over. This united society of the agricultural families was symbolically called Durga as thereby “durgati” of the members of that society was removed. Prosperity had come.
Worshippers of Durga ought to know how Durga evolved and what is the real mission of Durga instead of staying trapped under provisions of rituals contrived by modern Mahishasuras to keep people away from the class consciousness, the concept of Durga calls for.
Several years ago, I had discussed the concept of Durga in Dharitri, one of Orissa’s mainstream dailies. I prefer to post it here again in public interest as the present time is also suffering to its core with modern Mahishasuras – looters and rapists – ruling the roost. Here is that article:
Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Now again a visitor to Sri Mandira, the temple of Lord Jagannath has been subjected to outrage of modesty and loot by a Sevayat. This is a national shame. But the Government is not in a position to stop exploitation of believers by the Brahmins, as political weakness stands on the way. The people must wake up to force the government to appoint qualified sevayats from any caste through public service selections on the basis of knowledge in every facet of Jagannath culture. The issue was discussed by me in a column of mine which has been placed in a compilation of my columns under the title ‘Dura Adura’. I reproduce the article here for my web visitors.
Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Years ago, a former colleague in print media, Shuvendu Kumar Bhuyan, had approached me for a write-up in Oriya for a souvenir he was planning to publish on Buddhist remnants of his home district Jajpur. I wrote on Langudi and how the famous Konark temple owes its philosophical origin to this splendid seat of Buddhism. The article was meant to throw new light on the creator of Konark, Langula Narasingh Dev and to raze down the concocted claims and wrong legends woven around Konark while focussing on significance of the name of Langudi. Despite reminders, he has neither sent me the copy of the publication nor has return me the manuscript. I am putting it here, because researchers on the subject may benefit from its contents.
Sri Subhas Chandra Pattanayak has translated selected poems of Vidyapati in lucid poetic form in Oriya language. In launching the book on December 06, 2009, India’s most famous poet, former President and present Fellow of the National Academy of Letters, Sri Ramakant Rath has described it as a unique contribution of Sri Pattanayak to Oriya literature. Here below is a critical review of the book by eminent political scientist and author Prof. Biswaranjan, who had also presided over the function of launching of the book.