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Jagannatha Dasa Bhagavata – Importance Of Odia Bhagavatam of Jagannatha Dasa

Jagannatha Dasa Bhagavata is the Odia version of the Srimad Bhagavad Purana. It holds a pre-eminent position among all the writings of Jagannatha Dasa. The work is so famous and good that if this had been his only literary work, it would have ensured him immortality. Jagannatha Dasa Bhagavata is not merely a literary classic but contains ethical principles, philosophical ideas and spiritual values.

It is presumed that the composition of Jagannatha Dasa Bhagavata took place a litter before the 16th century AD.

It is reasonably certain that Jagannatha Dasa completed the Bhagabata in eleven volumes and that the twelfth and thirteenth volumes were later additions by less gifted poets.
From the arrangement of the theme in Bhagabata, the eleventh volume appears to be the last because it describes the departure of Krishna for his heavenly abode.

Jagannatha Dasa’s Bhagabata in eleven skandhas in Odia containing 329 chapters, whereas the original Sanskrit work contains 322 chapters.

The additional seven chapters are in the tenth and eleventh volumes, six in the former and one in the latter.

Apart from the increased number of chapters and materials added by way of explication, elaboration and localization, Jagannatha Dasa also deviated from the original text in several ways.

For example, he has added at the beginning of each skanda a not too elaborate but comprehensive mangalacharana (invocatory preface). Then again, at the end of each chapter, he has added a concluding line or two by way of kabi bhanati, or a statement by the poet.

It is eminently clear from Odia Bhagabata that for its author, Krishna was only another name for Jagannatha and Sri Kshetra, the seat of Lord of the universe was the focal point of Odisha’s social life and culture. It is this Jagannatha consciousness that fully permeates Bhagabata.

Source -
Jagannath Das (1989) by Sitakanta Mohapatra - Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi
Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume V - page 208 - 209



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