Saturday, July 7, 2012


Born 1850, Baisakh Purnima
Jatasinga near Subalaya,Subarnapur (previouslyRairakhol, Sambalpur), Orissa,India

Died 1895, Siva Chaturdasi[1]
Khaliapali, Subarnapur, Orissa,India

Biography :
He was most probably an orphan, cared for by a tribal couple. It is said that he composed songs[4] despite being completely illiterate. Later he became a disciple of Mahima Gosain, to whom he devoted all his poetry. It is generally accepted that after the death of his guru, Bhima Bhoi founded his own ashram at Khaliapali in Sonepur district of Orissa state in 1877. It is there that Bhima Bhoi composed part of Mahima Dharma’s devotional literature, the Stuticintamani, which is still sung today.[5] He also fought against caste and ritualised piety and initiated women into his community.[6] Because of his social engagement and poetry he is remembered today as a santa kabi (“holy poet”).

Bhima Bhoi

Bhima Bhoi was born at Jatasinga nearSubalaya of Subarnapur district. PreviouslyJatasinga village was in Rairakhol ex-estate. Thereis a palm grove on the bank of a pond on the outskirts of this village where the infant was abandoned by his mother. Later on he was initiated by his Guru Mahima Gosain in his own cottage. A considerable knowledge of his Guru's teachings is handed over to us by the writings of Bhima Bhoi. The very essence of Mahima Dharma is echoed in the writings of Bhima Bhoi. The obvious advantage that he enjoyed was that he had the company and darshan of his guru. His writings are, therefore, the only original source materials of Mahima Dharma. The writings of the poet are second to none,  being original, authentic and real. It is learnt from the writings of Bhima Bhoi that Mahima Gosain himself blessed him and asked the poet to give expression to the basic teachings of Mahima Dharma in his poetry.The philosophy expressed by Bhima Bhoi is "Bhakti Yukta Gyana Marga" and not "Gyana Bhakti Marga" as expressed by Biswanath baba. Mahima cult, as expressed by Bhima Bhoi is basically a humanist cult. It believes that a house holder and a worst sinner can attain deliverance through devotion to Alekh. Thus he has drawn a
synthesis between the life spiritual and life temporal. Bhima Bhoi modified the tenets of Mahima cult and became himself the "Guru" of a new form of Mahima religion.

It is a phenomenon of great significance that Bhima Bhoi belonging to the Kandha tribe and became the progenitor of a religious system which disowns caste system and idolatry. He declared for the first time in the field of religion that "Yoga" or meditation and "Bhoga" the pleasurable are one and the same. He maintained the same status for both. He himself practised it during his life time. Although he became a "Gruhi Bhakta" or householder disciple after the death of his Guru Mahima Gosain in 1876 A.D, he was doing the duty of a Mahima Sanyasi by preaching Mahima cult and initiating thousands of disciple. The following illuminating lines of Bhima Bhoi have made him world famous.

" Boundless is the anguish and
misery of the living
who can see it and tolerate
Let my soul be condemned to Hell
But let the Universe be redeemed."

It was believed that Bhima Bhoi was born blind. But now it has been proved that he was not blind.
After the death of his Guru Mahima Gosain in 1876, he returned from Joranda to Khaliapali with a broken heart and tried to reorganize the Mahima Dharma in a different way. Bhima Bhoi in Khaliapali did not live the life of a Sanyasi. He made up his mind to organize  a monastic institute after his own idealism. Annapurna, his spiritual consort was a Sanyasini and was living with him in Khaliapali Ashram and was initiating the female
devotees. Besides Annapurna, there were four other consorts of Bhima Bhoi.
Bhima Bhoi died in 1895 A.D. when he was hardly 45 years of age. A Samadhi temple was constructed at Khaliapali after his death in his sacred memory.

Bhagirathi Nepak is an erudite scholar on Mahima
Dharma & Saint-poet Bhima Bhoi. He lives at N-1/121,
I.R.C. Village, Nayapalli, Bhubaneswar.


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