Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Spirituality of Uzir Beg

The Culture of Orissa, Jagannath Culture, is based on the non-sectarian ideology that welcomes every religious and non-religious believer to its fold to receive the blessings of Lord Jagannath. Salbeg, though Muslim by birth, is the brightest star of the Orissan sky who enlightened the Orissan society by his devotional bhajanas, jananas and chaupadis. In this 21st Century, he is still being reckoned as one of the brightest literary figures of Orissa.
There are certain other contemporary literary figures who were unfortunately forgotten in our society, but who deserve special and renewed attention. One such Bhakti poet is Uzir Beg. Uzir Beg had written a few devotional bhajanas in reverence of Lord Krishna. His writing is simple and melodious, and can touch the heart of every human, irrespective of their religious beliefs. His anthology on Lord Krishna is very famous, and in current stressful life it can give solace to mankind.

God belongs to all mankind, but to achieve their own narrow goals, men divided God. God never differentiates men or the basis of belief, but rather takes all mankind as his own creation. In this way Lord Ram was born in Tretaya Yuga, Lord Krishna in Dwapara Yuga, and in course of time in different yugas, Buddha, Jesus, and Prophet Mohammed were born in order to maintain peace and harmony on this earth.*

Poet Uzir Beg understood the finer meaning of these religious preachers.
It is because of an intuitive experience that God can only be seen as an inner manifestation of Universal or Cosmic consciousness. If we are rooted in the external iconic symbolism or narrow agenda of exploiting society through altered concepts of divinity that we run into human segregation on the lines of religion.

If divine consciousness or Paramatma is universal then all forms of its perception must be universal. This has been given different names such as Krishna consciousness or Christ consciousness or the enlightened state of Satori in Buddhism or the ‘state of ihsan’ in Islam, based on socio-cultural context. Much literary work is devoted to the concept of Cosmic consciousness in Vedic literature and this is referred as rasa. The concept of rasa is clearly explained by the following text:

“That substance we have previously called the supreme and purest truth is celebrated in all the Vedas by the name “rasa” or nectar. This one and undivided rasa is the principle known as the Supreme Brahman; It is the abode of limitless bliss and the ultimate understanding of God’s glory.
This single undivided truth manifests as the Shakti and the Shaktiman, which are not separate truths, but only appear to be so through the action of vizeSa (perverted reflection). The Shaktiman cannot be perceived except through His Shakti, which is divided into the three functions that manifest all the universes.”
…………….Harinama Cintamani: Chapter 15

Let us promote this universal understanding to truly comprehend that the only one true divine is in all and is Sat-Chit-Ananada.

* With due acknowledgement to “Uzir Beg: Forgotten Bhakti Poet of Orissa” by Mohammed Yamin

Love to you all


  1. Those who are reading your blog might be interested in knowing more about Salbeg and why he started singing about Krishna. Salbeg was an army general during the regime of Moghul emperor Aurangazebwho was notorious for destroying many temples and holy places. During one of the battles Salbeg was grieviously injured and with no one bothering about him the wounds got infected and puss was oozing out of them. A brahmin girl took pity on him and started treatingh him, uttering the name of Lord Jagganath all the time. Salbeg got cured and he knew it was a miracle of the Lord. He married the kind hearted girl. There was no conversion and they lived happily following their own religion.
    Salbeg who was living Aligarh longed to visit the deity for a darshan but it was impossible for a well known muslim army general to enter the Puri temple. So Salbeg decided to see the Lord outside during the Rath Yatra. Starting from Aligarh, he couldn't reach the place on time.But Jaggananth had his own plans for his devotee. When the chariot reached a particular point it would not move however much the devotees tried. For 8 days the Lord's chariot was stuck up.By then Salbeg reached the venue and he bowed to Lord and took the rope in his hand. Lo!behold! the chariot which was stuck up for 8 days started moving! Such was the devotion of Salbeg! Later in his life he started singing bhajans on Lord Jagannath. Even today the chariot of Lord Jagganath halts at that particular place in honour of his Muslim devotee!

  2. Thank you for the excellent and expansive input which endorses the theme of the blog. The divine operates in all and it is the same shakthi or essence only we give it different names.
    This comment is very important so I will post it as a story in my TIB STORY BLOG.

  3. "narrow agenda of exploiting society through altered concepts of divinity that we run into human segregation on the lines of religion"

    Good one. Whether there is a path to divinity or not, at a much lower level of appreciation, religion itself becomes the inhibitor of truth and realization.

    A cosmic sea divided by paper walls. But the wall will stand as long as the multitudes dutifully paste more paper on the wall.

  4. Jerome, Thank you for the comment,