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Salabega - Oriyan devotee of Sri Jagannatha

Gaurasundara - Wed, 03 Aug 2005 05:52:56 +0530
It being Ratha-yatra season and all, it's fitting to include a few Jagannatha padas. Salabega is a Jagannatha devotee.

Salabega [SAlabega] occupies a permanent position among the devotional poets of Orissa. He was born of a Muslim king and a Hindu mother in the first decade of the 17th Century. His father Lalbeg, on one of his military excursions came across a young widowed brahmana girl taking bath. Fascinated by her youthful beauty, Lalbeg forcibly took her away and made her his wife. Salabega was their only son.

As soon as he was old enough, Salabega took up fighting in his father's campaigns. Once he was severely wounded in battle. Accepting the advice of his mother, he chanted the holy name of Lord Jagannatha and was gradually cured. Feeling greatly indebted to Lord Jagannath he went to Puri, but was refused entrance into the temple of Jagannath due to his Muslim birth.

Thereafter he went on foot to Vrndavana wherein he lived the life of an ascetic in the association of sadhus reciting bhajans in honor of Lord Sri Krsna. After one year in Vraja he returned to Puri desiring to see the ratha-yAtrA festival of Lord Jagannatha, but on the way he suddenly fell ill. Feeling helpless and realising that he would not reach Puri in time to witness the ratha-yAtrA festival, he offered prayers to Lord Jagannatha petitioning Him to wait until he arrived.

On the day of the return Cart festival, Nandighosa, the cart of Lord Jagannatha, did not move until Salabega's arrival. The place where the cart remained stationary to give darzana to Salabega was later used by Salabega for composing his many bhajans in honour of Lord Jagannatha. His body was cremated there after his death. The samadhi of this great devotee is still standing on the Grand road in Puri and his bhajans will be forever sang, and remembered by the devotees of Lord Jagannatha.
Gaurasundara - Wed, 03 Aug 2005 06:14:08 +0530
Jagabandhu He Gosai˝

jagabandhu he gosAi˝
tumbha zrI caraNa binu Anya gati nAhi˝

O Friend of the World, there is no other destination but Your lotus feet.

sAtasa pacAza koza cAli na pArai
moha jivAjAe˝ nandighoSe thiva rahi

It is very difficult to walk the 750 kosas to see You.
You please remain on Nandighosa until then.

ratha cAri pAze lambe mukutAra jharA
jhala mala dizuthAi prabhu cakADolA

O Lord Cakadola, You look brilliant within the chariot
which is decorated with streaming festoons on all four sides.

bAizI pAhacha tALe bikAhue bhAta
darzana teNiki thAu kaivalye mukata

Below the twenty-two steps leading to Your abode I can achieve liberation by taking
the dry-rice prasadam available there. Having Your darsana can wait until later.

Age cAle balabhadra madhye cAnda mukhI˝re
Asuchi kAliA pache gahala lagAire

Balabhadra moves in the front with moon-shaped Subhadra
in the middle. At the rear comes Kalia, creating a big commotion.

kahe sAlabega hIna jAtIre yavana
ehImate Aj˝A heo 'siribRndAvana

Salabega, of low birth, begs permission to be
somehow allowed to reside in Sri Vrndavana.

Verse 2 - One koza equals roughly 2 miles. 750 kosas refers to the distance from Vrndavana to Puri. 'Nandighosa' is the name of Jagannatha's chariot.
Verse 3 - 'Cakadola' means having large round eyes shaped like wheels.
Verse 4 - There are 22 steps leading from the public street into the Jagannatha temple. Fresh-rice prasad is only available inside the temple. Dry-rice prasad is available on the public street.
Verse 5 - 'Kalia' refers to Jagannatha, meaning 'the blackish one'.
Gaurasundara - Wed, 03 Aug 2005 06:37:06 +0530
Jagannatha He, Kichi Magunahin

jagannAtha he, kichi mAgunAhi˝ mu˝ tote
mAgunAhi˝ dhana, mAgunAhi˝ jana
mAguchi zaradha bAliru hAte

O Jagannatha, I ask nothing from You - neither wealth, neither followers.
I am only asking for one forearm's length of land at Saradha Bali.

Ana darazana na loDe nayan eka tumbhe dekhA binA
suNibAku kAna nAicche Ana tumbha carite kAmanA

My eyes want nothing other than to see Your beautiful form.
My ears want nothing other than to hear the recitation of Your songs.

jihva na bA˝chai grAmya gAibAku rajanI divasa
tumbha nAmabala kebaLa sankhALi hoi thAo pItavAsa

Neither by day or night does this tongue want to sing mundane
songs. O Pitavasa, chanting Your holy name is my only last hope.

nAsA mora tRpti labhai Ana subAsa dravya AghrANe
tava chaDA mAla tulasI kusuma candana karpUra dhyAne

My nose is not interested in the smells of this world. It only wants to relish the
fragrance of Your prasadi-garlands, tulasi, flowers, sandalwood paste and camphor.

mo hasta anguli rAma vanamAli japuthAu hare kRSNa
kahe sAlabega jatire yavana to tIrthe jAu mo prANa

O Rama Vanamali, my fingers want only to be engaged in the japa of 'Hare Krsna'.
Salabega, of lowborn caste, pleads to give up his body in the holy land of Jagannatha Puri.

Verse 1 - A forearm's length of land is just enough space to sit down. Saradha Bali is where the Lord's chariot waits near Gundica between the two Rathayatras.
Verse 3 - 'Pitavasa' is Jagannatha, who wears yellow garments.
Verse 5 - 'Rama Vanamali' is Flute-playing Krsna, who gives pleasure to His devotees.
Gaurasundara - Sat, 03 Sep 2005 06:04:45 +0530

Show me that countenance of yours O Hari
With which your flute announces Radha's sweet victory,
Show me too the figure with which at Bali's door
As a beggar, you did appear.

Accepting the gift of three footholds
You pressed Bali to the nether worlds,
Hence an eye of Sukra, his minister
You pierced with a blade of grass

When Kaikeyi turned into a foe
Rama, in the forest, wandered in exile.
Lady Sita accompanied her lord.
To serve you, loyal Laxmana, too, followed.

When born in Gopa land,
In the forests, their cattle you grazed.
Amidst the young cowherds often you danced,
Swaying from side to side.

On the right is the Lord
With a plough in hand,
Between the brothers in the centre,
Can be seen Subhadra, their darling sister.
On the left sits the Lord who holds
The conch, the wheel and the mace in his hands.

Says Salabega, the lowly one
By birth I am a Yavana.
Kamsa and the eight wrestlers you vanquished,
O Lord! Whom have you not redeemed?

(Mote sehi rupa dekha-a Hari)
Gaurasundara - Sat, 03 Sep 2005 06:08:02 +0530

I shall move in a hurry and proceed soon.
I shall see the countenance of the Dark One .
If by the guard I am restrained
At the gate where the lions stand ,

I won't budge an inch or yield;
I shall, at once, push my way forward.
Dust of the twenty-two steps
Shall I rub all over my limbs.

I shall beg and receive a morsel
Of the holy food, Kaivalya .
The sacred banyan tree is truly blessed.
With an ability to grant every wish, it is endowed.

Blessed too is the dark doorway;
I shall see him from behind the pillar
On which the Lord's eagle-carrier
Garuda offers his prayer.

I shall see the countenance of the Dark One.
Inside the hall of audience
I shall join the saints with great rejoice;
Within my heart I shall chant your name in silence.

Says Salabega, the lowly one,
I am a Yavana, an outcaste and fallen;
At your lotus feet shall I seek solace.
I shall see the countenance of the Dark One.

(Bahana jibi...)