The Mahimandala Gita, Chapter 66, by Arakkhita Das:Notes towards a Translation

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Sarai Reader 07: Frontiers, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi, p.332–338 (2007)



Arakkhita Das occupies a unique place in Orissa's rich tradition of saint-poets. He was born into the ruling family of the big zamindari (estates) of Badakhemundi in Ganjam district of coastal Orissa towards the end of the 18th century. Various sources place his year of birth between 1780 and 1788, more likely towards the later date. He grew up in tumultuous times, when the British were finally gaining ascendancy in Orissa; and perhaps his renunciation from his privileged context took place at about the same time as the British conquest of Orissa in 1803. But he seems to have left home and taken formal sanyas (permanent renunciation of worldly life and the status of a householder) after the death of his father in a battle with the British, and his uncle's subsequent ascent to the throne. He wandered around coastal Orissa for some time before settling on the Olasuni hill in Kendrapada district; he never left it again (Das, 2004).


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