Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Orissa is a land of PuraPalli. The word ‘Pura’ stands for the place(s) where the elites using Sanskrit as official language were residing and ‘Palli’ stands for the villages of Orissa where Pali was the language of the common people. Mother tongue of Orissa was Pali and therefore, Buddha, born near Bhubaneswar in the Dhauli region, had preached his philosophy in Pali. Whosoever Indian and non-Indian outside Orissa had accepted Buddhism as his/her creed, had learned Pali in order to understand Buddha. In Orissa’s words of daily use, even now, we find Pali in adjusted form. Be it Sambalpuri or Koshali, be it Deshia or Uttari, Pali is the silent base that has been in use incognito and thus Oriya has withstood all attempts of Sanskrit and other languages of the ruling class to overshadow it.
With Buddha’s demise, when the pyramid of Buddhist philosophical framework de facto collapsed and Vedic Brahminism eclipsed his birthplace Orissa, and the land succumbed to aggression by non-Oriya Vedic imperialists, and Buddhism, in its place of origin, had to suffer almost extinction with brutal annihilation of Buddhist Monks, the Siddhas, particularly of Chourashi Monastery on River Prachi, had developed a non-Sanskrit linguistic style of their own in a pattern improved from Pali to continue preaching of the essence of their creed.
But, when those mystic poems composed to popularize matriarch magnificence of Buddhism in proto Oriya interlaced with philosophic intricacies in that peculiar pattern known as ‘Sandhya Bhasa’, became too intricate for the general public to understand easily, Sri Jaya Dev (wrongfully branded as Baishnav by the caste-supremacists) decided to present their philosophy in easily understandable lyrics and wrote his most popular love songs (Astapadis) in Oriyanized Sanskrit to equip Sahajayana with a strong supportive literature, which the entire population of Orissa was able to easily understand (Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, Sri Jaya Devanka Baisi Pahacha, Bharata Bharati, Cuttack). Its impact challenged the caste-supremacists, and made Orissa agog with social unity.
Many chauvinists of Vedic system rushed to Orissa, particularly to Puri and forced Sankrit again upon the Orissa administration.
Sanskrit became the official language and people of Orissa were exploited by the caste-supremacists by interpretations of canons written in Sanskrit as they liked. People of Orissa revolted against that evil design under the leadership of a son of the soil, Kapilendra Rautray.
That revolution freed Orissa from the caste supremacist rulers and Oriya language being overshadowed by Sanskrit.
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