On the making of Guru Bhagavat

When writing this New Year message, I suddenly remembered an important date, which I have been trying to recollect since long. During the years 2010 and 2011, my literary work captioned “Shri Guru Bhagavat” was published in Odia language in four volumes. Readers often ask me as to when and why I started writing Shri Guru Bhagavat which has culminated in the form of a voluminous treatise of about sixteen thousand lines. In my Preface to Guru Bhagavat Volume-I , I have stated that I started writing on some day in the later half of the year 2001 at about 11 p.m. Now, I suddenly remember that it was the day next to the day of Deepawali. In a flashback, I also recollect that I had started writing my other work captioned “ Gopyaru Agopya” also on a day next to Deepawali or Kali Puja as it is called in my native place of Odisha. I have never consciously selected a date for writing on matters relating to spirituality or religion but such coincidences sometimes make me wonder about its deeper significance, if any. Is it because my mother worshipped Shri Kali all her life? Is it because I have the highest regard for Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, who was the devotee par excellence of Shri Kali, besides being a Sadguru himself? Is it because I had burnt my right hand on the day of Kali Puja? When I came to study for my Masters degree in Ramjas College, Delhi, I carried with me a metallic form of Shri Kali, given to me by my mother. Is it because I worshipped Shri Kali for decades that such events of importance had to happen around the Deepawali.

Be that as it may, let me now speak about how I proceeded in writing Shri Guru Bhagavat. I continued to write for about eight years. At first it used to be written in a small diary in which Baba’s photograph was there. Whenever I wrote, I used to put the date and time atop the page. There was no fixed place, time or situation for writing. It could be in the Drawing room, Puja room or under the open sky, in the lawn or even on the roof top. It could be in the car when on a journey. It could be in the Hotel room where I used to put up at times during my stay. It could even be during my stay at Allahabad camp during Kumbha Mela. The flow of writing was so powerful and spontaneous, that time and place made no difference to me. At times, I could write only 20 to 30 lines but at times I could write 200 to 300 lines or even more at a stretch. One day someone gave me two voluminous notebooks. I filled them up with my writings very soon. By the time, I completed the work; it was about 10 to 11 volumes. At times, I used to write on Cosmology and Cosmogony propounded by the ancient Hindu Seers in the same note book.  These writings later became a part of my other Odia treatise captioned “Gopyaru Agopya”.

Interestingly enough, I never pre-conceived the theme of my writings. I wrote as they came to me. Usually, I used to write at night from 11 p.m onwards till I felt that there was nothing more to write at that point of time. My nephew Debabrata Satpathy started helping me in typing the writings in Odia alphabets on a computer. It was a voluminous, arduous and meticulous task which he undertook with utmost sincerity. At that time, there was no concept of chapterisation or sub-chapterisation. At the end of the writing session, I used to give a ‘title’ of a generic or specific nature keeping the basic theme in mind. Such writings and typing work went on simultaneously for years. I must have written more than about 1500-1600 pages in my own hand as I am fond of writing. Sometimes some pages used to get mixed up creating lots of confusion till we had to sit down and serialize the pages with an Index.

 A lot can be written on this subject but keeping the limited space in mind, I am only narrating a bit of my experience. I am sure that other writers writing on spiritually emotive themes must have undergone the same experience in the past or may experience the same in future. What I have realized is that when faith and love towards the Master is intense, literature becomes a spontaneous art of language rather than a literary exercise propelled by sheer intellectualism. May Shri Sai Bless us all.

                                                                                                         Shri C.B. Satpathy

New Delhi


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