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Bhima Bhoi: Verses from the Void, Mystic Poetry of an Oriya Saint (With CD-ROM)

Bettina Baumer (Editor) Johannes Beltz (Editor) Studies in Orissan Society, Culture and History
Synopsis Mahima Dharma ('the Dharma of Glory') is one of the most fascinating living religious traditions of Orissa. It originated during the nineteenth century as an autochthonous reform movement, emerging out of the nirguna bhakti tradition of India. The earliest authentic testimonies of this movement are the impressive compositions of Bhima Bhoi, a lay guru, who fought against social evils such as caste and ritualized piety and initiated women into his community. The present volume is the first representative and comprehensive anthology of Bhima Bhoi's religious poetry. It offers a detailed introduction, which discusses the poet and his work in its social, religious, and philosophical contexts. All poems, originally in Oriya, are transliterated into Roman script first and then translated into English on the facing page for easy comprehension. Since Bhima Bhoi's poetry is above all oral poetry, and his songs are still recited by Mahima Dharmis, the editors decided to complement the written text by authentic audio samples from Orissa. An audio CD, recorded in the areas of Sonepur and Sambalpur offers a selection of popular bhajans of Bhima Bhoi sung by practising Mahima Dharmis. In the end, the volume brings to a worldwide audience, for the first time, an outstanding poet, widely unknown outside Orissa.
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About the authors

Bettina Baumer

Dr. Bettina Baumer is an indologist from Austria, living and working in Varanasi since 1967. At present she is Director of Research, Alice Boner Foundation, Hon. Consultant, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, and Visiting Professor in Vienna University. Her main fields of research are Silpa.sastra of Orissa and Kashmir Saivism. She has edited 3 volumes of Kalatattvakosa, A Lexicon of Fundamental Concepts of the Indian Arts (Vol. I, 1988; Vol. II, 1992; Vol. Ill, 1996), Silparatnakosa (Delhi 1994), and is the author of several books in German, and a number of research articles.

Johannes Beltz

Johannes Beltz is Assistant Curator of Indian Art at the Museum Rietberg in Zurich, Switzerland since 2002.

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Bibliographic information

Title Bhima Bhoi: Verses from the Void, Mystic Poetry of an Oriya Saint (With CD-ROM)
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2010
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788173048135
length 407p., Map; illustrations; 23cm.