One of the Panchasakhas, Jagannatha Das has
shaped the society and culture of the Oriya-speaking people and given them a
distinct identity. There is hardly an Oriya village where Jaganntha's Bhagabata is
not worshipped or a home where it is not know, listened to read and recited. The
spirit of liberal humanism, tolerance, sacrifice and humility so characteristic of
Oriya social life is indeed the gift of this epic. Jagannatha's contribution to Oriya
language is no less remarkable. He gave it a new elasticity by a magnificent
blending of Sanskrit and local idioms. He combined religious purpose with poetic
excellence and created a new poetic idiom and poetic craft.
monograph has got a new dimension as the ancient master and his works have
been explored by one who is himself an eminent poet of the modern times. Dr.
Sitakant Mahapatra's appreciation of Jagannatha Das would surely remain a
classic example of epic revisited in the light of modern temperament and
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