Prof. Gouri Kumar Brahma

Date of birth : 20th February, 1920

Native Village : Prataapalaxmanapur, (in the Bhanja-Nagar Sub- division, Ganjam district in (South) Orissa State).

Address: Near Maausimaa Temple, P.O. Bhubaneswar-2, Orissa, India.

B.A. (Andhra): Dip-in-Edn. (Patna); M.A. (Utkal) (1944). Specialisation in Sanskrit from childhood. (His second Mother-tongue).

College teacher: 1946-1958 (Lecturer in Oriya). Also Secretary, Utkal Sahitya Samaj, Cuttack (1956-1957).

1958-1969 - Secretary, Orissa Sahitya Akademi, Secretary, Orissa Sangeet Natak Akademi, Secretary, Orissa Lalitkala Akademi, Deputy Director, Cultural Affairs (Orissa Government), State Liaison Officer, Editor, The Konarka Literary Magazine), etc.

1969-76 - Chief Tourist Guide (Orissa Government). Deputy Director, Tourism (Orissa Govt.), Chief Editor, Orissa Oriental Texts series etc.

l976-78 - Reader in Oriya, Ravenshaw College, Cuttack. (Retirement from Govt. Service in February, 1978)

1978-93 - (After retirement)

Details of Awards, Ovations etc.

Titles of Honour

  1. Mahaapurusha - New Delhi.
  2. Bharata Pradeep - Cuttack.
  3. Vaagmee-Pravara - Calcutta.
  4. Purusha Saraswatee - Mysore.
  5. Vid-van-Maanasa Maraala - Varanasi.
  6. The Ramayan purush of India - Chitrakoot (U.P.).
  7. Utkal Vaachaspati - Pondicherry.
  8. Sayhitya Maartanda - Orissa.
  9. Utkal Bhaartee - Orissa.
  10. Kavi-Kokila - Orissa.
  11. Bhanja-Visaarad - Orissa.
  12. Meher Sahitya Vishaarad - Orissa.
  13. Paryatan-Vishaarad (Expert in Tourist-Guidance) - Orissa

Activities and Contributions

  1. Author of about 80 books (printed already) in Oriya, Sanskrit, Hindi and English, (Mostly in Oriya). About 50 more books awaiting Publication.
  2. Contributed several articles in English to magazines on Culture, Religion, Literature, Tourism, Philosophy etc.
  3. Powerful Speaker, Delivered more than 7000 full-length speeches in Oriya, English and Sanskrit between 1942 and 1993. (apart from thousands of public-platform speeches).
  4. Delivered speeches in English, Hindi (Tashkent) and Sanskrit (Leningrad) in U S.S.R. in 1968.
  5. Delivered speeches in New-Delhi (Vigyan Bhavan), Allahabad, Varanasi, Santiniketan, Calcutta, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Bombay, Madras, Mysore, Pondicherry, Tatanagar (Bihar), Ernakulam (Kerala) etc. in English and Sanskrit on the occasion of All-India or International Conferences (on Vedic culture, Sanskrit litt., astrology, theosophy, Hindu philosophy, Dharmashastras, Purans, the Geeta, the Ramayana etc. (including many Universities in and outside Orissa).
  6. Eminent literary critic in Oriya. Writes Poems in Oriya occasionally. Had years of experience in Journalism.
  7. Owns a library of more than 10,000 Volumes (in Oriya, English, Sanskrit, Hindi, Bengali etc. (One of the biggest personal libraries in Orissa).
  8. Gifted with poetic powers in Sanskrit in his late sixtees by the grace of Lord Jagannatha (of Puri). (Has written 25 Sanskrit Khandakaavyas and 15 have been Published with Oriya / English annotations by him by July 1993).
  9. An authority on ancient and medieval Oriya literature.
  10. An authority on the Cult of Jagannatha.
  11. A reputed Commentator on ancient Oriya works.
  12. An authority on Orissan Culture.
  13. An authority on Oriya metrics (Prosody).
  14. A Research-scholar in the field of Mantric and esoteric studies.
  15. Commonly honoured as an 'Institution of Culture and literature' and "the Voice of Orissa".
  16. Exceedingly popular as a scholar and orator all over the state of Orissa for more than 50 years past.
  17. Known widely among the foreign tourists and dignitaries (from Delhi and abroad) visiting Orissa as the "Guide of guides". Had the opportunity of accompaning V V.I.Ps. like Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Rastrapati V.V. Giri, Rastrapati N. S. Reddy, Vice-President of India Sri B.D. Jatti, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, His Royal Highness Prince Charles of England, His Holiness Dalai Lama, to mention only a few.
  18. Presents Entertainment Programmes with Sanskrit Slokas (musically recited) and their interpretation in English (a rare gift among the indologists or the Orientalists any where in the world).
  19. A teacher of Oriya and Sanskrit literatures with rare capabilities. (Quotes long poems from memory and teaches without a book in hand).
  20. A translator from Hindi, Bengali and English into Oriya.

Additional Information

Two books on Prof. Brahma's life and activities have been published by now in Oriya. They contain details of the facets of his personality and literary contributions in four languages.

A few of them are :

  1. He has been on the platforms of his own state and India ever since 1941 and till 1996, he has delivered more than 10,000 speeches in Oriya, English and Sanskrit.
  2. In Public mestings, he is introduced as a Human encyclopedia of Oriya literature and Indian culture and he keeps huge audiences spell-bound even in his 77th year now.
  3. His retentive memory, melodious voice, ready-wittedness and capacity to quote literary passages are unique and high praises are showered on him in his public speeches (all extempore).
  4. He has shaken the foundations of some established theories in oriya literary criticism and has thrown fresh light on many aspects their writings.
  5. He has written a book on the very 1st verse of the famous Bhagavad Gita, known commonly as the "Greatest Little Book of the World", and this speaks in mute voice of his versatility as a scholar on Indology.
  6. He is commonly taken to be an authority on Lord Jagannatha whose Car Festival has gained international popularity in recent years.
  7. His biodata has been incorporated in Who is Who of Asia, Who is Who of India, Indo-Arab Who is Who etc.
  8. At the age of 66, he started writing poems in Sanskrit and became a Sanskrit Poet overnight through the grace of Lord Jagannatha and takes people by surprise by his poetic compositions in Sanskrit now.

Source :Sanjeeb Kumar Patro []
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times since January 23, 1998.



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