Bira Singha and Odia mysticism

The mystic Bira Singha and his metaphorical chautisa.

Bira Singha was a fifteenth-century seer who possessed occult powers. This is his only discovered literary creation, pondering over the nature of knowledge and metaphysical ideas.

An ardent follower of Narasingha, Binoda Mishra turned into the mystic Bira Singha when he converted to Buddhism. He used to live in a cave atop a mountain. The legendary Upendra Bhanja used to respect this ancient mystic. He could fly through space and time at his own will, for he had mastered the occult-psychic arts, the ‘Naganta.’ He could control the flow of air within his body. His pupils once used their occult powers to torment people- they would write a mantra in the figure of a person and then hold the sheet over fire — as the sheet lit to fire, the person would burn to death. Not very different from the idea of voodoo dolls, except that this was in 5 or 600-year old Odisha.

When he took mercy on the queen for her miseries, the queen served him humbly. The Brahmins were hit by the ascendancy of a Buddhist mystic they loathed, and thus asked the king to test Bira Singha. In the trial of the snake-within-the-jar, Bira Singha escaped with the skin of his teeth from being clubbed to death.

This is such a rare song that people do not even hear a single mention of anything related to it in their entire lives. In short, 400-year old mystic mumbo-jumbo for your ears.

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