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Salabega:A Muslim devotee of Krishna

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Subject:A Muslim devotee of Krishna.



Of all the devotees Krishna has had,I feel a soft corner for

Salabega.His story is so moving.


Salabega's mother lived in Puri the holy Jegannath ksethra.She was a

Bhramin woman.She got married at an early age and her husband

died.She became a widow.One day she went to the temple at early

morning.A muslim soldier saw her and carried her away to his house

and forecibly married her.Thus began a life of torture for this

jegannatha devotee.She was forcibly converted to Islam but she never

forgot jegannatha.All her relatives disowned her.


To this great woman was Salabega born.His mother secretly taught him

jegannatha's might.Salabega even though was raised as a muslim by

his father soon became an ardent devotee of jegannatha.


But he was afraid to enter into temple.If he did his community would

kill him.So he would stand outside the temple and see jegannath.He

soon gave his heart to jegannath.He wanted to enter into the

temple.He asked permission of local priests.They were shocked to

hear it.First he was a muslim and second they were afraid of earning

the sultan's wrath.So they refused.


So Salabega continued to stand outside the temple and watch

jegannath.When his community people knew it they were mad on

him.They called him and threatened him.But he wasnt afraid.He said

that he will worship Jegannath.But since the muslims were minority

in Puri at that time they were afraid that killing him would lead to

communal clashes.So they ostracised him from their community.


But still the priests refused to let him into the temple.But

Salabega continued to sing hymns on jegannatha.His songs became very

popular among devotees.But his community were angry on him.The only

time salabgea could see lord was when he came out in the charriot

every year.


ONe year salabega went on to pilgrimage.But he couldnt return in

time to charriot festival since he fell sick.But he did not want to

miss the charriot festival too.


He couldn't return in time to see his darling Lord on the chariots

and cried out in anguish from 750 miles away. He prayed to the Lord

to tarry a while on the bada danda, the Grand Avenue till he could

reach back to see the Lord. The compassionate Lord, stayed on his

chariot which could not be moved an inch forward till Salabega

reached Puri and joined the devotees in prayer.


The famous saint poet Salabega has immortalised the feelings of the

devotees as they wait every year for fulfilment of their desire to

see their dear dark darling, Kalia Dhana seated on his resplendent

Chariot ? Nandi Ghosa.

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