Last time when I was in Bhubaneswar (December 11-12, 2008) my father jotted down two Oriya secular poems for his grand daughter, Nerika. I am putting them in the blog for their timeless value. One of the the poems by Madhusudhan Rao is:
He Anandamaya Koti Bhubana Palaka
Adhama, Akhyama Muhin Abodha Balaka
Gyana Data Bhagaban
Dia Mote Subhabudhi Dia Dibyagyana
Satyapathe Dharmapathe Gheni Jaa Mote
Bhasaa Parana Mama Taba Prema Srote
Prabhu Parama Karana
A Jibana Sricharane Kali Samarpana
My father also wrote down the following lines.
"He (Madhusudhan Rao) was of Maharastrian roots, but turned out to be a staunch Oriya who was one of the pioneers (others being Radhanath Ray, a Bengali, Fakirmohan Senapati, Gangadhar Mehar, Girija Shankar Ray, another Bengali) responsible for establishing Oriya as a separate language with rich literary traditions in the face of stiff opposition from Calcutta Bengalis who tried to claim that Oriya was only a dialect of Bengali. This they could achieve through their great writings. Madhusudhan Rao's Varnabodha was perhaps the first primer in Oriya to spread the Oriya language among the Oriya speaking people far and wide and is still popular.
This prayer constitutes part of the Varnabodha. Being a Brahmo, this prayer is secular in nature addressed to the supreme power who transcends any particular religion understood in the narrow and the limited sense of the term.
The spontaneity of expression which directly appeals to the spiritual mind and heart is a little sanskritized which was the practice in his time."
See the next post on Ramakrushna Nanda's Aahe Dayamaya ..., another secular poem