Krittibas Ojha

(1381 - 1461 / Nadia, West Bengal / India)

Biography of Krittibas Ojha

Krittibas Ojha poet

Krittibas Ojha (Bengali: কৄত্তিবাস ওঝা) or Kirttibas Ojha (Bengali: কীর্ত্তিবাস ওঝা) was a medieval Bengali poet. His major contribution to Bengali literature and culture was the translation of the great Indian epic Ramayana to Bengali. His work, the Sri Ram Panchali, is popularly known as the Krittivasi Ramayan. In 1803, his work, edited by Jaygopal Tarkalamkar, was published by the Serampore Mission Press.

Life

Krittibas Ojha was born in a Kulina (upper class) Brahmin family at Phulia village of modern-day Nadia district in the Indian state of Paschimbanga (West Bengal) and died in 1461. He was the eldest among his father Banamali Ojha’s six sons and one daughter. The word ‘Krittibas’ is an epithet of Hindu god Shiva. It is known that when Krittibas was born, his grandfather Murari Ojha was preparing for a pilgrimage in Orissa, hence the child was named after Shiva, the predominant deity of the nearest Orissa pilgrimage to Bengal. At the age of 11, Krittibas was sent to North Bengal (in other opinion, to Nabadwip) for higher studies. After finishing studies he was traditionally honoured by the King of Gauda himself by the offerings of a garland, some sandal water and a silk scarf. Upon returning to his home at Phulia, he translated the Valmiki Ramayana into Bengali.

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