Salabega (16th century AD) was an Odisha poet and a great Saint, who dedicated his entire life towards singing in praise of Lord Jagannath, a form of Lord Krishna.
Salabega occupies a main place among the devotees of Lord Jagannath. He was born in a village in Odisha during the year 1607 AD. His father was a Muslim warrior and his mother was a noble house wife. Salabega also participated in the wars along with his father. Once he was severely wounded in a battle, and when was about to die, he chanted the glorious names of Lord Krishna and immediately he got relieved from his wounds due to the grace of Lord Jagannath Mahaprabhu.
He went to Puri, and though he was not permitted to go inside the temple of Jagannath, he stood outside the temple, and happily chanted the names of Lord Krishna, and then he travelled to Vrindavana and become a saint by reciting the Slokas and Namas of Lord Sri Krishna. After his stay of one year in Vrindavana, he returned to Puri to witness the Rath Yatra festival, and he composed and sung lot of songs in praise of Lord Jagannath. The Samadhi of Salabega is found in Puri near Balagandi. Salabega’s bhajans are still popular among the devotees of Lord Jagannath.
Some of the verses of his songs are as follows:
“OM LORD JAGANNATH, MY LIFE IS GETTING WASTED SIMPLY BY SLEEP AND BY HAVING ANXIETY ON OTHER WORLDLY MATTERS. PLEASE REMOVE THE UNWANTED THOUGHTS FROM MY MEMORY, AND MAKE YOUR PERMANENT PRESENCE IN MY HEART”.
“OUR DEATH HAS ALREADY BEEN FIXED DURING OUR BIRTH ITSELF. THEN WHY WE ARE SHOWING OUR ATTENTION ON WORLDLY PLEASURES, AND PHYSICAL COMFORTS, LET US START CHANTING THE NAMES OF LORD KRISHNA, IN ORDER TO AVOID TAKING REBIRTHS AGAIN AND AGAIN”.
Let us praise the great saint and be blessed.
“OM SRI BHAKTA SALABEGA NAMAHA”