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Bhima Bhoi (1850–1895)[1] [2] was a poet and Satya Mahima Dharma activist from Orissa, India.[3].


He was most probably an orphan, cared for by a tribal couple. It is said that he composed songs [4], despite being completely illiterate. Later he became a disciple of Mahima Gosain, to whom he devoted all his poetry. It is generally accepted that after the death of his guru, Bhima Bhoi founded his own ashrama at Khaliapali in 1877. It is there that Bhima Bhoi composed part of Mahima Dharma’s devotional literature, the Stuticintamani, which is still sung today [5]. He also fought against caste and ritualised piety and initiated women into his community.[6] Because of his social engagement and poetry he is remembered today as a santa kabi (“holy poet”).


  • Bannerjee, Ishita and Johannes Beltz 2008 (eds.), Popular Religion and Ascetic Practices. New studies on Mahima Dharma, New Delhi: Manohar Publishers.
  • Beltz, Johannes. 2003. “Bhima Bhoi: The making of a modern saint”, A. Copley (ed.) Hindu Nationalism and Religious Reform Movements, New Delhi: OUP, pp. 230-253.
  • Bhima Bhoi. 1992. Bhaktakavi Bhimabhoi Granthavali. Edited by Karunakar Sahu and published by Vidhyadhar Sahu. Cuttack: Dharmagrantha Store.
  • Mahapatra, Sitakant. 1983. Bhima Bhoi. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi (Makers of Indian Literature).



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