REMEMBERING UGRASENA MOHAPATRA

REMEMBERING UGRASENA MOHAPATRA

2 January 1940 to  18 February 2016

This story is of an unsung hero from an unknown village in an unremarkable place. Today, there is no burial site or tombstone to remember him by. Someone like him would easily slip away from the general consciousness of us mere mortals, but he is surely remembered in the heavens, as while on earth he had spent the days of his life making mention of his Creator with fervour and zeal.

The beloved Master has said in a prayer, “Thy confirmations, which alone can change a gnat into an eagle, a drop of water into rivers and seas, and an atom into lights and suns”. These are not a mere play of words to be admired. I saw this statement by the Master coming to reality when I was in the teaching field in the state of Odisha, formerly called  Orisha in the eastern part of India.

While in Malaysia, I undertook a teaching trip to India from 1977 to 1979. Later my brother Biskumar joined me as a travel teacher there. My family in Malaysia had its ancestry in Odisha. It was during the British rule in Malaysia that my ancestors were brought to Malaya to work and develop the rubber plantations. We have a sizeable number of Odisha people in Malaysia maintaining the Odissa culture, tradition, and language. Therefore undertaking a teaching trip to Odisha was quite comfortable given my own background. Sometime after my arrival in Odisha, Mr. T. Subbaya and Gunasekaran from Malaysia and Jeannine, an American Peace Corp lady whom Gunasekaran married later joined me in the teaching activities and later were sent to other places. In addition to that, Dr. Mogbelpour our former Auxiliary Board member was always in constant touch and sometimes joined us during the teaching projects.

Upon arriving in Odisha, I was given a briefing of the beginnings of the Faith in Odisha. The State of Odisha is always known as the “Baby State” of Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum. She had visited Odisha in June 1964 together with Mrs. Violette Nakhjavani and travelled to many provinces, including the tribal areas within a period of two weeks. She commented on the extraordinary receptivity of the people there and stressed that Odisha was still an untouched field. There were no pioneers who had gone to Odisha.

On another occasion in Cuttack, they had asked Amatu’l-Bahá questions on Hinduism. She said she would send someone well-versed on the subject to answer their questions. She flew to New Delhi and proceeded to the Baháʼí House, where the National Spiritual Assembly was in session. She appealed to Dr. H. M. Munje to go to Odisha at the earliest, saying enquirers needed answers for questions on Hinduism. Dr. Munje, respecting the wishes of Amatu’l-Bahá immediately packed up and landed in Odisha. From New Delhi, Amatu’l-Bahá went to Bombay where she told the friends gathered there that Odisha was her baby, and someone had to go there and take care of her baby. Then pioneers and travel teachers like Mr. Neekoi and Mr. Jawanmardi started visiting Odisha.

Having said the above, this is not a story of my travel teaching in Odisha. This is about a true and genuine human gem, who has touched my heart. His memory still remains un-erased in the innermost corner of my heart. It is with great pleasure that I present here a story of one of the unsung heroes in one of the remotest villages in a very isolated part of India.

He is Mr. Ugrasena Mohapatra, an outstanding and humble lover of the Blessed Beauty who spent most of his life teaching the Cause and serving the institutions of the Faith in Odisha. Mohapatra was born in a lower-middle-class family in a small Lambilo village in Odisha. Mohapatra is a name acquired by people who acquire some kind of recognition in the society. He gave private tuition to students from neighbouring schools in the area after their school hours were over. He himself was not highly educated, passing only matriculation examinations. Some twenty to thirty children attended his tuition classes, with each paying round Indian Rupees 10, making a monthly income of roughly Rs 200, which was very meager making it hard for him to make ends meet.  The parents of the students provided him food on a rotation basis. Later in life, he was married and had three sons and one daughter. He still managed as he was in a joint family that is a few families of the same siblings or in-laws living under the same roof. As a matter of fact, that was the way of life in many villages.

It was in 1976 that the Faith wafted over Mohapatra. He came in contact with the Baháʼí Faith when Dr. Munje, an outstanding scholar from Kanpur, and a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baháʼís of India visited Odisha on a lecture program on the subject of Eternal Religion of God. During his visit, Dr. Munje had conducted a week-long deepening program at a place somewhat close to the village of Mohapatra. He along with few other friends participated in the deepening program. His participation in the deepening course had completely transformed his soul. He asked several questions on the relationship between Hinduism which he practiced and the Baháʼí Faith, which was presented at the deepening program. Dr. Munje gave clear, sound, and irrefutable responses to the many questions raised not only by Mohapatra, but also other new friends in the gathering. Convinced that Baháʼu’lláh is the Supreme Manifestation for this Day and One Who has been promised in all the past religions, Mohapatra immediately declared his belief in Baháʼu’lláh. It must be mentioned that there were a few early believers from Lambilo village such as Lingaraj Nayak, Chandrasekhar Pradhan, and Surendra Nayak. Lambilo was the last village where he gave tuition in Odisha who followed up in instilling the love of Baháʼu’lláh in the heart of Mohapatra. The moment Mohapatra accepted the Faith, he was on fire with the love of Baháʼu’lláh, and that acceptance of Baháʼu’lláh was the single act in his life that sparked off an immediate change that moved him to serve the Cause with distinction and most relentlessly. No opposition from any quarters could silence this soul from noising the Healing Message of Baháʼu’lláh to any gathering of any magnitude.


Dr. H.M. Munje, one of the greatest scholars and a Master of many subjects

In 1977, the year after Mohapatra had embraced the Faith, he came to the State Baháʼí Centre in Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha state to attend a program organized on the eve of the visit of Counsellor Mr. B. Afshin. That was the first time he came to the Baháʼí Centre. He was very inspired by the soul-stirring talks by Mr. Afshin during the two-day conference covering the subjects of “Baháʼí Administration”, “Baháʼí History”, “Majesty and Greatness of the Local Spiritual Assembly”, and “Obligations of Baháʼís.”  Mohapatra who always had a thirst for knowledge had inquired a few more questions still lingering in his heart to clarify his doubts. This quality of eagerness to know more and more about the Faith remained in him until the very end of his life. That meeting with Mr. Afshin was another turning point that fired up his devotion to the Cause.


Mr. B. Afshin

In the same year, a teaching project was launched to teach the Faith to the tribal people in the Kalahandi district of Odisha. Mohapatra eagerly volunteered to work on this project along with some other friends. This was his first teaching experience in any teaching project. During that period, Mohapatra had a very unusual, rare, and privileged experience that we in the current generation and centuries to come shall be deprived of forever. That was the visit by Hand of the Cause of God Dr. Raḥmatu’lláh Muhájir. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has said this of the Hands of the Cause in His Will and Testament:

“The obligations of the Hands of the Cause of God are to diffuse the Divine Fragrances, to edify the souls of men, to promote learning, to improve the character of all men and to be, at all times and under all conditions, sanctified and detached from earthly things.”

We also know that the Hands of the Cause of God ceased to be appointed after the passing of the beloved Guardian Shoghi Effendi. And for that reason, with the passing of the Hands of the Cause, we do not see any new appointments. And it is for this same reason that attaining the presence of the Hands of the Cause of God was a privilege of the past. And a few of us had had that blessing. Mohapatra was conferred this blessing by the grace of Baháʼu’lláh.


Hand of the Cause of God Dr. Raḥmatu’lláh Muhájir

Dr. Muhájir was informed by the Counsellors and the National Assembly of India that Odisha had started tribal teaching. Dr. Muhájir became interested in tribal teaching and so came specially to see for himself the tribal teaching activities and inspire the friends. He came into the company of Dr. S. Vasudevan who was the first pioneer to India from Malaysia, in 1967. Dr. Muhájir met the field teachers and the community in the Bhubaneswar Baháʼí Centre. Dr. Vasudevan spent his time meeting dignitaries and giving a Public Talk at the Bhawanipatna College in Kalahandi District. Several other friends from Odisha from other parts of India and abroad participated in the project, including my own self. We joined Mohapatra and went to several villages and taught the Faith. Mohapatra was very much inspired by the discipline and the way of teaching by other experienced Baháʼís. It did not take long before he himself became an active and seasonal field worker for the Cause. The project continued there for two years during which time Mohapatra travelled across the district and taught the Faith vigorously and relentlessly to a large cross-section of the people. Many souls embraced the Faith during this project and many Local Spiritual Assemblies were also established. The expertise of Mohapatra as an effective teacher of the Cause was detected by the State Teaching Council of Odissa, which decided to make use of him as a full-time teacher as and when needed.

In 1979, Mohapatra and a few of us went to Phulbani district, a tribal area to participate in yet another teaching project. This time we travelled to many villages, held meetings with the local populace and taught the Faith. Most of the time, Mohapatra stayed in Phulbani alone and continued the work for the Faith with great zeal and vigour. During this time, Mohapatra was exposed to intensive and acute opposition. Mohapatra had a conversation with one of the leaders of a Hindu organization. That leader arrived in Phulbani to be a speaker at a local conference for the people of the Hindu Faith. He asked Mohapatra some questions about the Faith. Mohapatra not known for mincing words or coining statements gave open and frank answers which sadly had annoyed the Hindu leaders. Later, while addressing the audience in the Hindu conference, he openly attacked the Baháʼí Faith and its activities in the Phulbani district. It was a divine providence that some local believers there who had contacts with the Hindu leaders there were able to pacify the Hindu speaker. What emerged clearly from this untoward incident was the unshakable courage of Mohapatra. Mohapatra was not the least afraid of anybody, whatever position the person held while teaching the Faith.

In a normal situation, one facing opposition would move to another place. But Mohapatra continued to reside in that district and worked hard to strengthen the communities in the small villages. I had the privilege of accompanying Mohapatra to several villages and we were able to reach out to many tribes in the district. Some of the villages were very interior and sometimes in the middle of thick jungles. This District of Phulbani where we involved in tribal teaching was in the middle of the jungles in the Kalinga Ghat, a part of Eastern Ghat. Out of the 645 Scheduled Tribes enlisted in the Government of India gazette, Odisha hosted the largest number of indigenous tribal communities, numbering 62. Thus, through our painstaking efforts, we were able to share the message of Blessed Beauty to many tribes living there. Some of them declared their belief in Baháʼu’lláh.


Some friends visit Odisha. From the left are Riaz Mottalebi,  Mahapatra, Mr. Ziaollah Motallebi Nasrabadi (in glasses), Mrs. Badr Hedayat Mottalebi,  Mr. Pravat Mohanty.  Mr. R. N. Shah seated on the rickshaw and Mr. Pradipta Dash

I returned to Malaysia in 1979. When I went back to India in 1980 I observed that Mohapatra was still active in the teaching field. This time another teaching project was launched in Kalahandi district in 1983, in memory of Dr. Abdu’l Hossein Azadi, one of the martyrs of Shiraz in Iran. Later the remains of his illustrious wife Mrs. Kima Azadi was also laid to rest in the soil of Odisha.  Their children are pioneers in India. Mohapatra again participated in this project like a front-line soldier. During this project, there was an instance when Mohapatra and few other friends were travelling to a village called Ichappur where only the higher caste ´Brahmins´ resided. Some of those villagers got the wrong information that the Baháʼís were on the way to their village to convert the Brahmins into a new religion. The Brahmins are people who would not easily convert to another religion except in rare cases. Consequently, a group of people from the village walked up to the believer and stopped us from entering the village. They protested that we had brought a foreign religion to convert them. However, Mohapatra and a few of us explained to them very politely and diplomatically and in all wisdom that we believed that the Religion of God is eternal and meant for the whole of humanity and that conversion was not our primary purpose. We made it clear that we came to share the new Message from God. After having conversed for some time, they were pacified and finally allowed us to enter their village.

We had public meetings in the evenings. Since Mohapatra was from a respected family ancestry, he somewhat commanded the respect of people wherever he went. With his ancestral background, he was always made the first speaker who introduced the Faith to the people. Mohapatra had a good knowledge of the Hindu prophecies on the advent of Baháʼu’lláh. After seven days of intensive teaching in that village, about 15 youths and a few adults declared their faith in Baháʼu’lláh. A Local Spiritual Assembly was formed in Ichappur village. We were extremely happy with the result and the contribution of Mohapatra. That success was reported as a very remarkable achievement.

Another teaching project was launched in Bolangir district in the memory of the eminent believer Mr. Varqa Tebyanian, another martyr from Tehran in Iran. Mohapatra worked on this project as well and travelled extensively across the district, despite the scorching and fuming heat of the hot weather. Summer in India could be fatal as many would die annually of heatstroke. People kept all traveling at night. Day or night was no issue to Mohapatra given the urgency of spreading the message. On top of the hot weather, Mohapatra also faced a lack of proper transportation since bus service was provided only once a day! Mohapatra did not want to tarry. Where bus service was not available Mohapatra walked long distances, arriving at his destination at dusk often exhausted to the maximum.

In 1988, the State Baháʼí Council launched another teaching project in the name of Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum in Koraput, another remote and tribal district. Mohapatra enlisted himself in this project as well and worked vigorously despite facing several difficulties there. Mohapatra, and a former Board member Nirmal Sahoo and the other project volunteers had to face severe opposition from another Hindu group known as Vishva Hindu Parishad. This organization which had fundamentalist thinking members was quite popular and active there. One wrong move or sensitive statement from the believers could have brought severe consequences. Rather than dusting off their feet, they decided to stay on and teach the Faith with extreme tact and wisdom. By the unfailing grace of Blessed Beauty, the teaching efforts yielded good results. The efforts were crowned with triumphant victory with more than ten thousand people enrolling into the Faith. We were able to establish some thirty Local Spiritual Assemblies in that district. Mohapatra himself was renowned for being rock steady in his steadfastness as a soldier in the army of Baháʼu’lláh. He taught the Faith courageously, and sometimes vigorously and mostly unrestrained as the wind despite facing numerous challenges in the field.

In 1989, another teaching project was launched in the district of Dhenkanal in the memory of Mr. Jawanmardi, an outstanding Baháʼí who had just passed away. Once again, Mohapatra was at the forefront of teaching leading the project with undiminished zeal and vigour. He regularly visited the villages and taught the Faith to many waiting souls. Within 3 months some 10,000 people accepted the Faith, and more than 30 Local Spiritual Assemblies were formed

Mohapatra participated continuously in the teaching projects and activities in numerous districts of Odisha such as Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Mayubhanj, Ganjam, and many others. He travelled to all the districts of the state for short and extensive periods to build communities and sustain activities. From the early 1980s, Mohapatra served full-time as a travel teacher of the Faith. He travelled across the state extensively as per the needs of the institutions. Precisely from 1978 until 2014, he served the Cause in Odisha as a valiant teacher of the Faith. He was also elected as a member of State Baháʼí Council for a few years and served with devotion and utter sincerity.


Unit Convention of the election of delegates, Sambalpur. Mohapatra is standing in the back row third from right

Mohapatra was known throughout Odisha as an outstanding travel teacher and was proficient in teaching the Cause in the traditional methods. Yet, when the growth process started in 1996, he was once again at the forefront of activities in his new path of service. He participated in the Ruhi training programs, quickly adapting himself to the new ways of running the activities of the Faith. He was at the forefront of activities in many communities and inspired innumerable youths to undertake the core activities of the Faith and build vibrant neighbourhoods.


Ruhi Institute Campaign 1996. Mohapatra is seated second from the right. Seated L-R:  Taraz Mottalebi, Board members Surendra Nayak and Sima Mottalebi


National Consultative Conference with Board members and Council Members, Gwalior 2000. Mohapatra stands at the extreme  left

As age caught up, nature forced him to slow down, with a weakening body and failing health. He was a vegetarian eating simple food. But in the zeal to teach the Faith there were days and months when he did not take proper food, and even could not afford good medical attention on account of meagre financial means. Towards the evening of his earthly life, he could not travel anymore. Gradually, his health conditions deteriorated further, and he   ascended to the Abhá Kingdom on 18 February  2016 in his village. News spread and the believers rushed to pay their last respects and give him a befitting burial. The family knew all along that Mohapatra was a very staunch believer in the Baháʼí Faith. Sadly, the family did not allow the friends for a Baháʼí burial. They insisted on cremation in accordance with Hindu rites. The Baháʼís had to yield in that painful situation. They sought permission to say Baháʼí prayers, which was granted. After a round of prayers, the believers disappointingly returned, not wanting to see his remains cremated.

Dr. Jiten Mishra, the former Secretary of the State Baháʼí Council recalled his teaching and working experiences with Mohapatra in these words:

“Mr. Mohapatra was extremely popular among the friends. As a soft-spoken person, he was very successful in cementing his bonds with the people. Very swiftly he won the trust and confidence of the people. Mr. Mohapatra was very simple; he did not need much material means to live and was always happy and content. I did not hear him complain anytime of any issues be that related to the projects or about his life. What I loved about him is that he never said ‘NO’ to institutions for any work of the Faith. His regular travel and presence in the villages often made people think that probably he was the only Baháʼí in Odisha. Mr. Mohapatra had a tremendous amount of resilience. He adapted well to all situations and challenges. He never got discouraged with the setbacks. He continued the work of the Faith, whatever he could, in the face of all odds and crises. I just loved him for his simplicity and humility”.


Dr. Jiten Mishra

Dr. Mishra continues,

“Mr. Mohapatra knew well how to build and sustain relationships with people. Even, he was able to easily pacify those opposing the Faith due to his soft speaking ability and amiability. He had a good sense of humour as well. Many times, during the teaching trips, he uttered kept everyone in stitches with his witty and humorous jokes. His mere company elevated one’s spirit. He enjoyed singing songs and conducting children’s classes in the villages. There are many instances when he often used to fall asleep in the Council meetings due to his exhaustion. I have had the privilege of travelling, as Council’s secretary, numerous times to several districts of Odisha with Mr. Mohapatra and I could literally observe his outstanding capacity in organizing meetings, explaining the teachings of the Faith, and above all accomplishing the goals of the projects tasked by the institutions”.

Mr. Taraz Motalebi, a pioneer settled in Sambalpur district recalls his teaching experiences with Mohapatra says;

“On one occasion in 1996, I had accompanied Mr. Mahapatra to Deogarh area and particularly to Kalamati village. Once we reached the village, the people there were overjoyed to see Mohapatra. They screamed that the religion of Bahá’u’lláh had come back to their village. To them, the Baháʼí Faith was synonymous with the name of Mohapatra. It was to that extent that he was immersed in the Faith. I was simply astonished that in just half an hour’s time, Mr. Mohapatra was able to gather the people of the village. Mr. Mohapatra was very simple, and that simplicity was loved by the people. Whenever I travelled with other friends for village teachings, the friends in the villages would often ask about Mr. Mohapatra and his well-being.”

Mohapatra is no more with us, His remains have been cremated, leaving no traces of his mortal remains. But his undying spirit shall forever remain alive within the hearts and souls of the Baháʼís of Odisha state. His incessant teaching activities, his sacrifices, and contributions to the promotion of the Faith in Odisha will never be forgotten and always be remembered by the followers of the Blessed Beauty in that State and India. I used to wonder how this simple soul who was like a moth could transform into a gnat-like teacher in the Cause. Methinks it is his utter detachment from this ephemeral world, and complete surrender to  the will of the Blessed Beauty, if my understanding is correct. I hope to be one like him, emulating his way that is matchless and unparalleled. I cannot help, but quote what the beloved Guardian has mentioned about simple souls rising to great heights of service:

“If only the friends could realize it, the glory of our Faith is not that people with unique abilities do the work of the Cause, but that it is done by the sacrifice of loving and devoted souls who arise selflessly to undertake work they feel themselves incompetent, sometimes, to achieve. God works through them and endows them with gifts they did not dream they could ever possess.”

— From a letter dated December 12, 1943, written by Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer.

O SON OF BEING!

Make mention of Me on My earth, that in My heaven I may remember thee, thus shall Mine eyes and thine be solaced.

Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words

 

Pitamboro K. N.
Selangor
Malaysia

30 April 2021

60 thoughts on “REMEMBERING UGRASENA MOHAPATRA

  1. Thanks Pitamboro for penning the story of Mohapatra.

    I have not heard of Mohapatra. But thanks to you for bringing to light such dedicated souls whose efforts and sacrifices are bringing about victories in the area they served.

    Mr. Mohapatra was such a sincere, simple and down to earth believer who was consumed by the fire of love for Bahaullah. He is sure to be remembered in the realms above by Bahaullah as the Blessed Beauty has promised to remember those who mention Him while on earth. May the soul of Mohapatra harvest the boundless love from Bahaullah in the Abha Paradise.

    To add, I had known you and your brother Biskumar, when I had the honour as National Treasurer of the National Assembly, wrote cheques to subsidize your teaching activities. I did wonder at times how you all managed to live and teach the Faith at the same time.

    Your story mentioned about Gunasegaran and Jeanine who were there in Odissa. They are my dear friends as well. And Dr. Munje came to Malaysia in the early 1980s to speak on Hinduism and the Baha’i Faith. His indepth knowledge of these religions was very illuminating.

    Lum Weng Chew
    Toronto
    Canada

  2. Dear Pitamboro,

    It is soul-stirring to read the story of another valiant veteran of the army of light UGRASENA MOHAPATRA- a person that had dedicated his life to the service and the elevation of the Cause of God. I have never met UGRASENA MOHAPATRA and never been to Odisha state in India, but this story transported me right into Odissa state. I was quite excited to see in a picture our dearly respected Mr. R. N. Shah the former Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of India. I was also happy to see my cousin Mrs. Badr Mottalebi, my nephews Riaz and Mr. Ziaollah Mottalebi that were pioneering and running a school in Odisha. More excitingly is to see how on the advice of Amatul’-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum Dr. H.M Munje whom from Lucknow and a number of other pioneers and travel teachers including UGRASENA MOHAPATRA that laboured for the development of the Faith in Odisha. The photos speak them all.

    Dr. Firaydun Mithaq
    Chieng Mai
    Thailand

  3. Thank you Pitamboro,for writing about the late Ugrasen Mahapatra, who, in spite of several obstacles, was in the fore front of teaching activities in the 1970s, when I was closely associated with the Faith during my college years. I do remember his ever smiling face whenever I met him at the Baha’i House in Bhubaneswar. He was always inquisitive to have more knowledge of the philosophy of this Faith. We had wonderful teaching trips during the tribal teaching projects in Kalahandi district, particularly at Kamarda village, situated in dense forest area.His best quality was his indomitable spirit, never getting tired of walking.

    To give a picture of Odisha state, it is be divided into two parts-the eastern side being on the coast of Bay of Bengal are called coastal districts, while the western districts are mountainous and forest areas, mostly inhabited by tribal people.

    Coming from the coastal areas and because of his dedication Mr. Mohapatra, was successful in introducing the Faith in mainly tribal districts. His name is remembered by many friends from these districts when asked who introduced the Faith to them.

    Towards the end of his days I had the opportunity to visit him in his village with some friends. He reflected the same warm smile, and had the same inquisitive look that will never be blotted from my memory.

    May the Blessed Beauty, shower His blessings upon his pure soul.

    Lastly I do express my deep gratitude to the Administrator of Baha’i Recollections Historical Blog that has placed this noble soul’s journey with the Faith to be remembered for posterity.

    Ajaya Kumar Parida,
    Cuttack
    India

  4. Mr. Ugrasena Mohapatra’s sacrificial services will be long remembered in the state of Odissa. His teaching trips throughout the state, interacting with the scholars and high ranking officials of the Faith will bring him blessings in al the kingdoms of God.

    A nice article in appreciation of his Baha’I services.
    Shankar Bhatt
    Bengaluru
    Karnataka
    India

  5. Mr Mohapatra was an outstanding Baha’i teacher from Odisha India. Myself Chhabi Nayak and my dear wife Sarada,had the privilege to spend special moments of our early days of Baha’i life with him.

    We have very beautiful experience with him during mass teaching in Rayagada, one of the tribal district of Odisha. And later on he visited many times when I was in my pioneering place. His visit was a source of inspiration for me to serve the Faith of Baha’u’llah with enthusiasm. His love, his inspiration will be cherished in our heart forever.

    Chhabi and Sarada,
    Odisha,
    India

  6. My dear brother Pitamboro,
    Your article on this humble yet great servant of the Blessed Beauty is most inspiring and moving. I vividly remember going to your estate in Ulu Pedas, where there were large number of Orrisa believers, including Biskumar, conducted deepening programmes there in the late seventies.

    Dr. Munje-I remember him very well,when he came to Kuantan town in the early eighties. He conducted a special deepening programme in my house. He was such an erudite scholar, who could quote from the Indian scriptures in Sanskrit just like that.

    May God bless Mohapatra

    Professor Dr. Ananthan Krishnan
    Puchong
    Malaysia

  7. Dear Pitam Uncle,

    Thanks for penning this heart touching story of Uncle Ugrasen Mohapatra. His village is just 5 kilometres far from my own village Lambilo. He started his professional career as a tuition teacher for class 1 to 10 in my village and also he started his Baha’i teaching in my village.

    So, all the people of my village including me and my family became very close with Uncle Mahapatra. We addressed him Chhota Sir. He is such a very wonderful and kind-hearted person. I started my Baha’i careertoo with him. When I was doing Baha’i service as Cluster Co-ordinator, I never forget his support and guidance in the early days.

    He was very spiritual and knowledgable. Sometimes he also cracked jokes with his friends and told funny stories. He was always a smiling and friendly person. To me, he was an ideal Bahai. I never forget his Baha’i dedication and sacrifices of his whole life for the Faith.

    On many times he stayed in our house. My father, Mr. Chandra Sekhar Pradhan was his very good friend. In the initial days they both served together in so many villages in the state of Odisha. My family is so blessed to spend time with this great person.

    We are praying for his pure soul. May the Blessed Beauty shower His blessings upon his pure soul.

    Towards the end of his day I had to unfortunately leave Odisha for my profession in Delhi. But he always lives in my heart. Even now, I became so emotional when I remember his days.

    All my love to him and his family and friends.

    Thanks and Regards…
    Biswaranjan Pradhan
    Delhi

  8. Pitamboro,
    Thanks a lot for translating into writing the spirit of a great teacher of our Cause. It was a pleasure working with him as a coordinator of Junior Youth and then as a Secretary of the State Bahai Council. He always inspired me and my friends for the teaching activities. We used to get him where ever questions arose regarding the comparison of Faith with Hinduism. I was fortunate that he was my tutor for book 6. We belonged to the same cluster and shared many similarities of traditions. I remembered travelling with him and listening to the stories of incredible teaching efforts in places like Kandhamal and Keounjhar. I have also recorded few videos of him where he spoke about these things with his usual funny way. We all remember him and miss him.
    Thanks for the entire history of Odisha, Pitam bhai.
    Dr. Surya Prakash
    Odisha

  9. Dear Uncle Pitam,

    I was really uplifted reading your story about Mr. Mahapatra who was an outstanding teacher of the Faith. His association with my father Mr. Nirmal Chandra Sahoo was very close. Both have laboured for His Cause in many places in Odisha. In the Koraput Amatul Baha Project both were together leading different groups. My mother Mrs. Annasuya Sahoo and Aunty Sarada Sahoo participated in that project as valiant soldiers. The story refreshes my memories thinking what sacrifices Mr. Mahapatra has made taking the healing message of Baha’u’llah to the masses.

    I pray to Baha’u’llah for the progress and blessings of his soul in the realm of God.

    Thank you
    Martha Sahoo

  10. Dear Mr. Pitamboro

    I read your story on Mr. Mohapatra, and must say that I was very impressed! How much he had sacrificed his all to the Faith, especially while in the teaching fields and all the Teaching Projects! It reminds me of myself being so eager to learn more about the Faith in the early 1970s. When I was in Tonga Island many decades ago, getting Baha’i books to read and attending public talks of prominent travelling teachers such as Hand of the Cause of God Dr Muhajir, Dr Peter Khan, Mrs. Munsiff and Continental Board of Counsellors was very educational and inspiring. Dr Muhajir visited Tonga Island twice and he was the one who introduced the Teaching Project to the local people. From that project, about 500 people enrolled into the Faith and many Local Spiritual Assemblies were established. Mohapatra’s story reminds me of many similar things that happened in Tonga. On rare occasions we had walked home from firesides held in villages that were some 10 kilometres away. But it was all fun!

    These things came to my mind when I read his story
    God bless his soul. He is my hero and I salute to him.

    Kalo Fakatou
    California

  11. Thank you for sharing this precious story of Mr. Mohapatra
    I really enjoy reading every one of them. Mohapatra’s amazing steadfastness and his reliance on God, despite his limitations to spread the word of God are simply exemplary

    Forogh Hajijafar
    Perth
    Australia

  12. 𝘜𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘴𝘦𝘯 𝘔𝘰𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘳𝘢 was a 𝘉𝘢𝘩𝘢’𝘪 𝘷𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘯 𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘳 who 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘎𝘰𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘵𝘸𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘺 𝘧𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦. 𝘏𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘥 𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘵𝘭𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘣𝘢𝘭 𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘦.

    𝘐𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘴 a 𝘮𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘢 𝘱𝘰𝘰𝘳 𝘧𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘢𝘤𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘮𝘪𝘤 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘨𝘰𝘵 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘫𝘰𝘣𝘴.

    𝘜𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘴𝘦𝘯 𝘔𝘰𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘳𝘢 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘉𝘢𝘩𝘢’𝘪 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘵. 𝘐𝘯 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘉𝘢𝘩𝘢’𝘪 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 us with 𝘉𝘢𝘩𝘢’𝘪 𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘴.

    𝘏𝘪𝘴 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘯 𝘢𝘭𝘴𝘰 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘴𝘵s and 𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘷𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘭𝘥𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘩𝘭𝘺 𝘴𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘳𝘺.

    𝘈 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 ago 𝘔𝘰𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘳𝘢, 𝘔𝘳 𝘗𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘮𝘣𝘳𝘰 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘺𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧 were involved 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘣𝘢𝘭 𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 in the 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘒𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘪, 𝘋𝘩𝘦𝘯𝘬𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘭, 𝘒𝘦𝘰𝘯𝘫𝘩𝘢𝘳, 𝘒𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘶𝘵, 𝘎𝘢𝘯𝘫𝘢𝘮 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘙𝘢𝘺𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘳𝘩. 𝘞𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘥 𝘴𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘭 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘭 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘴 𝘢𝘵 𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 carried out 𝘷𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 on 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘉𝘢𝘩𝘢’𝘪 𝘍𝘢𝘪𝘵𝘩.

    𝘚𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦s 𝘸𝘦 𝘫𝘰𝘪𝘯ed 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘷𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘱, 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧 𝘎𝘰𝘥’𝘴 𝘕𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘥𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘷𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦.

    𝘔𝘰𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘳𝘢 gave 𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘢𝘨𝘦, for 𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘍𝘢𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘰𝘧 𝘎𝘰𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘓𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘚𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘈𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘭𝘺 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨….

    𝘈𝘭𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦d 𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘭𝘪𝘮𝘣 𝘮𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯ous 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘎𝘰𝘥….

    Nirmal Sahoo
    Harichandanpur
    Keonjhar
    Odisha
    India

  13. Dear Mr Pitamboro
    What a great story of a very great servant of Bahaullah.

    My general view on the story makes me think Mr Mahopatra is somewhat an unnamed Knight of Bahá-u-llah! He was selfless and devoted! He had the love of Bahá-u-llah in him and he was very bold in teaching the Faith! Me may not be very highly educated, but his qualification was from the teachings of the Faith. Me may have passed away as a poor man by earthly standards, but he was very rich with the love of Bahaullah in his heart.

    Ayok Tanyi
    Cameroon
    Africa

  14. Dear brother,
    I would like to share my comments from the recollection your wrote on Ugraseno Mahapatro from Odissa. My sister Provasini and I got an opportunity to go to Odissa in India as a travel teacher for 3 months . We landed at the BAHAI Centre at Bhubaneswar and after some time were told to go to a village name Lambilo mentioned in your story in Nimapara area. We stayed there for one month, conducting children class and involved in teaching activiites.

    But before going there we met Mr. Ugrasena Mahapatra in the Bhubaneswar Bahai Center. He was a man of humility and a wonderful human being. He was very glad to know that we coming from Malaysia. I still could still feel the hospitality he showed to my sister and me.

    Obviously he is happy today in the realm of God receiving divine blessings and confirmations.

    Thank you
    Nilamboro
    Bahau
    Malaysia

  15. Dear brother

    It is a well written piece on a unsung hero. It is very inspirational to read about him and the sacrifices he made. I am sure Baha’u’llah is well pleased with him and with you for taking the time to remember him.

    Thanks
    Maya Karuppiah
    Seramban
    Malaysia

  16. Thank you so much Mr. Pitamboro for sharing the wonderful story of Mr.Ugrasena Mohapatra.

    It is truly inspiring. Undeniably Mohapatra is aa wonderful servant of Baha’u’llah. Thank you Pitamboro for bringing out this hidden gem to the fore through your story

    The Oddissa people from one of the ethnic groups in India have settled in the then Malaya during the time of the British. Many were settled in Negeri Sembilan especially in the surroundings of Bahau town, working in rubber plantations.

    There was intensive teaching in the early days of the Faith and many accepted the Faith of Baha’u’llah. One well known place is Jeram Padang Estate. (That is comparable to Patani Para Estate, near Sungai Petani in northern state of Kedah.) Jeram Padang was a place which had many years of intense Baha’i activities, which was frequently reported in Baha’i newsletters. I remember, during Baha’i conferences, summer and winter schools, Baha’i prayers were said and songs were sang in the Oddissa language. They were a very active group of believers who were very active and seen in all conferences.

    I myself was in Seremban town for five years and came to know many Oddissa people, Baha’is and non -Baha’is. They are a very friendly people. Over the years, many Oddissa people moved to other places in search of better prospects and careers. Others got married and settled with their spouses in other states. But the believers are actively serving in their new found-communities.

    Selvam Elumalai
    Johor Baru
    Malaysia

  17. Dear Mr. Pitamboro

    I read your story on the late Ugrasena Mohapatra. I had known him as a simple Baha’i of simple and master in field teaching. He had the ability of handling any opposition or odd situation with wisdom .

    I have had the opportunity of going through Ruhi books one , two and four under his able tutorship. I noticed that during study sessions he gave so many fine examples related to the passages in the Ruhi books.

    I shall always remember him as a very simple person who had understood the Mission of Bahaullah and dedicated his life in the path of service.

    Susant Naik
    Lambilo
    Nimapara
    Orissa
    India

  18. Dear Mr. Pitamboro,
    Indeed a very beautiful story highlighting the noble services of Mr. Mohapatra. Thank you for writing this beautiful tribute to our Mohapatra Babu.

    I remember meeting Mr. Mohapatra many times and having many conversations with him on Baha’i Faith, science, technology, music and his travel teaching trip adventures in Odisha.

    I once had the priviledge of being with Mr. Mohapatra during one of his teaching trips in Deogarh district of Odisha in the year 1996. We both traveled on a two-wheeler and it was a memorable experience. During this day trip we visited many villages in the district and met many Bahais and new people.

    Accessing these villages through muddy, undeveloped, bumpy and sometimes very narrow roads and pathways was a constant challenge and needed me to muster all my scooter driving skills and these were the same pathways that Mr. Mohapatra traversed regularly on his own. A person would have easily got lost in these dense jungle pathways but Mr. Mohapatra knew every road and pathway details and through his guidance we took the shortest route to the villages that we visited. During this trip it was really admirable to see Mr. Mohapatra in action and see the respect and love that people showed him.

    The memories of Mr. Mohapatra and his services to the cause will always be an inspiration to us all.

    Foad Motalebi
    Miri
    Sarawak
    Malaysia

  19. Thank you Mr. Pitam for sharing a very uplifting story about Mr. Mohapatra.

    Although I do not know him personally, reading his selfless devotion and sacrifices for the growth of the beloved Cause inspired me so much.
    The story of Mr. Mohapatra will be a great inspiration for the Baha’i Oriya Community in Malaysian and elsewhere.

    Rajeshary Leculo
    Rembau
    Negeri Sembilan
    Malaysia

  20. Hi Uncle Pitam,
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful journey of Mr. Ugrasena Mohapatra.

    It has really given me such an inspiration on the kind of Bahai life one has to live. I really enjoyed reading each part of his story.

    He is an amazing person and fully dedicated to the service in the Cause of Baha’u’llah

    Satish
    Nilai
    Malaysia

  21. Dear Pitamboro
    Thanks for introducing us to Mohapatra whose simple but God-intoxicated life was the source of much inspiration in Odisha. It was indeed a very moving experience reading about his devoted Services to the Cause.

    May the Blessed Beauty shower his soul with abundant Grace

    Alex Jacob
    Seychelles

  22. It is an inspiring story of humble being and elegantly composed piece on an uncelebrated yet truly great individual. It is persuasive to find out about him and the penances he made. Mr. Mohapatra was a particularly true, basic and sensible devotee who was devoured by the fire of affection for the Bahaullah. He makes certain to be recalled in the domains above by Bahaullah as the Blessed Beauty has vowed to recollect the individuals who notice Him while on earth. May the spirit of Mohapatra gather the unfathomable love from Bahaullah in the Abha Paradise.

    Thank you,

    Navin Kumar Vikneswaran
    Kuala Selangor
    Malaysia

  23. My dear Baha’i brother, Mr. Pitamboro K.N.

    Just now I finished reading in one sitting after my lunch your fantastic and wonderful story on Ugrasena Mohapatra.

    After reading this story, I understand that Mr. Mohapatra was really detached from this physical world and much attached to the Spiritual World. He has done well as a travel teacher in Odissa. He was a true lover of Baha’u’llah and dedicated his entire life in serving the Cause of Baha’u’llah. Even though his family members did not allow for the Baha’i funeral, his name is already written in the Book of Names and he is sure to have attained a very blissful place in the Abha Paradise. This is also one the greatest stories, which touched my heart indeed.

    While reading the story I came across names of some prominent believers whom I know as well. Dr. H.M Munje, Mr. Afshin, Dr. Vasudevan Nair and Mr. R. N. Shah Mr. Javanmardi, Mr. Moghpulpour, Mr. Taraz Mottalebi, Dr. Jiten Mishra, Mr. Surendra Nayak and Mrs. Sima Mottalebi.

    The world is small.

    Jaya Raju Thota
    Greater Visakhapatnam
    Andhra Pradesh
    INDIA

  24. Mr Pitamboro
    That was indeed a very inspiring story about our beloved Urgasena Mohapatra. He is a real legend of the Faith in his own way. A tireless servant of the Faith who seems to have loved the Cause more than his own self. What a dedication and what a sacrifice in the path of God.

    His selfless service always remembered by Odisha Bahais in Odisha state and abroad, not forgetting the worldwide Bahai community.

    Gurubaria Johar Nath
    Segamat
    Malaysia

  25. I would like to congratulate and thank Uncle Pitamboro for writing such a wonderful and inspiring story of the noble soul of Mr. Mohapatra and helping us recognize his selfless and dedicated service in the Cause of God.

    This story will definitely inspire many souls and will teach every one of us to remain steadfast in our belief until our last breath. Many noble souls have proved their steadfastness in serving the Cause and due to their sacrifices the Faith has flourished and Mr. Mohapatra is one of them.

    I am sure the pure and humble soul of Mr. Mohapatra must have attained the highest position. I pray for the whole mankind that every soul recognizes the station of Baha’u’llah and remain steadfast and serve selflessly like Mr. Mohapatra did.

    This is the best tribute for Mr. Ugrasena Mohapatra, that many generations will be inspired through this story and he is still teaching the Faith from the Spiritual world.

    Thank you.
    Tahirih Singh
    Gorakhpur
    Uttar Pradesh
    India

  26. Dear Pitamboro,
    I read your story on Mr. Mohapatra which is very inspiring. His dedication and selfless work in the Cause of Baha’u’llah is exemplary and he is a true travel teacher who with very little means and basic education was able to reach the masses in Odissa. Your story also highlights the story of a believer who has fallen in love with the Blessed Beauty and is the center of his life.

    Let me also say that we are very proud of you and your teaching work in Odissa and elsewhere. I still remember the days in Batu Bersawah in Bahau, Negri Sembilan, Malaysia when we started the childrens classes in 1966 or 67 when about 10 children attended including you. We used Hand of the Cause Dr.Mohajer’s book as a guide but it deepened us on Progressive Revelation.Who knew at that time that you will blossom as a key believer, become active in the Cause, pioneer to India a few times, return and continue the work of the Cause. Although we have not met for a while because I was posted out of Malaysia in 1995, I still remember you and the other friends from Batu Bersawah and enquire about them.
    You sharing the story of Mr. Mohapatra and your travel teaching with him also shows how much of work you have done in your pioneering post.

    What a great bounty and opportunity from Baha’u’llah.

    Thank you
    C. Kanagaratnam
    Scottsdale
    Arizona
    USA

  27. Dear brother Pitam,
    I was really inspired after reading your beautiful story on the late Ugrasana Mohapatra.

    After reading about the unsung hero of the Faith, Mahapatra reminds me of the early believers of the Odissa background from Malaysia. I remember you and your brother Biskumar whose sacrificial services as pioneers to India from the mid 1970 till 1990.
    The Mahapatra was an outstanding and humble lover of the Blessed Beauty, who eagerly volunteered to work in any project given by the institution. All his efforts were crowned with success. Therefore, praying for Divine outpourings for him in the realm of God.

    Thank you
    Ringo@ Rengadhar
    Seramban
    Malaysia

  28. Dear Mr. Pitamboro
    If we read the Baha’I history of Odisha, we see that Ugrasen Mohapatra was a shining star as a travel teacher. Through his dedication and restless teaching of the Cause, the Cause of Bahaullah flourished into many different communities. He had travelled to many different parts of Odisha including rural and urban areas and established the foundations for several vibrant Baha’i communities.

    Because of his keen knowledge in the Faith and meaningful conversations, different backgrounds of people accepted Bahaullah as Manifestation of God for this day. He had also strong memory power. He could easily remember the names of the friends in many communities. I had the privilege to serve the Faith with him for long periods. I have seen him in the meetings. His ways of teaching the Cause was so excellent and appropriate. Till his last breath the teaching culture was with him. He had less time for his family as his ambition was to serve the Cause more and more.

    He was a truly shining star of the Bahai Community in Odisha.

    Thanking you.
    Taranga Dash
    Sundargarh
    Odisha

  29. Dear Uncle Pitam

    That was truly a beautiful and inspiring story of a wonderful servant of Baha.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Adib Nava
    Papua New Guinea

  30. Dear Pitham Dhoda,

    Your narration took me to almost meeting him in person kind of experience, with so much life in this story. I have always been fascinated by such heroes who would go anywhere for the sake of the Faith. And Mohapatra volunteered first before others, especially in those remote tribal settlement.

    In your testimony you say that he became very active in his new-found Faith and never lagged behind in any Bahá’í activities. That is the perfect picture of a great servant of God. His commitment and devotion were for God alone, and he did not seem to be afraid of his community talks in which he is very strongly involved.

    He was certainly chosen by Bahá’u’lláh to serve the Cause. Though from a Hindu background, he could see the return of Krishna in Baha’u’llah. The story of his life shows that he had already sought the Message even before he enrolled into the Faith.

    Me. Ugrasena Mohapatra once lived in the past, but is very much alive in our history.

    My humble prayer for the progress of his soul that shines brighter in the Eternal Realm.

    Thank you for this inspiring article and bringing the importance of service especially teaching the Faith. It was truly very interesting and was an inspiration to me.

    Roshanh Matho
    Ulu Jelai, Pahang
    Malaysia

  31. A wonderful story well-told. The Baha’i Faith is a natural progression of ‘Hindu’ Faith as of all others. God is one, therefore religion is one as well. The Baha’i Faith unites all and respects all past avatars. Those who follow the Manifestation of God and promote God’s cause are blessed indeed. May God guide Mahapatra’s soul in all the divine worlds.

    Anil Sarwal
    Chandigarh

  32. Thank you Mr Pitamboro for writing about our late Mr Ugrasena Mohapatra. I met him at Baha’i House in Bhubaneswar during my first visit to Odisha in 1986, after the Dedication of the BahaiTemple in New Delhi, India.

    It’s soul stirring to read the story of such a dedicated soul, whose efforts and sacrifices are bringing about victories in the area he served. His sacrificial services will be remembered in his home state Odisha. Mr Mohapatra was such a humble, sincere and very simple person who was consumed by the fire of love for Baha’u’llah. He will be remembered in the realm of the Blessed Beauty. May the soul of Mr Mohapatra will bring him blessings in the Kingdom of God.

    Ponchannanu Sahoo
    Ipoh Perak
    Malaysia.

  33. My Dear Uncle Pitam..

    It was with great sacrifice that Uncle Mohapatra has undertaken the teaching activities in Odisha. I could imagine every difficulties he went through, but he still went with full trust in God, knowing the Almighty will guide him with any challenge that he would face!

    Abdu’l’ Baha says,Look at me, follow me..Be as I am Abdu’l’Baha.. Abdu’l’Baha.

    Many friends have sacrificed in the teaching field in Odisha and Uncle Mohapatra is one who stands out.

    May his soul rest in peace in the Abha Kingdom

    My sincere love
    Rayol Haridass Holodhoro
    Brazil

  34. If one has to mention the names of a few devoted teachers of the Baha’i Faith in Odisha, the name of Mr. Ugrasena Mahapatra will surely head the list. Mr. Ugrasena Mahapatra limped while walking, but nevertheless he walked for several hundred miles, including the remotest parts of of ODisha for teaching the Cause of Baha’u’llah and deepening the new believers. He spent several months in difficult places and confronted all oppositions and challenges. He was quite soft -spoken, yet able to attract the hearts of listeners and was always a source of guidance for many souls to be connected to the Day Star of God’s Revelation for this age.

    His living was quite economical. He never had more than just two pairs of shirts and trousers and walked with slippers only. Over 90% of his daily conversations was about Bahaullah and His Cause. Since he believed in Bahaullah he remained devoted and steadfast till his last breath.

    I was fortunate to have met him often during 1986 – 89 period while serving as the Secretary of the State Baha’i Council of Odisha. He listened to people with humility and never argued to prove himself right.

    I pray for his noble soul to progress in all the Kingdoms of God.

    Banamali Jena
    Panchgani
    India

  35. Dear uncle Pitamboro,

    I have read about the history of Mr.Mohapatra during your pioneering time in Odisha.It was really uplifting and inspiring story for all of us.

    It is good to know that there were Malaysian Odisha Bahais who had been pioneering in Odisha in 1977. At that time, I was just 2 years old.

    I would like to emphasis that the world needs more Bahais like Mr. Mohapatra. We need people to sacrifice as the way he did. It is sad to hear what is happening in the world.People are simply chasing for name, fame and recognition until they lose balance and forget their relationship with friends and family. Spiritual education is essential to bring all human being to be as Mr. Mohapatra who brought divine teachings into many villages of Odisha.

    Mr. Mohapatra is a true hero who never sought name or fame. He served for the love of Bahaullah and is sure to be remembered in heaven.

    As a Bahai of Odisha background in Malaysia I had never been to the land of Odisha, though I was in other parts of India for 5 years. After reading the story on Mohapatra I desire to go there sometime to visit my native place and Odisha people one day.

    Thank you for inspiring me and sharing the story.

    Regards
    Saronjoni D Leculo
    Indonesia

  36. Dear Mr. Pitamboro,

    I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to you for publishing such a beautiful article on the life of Mr.Ugrasena Mohapatra, an outstanding believer from the state of Odisha, India.

    While I am truly grateful to Mr.K.N.Pitamboro for collecting various memorable stories related to the unforgettable life of Mr.Mohapatra and for compiling them so beautifully, I would also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge that it would not have been possible to let the Baha’i world know about this unknown hero of our Faith, who served the Blessed Beauty all his life with absolute love and dedication in Odisha, without your active support, encouragement and assistance.

    Loving greetings
    Dr. Jiten Mishra
    New Delhi
    India.

  37. Dear Mr. Pitamboro
    Thanks a lot for your article on the life of dear Mr. Ugrasena Mohapatra. It is truly inspiring and well written. That you have traced the story of Mr. Mohapatra from the time he accepted the Faith to the end of his precious life, in such an inspiring manner, deserves great appreciation.

    The consecration, zeal, and courage with which Mr. Ugrasena carried the healing Message of Baha’u’llah to the masses, especially in the tribal areas of Odisha, is indeed exemplary. His capacity to readily connect with the masses, his learning attitude and the resultant victories speak of the Divine confirmations that descend on those who arise with determination to teach the Blessed Cause of God.

    There is no doubt that the radiant soul of Mr. Ugrasena Mohapatra will be richly blessed with abundant progress in the worlds beyond.

    Rasheed.L.
    Chennai, India

  38. Blessed is Ugrasena Mohapatra, the works of this inspiring soul inspired me. Salute to him. The boundless love he had for Baha’u’llah was so great that he sacrificed his time and energy for teaching the Odisha people in lndia with no rest. Always willing to do more for the Cause and spread the glad tidings. Such great soul with zealous dedication. He was a selfless and an inspiring servant of God. No one can ever thwart his will to teach the Words of God ever since he declared himself a Bahai. For those who have read his story will no doubt feel inspired and want to do more for the Faith. His spirit will assist us from the Abha Kingdom.

    Personally, l have mingled with the Odisha people who are Bahais in Bahau, Rembau and Seremban towns in Negeri Sembilan state. That was how l got to first meet Pitamboro when l attended his brother, Nilamboro son’s wedding in Bahau. I can see Pitamboro is a great writer as well.

    Thank You
    Diong Lair King@ Didi
    Kuala Pilah
    Malaysia

  39. The story is very inspiring, though much is unknown to me about Mr. Ugrasena Mopatra.

    The story depicts his devotion and dedication towards the Faith and love for Baha’u’llah. I am certain that there are many more untold tales of such soldiers of Baha’u’llah (like this one) who were the frontiers who invaded many communities spiritually and planted the seeds of the Faith in many souls which laid the foundations for the early communities.

    Thank you Mr. Pritam for compiling such a wonderful story. The life of Mr. Ugrasena will inspire many generations.

    Thank you
    Swapan Sinha
    Indore
    India

  40. Dear Pitamboro,
    Your story on Mr. Mohapatra is very interesting and inspiring. He has definitely set a good example for the current generation and generations to come on how one has to love the Blessed Beauty and serve His glorious Cause. Very seldom had I read of such a simple man rising to such lofty heights in the service in the Vineyard of the Lord.

    I came to know about you at the secondary school during 1972 and 1973 as a very hard-working and dedicated student, equally devoted to the Bahai Faith. l used to wonder how under such a harsh condition of poverty you could manage to complete your studies and at the same time fulfilled your pioneering work.

    Now I see you as a great writer. You have evolved very much and I see a hidden talent in you. Looking forward to reading more stories from you in this popular blog.

    Well done Pitamboro! You have made us proud

    Neng Soi Sang
    Seremban
    Malaysia

  41. Dear Pitamboro,
    it’s a privilege to read the noble service rendered by a selfless soul. Mr Ugrasena Mohapatra is definitely a priceless jewel in the precious cause of BAHA’U’LLAH. Many thanks to you for penning down his life long service to our beloved cause. It touches my heart n provide great inspiration to all. He is truly an exemplary to all of us. May his soul occupied the highest realm in the Ahba Kingdom.

    Lee Khiong
    Mentakab
    Malaysia

  42. Dear Pitam,
    I sincerely appreciate your candid narration of Late Mr. Ugrasena Mahapatra, which really refreshed my 40 over years old memories of teaching the Cause in Orissa (now Odisha).

    It was 21st February 1978, when I first arrived at Rampur Town in Kalahandi District of Orissa in order to join the ongoing Kalahandi Tribal Teaching Project.

    I was then taken to the project base at Kamarda, a remote village in Kalahandi where overtime I met numerous vibrant and enthusiastic teaching project volunteers, one of whom was Mr. Mohapatra. We served alongside each other in various teaching projects for a few years, until I left for Gujarat State in June of 1981.

    l had the great privilege of walking the path of service of our beloved Cause of God alongside Mr. Mohapatra and will surely remember the fond memories of participating in various teaching projects and activities together for a long time to come.

    Mr. Ugrasena Mohapatra was a very humble , dedicated and devoted believer of Baha’u’llah who ceaselessly served the Cause of God throughout his life. May his soul continue to progress in the Eternal Realm of God.

    Biskumar Lobo
    Selangor
    Malaysia

  43. Dear Uncle Pitam,

    Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story of Mr. Mohapatra, who was a devoted servant of Bahaullah and sacrificed his whole life in promoting the Faith. He reminds me of a few friends from Batu Bersawah estate in Bahau suchb as Uncle Mariappan and Uncle Nilam who were constantly visiting our family and say prayers.

    Eventually, my mother accepted the Faith, and lots of Bahai activity were held at my home. In the 1980’s Batu Bersawah Estate become one of the strong Baha’i communities in Negeri Sembilan state. I must say that you were also one of the inspiration to my family. I remember when you just back from Odisha for a short visit in 1984, you were sharing your teaching experiences which moved my mother to be a home front pioneer to Simpang Pertang and eventually forming a Local Spiritual Assembly there. Later in 1990, I was inspired to pioneered to Guyana, South America. I remember Uncle Nilam and Akka Provashini who also went to Odisha for travel teaching. Batu Bersawah has produced dedicated Bahais. In a way, Mr Mohapatra and you and a few others brought the spirit into the Batu Bersawah community.

    Thank you for the soul stirring story of Mahapatra. Praying the Almighty God showers blessings upon his soul in the Realms of God

    Rajamanikam Velu
    Kuala Lumpur
    Malaysia

  44. Dear brother,

    I am very gad to read your post. From your writing it is transparent about your sentiments for Ugrasan sir. He was very amiable and compassionate towards Baha’i faith. He was my teacher in school and even he taught me about Baha’i faith and Baha’i teachings when I was a child. He inspired many youngsters about Baha’i faith and preached about Baha’i faith through his magical way of teaching. His contributions for Odisha Baha’i faith cannot be described within the 26 alphabets. He cannot be ignored from the history of Odisha Baha’i faith. Ugrasan sir is a magnificent and unforgettable personality in whole Odisha Baha’i history. But he is not with us to support us. Whole Odisha Baha’i community is missing him. He is even immortal within our heart.

    I pray to the almighty God for the peace of his soul

    Thank you

    Kabindranath Nayak

  45. Dear Uncle Pitam,

    I would say that I was very much uplifted and impressed by this story of Ugrasena Mohapatra, whom I never known in person. Being of Orissa background myself, is a great pleasure to know him, and am very glad to know such a hero served the Cause of Baha’u’llah with distinction and courage. I believe he was not merely an outstanding Baha’i but very firm and steadfast in the Cause. Life of such a valiant soul be recorded for posterity, as it will remain a primary source for future historians.

    He is surely to be remembered with so much of sacrifices and challenges undertaken during those times in a very isolated part of India.

    His involvement in the teaching field and his life achievement has a long list of firsts in many aspects of the growth of the Baha’i Faith in Odisha. He served in various capacities in the Institution of the Faith.

    Ugrasena Mohapatra’s story of his humility will remain in the hearts of the early believers.

    Thank you with Regards
    Nazanin Krishna
    Seremban
    Malaysia

  46. Dear Pitam bhai,
    I am extremely happy that you have made an entry to the site of the ever popular Baha’i Recollections Blog through writing a moving story of a prominent Baha’i Mr. Ugrashen Mohapatra and his activities in the field of teaching. I have had the privilege of meeting Mr. Mohapatra several times. He used to come to my house very often, and we used to have prayer and devotional together. At that time I was studying in a High school. He used to attend the Nineteen Day Feasts in our community. He used to give inspiring talks and share his ideas with the believers. He used to love me as his younger brother. He loved to stay in our family. Whenever he came to our community, he used to stay here for at least 5 days. He used to go to neighborhood communities for the teaching activities with my brother Bhagirathi Das. The communities he had visited includes Tirimal, Bajapur, Chattipur, Awlajodi and Kuradhmal.

    As you have mentioned about the Kalahandi teaching trip, my late father Dinabandhu Das, my late mother Dhanamani Das and my younger sister Abha accompanied the group to Kalahandi and stayed there about three months with them. No doubt it was all wonderful remembrance. Wherever these blessed souls went they will shower their blessings upon the residents there. May Baha’u’llah bless everyone who served Him.

    Thank you for putting on record of one of the great heroes of the Cause from Odisha.

    Bipin Das
    Taraboi
    Odisha
    India

  47. Dear Pitam,

    Remembering Beloved Ugrasena Mohapatra is a well-written story that truly portrays his life and legacy.

    He was a steadfast servant of the Cause of God. His devoted services, guidance and contributions to the communities in the Phulbani, Kalahandi, Koraput, Dhenkanal and Ganjam districts are never lost from history. Let his illumined soul progress throughout all the worlds of God.

    I am happy to be spiritually connected with Mohapatra in the field of teaching. In the year of December 1987 I did a small part of travel teachings in the district of Ganjam, and stayed in the village of Muzagoda for one month. I carried out teaching activities and had interactions with village headmen, families, government staff and headmaster.. None of them knew about the Baha’i Faith. I taught them the Faith and shared our beliefs on the world -embracing Faith. Peoples were receptive and asking questions.

    All the best and regards
    Satio Bano
    Seramban
    Malaysia

  48. Pitamboro bhai,

    What a pleasant surprise! I have known you as a fellow believer, and now you have evolved into a prolific writer.

    Your inspiring article on an unsung hero Mr. Ugrasena Mohapatra is a story of a true servant of Baha’u’llah. He had dedicated almost a quarter century of his life to Cause of God, all with utter devotion, humility and sacrifice. The soul of such a pure servant is sure to progress in the Eternal Realm of God. The life of Mr. Ugrasena Mohapatra will serve as an inspiration many generations.

    Teaching the Faith in the tribal districts in the state of Odisha, as mentioned by you, had witnessed mass teaching and entry by troops took place in the 1970s. The Malaysian Baha’i Odisha community has produced and sent pioneers and travel teachers to India. I could off hand remember yourself, Mr. Biskumar, Mr. Nilamboro, Mr. Pochannanu, Mr.Ruhito and Miss Provasani. Yes, we have a sizeable number of Odisha community in Malaysia. All our ancestors came from Odisha. The origin of my ancestors are traced back to Baliguda of the Phulbani district.

    Words of appreciation to you for compiling such a wonderful story and connecting the Malaysian Odisha believers with their original roots in India is commendable.

    Keep writing more stories such as this.

    Thank You.

    Ravi Upendra
    Kota Kinabalu
    Sabah
    Malaysia

  49. Ugresena Mohapatra was a outstanding servant of Baha’u’llah. So detached from all earthly belongings. May his blessed soul soar in the Abha kingdom. He was a example for odissa community. In spite of handicapped…. he traveled almost all the parts of Odissa as a pioneer and travel teacher. Most of the time he walked.

    I remember those days…..my first teaching trip to Denkanal district along with my sister Sharda, brother Dr Nirmal ch Sahoo, Sister in law Mrs Anusuya Sahoo, Mr Pitamboro, Mrs Kalpana and some other friends. We were blessed to have Mr Ugresena Mohapatra in our team. My first teaching trip was with Mr Mohapatra. He had a tremendous quality to gather the people and teach the Faith. I personally learnt so many things when I was with him in teaching trip. Really we miss him.

    Bhimsen Sahoo
    Raipur
    Chhattisgarh
    India

  50. Mr.Pitambaro,
    I just finished reading your story about Mr. Ugrasena Mahapatra. It was truly inspiring to know of an unsung hero who lived for the Faith. You have the ability to write so well. Please, you must write about the many other unsung heroes of the Odisha Bahai community of Malaysia. Future generations will be eternally grateful to you. Please do write before it is too late and our memories fade. These will be the stories that will inspire coming generations. I salute you for this wonderful uplifting story about this great soul.
    R. Kanthakumar
    Jitra
    Kedah
    Malaysia

  51. Pitam
    It was my great privilege to teach and serve the Cause with dear Mr. Ugrasan Mohapatra in the beautiful land of Odissa and and to serve in State Baha’i Council as co workers.

    Mohapatra had a great love towards people and mixed with them just like a family member. Despite of lack of communication and transport system we used to travel by bicycle or most of the time walked from one village to another. People at first were doubtful and curious but later on they became loving and friendly. Sometimes we were sleeping in the house of those who opposed the Faith in the beginning. His whole life was spent in serving the Faith as a full time travel teacher. And whenever Institutions asked him for any service, he obeyed without any objection and fulfilled the goals of the plan.

    Thank you
    Touraj Mogbelpour
    Bhubaneswar
    India

  52. Dear Pitam bhai
    Mr Ugrasen Mahapatra was a very humble, sincere and an outstanding Baha’i teacher from Odisha.
    I had the privilege to serve the faith with him. My village Taradapada is near his village of Bijipur, and oftentimes he used to stay at my home. Together we used to go for teaching and home visits.

    I remember once Mr Ugrasen Mahapatra, Mr Sadashiba Rath and I went to the district of Phulbani at Sankara Khol. In the village named Linepada we had to face a very challenging situation while we were serving there. It was such a learning experience to see the way Mr Ugrasena solved the problem with wisdom and courage.

    I got another opportunity to serve the Faith with brother Ugrasen. For almost three months we served in a village named Lepripara in the district of Sundargrah. It was a very memorable experience. He was always like an elder brother to me. He shall always be remembered in the history of the Faith in Odisha.

    Thank you
    Nabakishor Nayak
    Panchgani
    India

  53. Dear Pitam Bhai
    Thank you very much giving for writing on the late Mr Ugrasen Mohapatra.

    Mr. Mohapatra was very close and dear to me. We had gone for many teaching activities in the past. He was champion in field teaching activities, an outstanding Baha’i teacher, very soft-spoken, gentle and humorous. He was a nice and humble human with pure soul. He knew very well how to communicate with people during teaching trips. In those days when we were working for Entry by Troops he proved to be very good in handling, tackling and pacifying people who use to argue or oppose the Faith. He had good knowledge about Baha’i writings and administration. Moreover he was very good in organizing Baha’i meetings within short notices.

    I had the privilege to visit with him many places on many occassions. I remember visiting Sambalpur,Deogarh, Teleibani, Pravasuni and some parts of Western Odisha with him during Ridvan period for re-election of Local Spiritual Assemblies. God will always shower Divine blessings upon his soul.

    With deepest love and regards.

    Pratap Ranjan Sahoo
    Bhubaneswar
    Odisha
    India

  54. This is a moving tribute to a wonderful gentle soul and a teacher of the Faith, Mr. Ugrasena Mohapatra. I will forever be grateful to Pitamboro for writing it. People like Mr. Mohaparta are the true heroes who make the world a better place. Mr. Mohaparta is someone who is worth remembering. Pitamboro and others have done a great job of memorializing Mr. Mohaparta. So, please allow me to share my memories of Mahaparta Babu (That is how I used to refer to him).

    I met Mr. Mohaparta shortly after I became a Bahai in 1979. My first impression of him was: “What a gentle soul”. My second impression was: “He is a natural teacher”. Little did I know then how right I was. Later, I was honored to be appointed to serve on the State Teaching Committee of Odisha. As the State Teaching Committee planned teaching projects and visits to remote areas of the state, it always counted on people like Mr. Mohaparta to volunteer for these assignments. He too had the same motto as the US Coast Guard: “Semper Paratus” – which translate to “Always Ready” in English. Yes, he was always ready.

    Pitamboro’s post brought back a flood of memories. Now, when I look back at my contributions to the Faith, they pale in comparison to Mr. Mohapatra’s. It was truly an honor to have known him and served the Cause with him.

    May God continue to bless this this gentle soul and this teacher of the faith.

    Sincerely,

    Sanjay Mishra
    Alexandria
    Virginia
    USA

  55. Pitamboro Babu!

    Your post on the late Mr. Ugrasena Mohaptra is is indeed an inspiring account of a dedicated servant of the Blessed Beauty. I had met him at Bhubaneswar and also at Nimapda some 15 years ago. I did not realize then that I will always remain a dwarf in front of such a spiritual giant. Your presentation on him will inspire many, including even those who had not met him in the path of services to the Cause.

    My interaction with him was very casual and very brief. His humble and typically Bahai radiant demeanor will ever remain fresh in my memory. He was such a valiant, front-line and disciplined soldier in the Army of Baha’u’llah. He was an exemplar to his fellow workers in the Cause.

    Thank you so much

    Major Sushil Mahapatra (Rtd)
    Shillong
    Meghalaya
    India

  56. Dear Pitamboro,

    That was a very impressive story.Ugrasena Mohapatra lived truly to the exhortation of the Beloved Master. Abdul Baha says in a prayer, “Thy confirmations, which alone can change a gnat into an eagle, a drop of water into rivers and seas, and an atom into lights and suns.”

    I have met this gentleman and a few other Bahais at inter-state programs. It never occurred to me that this very shy and soft spoken servant had played a dynamic role in development of the teaching activities. Reading your story it appears to me that he never wanted to be in the limelight. All he wanted was to serve and serve and serve. These are the kind that make the community and the Faith and our history proud

    Arumugam Munusamy
    Butterworth

  57. Dear Mr. Pitam,

    Your account of the rich life and sacrificial services of the distinguished teacher of the Cause Mr. Mahapatra is much appreciated. It was so inspiring and heart-warming. I had visited Odisha on a number of occasions during 1970s and 1980s. On one such visit we traveled to and stayed in villages around Bhubaneswar for three days and three nights, of which I have beautiful memories. Unfortunately, I am unable to recollect meeting Mr. Mahapatra. But later, I kept hearing about his dedication and consecration to the Cause from Odisha friends. He was a candle that was lit by the hands of Baha’u’llah, and he will no doubt be an inspiration for the believers and new generations to come in that beautiful state.

    With loving greetings

    Dr. Danesh Rowshan
    Solan
    Himachal Pradesh
    India

  58. Dear Pritam Uncle,

    The way you have depicted the life of Mr. Mohapatra is undoubtedly accurate. I did not get much time to know him but my mom and my maternal family was deeply attached to him. He was one of the friends of my maternal grandpa; and my mom as well as my maternal uncle were his students. My mom always says that he was the true embodiment of austerity. His perseverance in the Faith, his dedication for the Cause, and his consistency in service was one of a kind. Even my Dad while he was an Auxiliary Board member and being his companion in service,always remembers him for his contribution in teaching and propagation of the Cause.

    I am really amazed that despite being settled in such a far place, you are still concerned and connected with your ancestral people and places.

    Lots of love from Odisha.

    Deepnkar Swain
    Bhubaneswar
    Odisha
    India

  59. My great appreciation to Mr. Pitamboro for a very well-written account on the remarkable spiritual service rendered by a simple, sincere and humble soul Mr. Ugrasena Mohapatra. In spite of bodily disabilities, he sacrificed most of his life in the spirit of a true pioneer traversing the wilderness, especially to the remotest tribal regions of Odisha. He brought the glad tidings with selflessness, devotional attitude, and boldness, though faced with intense opposition and challenges. Really amazed how within 3 months, 10,000 accepting the Faith with 30 assemblies. Simply unimaginable! Mr Mohapatra will always be a source of inspiration for us and our future generations and pray for the progress of this great soul in the realms of God.
    My childhood days, till finishing high school was also in Jeram Padang Estate, Kepis Division, and the neighboring Batu Bersawah Division, all part of the same group. Mr. Pitam was from the Batu Bersawah Division. We grew up with a large portion of Odisha people here, who were simple, warm, and easy-going thus enabling us to mingle with them intimately learning their cultures, and even learnt to speak their language well. I believe their simplicity and sincerity attracted many of to the Faith.
    After finishing our high school, while most of us were looking for further studies or career. I was really impressed with friends like Mr. Pitamboro and Mr. Biskumar who arose sacrificially as pioneers dedicating their time of prime youth. We should not fail to recognize these friends who underwent great challenges abroad and started all over for livelihood upon returning.

    Subramaniam Govindasamy
    Seremban
    Malaysia.

  60. Hi Pitam,

    Nice to read your story on Mohapatra.

    It is a sacrifice in giving up many things to go pioneering at a young age. We still remember our youth activities in Glendale Estate and your Batu Bersawah Sstate. The Odisha Bahai community was very active in Batu Bersawah Division. The youths from Glendale and Batu Bersawah estates had neck to neck competition to win the Rose of Ridvan Challenge Trophy that was given out by the National Bahai Youth Committee to the all-round youth committee for a particular year. For some consequence years our Youth Committees were always short listed. Glendale estate Youth Committee was winner of the Rose of Ridvan in the year 1974.

    It is really great sacrifices that Mohapatra and yourself have done in the teaching fields in Odisha. I know how tough it is especially with very little cash in hand to travel teach in a foreign land. I myself experienced it when I went for a three – month teaching trip to Tamilnadu, India while I was on study leave. But whatever problems faced, Bahaullah’s blessing was there. Because of these little sacrifices on our part we are now blessed with happy Bahai life.

    Thank you Pitam.

    Raman Pachiappan
    Banting
    Malaysia

  61. Ugrasen Mohapatra was a staunch and active Baha’i. During his life-time he had visited many places of Odisha state and laid the foundation of the Faith in many localities through his untiring efforts. During his travel-teaching in Western Odisha, he visited many districts like Sundargarh, Bolangir , Sambalpur, and Keonjhar Deogarh. In these districts his was a household name as “Mohapatra Sir”. His was a life of service from his young days till death. I had the opportunity of reading Ruhi 1 with him as a Tutor at Ruhi Campaign at Sambalpur. His style of presentation was excellent and he used to quote from different scriptures.

    He was quite a calm and humble person. I have never seen him getting angry. He was always happy and never losing a chance to teach if he found any opportunity. He was quite sociable with people of all ages. On December 2010 he had come to our village Kinikibandha, which happens to be a revenue village of Bandhbahal Gram panchayat of the district of Sundargarh. He had many a dream after seeing the youths of our village. After discussing with the youths on the importance and greatness of this new Faith, he emphasized on the duty of youths towards the construction of the new World Order of Baha’u’llah. We had the opportunity of hosting him as guest at our home for one night. I quite remember the discussions with him on the Writings of Baha’u’llah till late night. One quote out of that “I can make a gnat into an eagle and a drop into one ocean. ” He was always encouraging me saying, ” Anang Babu, have strong faith in Baha’u’llah and you will see the change in your life and attain His blessings. There is no doubt about this. ” At that time it was incomprehensible on my part. Today from the deep core of my heart I offer my sincere prayer for progress of his soul towards Abha Kingdom.

    Lastly I offer my sincere thanks to the Administrators of this Baha’i Recollections Historical Blog for giving me this opportunity to express my feeling for this noble soul.

    Thank you

    Ananga Patel
    Sundargarh
    Odisha
    INDIA

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