Tribute to Eminent Astrologer Pt. Tikeswar Guru (1935-2023)
A pall of gloom descended in the locality following his untimely death. However, with the nich he has carved among the people of Western Odisha and those who are into astrology because of his education, work and achievements, Tikeswar Guru will continue to live for generations to generations.
TNI Bureau: Balangir’s noted astrologer Pandit Tikeswar Guru is no more. He passed away at the age of 88 yesterday while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar. His last rites were performed today at Balangir’s Bibhutipada based crematory ground. His sons Bollywood Director Ghanteshwar T. Guru and senior journalist Himanshu Guru lit the funeral pyre.
Hundreds of people including his students, well-wishers and intellectuals paid their last respect to Tikeswar Guru.
A pall of gloom descended in the locality following his untimely death. However, with the niche he has carved among the people of Western Odisha and those who are into astrology because of his education, work and achievements, Tikeswar Guru will continue to live for generations to generations.
Tikeshwar Guru was born in Singhanimunda of Balangir on September 29. In order to spread his restlessness and need for knowledge, he left home at the tender age of 7. The next decade was a rollercoaster ride as situations forced him to move from one place to another, one school to another, but he fought against all odds and persisted in his aim of getting education.
After his mother’s death, he returned home and started helping his father till their farmland, but got restless and ventured out again.
After completing his studies at Bidya Bhashan Sankrit College and Sanskrit and Astrology, he began his career as Hindi teacher in a private M.E. School in Kantabanji in 1957. Since then, he has worked in some renowned schools and colleges, namely Datta Traya Highschool- Khariar Road, Secondary Training School- Bhawanipatna, Secondary Training School and Prithwiraj Highschool- Balangir as a Hindi & Sanskrit teacher.
In 1971, he joined his alma mater BidyaBhushan Sanskrit College as lecturer in Astrology, where he taught numerous students and retired on September 30, 1993.
Influenced by the ideology of the RSS, he joined the group in 1952 as a volunteer and took many responsibilities, attended various camps and workshops all over India. Because of his selfless works, he was appointed as District coordinator for Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and vice president of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
Between 1953 and 1954, Tikeswar Guru served as General Secretary, Western Odisha Sanskrit Parishad, Secretary of All India Teachers Association in-charge of Kalahandi. He was involved with Saraswati Sishu Mandir in Balangir as an advisor and member of the teachers’ selection committee from its inception till now.
This apart, Tikeswar Guru played a vital role in conducting the Vidya Vinodini examinations for girls in Balangir and Kalahandi districts of Odisha.
He devoted his entire life for development and promotion of Sanskrit language in Odisha, without any help from any quarter. To equip the youth with knowledge of Sanskrit, he single-handedly established ‘Satya Mahima Sanskrit Vidyapeeth’ in Khaira, Bangomunda, Balangir in 1979, which is now a full-fledged School.
Ramji Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Deolgaon, Patnagarh, Balangir is another school established by him. The Sanskrit School in Harishankar and another one in Deogaon, established by him later turned into high schools. Similarly, he started a Sanskrit School in Loisingha, Balangir exclusively for girls, which is now turned into the Girls High school.
Soon after his retirement, Tikeswar Guru PG Sanskrit College in Balangir in own property with 3 regular lecturers and many guest lecturers that he personally vetted and recruited. A total of 126 students passed out of this college in various subjects like Literature, Grammar, Astrology, Karmakanda (Rituals), Dharma Shastra (Theology), Purana Shastra (Mythology), and working in various institutions today.
As Pracharak of Rashtrabhasha Prachar Samiti, Wardha, for the promotion and development of Hindi language, he personally visited all major schools in Western Odisha and tied up for teaching and conducting various examinations. Thousands benefited and are teaching Hindi at various schools all over Odisha and neighbouring states today. His contribution in preserving our languages has been insurmountable.
As vice president of Western Odisha Brahmin Mahasabha, he successfully arranged “Thread ceremony” for thousands of poor Brahmin boys in a mass thread ceremony and similarly arranged “Mass wedding ceremony” for thousands of boys and girls of poor parents across castes, who can’t afford to marry off their children due to lack of money.
He has been instrumental in translating several books. This includes Poet Ganeshwar Rath Bachaspati Sharma’s Poem collection “Lingarayanam” into Hindi and ‘Gautamiya Tantram’, the Sanskrit manuscript originally written in Sanskrit on a Palm leaf into Odia.
He also read and narrated many manuscripts for All India Radio, Balngir and Sambalpur in Odia, Hindi and Sanskrit. He also worked as a question paper setter, Examiner, member of Syllabus Committee as well as Subject Committee for Utkal Sanskrit Samiti in Puri for various examinations in Sanskrit.
Later, Tikeswar Guru worked as a question paper setter, examiner, invigilator, grader and member of Syllabus Committee as well as Subject Committee for various examinations like Prathama, Madhyama, Shastri and Acharya in subjects like Sanskrit, Astrology and Grammar for Shri Jagannath Sanskrit University, Puri.
Because of his knowledge of Sanskrit, he was selected to be a member of the committee that selected Sanskrit lecturers for Ramadhin Sanskrit College in Ganjam, Shri Jagannath Sanskrit University and Saraswati Sishu Mandir Schools in Balangir district.
In 1974, he started a Sanskrit Academy in Western Odisha – ‘Balangir Sanskrit Parishad’. This Parishad conducts 2 examinations every year in Sanskrit as ‘Balbodh’, ‘Praveshika’, ‘Vinod’ and ‘Abhingya’, which is equivalent to Standard 8th through 12th grades. Around 3500 students appear for these examinations in over 200 centres annually to this day.
In 1975-76, during his stint as the district coordinator of Vishwa Sanskrit Pratishthan and the district president of Lokbhasha Prachar Samiti, Puri, conducted 10 day Sanskrit Sambhashan camps in various schools all over Balangir district to make Sanskrit popular among the students.
More importantly, Tikeswar Guru helped many poor students who can’t afford general education due to lack of money and time, appear for Sanskrit examinations privately.
As the president of Jyotish pandits in Balangir and as per request by Patna Maharaja, he used to fixes the auspicious Lagna or sacred time for the Nuakhai (Harvest Festival).