Satyanarayaner Panchali

Satyanarayaner Panchali a work of mediaeval Bangla pir (spiritual guide) literature, based on the stories of Satyanarayan or satya pir. After the spread of Islam in Bengal, popular belief of pirs, modelled on Hindu deities, developed among the masses.

This is how the tradition of Satyapir, Satyanarayan, Manikpir, Gazipir and the like evolved. Satyapir is the same person as Satyanarayan; only one is associated with the Hindu and the other with the Muslim community. The story of their births, legends, greatness and vows are almost similar. It is largely because the newly converted Bengali Muslims held on with many of their traditional beliefs and practices. Poet Chandra (late 16th century) is said to be the earliest writer of such panchali (ballad-type poems). The later poets who wrote based on these stories include Ghanaram Chakrabarty, Rameswar Bhattacharya, Dwija Bisweswar, Fakir Chand, Kabi Shankar, Devakinandan, Shibchandra Sen, Bharatchandra Ray. The vangiya sahitya prishad published the works of poet Ballabh as Satyanarayaner Punthi, and they were edited by abdul karim sahityavisharad. [Ali Nawaz]