Tithi of Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva, the father of Assamese society, culture and Language 🙏
Mahapurush Sankardeva was the father of Assamese society,language and culture. In his long life of 120 years, he contributed to the creation of Assamese society in a spiritual base. The Bhakti movement originates from the Vaishnavism, a part of Sanatana Dharma that is devoted to Vagban Vishnu.
The Bhakti movement Sankardev started was based on the Bhagavaga purana ( The Bhagavad Purana is a collection of Vagban Narayan's leela and also it gives insight on different aspects of sadhana ).
Sankardevas teaching was based on Vaishnavism,but regarded bhakti or devotion as primary and vedic sankaras to the secondary position.
At that time, most of the spiritual books or Sastras were not in Assamese. It was available in Sanskrit and only to the brahmanical priests. No general people had access to the Sanskrit sastras. Sankardev translated The Bhgavata Purana into Assamese language. Now, the general Assamese people could understand the Bhagavad- Purana.
At that time around 14th century, in Assam, Shaktism ( Devi Puja) was dominant, since there is shakti pith at Kamakhya temple on Nilachal hill.
Sankadeva was against the extreme ascetism, he taught the Assamese people to live a life with devotion to Vagban Krishna living in the community. Sankardevas teachings were not acceptable for the priests of Ahom kingdom, so he had to move to lower Assam in Barpeta. He established Sattra ( Similar in some aspects of Ashram ) and Namghar ( prayer hall).
Sankardevas disciples grew with time and people from all economic and social condition came to be his disciples. It created a movement in whole Assam, even the Ahom kings started to patronise the Mahapurushia dharma.
Sankardeva is the father of Assamese society, culture and dharma. He united the people from different castes, small community into a larger Assamese community.
Sankardeva wrote many Bargeets ( which are devotional songs about Krishna ) ,but in a fire a lot of them was destroyed. Then Sankardeva's most devout disciple Madhavdeva to wrote Bargeets. Madhavdeva then wrote many beautiful bargeets about Sri Krishna's childhood. Sankardeva wrote the spiritual dramas called "Ankia Nat" , he wrote them in a different language called Brajabali ( a mix of Assamese and Maithali ).
Sankardeva was a great saint of India, he truly had divine personality. From the early age to his death, he was elevating the Assamese society towards divinity and Vagban Krishna's way.
Sankardeva nominated Madhadeva to carry out the teaching of the dharma, after his death in 1568 A.D. at the age 120 in Kochbehar. Madhadeva was also a great saint who took Assamese society towards the spiritual upliftment. Madhavdeva's contribution towards development and uniting the Assamese society is equal to Sankardevas. Assam is always been known as Sankar- Madhava's place.Madhavdeva contribution to Assamese culture, society and literature is immense and Madhavdeva's name will always stay next to Sankardeva. Madhavdeva's "Adikanda" is a short version of Valmiki's Adikanda Ramayana.His " Janma- rahasya " is a theological book on creation of life and earth. He wrote this book on the request of great Chilarai's wife Bhubaneswai. He also wrote " Bhakti Ratnabali" which is about vagban Vishnu and why Bhakti or devotion is the greatest way to Vagban. Madhavdeva's greatest work is " Namaghosha" -which is one of the greatest book in Assamese language and available in most households of Assamese people. Namghosha is a gift of Madhadeva to Assmaese literature, that is a spiritual masterpiece where teaching of Sankardeva, Madhadeva's own spiritual enlightenment, and Krishna devotion is all summed up beautifully.
Madhadeva also wrote 191 Bargeet, which is one of the greatest contribution to the Assamese literature and culture. These bargeets still sung and they are one of the most beautiful devotional songs in the world.
Contribution of Sankardeva and Madhadeva goes hand in hand in the development of Assamese society, language and culture. No one can separate this great Guru -Disciple from the history of Assamese society for they have shown us the way towards bhakti or devotion towards Vagban, the supreme consciousness, that is Krishna consciousness.
On Sankardeva's tithi ( death anniversary), I pray to the Guru, the father of Assamese society,for guidance and blessings. 🙏🙏