Sankaradeva (1449-1568 AD)

  • A socio-religious reformer from Assam during the 15th and 16th centuries.
  • He laid the foundation of Ekasarana Dharma (Neo-Vaishavite movement), where he preached pure devotion to Krishna consisting primarily in the singing (Kirtan) and listening to (Sravan) of his deeds. Radha is not worshipped along with Krishna.
  • His teaching is often known as Bhagvati dharma because they were based on Bhagvad Gita and Bhagvata Purana.
  • He focused on absolute surrender to the supreme leader, Vishnu.
  • Kirtana Ghosh is Sankaradeva‚Äôs famous composition.
  • Madhavdeva, the disciple of Sankaradeva, took this sect forward.

Contributions of Sankaradeva:

  • Foundation of Sattra and Namghars: Sattras are institutional centres (monasteries for congregations). Namghars are prayer houses for congregational worship associated with Sattras.
  • Naam kirtan: Sankaradeva emphasised the need for recitation of names of the lord in sat sanga or congregations of pious devotees.
  • Founded Bhaona: These are plays with religious meaning prevalent in Assam. Also known as Ankiya Naat.
  • Founded Borgeet: They are collection of songs composed by Sankaradeva
  • Founded Brajavali: It was the language used by Sankaradeva for his compositions (Ankiya naat and Borgeet).
  • Founded Sattriya Dance
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