SANKARADEVA’S CULTURAL VISION AND THE ASSAMESE SOCIETY


In most of the discourses on Mahapurus Srimanta Sankaradeva (1449-1568), the versatile genius is projected chiefly as a religious preacher, viz., the exponent of Vaishnavism in Assam and all his artistic creations are shown as mere means of propaganda. However, that can by no means be the proper evaluation of Sankaradeva.

In Sankaradeva’s time, religion was the source of various socio-cultural disparities and depravities, the victims of which were the so called low castes and backward communities. Sankaradeva came forward at that juncture to shoulder the historic responsibility of upholding before the Assamese society the right path of cultural uplift.

With the conviction that it was only by involving the people, directly or indirectly, in the development of art and culture that social reform could be ensured, Sankaradeva started a movement of creative art, viz., dance, drama, music, art and sculpture etc. However, religion still had a strong hold over the society, for which a purely secular humanitarian move was not possible for Sankaradeva and he had to uphold the ideology of Bhakti (devotion) as an alternative religion.

The fact that Sankaradeva asserted the supremacy of Shravana (listening to) and Kirtana (singing) out of the nine different types of Bhakti proves that he gave the maximum importance to the practice and appreciation of music. The aesthetic beauty of all the musical creations of Sankaradeva and his chief disciple and associate, Madhavadeva like Kirtan, Ghosha, Bargit, Nritya, Nat, Bhaona, Gayan-bayan etc. could lead the people to an ecstatic state, effortlessly attracting them to the religious ideology behind. 
Thus religion and music became identical. We also notice behind every creation of Sankara-Madhava a conscious effort to boost up Assamese folk art and music  to  a classical status of all India level. Thus they accomplished a historic transformation of Assamese culture as a whole through an unbelievable refinement of the taste of the people by popularizing classical music even among the illiterate masses. It goes without saying that so much was not essential only for propagating a religious doctrine.
Editorial note prepared by: Dr Pabitrapran Goswami
Scholar of Assamese Vaisnava Culture and
Former Principal, Jorhat College, Jorhat, Assam


DIMORIANREVIEW, VOL-5, ISSUE-2, MARCH-APRIL 2018 RELEASED

We express our thankfulness to all contributors in this issue for their unconditional support and cooperation in making our effort successful this time also. This issue consists of 5 research articles, 3 essays, 1 book review, 1 short story and 5 beautiful poems.

We respectfully acknowledge that Shri Harekrishna Deka sir has given us an opportunity to publish his poem in this issue.

We would like to acknowledge to respected Dr Pabitrapran Goswami sir for sharing insight about Mahapurus Srimanta Sankaradeva’s Cultural Vision to enlighten us from Editors’ Desk in this issue. He is a Scholar of Assamese Vaisnava Culture and former Principal of Jorhat College, Jorhat, Assam.

We acknowledge with thanks to the honorary advisory board, honorary technical review board and all members of editorial team for their guidance, support and cooperation.

Hope readers find value in reading this issue!
Editors
DIMORIANREVIEW
Vol-5, Issue-2; March-April 2018



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