Subscribe to never miss an important update!

  • Context (IE): Rahul Gandhi was prevented from visiting Assam’s Batadrava Than.
  • Batadrava Than is located in the Nagaon district of Assam, 130 km east of Guwahati.
  • The Than is situated at the birthplace of Vaishnavite reformer-Srimanta Sankardeva (1449-1568).
  • It is considered the most sacred site for Assamese Vaishnavites.
  • Sankardeva founded the first-ever Kirtan Ghar (Than/Sattra) at Bordowa (Batadrava) to preach and propagate ‘Ek Saran Naam Dharma’ (the neo-Vaishnavite faith ).
  • The land within the 8 km radius around Batadrava Than is conserved for Khilonjia (indigenous people).
  • Than means a sacred place in Assamese society.

Srimanta Sankaradeva

  • Srimanta Sankardev was an Assamese polymath
    1. A saint-scholar,
    2. Poet, playwright, dancer, actor, musician, artist,
    3. Social-religious reformer and
    4. A figure of importance in the cultural and religious history of Assam.
  • Polymath: A person who knows a lot about many different subjects.
  • He is credited with building on past cultural relics and devising new forms of-
    1. Music (Borgeet),
    2. Theatrical performance (Ankia Naat, Bhaona),
    3. Dance (Sattriya),
    4. Literary language (Brajavali).

Social contribution

  • He is considered to be the father of the modern Assamese race.
  • He rescued the people of Assam from regressive medieval practices like human sacrifice.
  • He promoted equality and fraternity and advocated for a society free from
    1. Caste distinctions,
    2. Orthodox Brahmanical rituals, and
    3. Sacrifices.

Religious contribution

  • The Bhagavatic religious movement (Ekasarana Dharma) influenced two medieval kingdoms
    1. The Koch and
    2. The Ahom kingdom.
  • His teaching focused on prayer and chanting (naam) instead of idol worship.
  • Sankardev inspired the Bhakti movement in Assam.
  • Sankaradeva advocated ‘EKA DEVA, EKA SEVA, EKA BINEY NAHI KEWA’, which means one should worship none but one God, who is Lord Krishna.
  • It focussed on worship in the form of bhakti (devotion) to Lord Krishna through singing and congregational listening.

EKA SARABA NAMA DHARMA Religion (Neo- Vaishnavite movement)

  • His religion, EKA SARANA NAMA DHARMA, is straightforward.
  • There is no unnecessary ritual in his order.
  • Batadrava, or Bordowa, became the centre of his religious activities.
  • Batadrava has been regarded as the Dvitiya Vaikuntha (second heaven).
  • His dharma was based on the four components of
    1. Deva (god),
    2. Naam (prayers),
    3. Bhaktas (devotees), and
    4. Guru (teacher).
 Thans/Sattras
  • The assembly of devotees of the Neo-Vaishnavite movement evolved into monastic centres called Thans /Sattras.
  • These were established as centres of religious, social and cultural reforms in the 16th century.
  • These are present in Assam and, to a lesser extent, in North Bengal.
  • Batadrava Than was the first Than set for the propagation of EKA SARANA NAMA DHARMA.
    • Other Thans founded by Sankaradeva are Gangmou, Belaguri, Patbausi, Kumarkuchi, Sunpora, and Madhupur.
  • Later, many Sattras were set up by his followers all over the Brahmaputra valley.
  • It has a naamghar (worship hall) as its nucleus and is headed by an influential Sattradhikar.

Literary and Artistic contribution

  • He has left an extensive literary work of trans-created scriptures (Bhagavat of Sankardev), poetry and theological works written in Sanskrit, Assamese and Brajavali.
  • He used to write scriptures sitting below one Shilikha (Myrobalan) tree.
    • That tree is still alive even after five and half centuries, which is a wonder.
  • He created a classical dance form known as both the Sankari dance and Satriya dance.
    • The Sangeet Nâtak Akâdemi of India recognised it as a classical dance form in 2000 AD.
  • He also developed a school of classical music, which is named after him.
    • He created as many as 25 Râgas of his own.
  • He was also the first playwright in all modern Indian languages.
  • He was the first prose writer in the entire world.
    • He introduced the drop-scene and elevated stage in the world of drama way back in 1468 AD.
  • He authored ten plays in his life.
  • He initiated a new form of painting with his epoch-making drama festival Chihna-Yâtrâ, where he drew imaginary pictures of heaven to be used as backdrops.

Sattriya Dance

    • Sattriya originated in Sattra, a monastery, as a part of the neo-Vaishnavite movement in Assam.
    • It includes Nritta, Nritya and Natya components.
    • Sattriya dances differ from other dance forms in their basic stance.
      • For males, it is known as Purush Pak, while for females, Prakriti Pak.
    • The Sattriya dance (Unlike other Classical Dance forms) has been left untouched and has been the same since its birth.
    • It had its influences from folk dance forms like
      • Ojapali,
      • Devadasi,
      • Bihu,
      • Bodos, etc.
    • Strictly laid-down principles govern the Sattriya dance tradition with respect to
      1. Hasta mudras,
      2. Footwork,
      3. Aharyas,
      4. Music, etc.
    • Traditionally, Sattriya was performed only by bhokots (male monks) in monasteries as a part of their daily rituals.
    • The dance is based on mythological themes.
      • Primarily based on Krishna-Radha relations or sometimes on the stories of Ram-Sita.
    • Today, Sattriya is also performed on stage by men and women who are not members of the sattras on themes that are not merely mythological.
    • It has two distinctly separate streams
      1. The Bhaona-related repertoire
      2. The Independent dance numbers

Sattriya Dance Costume

    • The costume of Sattriya dance is primarily of two types:
      1. The male costume comprising the dhoti and chadar and the paguri (turban) and
      2. The female costume comprising the ghuri, chadar and kanchi (waist cloth).
    • Pat Silk saree (also spelt paat) is the most popular kind of saree used in this dance.
      • It represents the locality through its various colourful motifs and designs.
    • Traditional Assamese jewellery is used in the Sattriya dance.
      • The jewellery is made in a unique technique in Kesa Sun (raw gold).

 Sattriya Dance Costume

Instruments

    • There are various musical instruments used in this dance, some of which includes:
      1. Khol (drum),
      2. Bahi (flute),
      3. Violin,
      4. Tanpura,
      5. Harmonium and
      6. Shankha (Conch Shell).
    • The songs are compositions of shankaradeva known as Borgeets.
Sharing is Caring !!

Newsletter Updates

Subscribe to our newsletter and never miss an important update!

Assured Discounts on our New Products!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Newsletter

Never miss an important update!