The Origin of Neo-Vaishnavism and the Role of ‘Satra” in the Development of Arts and Literature of Assam

அசாமில் புதிய-வைணவ இயக்கத்தின் தோற்றமும், கலை இலக்கிய வளர்ச்சியில் “சத்ரா” வின் பங்கும்

Keywords: Neo-Vaishnavism, Socio-Cultural Revolution, Sankaradeva, Satra


The Bhakti movement popularly known in Assam is called Neo-Vaiṣṇavite movement, commenced by Śaṅkaradeva the great Vaiṣṇava saint and social reformer of Assam. The ideas, cultural contribution and philosophy of Srimanta Sankardeva became an integral part of the Assamese people. Sankaradeva was a multifaceted genius who gave a direction to the chaotic Assamese society by initiating a fresh approach to the existing Vaishnava religion that gave rise to a set of new values and aided in social synthesis. Vaishnavism has been constantly playing a significant role in the process of assimilating diverse elements- indigenous and non-indigenous into the Assamese culture. The Satra institution was the product of Neo-Vaishnavite movement which has played a vital role in Assamese society to spread communal harmony and brotherhood. Thus, Sri Sankardeva brought about a revolutionary change in Assamese society. Neo-Vaishnavism of Srimanta Sankaradeva became a powerful mechanism, and a cementing force in the process of acculturation of the different social groups. This paper is an attempt to study about the Neo-Vaishnavite movement as a great socio-cultural revolution in Assam and its impacts on the social life of the people of Assam.

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