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Mahapurush Sri Madhabdev Awards


Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardev made significant contributions to the religious and cultural life of #Assam. The 16th century saint started the religious movement called Ekasarana Dharma, or the Neo-Vaishnavite movement. He preached singular devotion to Lord Krishna through 'kirtan' and 'sravan' (singing and listening to 'bhajans'). His religious movement was critical of the Vedic rites and admitted people from all castes and religions to its fold. This socio-religious reformer also made important inputs to the cultural life of the Assamese people, with music (Borgeet), theatrical performance (Ankia Naat), and the Sattriya dance form.The monasteries or Sattras, that he and his followers set up continue to occupy an important place in the Assamese religious and cultural sphere.


After Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardev passed away, his religious and cultural legacy was taken forward and preserved by his eminent disciple Sri Madhabdev. Madhabdev, who was initially a follower of Shaktism, was won over to his side by Srimanta Sankardev, through discussion and debate. After being immensely moved by the Ekasarana Dharma, Madhabdev devoted himself to taking forward the teachings of his Guru Srimanta Sankardev. He became a custodian of the Dharma and the cultural heritage of the Sattriya art-form associated with it, while at the same time making some of his own contributions to the Neo-Vaishnavite way of life.


Paying homage to this great saint, the Madhabdev Award is conferred to those who makes exemplary contribution towards the Sarana system and culture. This is a triennial award, carrying a prize of Rs. 3 lakh along with a citation and an angavastra. Earlier it was given by the #NGO Sadichcha and later on the #AssamGovernment took up the responsibility and made it official.


The Madhabdev Award for the years 2016 and 2019 is to be conferred on Sattriya proponent Jagadananda Chandra Goswami and dance historian, scholar and critic, Dr. Sunil Kothari, respectively. The Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal is scheduled to felicitate the awardees on 23rd September, at Narayanpur High School in Lakhimpur in Upper Assam, Lakhimpur being the birthplace of Sri Madhabdev.

Jagadananda Chandra Goswami has been serving at the Dinjoy Sattra as the Sattradhikar and was also the president of the Asom Sattra Mahasabha. Sunil Kothari on the other hand is a researcher and a scholar of Indian Dance. He studied the Sattriya culture at Kamalabari Sattra, Majuli. Inspired by his visit to Assam and the sattras, he has written extensively on the Devdasi and the Ojapali dances and has also written a book on Sattriya dance. He has also delivered lectures on the Sattriya culture, taking the heritage around the world.


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