Historical and Archaeological Findings in News

Who was Srimanta Sankardeva?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Sankaradeva

Mains level: Bhakti Movement


‘Gurujana’ a musical tribute to 15th–16th century Assamese polymath Srimanta Sankardeva was recently released by the PIB.

Srimanta Sankardeva (1449–1568)

  • Sankardeva was a 15th–16th century Assamese polymath; a saint-scholar, poet, playwright, dancer, actor, musician, artist social-religious reformer and a figure of importance.
  • He is widely credited with building on past cultural relics and devising-
  1. New forms of music (Borgeet)
  2. Theatrical performance (Ankia Naat, Bhaona),
  3. Dance (Sattriya)
  4. Literary language (Brajavali)

Literary works

  • He has left extensive literary trans-created scriptures (Bhagavat of Sankardev), poetry and theological works written in Sanskrit, Assamese and Brajavali.

Political influence

  • The Bhagavatic religious movement he started, Ekasarana Dharma and also called the Neo-Vaishnavite movement, influenced two medieval kingdoms – Koch and the Ahom kingdom.
  • His influence spread even to some kingdoms as the Matak Kingdom founded by Bharat Singha, and consolidated by Sarbananda Singha in the latter 18th century endorsed his teachings.
  • The assembly of devotees he initiated evolved over time into monastic centers called Sattras, which continue to be important socio-religious institutions in Assam and to a lesser extent in North Bengal even today.


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