Dibya Kamal Bordoloi
In a religious ceremony held in the Sattra on Tuesday (August 17), Niranjan Bodo was given the charge as the Sattradhikar.
Guwahati: Amid aggression by Christian Missionaries amongst the tribal people of Assam for conversion, Assam gets its first Bodo Sattradhikar. In a first of its kind, Borongajuli Sattra in Udalguri appointed Niranjan Bodo as its Sattradhikar on Tuesday on the auspicious day of Sangkranti. In a religious ceremony held in the Sattra on Tuesday (August 17), Niranjan Bodo was given the charge as the Sattradhikar. Sattras are the cultural and spiritual hub of the Vaishnavite culture established by Guru Shankar Dev and Madhav Dev and their disciples hundreds of years ago.
Sattradhikars are the heads of these institutions, which govern the functioning of the Sattras. It is one of the most prestigious positions in Assamese society held by a learned leader of the Vaishnavite culture. Niranjan Bodo has become the first Bodo tribal man to hold this position in the 600 years history of Sattras.
The last wish of the deceased Satradhikar of Borongajuli Sattra Hare Krishna Mahanta was to make his beloved disciple Niranjan Bodo the Sattradhikar of the Sattra. Legend of Vaishnavite culture and true disciple of Srimanta Shankar Dev Hare Krishna Mahanta breathed his last on 19th July this year at the age of 97. He lived a glorious life spreading the ideology of Shankar Dev and Vaishnavite culture amongst the tribal people of North and lower Assam. Sattradhikar Mahanta established the Borongajuli Sattra in Udalguri district in 1952.
He had to face many challenges coming from various external forces while establishing the Sattra in the tribal area. But driven by his strong willpower to spread the Hindu Sanatan Dharma, Hare Krishna Mahanta continued his endeavour from Borongajuli Sattra. He was successful in his ambition and attracted thousands of Bodo, Konch Rajbanshi, Rabha and Adivasi people to his Sattra. Thousand of these people became his disciple and started following the Vaishnavite culture. Sattradhikar Mahanta established 33 Sattras in his lifetime and made lakhs of people remain connected to their origins by following the Sanatan Hinduism and chanting the “Naam-Kirtan” of Bhagavan Srikrishna. Today even after his demise thousands of his disciple follows the path shown by the legendary Vaishanav leader.
Documentary maker Gopal Jalan, who made a documentary on the life of late Hare Krishna Mahata, says, “sattradhikar Mahanta did a marvelous job of spreading Vaishnavite cultures amongst the tribal people of Udalguri and Darrang dustricts of North Assam. He established 33 Sattras in remote tribal villages of these districts to unite these people under the roof of Vaishnavite culture established by Guru Shankar Dev.”
Late Mahanta brought hundreds of tribal young boys to his Sattras as ‘Bhakat” and educated them with Vaishnavite culture along with formal education. New Sattradhikar Niranjan Bodo was one of them, who was taken to Borongajuli Sattra at the age of six by Sattradhikar Hare Krishna Mahanta.
The silent ascetic Sattradhikar Mahanta’s decision to make a Bodo man, the new Sattradhikar of the sattra, is being praised by the people of Assam. This process of assimilation will make the Vaishnavite culture stronger than before, disciples of Guru Shankar Dev believe.