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Bhakti concept incomparable: Experts

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GUWAHATI, Aug 10 - Sankardeva�s understanding of Bhakti cannot be equated with other Vaishnava saints of his time or his predecessors, said renowned scholar Prof Baniprasanna Misra, while addressing a gathering at an institute on Friday.

He was speaking on �Deprovincialising Srimanta Sankardeva� at the Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development.

He said that the uniqueness of Sankardeva�s Bhakti concept had contributed to his provincialisation within the confines of the �tini rajya� (three states), that is � the then existing three separate, but, contiguous states of Assam, Kamarupa and Cooch Behar, as it is called in the contemporary records of those days.

According to a press release, Prof Misra described the other reasons of provincialisation of Srimanta Sankardeva like non-centralised nature of his religious order and absence of a reasonably well documented chronicle and narrative of his life.

He said that time has come to break the shackle of the confines of the provincialisation of this great religious leader. But, he cautioned against certain groups� politics of deprovincialisation of Sankardeva by putting him within the �Great Tradition� of India, giving him a pan-Indian identity. Therefore, he suggested a dispassionate scholarly investigation of the life and work of Srimanta Sankardeva without speculation, equivocation and invocation to supernatural qualities.

He also described the circumstances under which Srimanta Sankardeva got invoked as the icon of Assamese identity, particularly during the second decade of the 20th century and ever since the saint and the Assamese nationalism became inseparable from one another and all for very valid reasons.

According to him, the use of Sankardeva for consolidating the claims of Assamese identity in the socio-political sphere contributed to the further provincialisation of Sankardeva.

The lecture was followed by an exhilarating discussion. Prof Rajen Saikia congratulated Prof Misra for his painstaking endeavour. He also cautioned the perils of a historian, when the matter of investigation is highly emotive.

Prof Tilottoma Misra discussed the fluidity of literary culture in the pre-modern times which got fixed only with the coming of the modernity and the modern understanding of nationalism. Prof Udayon Misra also raised issues of Assamese identity which is inalienably attached to Sankardeva and his religious teaching.

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Bhakti concept incomparable: Experts

GUWAHATI, Aug 10 - Sankardeva�s understanding of Bhakti cannot be equated with other Vaishnava saints of his time or his predecessors, said renowned scholar Prof Baniprasanna Misra, while addressing a gathering at an institute on Friday.

He was speaking on �Deprovincialising Srimanta Sankardeva� at the Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development.

He said that the uniqueness of Sankardeva�s Bhakti concept had contributed to his provincialisation within the confines of the �tini rajya� (three states), that is � the then existing three separate, but, contiguous states of Assam, Kamarupa and Cooch Behar, as it is called in the contemporary records of those days.

According to a press release, Prof Misra described the other reasons of provincialisation of Srimanta Sankardeva like non-centralised nature of his religious order and absence of a reasonably well documented chronicle and narrative of his life.

He said that time has come to break the shackle of the confines of the provincialisation of this great religious leader. But, he cautioned against certain groups� politics of deprovincialisation of Sankardeva by putting him within the �Great Tradition� of India, giving him a pan-Indian identity. Therefore, he suggested a dispassionate scholarly investigation of the life and work of Srimanta Sankardeva without speculation, equivocation and invocation to supernatural qualities.

He also described the circumstances under which Srimanta Sankardeva got invoked as the icon of Assamese identity, particularly during the second decade of the 20th century and ever since the saint and the Assamese nationalism became inseparable from one another and all for very valid reasons.

According to him, the use of Sankardeva for consolidating the claims of Assamese identity in the socio-political sphere contributed to the further provincialisation of Sankardeva.

The lecture was followed by an exhilarating discussion. Prof Rajen Saikia congratulated Prof Misra for his painstaking endeavour. He also cautioned the perils of a historian, when the matter of investigation is highly emotive.

Prof Tilottoma Misra discussed the fluidity of literary culture in the pre-modern times which got fixed only with the coming of the modernity and the modern understanding of nationalism. Prof Udayon Misra also raised issues of Assamese identity which is inalienably attached to Sankardeva and his religious teaching.

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