GUWAHATI, Sept 3 - The 448th tirobhav tithi (death anniversary) of Srimanta Sankaradeva, the great Vaishnavite saint who founded the neo-Vaishnavism in Assam, was observed all over the State today in a befitting manner with the Vaishnavite rituals.
On the occasion, naam-prasanga (prayers) were offered at the sattra (Vaishnavite monastery) institutions, naamghars (prayer halls) and at public places by the devouts. At places, ankiya bhaonas � the Vaishnavite plays performed in combination with songs and music and developed by Srimanta Sankaradeva himself, the borgeets � the holy songs created by the saint himself, were also performed.
The employees of the Assam Tribune Group of Publications also observed the tirobhav tithi of the great saint with naam-prasanga on its premises. The Tribune campus was also illuminated with earthen lamps.
Sankaradeva is now regarded a Mahapurush (Great Soul) by the Assamese people for his immense contribution to the Assamese society in the fields of art, culture, literature and religion. Sankaradeva also emerged as a great unifying factor for the Assamese people with his inclusive approach towards all sections of the people of the society.
He also initiated a cultural movement in the State to spread the religious belief he enunciated, among the people. His deeds made him a social reformer too and he is believed to be one of the major architects of the brand of liberalism that is identified with the Assamese society today.
The sattra institutions and the naamghars he had established about five centuries back to spread his religious belief, have now emerged as the centres of Assamese Neo-Vaishnavite culture.
The ankiya bhaona, the Sattriya dance and the borgeets, which were created by him have now become integral parts of Assamese culture.