Gogoi calls for change in satras

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  • Published 28.03.04

Jorhat, March 28: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi appealed to the satradhikars to play an active role in uniting all sections of the Assamese society and spreading the message of brotherhood and peace.

The chief minister was addressing the open session of the three-day Santa Samaroh (a congregation of the saints as well as the preceptors of the disciples of Vashnavite culture). The session was organised on the occasion of completion of 350 years of the Auniati Satra, at the newly-set up branch of the satra at Kaliapani, Teok, on the ouskirts of Jorhat.

Gogoi lauded the age-old institutions of satras for preserving the art and culture and also carrying out religious teachings of Srimanta Sankardeva, and other saints.

He said the government was planning to set up a Sankardeva cultural centre at New Delhi to showcase the satra culture that developed in Majuli.

Over 200 satradhikars from various satras of the state and a number of Hindu scholars from and outside the country attended the religious meet.

Gogoi said the satras that were established by the Vaishnaivite saints with an aim to unite all sections of society, were respected by the Assamese society through the centuries.

“They (satras) too move with times. The teaching system in the Sanskrit tuuls (schools) should be modernised,” Gogoi added.

The chief minister’s remarks echo the views of the two known satradhikars Pitambar Deva Goswami of the Auniati Satra (Majuli) and Noni Gopal Deva Goswami, the Satradhikar of the Dakhinpat Satra (Majuli), who in their inaugural speeches on Friday gave a call for change in its (satras) style of functioning so that the new generation too gets attracted towards the age-old institutions.

Both of them had said for a proper development of one’s person personality, inculcation of moral and spiritual values was a must and for that purpose the satras should play a dominant role in Assamese society.

“There has been an erosion of moral and social values in the present times and the satras have an important task in this regard to build a strong society. For that purpose the samaroh was organised to discuss what needs to be done to make the youths understand the necessity of spiritual development,” both had stated.

Leader of the Opposition, Brindaban Goswami, several AGP leadersm, including former ministers, top Congress leaders, outgoing MPs, vice-chancellor of Dibrugarh University, Kulendu Pathak spoke at the session.

Thousands of devotees thronged the venue today to attend the conclave. As part of the celebrations, a Namghar of the satra, where 3,000 devotees can offer prayer at a time, has been constructed at Koliapani.

Auniati Satra has played a crucial role in development of the Assamese society.