Majuli satra to celebrate 350th foundation day

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Jorhat
  • Published 16.03.04
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Jorhat, March 16: The Auniati Satra, one of the oldest and largest satras (Vaishnavaite monasteries) of Majuli island, is organising a three-day congregation from March 26 of saints, disciples and preceptors of the satra to mark its 350th foundation day.

It is expected that the festival, named Sant Samaroh, would be attended by several lakh devotees from the country, satradhikars (head priests of satras in Assam), scholars and dharmadhikars from within and outside India. It would be held at the Auniati satra’s newly-constructed branch at Kaliapani (Teok), near Jorhat.

The gathering is likely to be one of the largest religious congregations in recent times.

Pitambar Deva Goswami, satradhikar of the Auniati satra, said here that apart from the devotees and disciples, Priyabrata Brahmachari of Bangladesh, Shankaracharya Divyananda Tirtha of Ujjain and dharmacharyas of different ethnic groups have consented to attend the three-day religious meet. At least 10 foreign theology scholars are also expected to attend.

Goswami said the meet would have a number of discussions and symposiums on the role played by satras in society. Symposiums would also be held on the geophysical conservation and cultural preservation of Majuli island. Apart from discussions on religious aspects, there would be a large number of cultural programmes.

The newly-established holy shrine and naamghar of the satra at the Kaliapani branch, where over 3,000 devotees can offer prayers at a time, would be formally inaugurated. A number of valuable publications, including a history of the satra institutions of Assam and rare manuscripts, would be brought out on the occasion, Goswami said.

Invitations have been sent to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a number of Union ministers, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi and Governor Ajai Singh, as well as the Unesco representative (Asia Pacific).

Though Vajpayee’s visit has not been confirmed, some Union ministers and the Assam chief minister and Governor are expected to be present.