Mahapurush Sri Sri Madhavdev


8th July 2011



Mahapurush Srimanta Madhavdev was a great disciple of Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardev. Srimanta Madhabdeva (1489-1596) is an important preceptor of the Mahapuruxiya Dharma known for his loyalty to his guru, Srimanta Sankardeva as well as his artistic brilliance.


Madhavdev was born in the house of Harisingha Uzir near Leteku Pukhuri in village Narayanpur of North Lakhimpur in 1489. His father and mother were Gobindagiri and Manorama Devi respectively. His another name was Ratnakar. During the stay in the house of Uzir, he started his early education. As the family was very poor, Madhavdev had to suffer a lot in his early days. Govindagiri knew his sonís talents and therefore he brought Madhavdev to the native place Banduka and got him admitted into the premises of Rajendra. Within a very short period, Madhavdev could achieve excellence in study. At the same time, he also became strong devotee of Sakta Dharma and had a great belief in Puja i.e., worshipping Goddess Durga.


Madhavdev was initially a sakta worshipper; he was converted to Mahapuruxiya Dharma by the Sankardeva and became his most prominent disciple. He became the religious as well as artistic successor of Sankardeva after the laterís death in 1568.



Mahapurush Srimanta Madhavdev is known particularly for his book of hymns, the Naam Ghoxa, as well as a large selection of songs called Borgeets. Naam Ghosa is a book on poem in praise of Lord Krishna and of Vaishnavism or the bhakti cult. Written is Assamese in the sixteenth century by Madhabdev, it extols the practice of devotion to the deity and chanting hymns in praise of the Lord as the only way to attain moksha or salvation. He created Nam Ghosa the religious book of Eka Saran Namdharma in North East about 500 years back. He also contributed in many cultural as well as social developments of many places of greater Assam of that time. Sri Madhabdev founded the Barpeta Satra and stayed there for 8 long years. These Satras bear the testimony of the great Assamese reformer, saint, scholar and cultural exponent Srimanta Sankardeva and his able disciple Madhabdeva who arrived from Upper Assam back in the 16th century to lay down strong foundation of Assamese Culture in the region through his socio-religious Vaishnava-reform movement. This reform movement left a historic legacy.


Madhavdevís ideas can be divided in two stages Pre-mani-Kamchan and Post Mani Kanchan, ĎMani Kanchan Sanjogí means the union of Sankardev and Madhavdev.


There was a fact behind this union of Sankardev and Madhavdev. During the period of this union, Sankar Dev was 73 years old while Madhavdev was 33. Madhabdev had grown into a staunch sakta in his learning and practice, and on receiving news of his motherís illness while in Banduka, he resolved to sacrifice two goats to propitiate the goddess. In the meantime, his brother-in-law Gayapani had converted to Ekasarana Dharma and refused to procure the goats for the sacrifice. A debate ensued and Gayapani, now named Ramadasa, took Madhabdev to meet Sankardev to discuss the conflicts. The debate continued for four and a half hour, when Sankardev uttered a sloka from the Bhagavata Purana:


yathā taror māla-niecanena tpyanti tat-skandha-bhujopaśākhā
opahārāc ca yathendriyāā tathaiva sarvārha
am acyutejyā


Madhabdev was convinced and he accepted Sankardev as his guru. At the age of thirty-two, he joined his scholarship, literary and musical genius to the cause of Ekasarana dharma. Sankardev accepted him as his prana bandhava (friend of the soul), and anointed him later as his successor. Madhabdevís conversion occurred in the year 1522.