Sattriya Culture A Tool For Social Development: With Special Reference To The Vaishnavite Monasteries.

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Srimanta Sankardeva (1449-1568 AD) the Vaishnavite saint and leader started a religious and cultural movement in Assam. Sankardeva’s Bhakti movement brought diverse communities under one philosophy of life with a systematized code of conduct and religious practice. One institution established by him was the Satra. The Satras established in the 16th century in North-east part of India are the unique socio-religious and cultural institutions. The Satra is one of the most significant and revolutionized forces in the socio-religious and cultural sphere.

Associated with Satras, are Bhaona, Ankiya Naat, Borgeet and Sattriya Nritya. Ankiya Naat denotes one-act plays while Bhaona is the performance of these plays. These Ankiya Naat always carried a religious message and their enactment showed the victory of good over evil. It is a traditional theatre form that shows the victory of truth at the climax, generally using mythological stories.

The objective of this paper is to search the cultural aspects of the Satras through the varied ranges of aesthetic domains and an effort is made in this paper to analyze the contribution of diverse art forms of Satras in the construction of Assamese society in the past and how they may be preserved and used to contribute to the development in this particular geographical location for future.

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