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Sri Sri Auniati Satra Vaishnavite Monastery

Context:

Sri Sri Auniati Satra is a more than 350-year-old Vaishnavite monastery in Assam’s Majuli district.

Relevance:

GS I: History

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Facts about Sri Sri Auniati Satra Vaishnavite Monastery
  2. Vaishnavism

Key Facts about Sri Sri Auniati Satra Vaishnavite Monastery

Establishment and Historical Significance:

  • Founded in 1653 in Majuli, Assam.
  • Boasts a rich history of over 350 years, making it one of the oldest Satras in the region.

Vaishnavism and Satra:

  • A Satra serves as an institutional center for Assamese Vaishnavism, a bhakti movement originating in the 15th century.

Geographical Location:

  • Located in Majuli, the world’s largest inhabited river island, situated in the Brahmaputra River in Assam, India.

Religious Significance:

  • Center for Assamese Vaishnavism, focusing on the worship of Lord Krishna.
  • The idol of Lord Krishna (Govinda) is believed to have originated from the Lord Jagannath Temple at Puri.

Cultural Heritage Preservation:

  • Beyond worship, Vaishnavite monasteries like Auniati Satra play a pivotal role in preserving traditional art forms, literature, and cultural practices.
  • Serve as vital hubs for the promotion and sustenance of the region’s cultural heritage.

Educational and Spiritual Activities:

  • Traditionally functions as a center for learning and spiritual activities.
  • Monks and disciples engage in religious studies, meditation, and community service.

Bhaona and Traditional Arts:

  • Bhaona, a traditional art form, is a significant cultural practice at the Satra.
  • Involves a blend of acting, music, and musical instruments.
  • Aims to convey religious messages to villagers through entertaining performances.
  • Typically, the main drama is preceded by the musical performance called the Gayan-Bayan.

Vaishnavism:

Definition:

  • Vaishnavism is a prominent bhakti (devotional) movement within Hinduism, focusing on deep devotion and love towards the god Vishnu and his various incarnations.
Key Features:
  • Central Focus on Devotion to Vishnu:
    • Emphasizes devotion (bhakti) to Vishnu, considered the Supreme Being and sustainer of the universe.
    • Vaishnavas cultivate a personal relationship with Vishnu, expressing love, reverence, and devotion.
  • Incarnations of Vishnu:
    • Vishnu is believed to have incarnated on Earth in various forms, known as avatars, to restore cosmic order and righteousness.
    • The ten primary avatars, called Dashavatara, include popular incarnations like Rama and Krishna.
  • Goal of Liberation (Moksha):
    • Vaishnavism places a strong emphasis on the path of bhakti for liberation (moksha) from the cycle of birth and death (samsara) and union with Vishnu.
  • Variety of Sects:
    • Vaishnavism encompasses different sects and groups with varying interpretations of the relationship between the individual soul (jiva) and God.
Major Vaishnavite Sects:
  • Srivaishnava Sect:
    • Emphasizes qualified nondualism (vishishtadvaita) based on the teachings of Ramanuja.
  • Madhva Sect:
    • Professes dualism, asserting the separate existence of God and the soul, following the philosophy of Madhva.
  • Pushtimarg Sect:
    • Maintains pure nondualism according to Vallabhacharya’s teachings.
  • Gaudiya Sect:
    • Founded by Chaitanya, teaches inconceivable duality and nonduality.

-Source: The Hindu


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