Farhana Ahmed Baligaon (Banderdewa on Assam-Arunchal border), Jan 20 - The 15th extension of the historic Sri Sri Auniati Satra of Majuli, one of the oldest and culturally-determining Vaishnavite institutions of the North-east, was inaugurated on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border in Banderdewa, 38 km away from North Lakhimpur with participation by people from both Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
Dr Pitambar Deva Goswami inaugurating the 15th branch of Sri Sri Auniati Satra at Baligaon, Banderdewa: – Photo: North Lakhimpur Correspondent
The four-day spiritual and cultural event started from Thursday at Baligaon on the banks of Dikrong river where the 15th branch of the historic Satra was established. According to Dr Pitambar Deva Goswami, the Satradhikar of Sri Sri Auniati Satra, Majuli the land for its sakha satra at Baligaon, Bnaderdewa was donated in 2005 by the local people with the objective of forming cultural harmony and brotherhood between the two neighbouring states. The establishment of a cultural development centre and Bhagawat Samaroh as well as the felicitation of pathaks was also included in the four-day event of inaugurating the Sakha Satra whose original one was started in 1453 AD.
The first day of the inauguration programme started with the carrying of the Bhagawat to the venue from Sri Sri Auniati Satra on January 17 and the inauguration of the residence of the Deka Satradhikar of the Sakha Satra and the guest house.
The second day of the programme began with the hoisting of the dharmadhwaja by Dr Pitambar Deva Goswami. This was followed by the ceremony of ashan pratistha, naamghar parikrama, pradakkshina and inauguration of the Sakha Satra by the original Sri Sri Auniati Satra. On Saturday, the third day of the programme noted scholar and retired professor of Philosophy, Gauhati University Dr Neelima Sarma was presented the Srimanta Sankardev Research Award- 2017 for her work Rethinking Sankardeva in 21 st Century. A research book Satra Subhas, edited by Prof Arun Goswami was also released on that occasion by Dr Dambarudhar Nath, former Sri Aniruddhadev Chair Professor of Dibrugarh University.
The highlight of the concluding day today was the open session chaired by Dr Pitambar Deva Goswami, Satradhikar of the Sri Sri Auniati Satra. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal attended the session as the chief guest. Sonowal in his address announced a financial grant of Rs 20 lakh for the Sakha Satra and said that land belonging to all satras in Assam would be freed from encroachment. The meeting was also attended by Lakhimpur MP Pradan Baruah, Bihpuria MLA Debananda Hazarika, Lakhimpur Deputy Commissioner Dr. Jeevan B and several other dignitaries.