Catholic Sprite of Unison, Non-Violence, Democracy and Devotion:
The four pillars of Shankarian philosophy.
Having observed the life and deeds of Shankardeva(1449 – 1568) everyone will speak without having any hesitation that he overcame many dreaded disasters and resentments of competent class in establishment of Krishna culture for the greater interest of broad masses. The contradictions and contrary with feudal class and its components, dissidents of orthodox section, bifurcated socio-political situations gave immense obstructions in every aspect of his constructive contemplation. But amidst various bottlenecks he executed his duty through the instillation of Krishna culture into the mind of people which was popularly known as Neo-Vaishnavite religion of Assam. The inspiration getting from Konch King Naranarayana does not deny the domination of feudalistic attitudes carried by other kings and kingly persons of the then society of medieval North East India. But our contemporary writers have not been giving the required elaboration on the subject to focus the reality and actuality of the subject concerned. However the discussions of these subjects are to be done in a separate platform. This is not the proper one to be discussed the same. So diverting to my subject it must be penned as follow.
The catholic spirit of unison was the main back bone of the Neo-Vaishnavite movement of Srimanta Shankardeva which he innovated for the common people of the then medieval society of Assam. In the yolk of feudalism the socio-economic condition of common people was in a deplorable position because of the prevailed social system where the rich and competent class enjoyed everything as a God gifted right. The common people faced disasters from two sides, firstly because of economic weakness and secondly as untouchable. Class and cast discriminations were maintained in a strict way where the effluence of love and piety were unbelievably distorted. The polarized society of superiority and inferiority made an atmosphere of parted denominations which snarled the growing vitality of society and the humanistic zeal started collapsing. In such grime situations Shankardeva annexed his newly devised cultural system with a view to established the decayed love and piety along with humanistic zeal of pious greatness. The culture which was introduced by Shankardeva in Assam has been elaborated as Neo Vaishnavite religion by many people and a few section of people delightedly accept as debonair Krishna culture. The sections which believe as religion, they are stick to the religious arena only. Their efforts are observed in the line of getting Muksha (total liberation) through chanting of God`s names as instructed by Shankardeva. But the sections who believe as Krishna culture, want to analyze all teachings of Shankardeva for the better upliftment of socio-political and economical conditions of people along with the devotional efforts to the almighty. Through the execution of the said responsibilities one can be qualified to be a Krishna devotee and make a tranquility for total emancipation of individual soul. No fugitives (who cease the relation from worldly affairs for the sake of so called devotion) are treated as the esteemed devotee of Krishna.
The democratization of social system was the prime objective of Shankardeva`s Krishna culture. In this context we get the catholic sprit of uniting all under one umbrella with the feelings of socialistic completeness. His verse on the untouchables shows us the magnificent discipline of Krishna culture.
`Kirata Kachri Khasi Garo Miri Yawana Kanka Guwal.
Asomo muluka Rajaka Turuka Kuwasa Mecha Chandal.
Anu Jotu Nar Krishnara sevakara sangata pobitra hoi.
Bhakati loviya sansara toria Boikunthe sukhe soloi.`
The untouchables like Kirat, Kochari, Garo, Miri, Guwal etc get the highest position in society through the assimilation with the devotee of Krishna. It is a process of Sanskritization or Aryanization. They also get the heaven after death through the completeness of worldly activities. The said castes were treated as untouchable in the medieval Assam. In the light of democracy and catholic inspirations Shankardeva versed with depth that
`Dhanya Dhanya Chandalini Motita Uttama.
Nedekhilu Bhakata Parama Tura Sama
Tirthaku Pobitra Kora Ata Kuna Chitra.
Tura Sanga Paile Huibo Jagate Pobitra.``
The salutation of Shankardeva to the Chandalani (treated utmost untouchable in medieval India) is unprecedented in the social and theological explanations of medieval India. The chandalini (untouchable woman) who has a holy mind (Motita uttam) is to be adored because of her arayanised behavior and sanctity of mind and heart. She is unequal as a devotee of Krishna culture. Such a Krishna devotee Chandalani can purify the shrines through her presence and in her companionship whole world will be of sanctity. Such explanation of Krishna culture tends us mainly to two fundamental needs of society, firstly the establishment of democracy and secondly the disruption of untouchable through which every person of society can enjoy the fruit of democratic and catholic benevolences.
In the origin Srimad Bhagawata of Sanskrit language it was stated that in the Koli Yoga the untouchables will take major part in the religious functions, they will start to read sacred scriptures and because of such behavior the dilution of this creation will be occurred. But in the Assamese translation of Srimad Bhagawat executed by Shankardeva, we get the verse in a different way. In the 12th canto Bhagawata Shankardeva elaborated the Sanskrit origin as
``Kolito Kaibatta Krishna Durbadolo Dwadasa scondhata situ tattamula.``
``Sudra Sobe Aneko Kaibatta Adi Kori, Antyaja Paryanta Bhajibeko Moha Hari.
Aproyase Lobhibo Iswara Moha Gyan, Eteke Kolito Sudra Kaibatta Prodhan.``
In the original Sanskrit text the untouchables were treated as untouchable and elaborated that because of their advancement the whole creation will be doomed. But the same verse has been changed by Shankardeva in a unique way where the untouchables were encouraged to follow the right path of Krishna culture and they will be honored in the Kali Yoga. The above mentioned verse elaborates that in the Koli Yoga Sudras like Kaibatta [ treated as untouchable ] and others will follow the path of Krishna culture and will be liberated easily. So in the 12th canto of Bhagawata Purana this carries a deep meaning. The said elaboration can be taken as the way of getting achievement through the uniting effort of back ward classes and castes in the modern era of Koli Yoga. The back ward classes and castes are commonly known as laboring masses in our present world, which shows us the similarities with Marxist philosophy. The liberation does not mean only the liberation from the life and death circle but the liberation from all sorts of age long suppressions, inequalities and manmade socio-economic discomforts.
Unison gives the strength of advancement to the human society. It acknowledges the required vitality of transcendental achievements. The unison of man with man leads everyone to the unison of men with Supreme Brahma as lessoned by Shankardeva. The world is a united whole where the unison of its inhabitants are naturally conditioned. But because of in humanistic unnatural behavior the flows of lively attitudes are badly interrupted causing various disasters. To get rid of all such disasters Shankardeva showed the path of Krishna culture where the truth of life can be seen through the unison of mind and heart with every living being. Shankardeva versed
Kukura Srigala Gadharva Atma Ram, Eteke Sobaku Pori Koriya Pranam.
Dogs, foxes and asses are the creation of God, which carry the same soul (Atma) like us, so treat them as one of us. ``Koriya pranam`` means salute them, but this line should be understood as the cultured behavior showed against them. The said lesson can be treated as lesson of non-violence. There are many verses with the depictions of such lessons on non violence showed to the animal kingdom. The holy unison can be created through such thinking and behaviors.To show the strength of devotee`s unison Shankardeva relates that
``Akanta Bhakota Sobe Nriguna Krishnara Guna Luwe Soda Bosiya Jathat,
Yougiru Hridoi Eri Baikunthaku Porihari Thaka Hari Sakhyata Tathat.``
Where the devotees chant the name of God daily, the supreme Brahma resides there avoiding the heart of Yougi and even Baikuntha. It is the highest expression of united efforts of devotees for the benefit of self, soul and social systems. Where the supreme Brahma resides there will not be aroused any discomforts or unwanted disasters. But the unison should be bold with humanly nature avoiding the various social segments or any racial segregation. Society is composed of various racial, linguistic, ethnic denominations. But the person who wants to follow the path of Krishna culture he will have to forget all these things for making the holy unison of dedication and devotion to Lord Krishna. Aldous Huxley expressed that the Vaishnavite preachers taught that a life of mere external ritualism without the spirit that is to underline and actuate the outer life is a fraud. It is described by Lord Krishna as mithyachara or a religion of untruth. Having searched the external ritualism and the spirit we can express the essence of Shankardeva`s Krishna culture as a culture of inner humanistic arousement with the desired simple fulfillment of outer life where the spirit revels the truth and treasures of life.
Catholic spirit of unison, non-violence, democracy and devotion are inter woven in the philosophy of Shankardeva. Nothing can be singled out from each others. People generally speak adoring Shankardeva that he democratized the religion. But such comments and improper assessments barricade the gigantic personality and the essence of his philosophy. The practice of democracy cannot be a part of religion alone. It spreads to the various spheres of society overflowing from religion. It was the religion which created the infrastructure of our society. So to reform society the reformation of religion is indeed. The enforcement of democracy in the orthodox religious platform was not an easy matter. Because such democratized feelings create a democratic atmosphere in society diminishing undesired in humanistic practices which were nurtured by the competent class of medieval period. In this context Shankardeva deserved the unique position of success through the implementation of democracy in socio-religious field of medieval Assamese society through which we have achieved the present status of modernity or progressive fraternity.
The three sacred aspects of Shankardeva`s newly devised religion is widely known as DEVA (The Deity), NAM (The name of God) and BHAKATA (The Devotees). But Shankardeva`s chief disciple Madhavdeva added an another aspect to the philosophy of Shankardeva which is known as GURU [the Abbot.]. After the enactment of the theological thought of GURU in Shankarian philosophy the four sacred factors has got unique appreciation among the devotees of newly devised religion based on Bhagawata Purana. The four sacred factors are treated to be worshiped. GURU [the Abbot], DEVA [the Deity], NAM, [the name of God] BHAKAT [the Devotees] are the main factors of Shankarian theological conception and devotion. Who make themselves fit for such devotion through upgrading themselves by the practice of Catholic unison, non violence, democratic feelings and devotional deposition of seeing everyone as his own soul get highest intuition of liberation. Let Shankarian philosophy be bloomed among us in the live phases of Catholic Sprite of Unison, Non-Violence, Democracy and Devotion.
Catholic Sprite of Unison, Non-Violence, Democracy and Devotion: