Madhav Dev Jayanti – This too shall pass!
June 6, 2020: Madhav Dev Jayanti, a festival celebrated predominantly in Upper Assam and Majuli, is observed in almost every household in the region.
Every year on the Master’s birth anniversary he is offered Sarai (সৰাই), which consists of chickpeas, grams and fruits and is worshipped upon.
People accumulate in prayer houses or নামঘৰ to worship the Master. Devotees sing hymns in the name of the Master. These songs are known as Naam.
And like every form of worship, the crowd of devotees disperse after prasad distribution.
In many places, people avoid non-vegetarian food, light up lamps in the worship of the Master.
Madhav Dev is the most prominent and ardent follower of Srimanta Sankardev and preceptor of Ekasarana Dharma. He is not only known for his loyalty to his guru, but also his brilliant artistic qualities.
He was born in the Lakhimpur district of Upper Assam in May 1489. Although initially, he was a follower of Shaktism, whose philosophy lies in the manifestation of “Shakti” or strength on the supreme goddess, on meeting Sankardev he was converted to Ekasarana Dharma.
Ekasarana Dharma etymologically means taking shelter in one religion. It rejects the idea of Vedic ritualism and propagates the philosophy of Bhakti (devotion) to Krishna through listening and singing hymns in his name.
Its simplicity and accessibility soon attracted a huge number of followers from people belonging to both Hinduism and outside back in the 15th century.
This year, however, would be different than all others. With the lockdown in place followed by the Covid-19 pandemic, people won’t gather in Namghars and celebrate the occasion together.
At home, however, they would still worship the Master, pray for the calamity to be over and joy to return to the lives of people all over the world.
But, this too shall pass!
With the grace of the Master, when these trying times will be over, people from all over the region will come together once again and sing hymns of joy and pray for the well-being of mankind.