Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva
Mahapurush Srimanta Sankaradeva is the soul of the Assamese society. In the 15th century with his innovative ideas and preaching He moulded the entire Assamese society into one, irrespective of caste, creed and religion. The pre 15th century Assam was in the cluster of social evils and misgivings, the presence of numerous faith and beliefs made life very complex, to worship God and follow a simple life was a far-away dream, intolerance towards a different culture and faith was rampant.
The birth of Sankaradeva (1449 AD- 1568 AD ushered in a new era which is etched in golden letters in the history of Assam. The ethereal activities and events associated with the life and works of Sankaradeva made the masses believe that the Saint is none other than an incarnate of Lord Vishnu. To bring the Assamese society into a common parlance Srimanta Sakaradeva founded a new faith commonly known as the 'Eka Saran Naam Dharma'. He preached that worshiping Lord Vishnu is like watering the roots of a huge tree where the different branches of the tree are symbolic of the various deities of Hindu Dharma. To spread His Vaishnavite movement Srimanta Sankaradeva evolved various methods to attract the masses, these were the Borgeet, dance, music, various literatures and the Ankiya Naat Bhowna(drama).
The Vaishnavite Saint was not only a poet, pla'wright, musician, painter, author, religious preacher but also a great social reformer of Assamese society. It is worth mentioning that the Saint's works and life corresponded with the Bhakti movement of India. Some of His contemporaries were Chaitanya Mahaprabhu from Bengal, Guru Nanak of Punjab, Kabir from Varanasi, Vallabhacharya from South and Tulsidasa from northern India who were iconic social reformer and instrumentalin spreading Bhakti movement.