Early History of the Vaiṣṇava Faith and Movement in Assam: Śaṅkaradeva and His Times

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Motilal Banarsidass Publishe, 1980 - Assam (India) - 400 pages

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The vast literature coming in the wake of the Sankaradeva movement would have remained sealed to all if he ( Professor Neog) had not come forward to interpret and edit some of these .Although variety and versatility have been the distinguishing mark of his talents, Professor Neog is, at the same time, regarded as the only authority on Sankaradeva’s religion, philosophy ,literature and music He is cosmopolitan in his outlook and approach ; but his centre of interest and admiration is the Vaisnava culture of the State with its unsurpassed vitality and continuity…..Professor Maheswar Neog’s contribution and interpretation to the Vedantic philosophy of Sankaradeva is very significant. In his treatment, the obscurities that may appear sometimes in the writing of the great saint, have been appreciably removed .Dr Neog like some other scholars without going deep into the subject ,did not agree that the Advaita system of Sankaracharya was fully followed Sankaradeva. According to him , Vaisnavism of Sankaradeva with its emphasis on humanism and the individual was revolutionary and democratic.Sankaradeva’s philosophy, Professor Neog argues is essentially, a synthesis of the highly intellectual Advaita and bhakti with its emotional surcharge which again, is quite different from any other Vaisnava school of thought 

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After what Professor Suniti Kumar Chatterji, Professor Vasudev Charan Agarwal and Professor Sushil Professor Maheswar Neog was one of the leading humanists and scholar of contemporary India .He was an outstanding Indian scholar of 19th Century unique in his command of just every discipline of the humanities and social sciences. Professor Neog combined in himself the rare insight of a creative writer, the critical acumen of a philologist and a historian of literature and a meticulous writer on any topic on Assam and Assamese .For several decades he was one of the foremost figure in the nation’s academic and intellectual life. Professor Maheswar Neog was a versatile scholar and visionary thinker with encyclopedic range. His interest was multifarious. Arena of his studies covers all disciplines of Indian studies, language and literary history, lexicography and orthography, epigraphy and ethnography , historiography and hagiography ,fine arts and paintings ,music, dance ,drama ,religion and folklore apart from critical editions of a number of important ancient and medieval texts in Sanskrit and Assamese. Professor Hiren Gohain had rightly observed in his tribute , “ Inevitably Dr Neog had also to be an organiser.He edited journals,organised learned societies and circles, guided research,helped manfully in the mass-movement for the establishment of the first university in Assam,sterred the Asam Sahitya Sabha, joined the struggle against all attempts to destroy the integrity of Assam,while taking classes and doing a lot of drudgery for the infant university, and so on.And all the while he could count on very few people who could understand the importance of what he was doing. In fact he was doing things “ normal’ people has no time for !......He is the first Assamese scholar to have made plea for modern textual scholarship (in his Address as the President of the Asam Sahitya Sabha).I think the pursuit of that discipline spilled over later into a major work in epigraphy Prachya- sasanavali.” “ A scholar of such versatile genius and at the same time,profound erudition is rarte” is what Professor Suniti Kumar Chatterjee had said in appreciation of the range,depth and intensity of his scholarship. Dr Kapila Vatsyayan while delivering the First Professor Maheswar Neog Commemoration Lecture had observed ,” A great son of an indispensible part of India –the chronological details of his life now point out how the person was looking at his own soil, his roots and the world around him.I believe him to be the last generation of the renaissance in this age of specialization.” De said on this monumental work besides many scholars from U.K. what more we can say  


Chapter 1
iii Muhammedan chronicles
agriculture slavery weavingtrade its extent and commoditiescustoms
Chapter IV
Mādhavadevahostility against and royal persecution of the Vaişnavas 109112
chief apostle of Sankaradevaearly life in adversitymeeting
deva iii Harideva iv Nārāyaṇa Dāsa or Thākura ātā 128133
Govinda ix Lakşmīkānta x Mādhava of Padhiyā xi Vaṁśīgopāla
iii local institutions of a dramatic nature1 ojāpāli choruses
Sūtradhāras r˘le 257262
cho masks mukhā costumescosmetics and paintshair 269274
Chapter IX
stylesojāpāli and its classical featurestribal dancesthe Sankaradeva
Chapter X
Chapter XI
maņikuț bhārālgharwhy no permanent structures ?the origin

Chapter V
2 the Bhaktipradipa 3 the Kirtanaghoṣāearly middle and final
Chapter VI
Chapter II
Lordclassification of bhakti or religious devotionthe bhakta
logical character of the descriptionpurușa and paramapuruṣapsy
releaseconclusion 241245
fourteen or twelve subdivisionsexclusion of idol worship from
wells 330331
vastu and the four śaraņastheir originthe place for the initiation
Chapter XII
Sankaradevas firm stand against blood sacrificespopularizing the scrip
naimittika karmafuneral ritesmarriage ritesthe observance of

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