The Servitor of His Guru

Madhavadeva (1489-1596) is the chief disciple and apostolic successor of Sankaradeva. He was a saint, composer, poet, playwright, scholar, theologian and above all a great devotee of Lord Krishna. He was a religious reformer and Assam Vaisnavism owes a great deal to his organizing ability, foresight and exemplary conduct. If Sankara revealed the secret of bhakti,the religion of love, it is Madhava who made it public.

The importance of Madhava's place in the Sankarite order needs scarcely be stressed. It is after Sankara had met Madhava at Majuli that the Vaishnava movement in Assam gathered full momentum.

Nāma Ghosā - The Book of the Names Divine

Nāma Ghosā appears to be the last work of Madhavadeva, written about 1568-1596. It is said that Sankaradeva asked Madhavadeva to write a work that would be sweet as the plum but hard as the seed within it. This is the most perfect description of the Nama Ghosa which is such excellent poetry and at the same time such nice exposition of the philosophy of Vaisnavism as preached by Sankaradeva. Although the truths of this philosophy are scattered all through the Kirttana, Dasama and other works of Sankaradeva, the Nāma Ghosā brings it into proper perspective and supplies a panoramic view of it within the range of one thousand (and one) couplets in one volume, as desired by his great Master.

Nāma Ghosā and Ratnāvali of Madhavadeva alongwith Kirttana and Dasama of Sankaradeva are the four great works that are still worshipped all over Assam upto Kochbehar. As the Gitā is said to be the very heart of Krsna, so the Nāma Ghosā is considered as the heart of Madhavadeva, and it occupies the same position in Assamese social life and literature as the Gitā does in the Indian.