The Satra institution of Sankaradeva
The Vaisnavite Satra institution of Assam has been playing a vital role in shaping the religious and cultural history of the Assamese people from the 16thcentury. Religious in origin, it is mainly responsible for shaping and stabilizing Assamese society and for the last five hundred years, it has been administering to the spiritual and cultural needs of the people.
Sankaradeva is said to have established his first Satra at Bardowā, his birth place, and then at different centers as he had to move from one place to another on account of internecine conflicts and hostility from royal quarters.
Satras: The Living Culture
The most unique aspect of the arts that are nurtured at the Satras is that they are part of a living cultural tradition. The Satras, though born in the cusp of the 16th century, are vibrant entities to date. They still command devotion from the more traditional Assamese and attract new followers into their fold, even those Satras that follow a more demanding commitment from their members as celibate monks.