Minor Sects and Saints
The great Vaishnavite saint and reformer Srimanta Sankardev was born in Alipukhuri, Nagaon in 1449. His father was Kusumbar Bhuyan and his mother’s name was Satyasandhya. He started going to school at the age of twelve and wrote a poem about Lord Vishnu -“Karatala Kamala Kamala Dala Nayana” without using any matras.
He was a saint, scholar, playwright, social and religious reformer, a colossal figure in the cultural and religious history of Assam. He was destined to play a significant role in preaching to humanity and protecting human religion. “Ek Sarania Nam Dharma” preached by him believed in worship of Lord Vishnu.
He was a great scholar and literacy genius. His major literacy creations are the “Kirtan Ghosa” , “ Gunamala” etc. The holy songs written by him are known as “Borgeet”. The dramas written by him are known as “Ankia Naat” and Sattriya Dance at that time was a part of it. In the “Ankiya Naats” Srimanta Sankardev used the style of story telling through drama, mostly depicting the life of Lord Krishna and Lord Rama.
His chief disciple was Sri Sri Madhavdev, who also worked for spreading Vaishnavism and contributed by his literacy works including “ Nam Ghosa”, “ Bhakti Rattna” etc.
Saint Narsinh Mehta, was from the land of Surat, and lived around 14th century AD. He is the composer of the soul-stirring song, “Vaishnava Jana to Tene Kahiye je“, which describes the qualities of devotees. His was a poor family. From the very young age he had great devotion to Lord Krishna.
All the time Narsinh kept himself engaged in composing and singing songs on Lord Krishna and Gopi Lila. He would dance out of bliss in ecstasy. He was not much concerned about household matters. He did not earn anything; his brother’s wife taunted and ill-treated him.
One day he moved out of his house and reached a secluded Shiva Temple where out of love he embraced Lord Shiva’s Shivlingam. He didn’t eat anything and drink anything for seven days. It is said that Mother Parvati was moved to tears upon seeing his fate and she asked Lord Shiva to bless Narsinh.
Sant Kavi Jagjivan Das is the founder of the Satnami denomination of Hinduism in Upper India.
Leading a family life Sant Kavi Jagjivan Das proved to be a great saint and literary genius. To his credit are more than a dozen literary creations, which have enriched the heritage of Hindi literature. Agh Vinaash, Maha Pralay, Gyan Prakash, Shabd-Sagar, Param Granth, Prem-Path, Aagam are his important creations.
Sant Dariya was born in 1634 AD in Rohtas District. He was brought up and remained at that place for most of his life. It is said that the ancestral place of the Saint is Rajpur, which is at a distance of 10 miles from Dhakandha,the maternal place of the Saint.Dharkandha is situated at a distance of about 52 miles from Arrah and about 6 miles from Suryapura.
It is said that Sant Dariya was sent to this world by God to save people from their sorrow and miseries. He presented before the world a path of salvation (Muktipanth).He had to suffer opposition from the orthodox sects at several occasions but he went ahead in his mission with determination. He preached against ritualism and false doctrine prevalent in both Hindu as well as Muslim communities. He preached brotherhood of mankind. He was for unity and harmony amongst Hindus and Muslims.
Sant Dariya got enlightenment at the age of twenty years. He preached non-violence and was against killing of any living being. He was of the view that unless the lamp of kindness (Karuna) is illuminated in the heart, one cannot proceed on the path of realization of God. Sant preached monism . He preached against incarnation theory of God. He said that the Satprush(Anadi-brahm) is beyond triguna and He never comes into the cycle of birth and death.
The Sant was a poet par-excellence and he composed 15,000 padas(verses).There are altogether 37,000 lines in all these padas.
Shiv Narayan was a Bhakti saints who lived from 1716-1790. He was a Kshatriya from Ballia district.