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Leteku Pukhuri, Narayanpur
Bhela Sattra, Koch Bihar
Senior posting
GuruSrimanta Sankardev
HonorsVenerated as Mahapurusha

Madhavdev (Assamese: শ্ৰী শ্ৰী মাধৱদেৱ; 1489–1596) (Pron: ˈʃrɪ ˈʃrɪ ˈmɑ:dəbˌdeɪv) is an important preceptor of the Ekasarana Dharma known for his loyalty to his guru, Srimanta Sankardev as well as his artistic brilliance. Initially a sakta worshipper, he was converted to Ekasarana Dharma by t Sankardev and became his most prominent disciple. He became the religious as well as artistic successor of Sankardeva after the latter's death in 1568. He is known particularly for his book of hymns, the Naam Ghokha, as well as a large selection of songs called Borgeets.


Meeting with Sankardev[edit]

Madhavdev had grown into a staunch sakta in his learning and practice, and on receiving news of his mother's illness while in Banduka, he resolved to sacrifice two goats to propitiate the goddess. In the meantime his brother-in-law Gayapani had converted to Ehkasarana

and refused to procure the goats for the sacrifice. A debate ensued and Gayapani, now named Ramadasa, took Madhabdev to meet Sankardev to discuss the conflicts. The debate continued for four and a half hour, when Sankardev uttered a sloka from the Bhagavata Purana.[1] Madhabdev was convinced and he accepted Sankardev as his guru. At the age of thirty-two, he joined his scholarship, literary and musical genius to the cause of Ekasarana dharma. Sankardev accepted him as his prana bandhava (friend of the soul), and anointed him later as his successor. Madhabdev's conversion occurred in the year 1532.

After his conversion, Madhabdev broke his betrothal[2] and resolved never to marry.

The Saint passed in 1596 at Bhela Sattra, Koch Bihar.

Literary works[edit]

As an author and saint-poet, Madhavdev's contribution to his Guru's religion is immense. He is the author of the holy Naam Ghokha, (the book of the Lord's Name), which is as great a work as Sankardev's Kirtan ghosa. This work is also known as the Hazari ghosa (the book of thousand couplets). The English version of this book subtitled as The Divine Verses translated by Soroj Kumar Dutta in 1997 in lucid verse. His another significant work is the Bhakti Ratnavali. He is also the author of many Borgeets (noble numbers) (191 of them) besides nine Jhumuras (one-act plays). His first literary work is Janma Rahasya, based on the creation and destruction of the world. Among his other outstanding contributions are Naam Maalikaa and the Assamese rendering of the Adi Kanda of Valmiki's Ramayana. His Guru Bhattima the long poem of praise to his Guru, Srimanta Sankardev is also very popular. He also composed a third chapter on having lost the two chapters composed by Sankardev, of the Kirtan-Ghosha titled 'Dhyana Varnana'


  1. ^ yathā taror māla-niṣecanena tṛpyanti tat-skandha-bhujopaśākhāḥ ।
    prāṇopahārāc ca yathendriyāṇāṃ tathaiva sarvārhaṇam acyutejyā ॥(Neog 1980, p. 110)
  2. ^ (Neog 1980, p. 110)


  • Neog, Maheshwar (1980). Early History of the Vaishnava Faith and Movement in Assam. Delhi: Motilal Banarasidass.

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