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Born 1489
Leteku Pukhuri, Lakhimpur, Assam
Died 1596
Bhela Sattra, Koch Bihar
Titles/honours Venerated as Mahapurusha
Guru Srimanta Sankardev
Philosophy Vaishnavism

Madhavdev (Borgeets.


  • Biography 1
    • Early life in adversity 1.1
    • Meeting with Sankardev 1.2
  • Literary works 2
  • Notes 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Early life in adversity

Madhabdev was born in May 1489 at Leteku Pukhuri in [Lakhimpur District] of [Assam] to Govindagiri Bhuyan and Manorama. Govindagiri was a descendant of Hari Bhuyan one of the Bhuyan's who accompanied Candivara (Sankardev's forefather) in the 14th-century as part of an exchange between Dharmanarayana of Gauda and Durlabhnarayan of Kamarupa-Kamata. Govindagiri became a Majinder at Banduka, (in Rangpur District, in present-day Bangladesh) and established his family (wife and a son) there. On the death of his wife, he migrated to Bardowa Nagaon District, present-day [Assam], and married Manorama of the [Baro-Bhuyan] clan. But due to warfare (between the Bara Bhuyans and the [Kachari kingdom|Kachari] he became homeless and Harasinga Bora, an officer of the [Ahom kingdom], gave him shelter at Letekupukhuri where Madhavdev was born. Harisinga Bora arranged for Madhavdev's early education at Narayanpur.

A famine induced the family to move again, and the family was given shelter by a boatman named Ghagari Maji at Habung, a place near Dhakuakhana in Lakhimpur district. Here Madhabdev's sister Urvasi was born. After about 10 years at Habung, the family rowed down the Brahmaputra river to Rauta-Tembuwani (present-day Bordowa), where Urvasi was married off to Gayapani, a Bhuyan. Soon after, Madhabdev accompanied his father back to Banduka (leaving behind his mother with his sister and brother-in-law), where he continued his education under a teacher named Rajendra Adhyapak. Here, Madhabdev became well versed in the Tantras, Tarka-shastra, Purana and other literature associated with Saktism. Soon after, his father Govindagiri died.

Leaving his half-brother (named either Damodara or Rupchandra), Madhabdev returned to his brother-in-law Gayapani with the news and stayed on involving himself with trade in betel-leaf and areca nut. When his half-brother, who was a Majinder at Banduka, fell ill Madhabdev returned there to shoulder his responsibilities. At Banduka he received news of his mother's failing health and he hastened back to Dhuwahat, where Gayapani had moved to along with his wife and mother-in-law after the Kacharis had uprooted the Bara Bhuyans.[1]

Meeting with Sankardev

Madhabdev 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 Ekasarana Dharma 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.[2] 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 1522.

After his conversion, Madhabdev broke his betrothal[3] and resolved never to marry.

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

Literary works

As an author and saint-poet, Madhavdev's contribution to his Guru's religion is immense. He is the author of the holy 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. ^ (Neog 1980, pp. 123–124)
  2. ^ yathā taror māla-niṣecanena tṛpyanti tat-skandha-bhujopaśākhāḥ ।
    prāṇopahārāc ca yathendriyāṇāṃ tathaiva sarvārhaṇam acyutejyā ॥(Neog 1980, p. 110)
  3. ^ (Neog 1980, p. 110)



External links

  • The Telegraph news paper - contains a news item about developing a cultural complex at Madhabdev's birthplace.
  • Govt. of India CIC Narayanpur Home Page - contains some information about Madhabdev's birthplace.
  • Sri Sri Madhav Dev – a great saint — Dr Dibakar Ch Das, The Assam Tribune, September 9, 2009.
  • Mahapurush Sri Sri Madhavdev at
  • Life Sketch of Sri Sri Madhavdev at
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