Śȧkaradeva

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Śaṅkaradeva (c.1449–1569). Hindu religious leader who was primarily responsible for the spread of the Vaiṣṇava movement in Assam. He emphasized the recitation of the name Hari, and set up a formal structure for the spread of devotion to God. The sattras were monasteries in which attention was paid to the ancilliaries of music, dance, and drama (theatre); the nāmagharas were set up in villages to co-ordinate religious life, but eventually became centres of social and economic life as well. Śaṅkaradeva composed many songs, narrative poems, and dramas to encourage participation in bhakti, and to bring the presence of God immediately before the participants.