‘Srimanta Sankardeva' is a full length feature film in 35 MM in Eastman colour. The film is 2 hr. 36 minutes duration. The feature film ‘Srimanta Sankardeva' , is a biopic on the 15 th century vaishnavite saint of Assam . The film takes the saint's multifaceted personality and touches upon the trials and tribulations that he faced and glories he achieved during his long life of 120 years (1449-1568).
The film opens with the saint's childhood days at Bardowa of the present Nagaon district of Assam. An orphan, (his father, Kusumbar Bhuyan, was the chief of the Bhuyan clan and was known as Siromanee Bhuyan ); he had grown up under the care of his grandmother, Khersuti. The young Sankar passed his childhood days playing mischievous pranks to the consternation of his grandmother. But he was a precocious child. Therefore, in spite of the fact that he had a late start in education at the age of 12, he could grasp the deeper meanings of the Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads and Gita , etc. besides other classic scriptures of the India which he studied in the seminary of Mahendra Kandali to become the favorite student of his teacher.
After his training at the Kandali's seminary ended and he emerged as a full-fledged scholar at the age of 21, Sankar, now known as Sankardeva, got immersed in studying the Bhagawat and later started teaching the essence of the holy book to the village folks in simple terms.
Meanwhile, because of his pressure from his grandmother, he got married to Surjyavati. But unfortunately his wife passed away leaving an infant daughter. These bereavements filled his mind with sorrow and he thought of renouncing the world. Sankardeva then set out for a pilgrimage with seventeen of his companions, including his erstwhile teacher, Mahendra Kandali. The pilgrimage lasted 12 years and during the period Sankardeva and his team of companions visited Gaya, Puri, Vrindavan, Mathura, Dwarka, Kashi, Prayaga, Sitakunda, Varahakunda, Ayodhya and Badarikasrama.
The film show, after his return from the pilgrimage with the knowledge of Vaishnavite theology and texts, Sankardeva launching his own version of Vaisnavite movement in Assam .
Srimanta Sankardeva dispensed with the Vedic rituals and worship of diverse gods and goddesses, but submitting himself completely to Krishna , an incarnation of Vishnu, and he announced that there is only one God and the people should devote themselves to Him only. He called the religious faith which he introduced ‘ Eka Sarana Hari Naam Dharma' which based on the premise of bhakti , still holds sway over the large section of people of Assam .
The film shows the ups and downs Sankardeva faces while trying to spread his religious faith, equally from his detractors and the royal palaces and how harassed by both these quarters he travels from place to place in search of a safety of his life and his followers and how at the end he wins over the hearts of the people because of transparency and simplicity of his religious faith.
The film takes a closer look at Srimanta Sankardeva's unmatched talent as an artist and litterateur and how he utilizes his creative gift for enhancement of ‘ Eka Sarana Hari Naam Dharma' by transcribing the ‘ Kirtana Ghosa' and ‘ Srimad Bhagawata' into Assamese, by composing number of devotional songs popularly known as Borgeet , by writing one-act plays ( Ankiya Naat ) based on the themes of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata , by conceiving a unique project of weaving a cloth called Vrindavani Bastra with textures depicting the Vaikuntha and child Krishna's innocent pranks in Vrindavan, by setting up prayer halls ( Namghar ) for congregational chanting of the name and glories of Krishna and by building Kirtan Ghar (monasteries) as a seat of Vaishnavite learnings. All these Sankardeva conceived and executed brought an order and unity into the chaotic society to go down in history as a great social reformer.
Srimanta Sankardeva can be rightly said to be the progenitor of the Assamese art and culture even though he was essentially a religious reformer.
The film ends with the koch king Naranarayan hauling Mahapurash Sri Sri Sankardeva up to his palace at Koch Behar at the instigation of his detractors after his return from the second pilgrimage to Puri at the age of 97 years and how the saint defeats the palace pundits in debates by virtue of his erudition and scholastic knowledge of the holy scriptures and how impressed by the same the king desires to be initiated to Sankardeva's ‘ Eka Sarana Hari Naam Dharma' but, for which before being persuaded by the king to fulfill his wish, Srimanta Sankardeva wills himself to death in front of his devotees at the age of his 120 years.
Sri Sri Sankardeva Sri Sri Madhavdeva Charit : Daitari Thakur , Sri Sri Sankardeva : Bhusan Dwij,Sri Guru Charit : Dwij Ramananda , Guru Charit : Ramcharan Thakur , Santamala : Baikunthanath Dwij Bar Charit : Dinanath Bezbaruah, Katha-Guru Charit : Chakrapani Bairagi, Editor, Upendra Chandra Lekharu , and the books edited by Dr. Maheswar Neog, Bardowa Gurucharit : PoaramMahanta, Edited by, Dr. Maheswar Neog, Santawali : Dwarikanath Dwij, Edited by Surjya Hazarika , Sri Sri Haridev Charitra : Uttar-Pub Bharat Haridev Sangha Prakashan, Guru Lila (Santa-Yashamrita) : Dwij Ramrai, Sri Sri Damodardev Charitra : Nilakanta Das, Sri Sri Sankardeva Sri Sri Madhavdeva: Laksminath Bezbarua , Srimanta Sankardeva Bakyamrit: Edited by Harinarayan Dutta Barua , Yuganayak Sankardeva: Dimbeswar Neog, Sri Sri Sankardeva : Dr. Maheswar Neog, Purnanga Katha-Gurucharit : Dr. Sanjiv Kumar Barkakati, Bordowa Shilpa Bastu : Dr. Naren Kalita, Dhanya Nara Tanu Bhal : Syed Abdul Malik.