Raas Mahotsav in Majuli
The enchanting annual Raas Mahotsav has unfolded its divine festivities in Majuli, Assam, making it the perfect destination to immerse oneself in the bhakti (devotion) of Lord Krishna. Majuli, the world’s largest inhabited river island nestled in the mighty Brahmaputra, is the heart of Assamese Neo-Vaishnavism. The island is adorned with Vaishnavite monasteries known as Satras, and the Raas festival is celebrated with grandeur, preserving the pure essence of the event.
Cultural Spectacle: Bhaona and Raas Leela
The locals engage in Bhaona, a traditional form of drama initiated in the fifteenth or sixteenth century by the esteemed figure Srimanta Sankardeva. Artists passionately portray various mythological characters, bringing the narratives to life. The Raas Mahotsav witnessed thousands of people gathering to witness the enchanting performances held at prominent monasteries like Auniati, Dakhinpat, Uttar Kamalabari, Natun Kamalabari, and Garmur satras.
Rich Tradition of Raas Leela
For centuries, the people of Majuli have followed the tradition of paying homage to Lord Krishna through the enactment of his Raas Leela. The festivities extend to upper Assam districts, where participants dress as Indian mythological characters. Locally crafted masks play a pivotal role in dance dramas, representing various mythical creatures. Statues of mythological figures are also installed for public admiration.
Government Support for Tradition
In a noteworthy initiative, the Assam government, led by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, has extended financial assistance to Raas committees. A sum of Rs 25,000 is transferred to approximately 3,000 organizers across the state to bolster the celebrations. This marks the government’s commitment to preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage of Assam.