Nearly a month after its former Satradhikar—head monk—quit celibacy and the satra to start a family life, the 360-year-old Garamur Satra, one of the most important Vaishnavite monasteries in Assam, has selected a 16-year-old boy to become its next Satradhikar.
Prabin Goswami, a student of Chengelijan High School in Lakhimpur district in eastern Assam, was given a rousing welcome at the Garamur Satra in Majuli island Sunday on his arrival there amid playing of traditional gayan-bayan and other satriya music by monks and followers affiliated to the satra.
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Garamur Satra’s previous Satradhikar Haridev Goswami had last month announced his resignation from the top post and got married, thus ending 38 years of celibacy. Satradhikars as well as bhakats — other monks — of Vaishnavite monasteries in the island practise celibacy since those were established over the past four or five centuries.
Prabin Goswami, whose Class X board examination result is due on Tuesday, however will not be appointed as Satradhikar or head monk in the next few years. “He is just fresh to satra life. He will not only have to pick up the nitty-gritties of satra life, but also the art of administration, which he will be taught by senior monks including the bar-pujari or head priest. Moreover, we want him to at least complete his graduation. If he wants to also do his Masters, it is even better,” said Samiran Bordoloi, president of Garamur Satra managing committee.