New Delhi: Heard of Saurath Sabha? The age-old congregation is identified with Mithila and its surrounding landscape for systematically maintaining a marriage tradition which has been playing a quintessential role in what can be described as Shrishti Nirman(Creation of Mankind).
Are you a bachelor looking for a suitable spouse? Not to worry! You have a chance to attend the Saurath Congregation and try your luck!
Even as the Supreme Court of India is looking into the validity of Triple Talaq which is often misused to get divorce (That too for husbands only) among the Muslim community in India and cases of divorces have become a normal practice in the Western societies, the institution of marriage in Mithila – the Birth Place of Goddess Sita – continues to be as strong as in the olden days with negligible divorces even today.
Dr Birbal Jha, Chairman of Mithilalok Foundation, a social enterprise committed to the larger cause in Mithila, says, “The foundation behind such a strong institution of marriage is owing to the ingrained ethical values, family obligation and uncompromising attitude to adhere to high principles.”
“What’s more, system of marriage registry (Panjikar) and genealogical records (Panji) has been cautiously but scientifically maintained to avoid marriage between the same gotra (clan),” explained Dr Jha.
Bounded on the north by the Himalayas, the east by the Mahananda, the south by the river Ganga and west by the river Gandaki, Mithila could develop a system of congregation as back as 700 years. Earlier, such assemblies were held in 14 villages, namely Saurath, Khamgadi, Partapur, Sheohar, Govindpur, Fattepur, Sajhaul, Sukhasaina, Akhrarhi, Hemanagar, Balua, Barauli, Samaul, and Sahsaula in North Bihar. While Saurath maintains the tradition, all other villages have discontinued holding congregation. Tradition has it that the svayambara (self-chosen form of marriage) of Sita took place in Saurath. Noticeably, during the 60th Republic Day in 2009, the Bihar tableau had presented this unique and lively glimpse of Saurath Congregation.
Dr Birbal Jha, highly acclaimed author and a well-known face for successfully launchingPaag Bachao Abhiyan (Save the Paag Campaign) under the banner of Mithilalok Foundation, has appealed Maithils across the world to attend the Global Saurath Congregation this year which starts from June 25 and concludes on July 3 at Saurath which is merely six kilometers from Madhubani district headquarters in Bihar. The congregation takes place every year in the month of Ashadha according to the Hindu calendar. “Chaloo Saurath Sabha Abhiyan (Let’s go to Global Saurath Congregation Campaign),” Dr Jha says, “Is an ambitious plan to bring in all Maithils at the forefront.”
“This campaign will play a vital role in restoring Mithila’s glory and strengthening the institution of marriage. The ongoing campaign will also serve the purpose of creating awareness for dowry-free marriages among prospective brides and grooms,” added Dr Jha.
Earlier, in a letter to Chief Minister of Bihar, Dr Jha requested to develop a Multi-purpose Community Hall at Saurath Sabha to hold intellectual activities and discourses besides organising the marriage ceremonies in the conventional ways. Dr Jha says, “Saurath has all potentialities to emerge as a centre of intellectual gatherings in the state of Bihar.” However, Dr Jha says, “One of the main objectives of Chaloo Saurath Sabha Abiyan is to connect Maithils from across the globe and take them to their roots.” Needless to say, Saurath’s development will also curb the unabated migration of Maithils and they will return to their roots and enthusiastically, add and accelerate the region’s growth.
Mithilalok Foundation has also put in a strong demand to the concerned agency to accord Saurath Sabha as a national heritage for its unique tradition and cultural values. And why not? The legendary place of congregation fulfils all characteristics as per the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)'s definition as a heritage.
Like Paag Bachao Abhiyanwhich also organized several Paag Marches in national capital Delhi and Madhubani last year and received an overwhelming support from a large number of people, Chaloo Saurath Sabha Abhiyan is poised to witness tremendous participation from Maithils from wherever they are. And this anticipation is keeping Dr Jha all the more involved to make it a spectacularly successful campaign.
Sanchar Express News Desk