New Delhi: This year, Saurath Sabha, which began on 25th June and concluded on 3rd July, was special in many ways. A large number of people thronged at the congregation on each of the day during the nine-day event.
MIthilalok Foundation, a registered trust, established a few years back to advancing the larger cause of Mithila, conceptualized the idea of making this year’s Saurath Sabha spectacular and visitor-friendly. The Foundation’s dedicated volunteers made it sure that event concluded on a high note.
Dr. Sarvanarayan Jha, Hon'ble Vice-Chancellor of Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University (KSDSU), Darbhanga at Sabha Gachhi, inaugurated the 2017 Saurath Sabha and stressed the need to modernize this historical site in keeping with the changing times. He also advocated the idea of digitization of Panji (genealogical records) system. Significantly, Dr Sarvanarayan Jha’s wife also accompanied him in his visit, signaling an emergence of an era in Mithila where women have equal say in the institution of marriage.
On the fourth day of event, Shirsat Kapil Ashok (IAS) and District Magistrate of Madhubani, also visited the site and was seen sharing with Panjikars and the assembled public there.
The Foundation also organized Shashtrartha on 5th day of the event i.e. 29th June at the same venue where several scholars of Mithila participated in serious discussion. The tradition of Shashtratha which once took place in 8th century between Shankaracharya and Mandan Mishra was somehow replicated this year. The topic of the Shashtratha was Saurath Sabha and its Relevance in Marriage Today and it was chaired by Prof. Ram Chandra Jha, former Vice-Chancellor, Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University (KSDSU), Darbhanga. The learned scholars who participated in Shashtratha included Pt. Ram Sevak Jha, Dr Gopal Thakur, Pt. Rupesh Kumar Jha, Pt. Rakesh Roushan Choudhary, Pt. Akhilesh Mishra, Pt. Deepak Vatsya, Pt. Dheeraj Kumar Shastri – just to name the prominent ones.
People who came from far off places, quite a significant numbers were Maithil Diasporas living in Canada, the US, the UK, Bangladesh and other countries, verily enjoyed programmes like Kavi Gosthi (poets’ gathering and their poetry recitation), song and musical events on each day of the event. In order to encourage Maithils to attend Saurath Sabha this year, the Foundation also launched a song. The title of the song Pritam lene chalu hamro Saurath Sabha yau (O beloved! Please accompany me too in Saurath Sabha) became quite popular in the region. The lyricist of the song is Dr. Birbal Jha, chairman of Foundation, while it is sung by the famous Maithili singer Jyoti Mishra.
In what can be described as staving off the dwindling participation in recent years, thousands of people comprising parents and guardians of prospective brides and grooms congregated at the event. An eye witness of the event confirmed that more than hundred marriage negotiations were deliberated; some of these turned into marriage settlement; others will wait for the next marriage session that starts in auspicious days as mandated in panji system to enter into arrangement of solemnizing their daughters/sons marriage.
Eventually, success of this year’s Saurath Sabha can be gauged by the fact that media – newspapers (English & vernacular), TV channels and digital – covered this unique assembly in comprehensive way, thus helping to give a fresh lease of life.
“For the creation and further evolution of mankind, the institution of marriage as done in Mithila must be strengthened. Saurath has lots to offer to the world as it symbolizes the eternal and imperishable nature of marriage which rarely ends in collapse or divorce among the married couple,” Dr Birbal jha said. Idealism of Saurath Sabha needs to be imbibed by rest of the world, added Dr Jha. While narrating about Ayachi (the legendary figure whose real name was Bhavnath Mishra, who never solicited any help from anybody for his livelihood and never aspired for any material gain), Dr Jha said, “ Mithila is a philosophy that teaches the world how to remain content in the shadow of scarcity and miseries and still derive happiness and harmony.”
Dr Jha told that the Foundation would launch Dowry-Free Marriage Campaign from the forthcoming month in Mithila and other parts of Bihar. The centre of this campaign will, of course, be Saurath Sabha Gachhi. Buoyed by this year’s gathering at Saurath Sabha, Dr Jha announced that Mithilalok Foundation would make more elaborate arrangement from next year to maintain the tempo of interests shown by Maithils in this historical congregation.