The Interplay of State and Religion in the Brahmaputra Valley from 16th to the 18th Centuries

By Diplina Saharia

This paper intends to analyze the frequently changing relationships between the Ahom state and the Vaishnava Sattras. The Ahom state, throughout their rule, followed different policies of persecution, peace and patronage to deal with the Vaishnava Sattras keeping in mind the exigencies of the time. Sometimes the Vaishnava saints were persecuted by the Ahom kings and sometimes they were patronised. Sometimes a period of comparative peace prevailed. This paper draws upon what made the Ahom rulers to be in continuous rift with the Vaishnavas. It also looks at the Ahom state’s acceptance and patronization of the Brahminical religion and their persecution of the Vaishnava saints of few Sattras; the reason behind the persecution of the Vaishnava preceptors of some selective Sattras and how it affected the social structure and political scenario of the time.

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