The volumes of the Project on the History of Science, Philosophy and Culture (PHISPC) aim at discovering the main aspects of India’s heritage and present them in an interrelated way. These volumes, in spite of their unitary look, recognize the difference between the areas of material civilization and those of ideational culture. The project is not being executed by a single group of thinkers who are methodologically uniform or ideologically identical in their commitments. In fact, contributions are made by different scholars with different ideological persuasions and methodological approaches. The project is marked by what may be called ‘methodological pluralism’. In spite of its primarily historical character, this Project, both in its conceptualization and execution has been shaped by scholars drawn from different disciplines. It is for the first time that an endeavour of such a unique and comprehensive character has been undertaken to study critically a major world civilization like India.
Assam is unique for her rich legacy of culture and civilization. According to the scholars, the word “Assam” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Asoma” which means peerless or unparalleled. People belonging to diverse racial stocks, such as, Austric Mongoiloid, Dravidian and Aryan, who came to this land long ago have contributed to its composite culture.
Assam is widely known as the birthplace of the great Vaishnaya saint Mahapurush Sankaradeva (1449-1569 a.d.). Besides establishing a new Vishnava faith, namely, Eka-sarana-nama-dharma, Sankaradeva brought about a revolution in the social, cultural and religious life of the people belonging to different section of the society on the basis of race, caste and creed, establishing equality among the people in the society, Assamese literature since the time of Sankaradeva onwards has made tremendous progress and has occupied a place of pride among the notable literatures in the regional languages of India.
The present volume Assamese Language, Literature and Culture is an anthology of 32 (thirty two) articles on Assamese language, literature, artistic culture and religious faith. It is an attempt to present as glimpse of Assamese culture written mostly by scholars who have researched in and contributed to their respective fields.