SIVASAGAR, Aug 24: Dr Sashanbansho Mahathera, a highly esteemed Buddhist litterateur and spiritual leader of the Solapathar Buddhist Monastery, peacefully passed away on Wednesday night at the age of 98 in the Solapathar Buddha Mandir, located 30 km from Sivasagar. His departure was witnessed by a large number of devoted followers and disciples. Dr Mahathera had been grappling with age-related ailments for approximately a year. His demise is mourned by the All Assam Buddhist Mahasabha along with several socio-cultural organisations spanning Sivasagar and Charaideo districts.
His mortal remains will be displayed in the shrine for public homage over the course of three days. Subsequently, his body will be preserved in a mummified state for the next six months before his final cremation, as per sources closely associated with the shrine.
Dr Mahathera, a revered figure among Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims alike, garnered widespread respect from various communities in Desangpani, Solapathar, Lakwa, Sonari, Simalugur, and the surrounding regions. With a literary output exceeding fifty books, he utilised the Assamese language to propagate the profound tenets of Buddhist philosophy and literature among the masses. His writings played a pivotal role in shaping and disseminating oral traditions and scriptures within Buddhist society.
Having undertaken a spiritually enriching journey on foot to Myanmar, Dr Mahathera was a postgraduate in the Pali language. His contribution was honoured with numerous awards and recognitions bestowed by diverse institutions and organisations.
The All Assam Buddhist Mahasabha is actively preparing to commemorate his 98th birth anniversary at the Solapathar Buddha Monastery on October 27.