SANCHIPAT LEKHAN: An ancient tradition of writing manuscript among the Satras


An ancient technique of writing Manuscript


Sachipat does not mean the leaf of a Sachi tree. In Assamese the leaf of a tree is referred to as Pat from the ancestral past and it became synonymous to the use of barks which appears as much as thin like a leaf. As morapat is referred to the bark extracted from Mora plant in Assamese the writing material prepared from the bark of sacred Sashi tree is call ed Sachipat. The tree of age more than 50 years of growth is preferred appropriate for the extraction of Sachipat. The cut-off portion of Sachi tree is filled up with fresh cow dung so that it could be filled up within a period of 5-6 months.

Traditionally, the Satra has to maintain sanctity and purity for collecting Sachi pat. The persons assigned for the collection of Sachipat has to undergo certain cultural practices according to the Vaishnav tradition. In the early morning, before visiting the site of collection, the collector has to take ceremonial bath, pray to the giver of Sachi. While collecting Sachi pat, the collector has to bear in mind that the sizable amount of Sachi pat has to be removed from the tree and cutting should be done above the level of his naval otherwise it is regarded to be a kind of disrespect to the sacred tree whom the Satra considered as the giver of Sachipat where vivid details and rachnas of Gods and goddesses are scripted.

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