Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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John Lawrence, 1st Baron Lawrence
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/12/20

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Image
The Right Honourable
The Lord Lawrence
Bt GCB GCSI PC
The then Sir John Lawrence photographed by Maull & Polybank, c. 1850s
Viceroy and Governor-General of India
In office
12 January 1864 – 12 January 1869
Monarch Queen Victoria
Prime Minister
Preceded by Sir William Denison
As Acting Viceroy and Governor-General
Succeeded by The Earl of Mayo
Personal details
Born: 4 March 1811, Richmond, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Died: 27 June 1879 (aged 68), London, United Kingdom
Nationality: British
Spouse(s): Harriette Hamilton, (m. 1841)
Alma mater: East India Company College

John Laird Mair Lawrence, 1st Baron Lawrence, GCB GCSI PC (4 March 1811 – 27 June 1879), known as Sir John Lawrence, Bt., between 1858 and 1869, was an English-born Ulsterman who became a prominent British Imperial statesman who served as Viceroy of India from 1864 to 1869.

Early life

Lawrence was born in Richmond, North Yorkshire.[1] He was the youngest son born into a Protestant Ulster-Scots family, his mother, Letitia Knox, being from County Donegal while his father was from Coleraine in County Londonderry. Lawrence spent his early years in Derry, a city in the Province of Ulster in the northern part of Ireland, and was educated at Foyle College and Wraxhall School in Bath.[2] His father had served in India as a soldier in the British Army and his elder brothers included Sir George Lawrence and Sir Henry Lawrence.

At the age of sixteen, despite wishing for a military career like his brothers, his father enrolled him at the East India Company College, Haileybury, believing a career as a civil servant offered better prospects.[3] He attended Haileybury for two years, where by his own admission he was neither very idle nor very industrious, yet he won prizes in history, political economy and Bengali.[3]

Passage to India

Lawrence entered the Bengal Civil Service and in September 1829 he set sail for India with his brother Henry. On arrival he settled at Fort William where he was expected to pass examinations in local vernacular.[3] Having successfully mastered Persian and Urdu, Lawrence's first job was as a magistrate and tax collector in Delhi.[4] After four years in Delhi he was transferred to Panipat and two years hence was placed in charge of Gurgaon district.[3]

In 1837, Lawrence was made a settlement officer at Etawah. Whilst doing the role he caught jungle fever and was close to death. He spent three months in Calcutta to convalesce but having failed to recover he returned to England in 1840. The following year, whilst in County Donegal he met and married his wife Harriette in August 1841.[2] The couple then spent six months travelling Europe until news from the First Anglo-Afghan War led to them returning to England, and back to India in the autumn of 1842.[3]

On his return to India, Lawrence was appointed a Civil and Sessions Judge in Delhi, and given responsibility over Karnal.[3] During the First Anglo-Sikh War between 1845 and 1846, Sir Henry Hardinge sent orders for Lawrence to assist the armed forces. He played a key role ahead of the Battle of Sobraon, ensuring supplies and guns were collected and transferred to the battle.[3]

Punjab

Jullundur and the Hill States


The East India Company's victory at Sobraon brought the war to an end, and his brother Henry was made the Resident at Lahore. Sir Henry Hardinge appointed Lawrence to govern the newly-annexed Jullundur district and Hill-States regions of the Punjab.[4] In that role he was known for his administrative reforms, for subduing the hill tribes, and for his attempts to end the custom of suttee.[3] He attempted to tackle the issue of female infanticide, successfully threatening the Bedi's with confiscation of their lands if they didn't give up the practice.[3] His assistant Robert Cust described Lawrence's interviews with native land-holders as follows:[3]

John Lawrence was full of energy – his coat off, his sleeves turned up above his elbows and impressing upon his subjects his principles of a just state demand...thou shall not burn thy widow, thou shall not kill thy daughters; thou shall not bury alive thy lepers.


Another assistant, Lewin Bowring, described how he had a rough tongue with the local chiefs, who had a wholesome dread of him. He was described as far abler than his brother at details, but was not held in as much affection by the chiefs.[3]

Board of Administration

On 30 March 1849, the Punjab was proclaimed a province of British India. A Board of Administration was formed to govern the province, led by Henry Lawrence, and with John Lawrence assisting alongside Charles Grenville Mansel. In the role he was responsible for numerous reforms of the province, including the abolition of internal duties, establishment of a common currency and postal system, and encouraged the development of Punjabi infrastructure, earning him the sobriquet of "the Saviour of the Punjab".[3] Lawrence was eager to raise money for public works and to raise improve infrastructure after half a century of conflict, however was also driven to make ends meet and to deliver a surplus.[3]

After three years, revenue had increased by fifty percent and the Punjab was delivering a surplus of over one million pounds sterling.[3] Lawrence oversaw an extension of the Grand Trunk Road from Delhi to Peshawar, the construction of a highway from Lahore to Multan, and the Bari Doab Canal which provided a boon to cultivators in the area.[3]

Despite being highly successful in its output, the Board of Administration also saw tensions over Henry's policy of retaining the support of the local aristocracy, with John arguing that the policy was too extravagant and hurting finances.[4] In December 1852, with the success of the Board of Administration ensured, both John and Henry offered their resignation, both with a view of take up the vacant Residency at Hyderabad.[3] Lord Dalhousie also feeling the necessity of a Board of Administration was no longer required, sought to replace it with a Chief Commissioner. Dalhousie accepted Henry's resignation and made John the first Chief Commissioner of the Punjab.[4]

Chief Commissioner

As Chief Commissioner, Lawrence carried on the policies from before - public works were extended, industry and education encouraged and surveying completed. He granted greater authority to villages, and upheld the decisions of village headsmen.[3] In addition, Lawrence now also had responsibility for managing the mercurial group of assistants recruited by his brother known as Henry Lawrence's "Young Men".

In February 1856, John returned to Calcutta to wish farewell to the departing Lord Dalhousie who was retiring to England. As a parting gift, Dalhouse recommended Lawrence for a KCB.[2] Whilst in Calcutta, John would also meet Henry for the last time, spending three days together.[3]

Sepoy Rebellion

See also: Indian Rebellion of 1857

Image
John Laird Mair Lawrence, 1st Baron Lawrence in 1860s

John Lawrence was in Rawalpindi when he received news of a sepoy uprising in Meerut.[3]

The Punjab garrison in May 1857 was 60,000 strong, consisting of 10,000 Europeans, 36,000 Hindustani sepoys and 14,000 Punjabi irregulars.[3] His first step was to disarm potentially disaffected sepoys by splitting them into detachments and dispatching them to the Afghan frontier where they were less likely to rebel.[3] His next steps were to send the Corps of Guides, 1st Punjabi's (Coke's Afridis), 4th Sikhs and 4th Punjab Infantry seven hundred miles to Delhi.[3] To patrol the now militarily depleted Punjab, Lawrence then at the suggestion of John Nicholson and Herbert Edwardes deployed a movable column of lightly equipped European and Punjabi troops, and chose Neville Chamberlain to lead it.[3]

To guarantee the loyalty of the Punjab, he requested Sikh chiefs show gratitude for leniency following annexation, and Patiala, Jhind, Nabha and Kapurthala all offered troops and money in support of the British. This ensured the lines of communication between Delhi and Lahore remained open.[3] He wrote to influential Sikhs who had previously rebelled during the Second Sikh War, and successfully secured their support by offering them a chance of redemption if they lent support against the mutiny. Lawrence was also able to gain the support of Muslims in the Punjab such as the Nawab of Karnal.[3]

As the fighting continued, Lawrence felt inclined to send the large contingent of European soldiers stationed at Peshawar to Delhi.[3] This raised the prospect of an attack by Dost Mohammed Khan when the Peshawar garrison was left less secure. Lawrence's assistants, led by John Nicholson and even the Governor-General, Lord Canning, were insistent on the need to protect Peshawar.[3] Lawrence nonetheless placed greater importance on the fall of Delhi, and pressed ahead with the re-deployment of troops to Delhi. By 6 September, Lawrence wrote to Lord Canning that the Punjab had sent every man they could spare.[3] On 14 September, Delhi had been recaptured and due to his actions Lawrence was acclaimed as the 'Saviour of India'.[5]

Aftermath of Rebellion

In the immediate aftermath of the rebellion, the British perpetrated acts of vengeance, including summary executions.[6] In February 1858 Delhi became part of the Punjab, and Lawrence took steps to check the acts of vengeance.[7] That same month he wrote to Lord Canning urging him to permit sepoys who had not taken part in the mutiny to return home, and to grant an amnesty for those who did not murder anyone and had given up their arms.[3]

Calls were made to raze Delhi to the ground, and dismantle the Jama Masjid, however Lawrence resisted such calls stating holy places should be spared.[3] Popular opinion within British society was shaped by reports of the atrocities committed by the rebels and demanded the most severe retribution on the alleged culprits, an opinion which was resisted by Lord Canning and Lawrence.[3]

In 1858, the Punjab was made a Lieutenant Governorship which resulted in an increase in staff and other privileges. In February 1859, Lawrence handed over power to Robert Montgomery and set sail for England. For his service in the mutiny he was created a baronet, granted a GCB, made a Privy Councillor and received an annual pension from the East India Company of £2,000.[8] On arrival in England he was greeted with a lavish ceremony at Guildhall and afforded an audience with Queen Victoria.[3] He also took up a role with the Council of India based at Whitehall.[3]

Additionally he received the freedoms of the cities of London (1858) and Glasgow (1860), the freedom of the Worshipful Company of Grocers (1859) and honorary doctorates of civil law from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge (1859).[9]

Viceroy of India

Image
Sir John Lawrence as Viceroy of India, sitting middle, with his Executive Council members and Secretaries

Following the unexpected death of Lord Elgin in 1863, Lawrence accepted the offer to become Viceroy of India. On 12 January 1864, Sir John Lawrence returned to India. His stated ambitions as Viceroy were to consolidate British power and to improve the ‘condition of the people’.[10] One of his first acts was to ban the Hindu practice of throwing their dead into the Hooghly River.[11] To enable Lawrence to claim both his annuity from the East India Company and his full salary as Viceroy, the Salary of Sir J. Lawrence Act 1864 was passed in March 1864.[12]

Domestic policy

In domestic policy, Lawrence sought to increase tenant security and to reduce fiscal assessments imposed on Indians, believing that what had worked in the Punjab would work across British India.[10] He saw light taxation as a matter of fairness and pragmatism, arguing that for Indian yeomen to safeguard British rule it was essential that they should feel the benefits of a British administration. Lawrence resisted calls for increasing the taxation of salt that would have disproportionately affected poorer Indians. He calculated that the excise on salt increased its price as much as twelvefold in the Punjab, and perhaps by eight times in the North West Provinces.[10] Lawrence abhorred the stance taken by many of his compatriots, who considered it their 'prerogative while in India to pay no taxation at all.' He characterised the non-official British community in India as 'birds of passage', rushing to amass wealth as quickly as possible with no care for what happened after their departure.[10]

Arguably the greatest failure of Lawrence's tenure was the Orissa famine of 1866, in which an estimated one million Indians died.[10] Part of the criticism focused on his moving the government apparatus to the cooler hills of Simla which was geographically remote from the centre of power in Calcutta.[10] In response, Lawrence offered his resignation, but this was refused by Viscount Cranborne.[10]

Foreign policy

In 1858, under the terms of the Queen's Proclamation issued by Queen Victoria British India, came under the direct rule of the British crown.[13] As such government policies were no longer decided by the East India Company but by a minister at Westminster. During Lawrence's tenure as Viceroy he was afforded considerable scope by Westminster for determining Indian foreign policy largely due to his fame and wealth of knowledge in the region.[10]

In June 1863, the Emir of Afghanistan, Dost Muhammad Khan, died. This resulted in a civil war within Afghanistan at a time when the British government were concerned with Russian expansionism in central Asia. Lawrence adopted a policy of strict non-intervention on Afghanistan, adopting a policy that would be known as 'masterly inactivity.' As such no British envoys or troops were sent to Afghanistan. He even prohibited civilian explorers from wandering beyond the frontier. It has been argued that part of Lawrence's reasoning for this policy may have been shaped by his experience of the disastrous First Anglo-Afghan War where his brother George was held captive.[14]

Lawrence argued that any serious attempt to restrain Russia's advance by active measures in Afghanistan would certainly lead to a policy resulting in the eventual occupation of that country, as was the case in 1838.[10] Amongst the strongest criticism of Lawrence's policy of ‘masterly inactivity’ came from serving or former British army officers in India such as Henry Rawlinson and Sir Sydney Cotton.[10] Criticism centred on the belief that Britain's apparent passivity would allow Russia to establish her influence at Kabul.[10]

Return to England

Lawrence completed his five-year term as Viceroy and returned to England in January 1869. In April he was raised to the peerage as Baron Lawrence, of the Punjaub and of Grateley in the County of Southampton.[15]

Arthur Munby, as quoted in Munby, Man of Two Worlds, wrote: 'Thursday, 31st. May, 18??:... Passing through Kensington Tuesday, (29th.May) I saw a man of all others worth seeing-Sir John Lawrence. He was riding down the street alone—without even a groom:and no one knew or noticed him. A large, loosely made man:sitting grave and quiet on his horse; with sallow wrinkled face and grizzled moustache: riding along, an unappreciated king of men, with such keen eyes and such a solemn face! And he all unnoticed, and still a commoner, while Vernon Smith is a peer! But idiots are proverbially the favourites of fortune.'

He was chairman of the London School Board between 1870 and 1873.[16]

He briefly returned to the public sphere, as a critic of the Conservative government's Afghan policy in the months preceding the Second Afghan War in 1878.[10]

Death

Lawrence died in London on 27 June 1879, aged 68 and was buried at Westminster Abbey.[2]

Family

Image
Statue of Lord Lawrence in Waterloo Place, London

Lawrence married Harriette Katherine, daughter of The Reverend Richard Hamilton, in 1841.[2] They had 4 sons and 6 daughters:[17]

• Charlotte Lawrence (1839–)
• Catherine Letitia Lawrence (1843–1931)
• Harriette Emily Lawrence (1844–1918)
• John Hamilton Lawrence (1845–1913), succeeded his father as the 2nd Baron Lawrence
• Henry Lawrence (1848–1902), a noted rugby player who captained England in two matches, including the first ever international against Ireland.
• Alice Margaret Lawrence (1850–1944)
• Mary Emma Lawrence (1852–1939)
• Charles Napier Lawrence (1854–1927), businessman and was created Baron Lawrence of Kingsgate in 1923
• Herbert Alexander Lawrence (1861–1943), a First World War general and a banker
• Maude Agnes Lawrence (1865–1933)

Legacy

A boarding house at the East India Company College (today Haileybury and Imperial Service College) and a "house" at Foyle College was subsequently named after him. Lawrence is also a Senior Wing House at St Paul's School, Darjeeling, in India, where all the Senior Wing Houses are named after colonial-era civil service and military figures.

A statue of him stands at Foyle and Londonderry College (having been, originally, erected in Lahore). The statue, by Sir Joseph Boehme, once showed Lawrence with a pen in one hand and a sword in the other, along with the caption "By which will you be governed?". The pen and sword were used to illustrate his versatility as an administrator and a soldier. Vandals have since damaged the sword. Another statue of Lawrence stands in Waterloo Place in central London.

Arms

Image
Coat of arms of John Lawrence, 1st Baron Lawrence

Crest: Out of an eastern crown Or a cubit arm entwined by a wreath of laurel and holding a dagger all Proper.
Escutcheon: Ermine on a cross raguly Gules an eastern crown Or on a chief Azure two swords in saltire Proper pommels and hilts Gold between as many leopards’ faces Argent
Supporters: Dexter, an officer of the Guide Cavalry (Irregulars) of the Pathan tribe in the province of Peshawar habited and accoutred Proper. Sinister an officer of the Sikh Irregular cavalry also habited and accoutred Proper.
Motto: Be Ready[18]

References

1. "BBC – Radio 4 Empire – the Sepoy Rebellion (I)".
2. Venn, John (15 September 2011). Alumni Cantabrigienses: A Biographical List of All Known Students, Graduates and Holders of Office at the University of Cambridge, from the Earliest Times to 1900, Volume 2. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1108036146.
3. Gibbon, Frederick (1908). The Lawrences of the Punjab. London: JM Dent & Co. ISBN 978-1-331-55959-7.
4. Harlow & Carter, Barbara & Mia (2003). Archives of Empire: Volume I. From The East India Company to the Suez Canal Volume 1 of Archives of Empire. New Delhi: Duke University Press. ISBN 0822331640.
5. The Times, 29 July 1858, p. 8.
6. Metcalf, The Aftermath of Revolt, p. 295.
7. Metcalf, The Aftermath of Revolt, p. 295.
8. "No. 22171". The London Gazette. 6 August 1858. p. 3667.
9. Bosworth Smith, Life of Lord Lawrence, vol. II, chs. 8 & 9.
10. Wallace, Christopher Julian (June 2014). 'Masterly inactivity': Lord Lawrence, Britain and Afghanistan, 1864–1879. King's College London.
11. Bosworth Smith, Life of Lord Lawrence, vol. II, p. 418
12. A Collection of the Public General Statutes passed in the Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth Years of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria: Being the Sixth Session of the Eighteenth Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswoode. 1864. p. 3.
13. Hibbert 2000, p. 221
14. J.L. Duthie, ‘Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson and the Art of Great Gamesmanship’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, XI (1983), 258.
15. "No. 23483". The London Gazette. 30 March 1869. p. 2006.
16. Mosley, Charles, editor. Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes. Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003.
17. "John Laird Mair Lawrence, 1st Baron Lawrence". The Peerage.
18. Burke's Peerage. 1949.

Attribution

• This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Lawrence, John Laird Mair Lawrence, 1st Baron". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
• Mundy, Man of Two Worlds.Derek Hudson.The Life and Diaries of Arthur Munby, 1828–1910.Abacus Edition, 1974, published by Sphere Books.

Further reading

• "Lawrence, John Laird Mair". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/16182. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
• William Ford (1887). John Laird Mair Lawrence, a viceroy of India.
• Reginald Bosworth Smith, Life of Lord Lawrence, in 2 vols., (London: Smith Elder & Co., 1883)
o "Review of Life of Lord Lawrence by R. Bosworth Smith". The Quarterly Review. 155: 289–326. April 1883.

External links

• Portraits of John Laird Mair Lawrence, 1st Baron Lawrence at the National Portrait Gallery, London
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:59 am

Brahmo Samaj of India
by thebrahmosamaj.net
Accessed: 2/12/20

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


A meeting was held on 11th November 1866 at the house of the Brahmo Samaj of India Calcutta College in which more than two hundred people assembled and the Brahmo Samaj of India was formally established. It was proposed by Keshub Chandra Sen and seconded by Aghornath Gupta. One of the resolutions in the meeting was to publish a compilation of sacred texts from different scriptures and another resolution marked a farewell address to Debendranath Tagore conveying the love and reverence of the younger members.

There was a renewed burst of missionary activity and Bijoy Krishna Goswami, Aghornath Gupta and Jadunath Chakravarti started for Eastern Bengal. Great efforts were made to get ready a number of publications including a collection of texts from the scriptures of different nations to be placed in the hands of these missionaries.

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On the occasion of the anniversary festival on 24th January 1868 Keshub laid the foundation stone of his mandir called the Tabernacle of New Dispensation. Keshub and his followes marched to the proposed spot early in the morning performing sankirtan and this was the first Brahmo street procession and it was the first of its kind in Calcutta. Adi Samaj condemned it as a degradation of Brahmoism.

Image
Keshub Chandra Sen

The newly constructed chapel was consecrated on 22nd of August, 1869. The declaration of the principles of the new church was as follows:

Today, by Divine Grace, the public worship of God is instituted in these premises for the use of the Brahmo community. Every day, at least every week, the Only God without a second, the Perfect and Infinite, the Creator of all, Omnipresent, Almighty, All-Knowing, All-Merciful, and All-Holy shall be worshipped in these premises. No created object shall be worshipped here, no man or inferior being or material object shall be worshipped here, as identical with God or like unto God or as an incarnation of God, and no prayer or hymn shall be offered, or chanted in the name of any except God. No carved or painted image, no external symbol which has been or may hereafter be used by any sect for the purpose of worship, or the remembrance of any particular event shall be preserved here. No creature shall be sacrificed here; neither eating nor drinking nor any manner of mirth or amusement shall be allowed here. No created being or object that has been or may hereafter be worshipped by any sect shall be ridiculed or condemned in the course of the Divine Service to be conducted here. No book shall be acknowledged or revered as the infallible work of God; yet no book which has been or may hereafter be acknowledged by any sect to be infallible shall be ridiculed or condemned. No sect shall be vilified, ridiculed or hated. No prayer, hymn, sermon or discourse to be delivered or used here shall countenance or encourage any manner of idolatry, sectarianism or sin. Divine service shall be conducted here in such a spirit or manner as may enable all men and women, irrespective of distinction of caste and colour and condition, to unite in one family, eschew all manner of error and sin and advance in wisdom, faith and righteousness. The congregation of the Brahmo Mandir of India shall worship God in these premises according to the rules and principles hereinbefore set forth."


This was close to the principles laid down by Rammohun Roy in the Trust Deed of the Brahmo Samaj.

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Symbol of Navavidhan

Image

The New Dispensation was anounced in 1880. A special festival commenced on 1st Magh and went on to 19th Magh (according to the Bengali calendar). A Pilgrimage to the Saints special service was held in the memory of great men like Moses, Socrates, Sakya, The Rishis, Christ, Muhammad, Chaitanya, and Scientific men. A new feature called the flag ceremony and the Arati (lighting of the Panchapradip five lamps and waving it with the ringing of bells, sound of conch shells) was added in 1881. Keshub told his Apostles of the New Dispensation to go bear the flag of the New Dispensation. This flag reconciles the four religions -- Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. It also reconciles East, West, North and South. It also reconciles bhakti (love), jnan (knowledge), yoga (communion) and karma (good works). In 1881, the old Missionary Conference was converted to the Apostolic Durbar. The missionaries were classified as Apostles proper and Apostles on probation. Special vows were also formulated on this occasion. They were: The Vow of Poverty, Sacramental Ceremony, The Vow of Self-Surrender, An Order of Sisterhood, An Order of Divinity students, The Hom ceremony, The New Baptisimal ceremony, and much later on a Vow of conjugal asceticism.

The New Law

From the New Dispensation of 2nd September, 1883

The signs of the times clearly point to the necessity of organisation. Heaven calls us to fellowship and unity. And who can be indifferent or defiant when the Lord our Master issues His mandate? Scattered Israel must be gathered saith the Lord. Undisciplined and unruly soldiers must be brought under control and discipline, and the Army of the Faithful must be forthwith organised. Wandering pilgrims and way-farers must be brought home, and united by domestic ties of attachment and kinship, and the home of God's children must be erected in India. The Lord's people shall no longer live under foreign powers in a state of mutual estrangement and separation, but must dwell together in the Holy City of the New Dispensation, under heaven's Sovereign. Lawless hordes of men and women must abide in peace and unity under the Reigns of Law. Such, we apprehend, is the command of our Master, and we must hasten to render loyal obedience. The New Samhita will be shortly ready, and a day ought to be appointed for its formal promulgation among our people, a day that will close the epoch of anarchy, self-wilt and lawlessness and usher in the kingdom of law and discipline and harmony. All our Churches in the metropolis and the provinces and all individuals professing loyalty to the divine Dispensation ought to acknowledge and accept the Law on that occasion, for their own guidance and the regulation of all social and domestic concerns. Let not the Samhita be a new fetish. It is no infallible gospel: it is not our holy scripture. It is only the national Law of the Aryans of the New Church in India, in which is embodied the spirit of the New Faith in its application to social life. It contains the essence of God's moral law adapted to the peculiar needs and structure of reformed Hindus and based upon their national instincts and traditions. It is essentially, not literally, Heaven's holy Injunction unto us of the New Church in India.

We shall not, therefore, bow to its letter, but accept its spirit and its essence for our guidance.

How many in India are to obey the summons of our Holy Church? How many families are ready to submit to the ordinances of the New Law? Let them come forward in scores, in hundreds, from all parts of India, and unite not merely in doctrine and faith but in daily life on the organized basis of the fellowship of law. One God, one scripture, one law, one baptism, one home, shall unite us in a mighty fraternal alliance, before which no enemy shall prevail, and all the powers of evil shall eventually succumb. The blessed season has come, and let all our brethren prepare.


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Protap Chunder Moozomdar

After the death of Keshub there was bitter factionalism in the Samaj and it was torn into divisions and sub divisions. The members of the Durbar wanted to keep the pulpit at the Tabernacle vacant denying access to the preachers who came after him. This led to a conflict with Protap Chunder Moozomdarm who was dragged away bodily off the pulpit when he accessed it one day. There was bitter tug of war between the constitutionalist and the Durbar people. The Victoria college was maintained by grants from the Cooch Behar Maharani helped by P C Moozomdar. Pran Krishna Dutta ran the Calcutta Orphanage and Prasanna Kumar Sen founded the school Keshub Academy. There were also a lot of publications from the Samaj like the Bengali Dharmatattwa and Bamabodhini, the English Indian Mirror, Sunday Mirror etc.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:16 am

Aghore Nath Gupta
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/12/20

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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Image
Aghore Nath Gupta
Born: 1841, Shantipur
Died: 9 December 1881, Lucknow
Occupation: Brahmo missionary, scholar on Buddhism

Aghore Nath Gupta (Bengali: অঘোরনাথ গুপ্ত) (1841–1881) was a scholar of Buddhism and a preacher of the Brahmo Samaj.[1] He was designated Sadhu (saint) after his premature death in recognition of his pious life.[2] Sivanath Sastri wrote about him, "His unfeigned humility, deep spirituality and earnest devotion were a new revelation to the members of the Samaj."[3]

Formative years

The son of Jadab Chandra Roy Kabibhusan, he was born at Shantipur in Nadia. He lost his father at the age of twelve and had his early education in the traditional centres of education, the tols and pathasalas. When he went to Kolkata to study in Sanskrit College, he came under the influence of Debendranath Tagore and Keshub Chunder Sen and joined the Brahmo movement.[1]

Initiated into the Brahmo movement by his fellow-villager Bijoy Krishna Goswami, he was amongst the first apostles of the Brahmo Samaj, who took up its banner in the midst of bitter persecution and great privations.[4]

A strict vegetarian in his personal life, he devoted much of his time to prayers. Aghore Nath married a child widow of a different caste in 1863.[1]

Missionary work

Braja Sundar Mitra had bought a house in Armeniatola in Dhaka in 1857 and started a Brahmo Samaj there.[5] He started a Brahmo School there in 1863. Aghore Nath joined the school as a missionary teacher and stayed there for about ten months. Amongst those who were influenced by him to join the Brahmo Samaj were Banga Chandra Roy and Bhuban Mohan Sen. It was during this period that the two brothers Kali Mohan Das and Durga Mohan Das visited Dhaka and created a stir with their speeches. Keshub Chunder Sen visited Dhaka in 1865 and with the growing influence of the Brahmo Samaj, persecution increased manifold.[6]

In his earlier days, Aghore Nath was a missionary of the Adi Samaj. On 11 November 1866, when in a meeting in the premises of Calcutta College on Chitpore Road, Keshub Chunder Sen moved a resolution for the formation of Brahmo Samaj of India, it was seconded by Aghore Nath.[7] With renewed activity he went to Barisal in 1867, where Durga Mohan Das was the centre of a reformatory movement. From there he proceeded on a missionary tour of Tipperah and Chittagong.[8] Later, he went to Munger, where subsequently Keshub Chunder Sen launched a major bhakti (devotional) movement.[9]

He was the first Brahmo missionary to venture into Assam (in 1870) [10] and had worked in Odisha [11] and Punjab.[12]

With the second schism of the Brahmo Samaj in 1878 and the formation of the Navavidhan or the New Dispensation in 1869, Aghore Nath was ordained as an apostle of the New Dispensation for the Punjab in 1881.[13]

However he died the same year under rather tragic circumstances. He had travelled to Punjab on a mission tour but had to give up because of failing health. Afflicted with diabetes, then a killer disease, he went to Lucknow, where his elder brother took care of him until he died.[14]

Erudition

In 1869, Keshub Chunder Sen selected from his missionaries four persons and ordained them as adhypaks or scholars of the four major religions of the world. Gour Govinda Ray was made the scholar of Hinduism, Protap Chunder Mozoomdar, the scholar of Christianity, Aghore Nath Gupta, the scholar of Buddhism and Girish Chandra Sen, the scholar of Islam. Subsequently, Trailokyanath Sanyal was also ordained as an adhyapak of music.[15]

In order to go to the depths of Buddhism he learnt Pali, Sanskrit and European languages. He studied the Buddhist scriptures in the original. His greatest contribution was Sakyamunicharit O Nirbantattya, a book on Buddhism produced after strenuous research into the original text and commentaries in Pali, Sanskrit and European languages. It was the first book on Buddhism in Bengali. He assisted Keshub Chunder Sen in editing Slokasangraha. He wrote extensively in the Dharmatattwa and Sulava Samachar.[1]

Works

Sakyamunicharit O Nirbantattya, Dhruva O Prahlad, Debarshi Narader Nabajibon Labh, Dharmasopan, and Upadeshabali.[1]

References

1. Sengupta, Subodh Chandra and Bose, Anjali, Sansad Bangali Charitabhidhan (Biographical dictionary) (in Bengali), p3, Sahitya Samsad, ISBN 81-85626-65-0
2. Sastri, Sivanath, History of the Brahmo Samaj, 1911-12/1993, p248, Sadharan Brahmo Samaj.
3. Sastri, Sivanath, p414.
4. Sastri, Sivanath, pp87-88
5. Sastri, Sivanath, p394
6. Sastri, Sivanath, p396
7. Sastri, Sivanath, pp113-114
8. Sastri, Sivanath, pp134-135
9. Sastri, Sivanath, p143
10. Sastri, Sivanath, p518
11. Sastri, Sivanath, p521
12. Sastri, Sivanath, p447
13. Ghosh, Nirvarpriya, The Evolution of Navavidhan, 1930, p141, Navavidhan Press.
14. Sastri, Sivanath, p248
15. Sastri, Sivanath, p208
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Bijoy Krishna Goswami
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Accessed: 2/12/20

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Bijoy Krishna Goswami
Image of Bijoy Krishna Goswami
Personal
Born: 2 August 1841, Shantipur, Bengal, British India
Died: 1899
Religion: Hinduism
Philosophy: Vedanta

Bijoy Krishna Goswami (Bengali: বিজয় কৃষ্ণ গোস্বামী) (2 August 1841 – 1899)[1] was a prominent Hindu social reformer and religious figure in India during the British period.[2]

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Idol of Vijay Krishna

Brahmo Samaj was started at Calcutta on 20 August 1828 by Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Debendranath Tagore as reformation of the prevailing Brahmanism of the time (specifically Kulin practices). From the Brahmo Samaj springs Brahmoism, the most recent of legally recognised religions in India and Bangladesh, reflecting its foundation on reformed spiritual Hinduism with vital elements of Judeo-Islamic faith and practice.[3][4] Bijoy's partial disillusionment from Brahmo Samaj led him to study the Chaitanya Charitamrita, a biography detailing the life and teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486–1534), a Vaisnava saint and founder of the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya.[5]

Bijoy Krishna Goswami belonged to the "Advaita Family" and was the 7th direct descendant of Advaita Acharya, personal teacher and associate of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

See also

• Keshab Chandra Sen

References

1. Kenneth W. Jones (1 May 1990). The New Cambridge History of India: Socio-religious reform movements in British India. Cambridge University Press. pp. 39–. ISBN 978-0-521-24986-7. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
2. Prabhavananda (Swāmi); Swami Prabhavananda (1970). The Eternal Companion: Brahmananda; Teachings and Reminiscences, with a Biography. Vedanta Press. pp. 42–. ISBN 978-0-87481-024-0. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
3. "Official Brahmo website". Brahmosamaj.in. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
4. "Bangladesh Law Commission" (PDF). Retrieved 15 October 2012.
5. Shandilya, Krupa. Intimate Relations: Social Reform and the Late Nineteenth-Century South Asian Novel, Chapter 2, note 12, Northwestern University Press, 2017ISBN 9780810134249

External links

• Sadguru Shree Shree Bijoy Krishna Goswami (Gosaiji)
• Biography - Bijoy Krishna Goswami
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Protap Chunder Mozoomdar
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Protap Chunder Majoomdar
Born: 1840
Died: 1905
Nationality: Bengali
Occupation: Writer, Religious Leader

Protap Chunder Mozoomdar (Bengali: প্রতাপ চন্দ্র মজুমদার Protap Chôndro Mojumdar, also transliterated as Pratap Chander Mozoomdar) (1840–1905) was a leader of the Hindu reform movement, the Brahmo Samaj, in Bengal, India, and a close follower of Keshub Chandra Sen. He was a leading exemplar of the interaction between the philosophies and ethics of Hinduism and Christianity, about which he wrote in his book, The Oriental Christ.

Life and work

Sen and his colleagues agreed that four Brahmos would study and report on the relationship between Brahmo ideals and the four major world religions (Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism and Islam). Gour Govinda Ray was deputed to examine Hinduism; Aghore Nath Gupta, Buddhism and Girish Chandra Sen, Islam. Mozoomdar was deputed to study Christianity. His resulting book, The Oriental Christ, was published by Geo. H. Ellis in Boston in 1883.[1] It was much discussed in the West, and eventually led to an important correspondence between Mozoomdar and Max Müller about the relationship between Hinduism and Christianity. After Mozoomdar published the correspondence it led to controversy in both Britain and India. Müller's efforts to get Mozoomdar to state openly that he was now a Christian were rejected by Mozoomdar, who argued that the label "Christian" did not properly articulate his own positive view of Jesus as a model of self-sacrifice, one whose actions and claims to divinity he interpreted from within the Brahmo philosophy. In turn Müller stated that Christians should learn from the Brahmos and should abandon the traditional Christian formulation of Atonement.[2]

Image

Mozoomdar also wrote several books about the spiritual and social ideals of the Brahmo movement and a biography of Sen, The Life and Teachings of Keshub Chunder Sen (1887). He also wrote a biography of Ramakrishna, of whom he expressed deep admiration. He attended the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893 as a delegate for the Brahmo Samaj. In October 1893, Mozoomdar was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society.[3]

In 1919, the collected precepts of Protap Chunder Mazoomdar were published titled as 'Upadesh'.[4] The writings of Mazoomdar reflects an outlook that freely acknowledges the value and fundamental affinity of different religions - including Christianity, Islam, or Judaism - and the religious figures associated with their origin and propagation.

References

1. Suresh Chunder Bose (1929). The Life of Protap Chunder Mozoomdar (Vol. 2). Calcutta: Nababidhan Press, p. 105.
2. Müller, Georgina, The Life and Letters of Right Honorable Friedrich Max Müller, 2 vols. London: Longman, 1902.
3. American Antiquarian Society Members Directory
4. Protap Chunder Mazoomdar (1919). Upadesh. Calcutta.

Bibliography

• Suresh Chunder Bose (1940). The Life of Protap Chunder Mozoomdar. Nababidhan Trust.
• Sunrit Mullick (1 January 2010). The First Hindu Mission to America: The Pioneering Visits of Protap Chunder Mozoomdar. Northern Book Centre. ISBN 978-81-7211-281-3.

External links

• Works by or about Protap Chunder Mozoomdar at Internet Archive
• Article in the Telegraph of India, "Rote, Rhetoric and Identity - The ‘mixed bag’ quality of the colonial encounter, by Malavika Karlekar",
• "The oriental Christ" written by Protap Chunder Mozoomdar
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Braja Sundar Mitra
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Braja Sundar Mitra (Bengali: ব্রজ সুন্দর মিত্র Brojo Shundor Mitro) (24.03.1227 - 3.09.1282 Bengali Era), son of Bhabani Prasad Mitra, was founder of Dhaka Brahmo Samaj. He was a social reformer and later founded the Brahmo Samaj at Comilla. He contributed substantially to the cause of women's education, remarriage of widows, movement against polygamy and consumption of liquor. He joined the Commissioner's office at Dhaka as a clerk in 1840, was promoted as Deputy Collector in 1845 and as Excise Collector in 1851. With the assistance of such noted personalities as Ramkumar Bose and Bhagaban Chandra Bose, he established a press, from where Dhaka Prakash was published. The proposal for the establishment of Dhaka Jagannath College for the spread of higher education amongst the people was mooted in his house.[1]

Early life

Braja Sundar Mitra's father died when he was rather young. As a result, he had to start working on a small salary before the completion of his education. When Debendranath Tagore started the Tattwabodhini Patrika in 1843, there was one young reader in far away Dhaka. Its message of hope and deliverance roused him. He inspired a number of other young men to set up a Brahmo Samaj in Dhaka in 1846. The form of service adopted for its gatherings consisted of reading of a written Brahmastrotra or form of adoration addressed to Divinity and concluded with the delivery of a written or printed sermon. It was a simple beginning but Braja Sundar Mitra threw so much ardour of soul into it that the Samaj soon succeeded in attracting a pretty large number of followers, mostly people occupying important government positions.

The move was not without opposition. The message of the Tattwabodhini Patrika aroused a strong antagonism against conservative ideas. Traditional society started organising opposition to it. Men began to encourage all sorts of evil reports against the promoters of the Samaj. The engines of social persecution were set against them. Braja Sundar Mitra was then living in the house of a well-known citizen. His guardian and protector expelled him. Although most of the members were men of rank, the rising voice of protest told upon them. They decided to conduct their prayer meetings in secret for some time. Later, they started formal prayer meetings in a house in Banglabazar.

Reform efforts

When Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar raised the storm of widow remarriage, Braja Sundar Mitra printed copies of his books at his own cost and circulated them widely amongst the people of East Bengal. That created a group of core supporters for the movement in that part of the province. His name is bracketed with that of Durga Mohan Das as notable contributors in the field of widow remarriage. He had assisted in many ways in the spread of female education.

As a result of Braja Sundar's transfer to Comilla for official work there was slackening in the activities of the Brahmo Samaj. On witnessing this, he bought a house in Armeniatola and lent out a part of it for the activities of the Samaj. At around the same time, as a result of his interest and the efforts of Dinanath Sen, a school for moral and religious instruction of the young was opened under Dhaka Brahmo Samaj. Aghore Nath Gupta and Vijay Krishna Goswami were sent as teachers to that school. That was around 1861-62. The school renamed at present as Jagannath College of Dhaka. The powerful preaching of those two created a major stir in Dhaka. Large groups of young men started joining the Brahmo Samaj. Subsequently, Keshub Chunder Sen visited Dhaka in 1865 and virtually set the place on fire. It gave rise to a massive movement against the Brahmo Samaj. However, the firm footing on which Braja Sundar Mitra had set up the Dhaka Brahmo Samaj helped it tide over all such opposition.

The renowned pathologist and Brahmo reformer, Deba Prasad Mitra was his grandson.

Debendranath found in Brajasundar his true messenger in East Bengal. Being moved by his sincerity after his own visit to East Bengal, Debendranath established a bonding of friendship by getting Brajasundar's third daughter Umasundari (1854–1936), married by himself to Prosonno Coomar Biswas (1837–1921), trusted disciple and dewan of his estates (1866–1899) as per convention of thakurbari and "Brahmo Dharma" in 1866/1867. Prosonno Coomar later became trustee of Brahmo Samaj at Bhawanipur along with Rabindranath Tagore (1894) when Debendranath relinquished his interest.

References

• History of Brahmo Samaj by Sivanath Sastri.
• Ramtanu Lahiri O Tatkalin Banga Samaj in Bengali by Sivanath Sastri.

Specific

1. Vol I, edited by Subodh Chandra Sengupta and Anjali Basu (2002). Sansad Bangali Charitabhidhan (Bengali). Kolkata: Sahitya Sansad. p. 370.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Tattwabodhini Patrika
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Accessed: 2/12/20

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Tattwabodhini Patrika
তত্ত্ববোধিনী পত্রিকা
Type Weekly newspaper
Editor: Debendranath Tagore
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
Akshay Kumar Datta
Rajnarayan Basu
Rajendralal Mitra
Founded: 1843
Language: Bengali
Ceased publication: 1883
Headquarters: Kolkata, Bengal, British India

Tattwabodhini Patrika (Bengali: তত্ত্ববোধিনী পত্রিকা) [Tattwabodhini ("truth-searching") Patrika ("newspaper")] was established by Maharshi Devendranath Tagore on 16 August 1843, as a journal of the Tattwabodhini Sabha, and continued publication until 1883. It was published from Kolkata, India.

It had a distinguished editorial board including Devendranath Tagore, Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, Akshay Kumar Datta, Rajnarayan Basu, and Rajendra Lal Mitra. The journal changed the tone of vernacular (Indian language) journalism. From its earliest days, it propagated the positive aspects of the religious scriptures but did not accept their infallibility. It strongly reacted against revelations and miracles.

The Patrika criticised Avatarism or messiah worship, and ran into long debates with both the Christian missionaries and orthodox sections of Hindu society. It placed before its contemporaries its considered opinion on the place of rituals in society, and focused on the spiritual and ethical aspects of human personality in an ideal scheme of education. Before the intelligentsia it placed the ideal of a dynamic religion progressing with the development of the human mind. It propagated the religion of harmony. In a series of articles, it sought to represent theism as inherent in Hinduism.

The newspaper took up social reform causes, opposing child marriages and polygamy.
Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar published his famous article "Should widow marriage be introduced into society" in it in 1855. The debates that followed lead to a significant change from the sacramental to the contractual conception of marriage. It held progressive views about development of society and was alive to the economic situation in the country.

Even after the Tattwabodhini Sabha was amalgamated with the Brahmo Sabha, the Tattwabodhini Patrika was still published until 1883.

Objectives

The principle objectives of this monthly magazine were to communicate Brahmo knowledge, to publish the works of Raja Rammohan Roy and such other matter which would enhance knowledge and health and purify character.

Tattwabodhini Patrika came out at the time when Christian Missionaries were trying to sow the seed of their belief in the minds of the people in Bengal. The patrika was brought out to rewind the Hindu society and religion and the spirit of young Bengal. Through this monthly magazine, Akshay Kumar Dutta first aroused the sense of patriotism in the minds of the people. He edited the paper from 1843 to 1855. He said "we are living under foreign domination, getting education in foreign language, tolerating foreign oppression". He further said, referring to the activities of the Christian Missionary, that "the foreign religion might one day become the religion of this country".

When the Missionary-Hindu controversy subsided, the Patrika began to take a greater interest on other issues. It began to show a deep concern for the miserable economic condition of the people of the province. Patrika pointed out that while an Indian employee was offered Rs. 100 to Rs. 150, a European in the same position got more than Rs. 1000. Thus, the patrika remarked "The Indians are selling their liberty at a low price".


See also

• Sulabh Samachar

References

• Tattwabodhini Patrika and the Bengal Renaissance by Amiya Kumar Sen, formerly lecturer, Calcutta University and principal, City College, Kolkata, published by Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, 1979.
• Akshay Kumar Datta: Aandhar Raatey Ekla Pathik by Ashish Lahiri, Dey's Publishing,Kolkata 2007

External links

• Devnath, Samaresh (2012). "Tattvabodhini Patrika". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
• Devnath, Samaresh (2003). "Tattvabodhini Sabha". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (First ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Archived from the original on 24 March 2007.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Tattwabodhini Sabha
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Accessed: 2/12/20

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The Tattwabodhinī Sabhā ("Truth Propagating/Searching Society") was a group started in Calcutta on 6 October 1839 as a splinter group of the Brahmo Samaj, reformers of Hinduism and Indian Society. The founding member was Debendranath Tagore, previously of the Brahmo Samaj, eldest son of influential entrepreneur Dwarkanath Tagore, and eventually father to renowned polymath Rabindranath Tagore. In 1859, the Tattwabodhinī Sabhā were dissolved back into the Brāhmo Samāj by Debendranath Tagore.

Tattwabodhini period

On 6 October 1839 Debendranath Tagore established Tattvaranjini Sabha which was shortly thereafter renamed the Tattwabodhini (Truth-seekers) Sabha. Initially confined to immediate members of the Tagore family, in 2 years it mustered over 500 members. In 1840 Debendranath published a Bangla translation of Katha Upanishad. A modern researcher describes the Sabha's philosophy as modern middle-class (bourgeois) Vedanta.[1] Among its first members were the "two giants of Hindu reformation and Bengal Renaissance, Akshay Kumar Datta "who in 1839 emerged from the life of an anonymous squalor-beset individual" and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar the "indigenous modernizer".[2]

First Covenant and merger with the Tattwabodhini Sabha

On 7th Pous 1765 Shaka (1843) Debendranath Tagore and twenty other Tattwabodhini stalwarts were formally invited by Pt. Vidyabagish into the Trust of Brahmo Sabha. The Pous Mela at Santiniketan starts on this day.[3] From this day forth, the Tattwabodhini Sabha dedicated itself to promoting Ram Mohan Roy's creed.[4] The other Brahmins who swore the First Covenant of Brahmoism are:-

• Shridhar Bhattacharya
• Shyamacharan Bhattacharya
• Brajendranath Tagore
• Girindranath Tagore, brother of Debendranath Tagore & father of Ganendranath Tagore
• Anandachandra Bhattacharya
• Taraknath Bhattacharya
• Haradev Chattopadhyaya, the future father-in-law to Maha Acharya Hemendranath Tagore[5]
• Shyamacharan Mukhopadhyaya
• Ramnarayan Chattopadhyaya
• Sashibhushan Mukhopadhyaya

Disagreement with the Tattwabodhini

In Nov 1855 the Rev. Charles Dall (a Unitarian minister of Boston) arrived in Calcutta to start his mission and immediately established contact with Debendranath and other Brahmos. Debendranath's suspicion of foreigners alienated Dall and in 1857, Debendranath Tagore barred the entry of the Reverend from the Sabha premises for preaching the name of Christ who some people worship as God within.[6][7] Debendranath then proceeded on spiritual retreat to Simla. Dall, immediately formed a counter group "The friends of Rammmohun Roy Society" and then got admitted a protégé to Sabha. The presence of Dall's protégé Keshub Chandra Sen (a non-Brahmin) into the Calcutta Brahmo Sabha in 1857 while Debendranath was away in Simla caused considerable stress in the movement, with many long time Tattvabodhini Brahmin members publicly leaving the Brahmo Sabha and institutions due to his high-handed ways. In September 1858, Debendranath returned to Calcutta to resolve the simmering disputes. but his conservative mien did not allow him to take decisive steps. He proceeded on a sea voyage to Ceylon accompanied by Sen and his 2nd son Satyendranath (a firm admirer of Mr Sen) but no concord was achieved. In 1859, the venerable and beloved Secretary of the Tattwabodhini Sabha Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar resigned from the Brahmo Sabha in the face of Debendranath's vacillation. A meeting of the Tatwabodhini was promptly summoned with Debendranath resigning from the group he had founded. His third son Hemendranath Tagore then a boy barely 15 years in age, and the favorite pupil of Vidyasgar, was commonly acclaimed as Debendranath's successor to head the Tattwabodhini. In the course of time he would become known as the MahaAcharya (or Great Teacher).

Objectives and beliefs

The main objective of the Sabhā was to promote a more rational and humanist form of Hinduism based on the Vedānta, the Upanishads that form the last part of the Vedās. With increasing missionary presence in Calcutta tending to view the Classical branch of 'Avaida' Vedānta as amoral and renunciatory, the Tattwabodhinī Sabhā aimed to shield themselves and their reformed faith from criticism by distancing themselves from this 'outdated' version.

Debendranath Tagore said in 1843 that "It was to counteract influences like these [missionary] and inculcate on the Hindu religious inquirer's mind doctrines at once consonant to reason and human nature, for which he has to explore his own sacred resources, the Vedānta, that the society was originally established".[8] This focus on rationality and humanity, whilst alleviating Missionary pressure, also allowed the materially wealthy 'bhadralok' members of the society to participate in a spiritual medium which did not condemn worldly concern. The group's writings, particularly the recently rediscovered 'Sabhyadiger Vaktṛtā',[9] display a marked stress upon the role of the 'householder' (gṛhastha) as a religious path, over that of the renouncer or hermit. The Brahman, like the renouncer, must restrain his senses and passions, but only to the extent of not becoming obsessed with, or overcome by, anything in the material world.

Essentially, the Tattwabodhinī Sabhā's humanism is displayed in a profound focus on society and its interrelation. Their view, at least in the early years, was that the world is created by God, and all things within it are pathways to knowledge of Brahman, the Ultimate Self, and the ultimate goal. Similarly, they saw that material wealth, if made and possessed with the correct intention -- that of helping society and others -– was in fact not only ethically sound, but an utter necessity for harmonious society.
Once again, their rationality is evident.

References and notes

1. <2007: Brian Hatcher "Journal of American Academy of Religion"
2. "Brahmo Samaj and the making of modern India, David Kopf, Princeton University press", pp 43-57
3. Rabindra Bharati Museum Kolkata, The Tagores & Society
4. "Bourgeois Hinduism", Brian Allison Hatcher. pg 57-58.
5. "History of the Brahmo Samaj", S. Sastri. 2nd ed. p.81
6. "The Brahmo Samaj and making of Modern India", David Kopf, publ. Princeton Univ.
7. "Brahmoism, or a history of reformed Hinduism" (1884), R.C.Dutt
8. Ali, M.M; Bengali reaction...; pp 17, 19.
9. c.f. Hatcher, B; Bourgeois Hinduism

External links

• World Brahmo Council
• Beliefs of Brahmo Samaj
• Brahma Sabha in Banglapedia
• Brahmo Samaj in the Encyclopædia Britannica
• "The Tagores & Society" from the Rabindra Bharati Museum at Rabindra Bharati University
• The Brahmo Samaj
• Life of Sivnath Sastri
• Life of Keshub Chunder Sen
• Trust Deed of the Brahmo Samaj
• Liturgy of the Brahmo Samaj
• History of the Brahmo Samaj
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
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On 6 October 1839 Debendranath Tagore established Tattvaranjini Sabha which was shortly thereafter renamed the Tattwabodhini (Truth-seekers) Sabha. Initially confined to immediate members of the Tagore family, in 2 years it mustered over 500 members. In 1840 Debendranath published a Bangla translation of Katha Upanishad. A modern researcher describes the Sabha's philosophy as modern middle-class (bourgeois) Vedanta. Among its first members were the "two giants of Hindu reformation and Bengal Renaissance, Akshay Kumar Datta "who in 1839 emerged from the life of an anonymous squalor-beset individual" and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar the "indigenous modernizer".

In Nov 1855 the Rev. Charles Dall (a Unitarian minister of Boston) arrived in Calcutta to start his mission and immediately established contact with Debendranath and other Brahmos. Debendranath's suspicion of foreigners alienated Dall and in 1857, Debendranath Tagore barred the entry of the Reverend from the Sabha premises for preaching the name of Christ who some people worship as God within.[6][7] Debendranath then proceeded on spiritual retreat to Simla. Dall, immediately formed a counter group "The friends of Rammmohun Roy Society" and then got admitted a protégé to Sabha. The presence of Dall's protégé Keshub Chandra Sen (a non-Brahmin) into the Calcutta Brahmo Sabha in 1857 while Debendranath was away in Simla caused considerable stress in the movement, with many long time Tattvabodhini Brahmin members publicly leaving the Brahmo Sabha and institutions due to his high-handed ways. In September 1858, Debendranath returned to Calcutta to resolve the simmering disputes. but his conservative mien did not allow him to take decisive steps. He proceeded on a sea voyage to Ceylon accompanied by Sen and his 2nd son Satyendranath (a firm admirer of Mr Sen) but no concord was achieved. In 1859, the venerable and beloved Secretary of the Tattwabodhini Sabha Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar resigned from the Brahmo Sabha in the face of Debendranath's vacillation. A meeting of the Tatwabodhini was promptly summoned with Debendranath resigning from the group he had founded. His third son Hemendranath Tagore then a boy barely 15 years in age, and the favorite pupil of Vidyasgar, was commonly acclaimed as Debendranath's successor to head the Tattwabodhini. In the course of time he would become known as the MahaAcharya (or Great Teacher).

-- Tattwabodhini Sabha, by Wikipedia


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Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
Born: Ishwar Chandra Bandopadhyay, 26 September 1820, Birsingha, Bengal Presidency, British India (now in West Bengal, India)
Died: 29 July 1891 (aged 70), Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India (now Kolkata, West Bengal, India)
Occupation: Writer, philosopher, scholar, educator, translator, publisher, reformer, philanthropist
Language: Bengali
Alma mater: Sanskrit College (1828-1839)
Literary movement: Bengal Renaissance
Spouse: Dinamayee Devi
Children: Narayan Chandra Bandyopadhyaya
Relatives: Thakurdas Bandyopadhya (father)
Bhagabati Devi (mother)

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar CIE (26 September 1820 – 29 July 1891),[1] born Ishwar Chandra Bandyopadhyay (Ishshor Chôndro Bôndopaddhae), was a Bengali polymath from the Indian subcontinent, and a key figure of the Bengal Renaissance.[2][3] He was a philosopher, academic educator, writer, translator, printer, publisher, entrepreneur, reformer and philanthropist. His efforts to simplify and modernise Bengali prose were significant. He also rationalised and simplified the Bengali alphabet and type, which had remained unchanged since Charles Wilkins and Panchanan Karmakar had cut the first (wooden) Bengali type in 1780.

He was the most prominent campaigner for Hindu widow remarriage and petitioned Legislative council despite severe opposition and a counter petition against the proposal with nearly four times more signatures by Radhakanta Deb and the Dharma Sabha.[4][5] But Lord Dalhousie personally finalised the bill despite the opposition and it being considered a flagrant breach of Hindu customs as prevalent then and the Hindu Widows' Remarriage Act, 1856 was passed.[6][7]


He received the title "Vidyasagar" (in Sanskrit Vidya means knowledge and Sagar means ocean, i.e., Ocean of Knowledge) from Sanskrit College, Calcutta (from where he graduated), due to his excellent performance in Sanskrit studies and philosophy. Noted Cambridge mathematician Anil Kumar Gain founded Vidyasagar University, named in his honour.[8]

In 2004, Vidyasagar was ranked number 9 in BBC's poll of the Greatest Bengali of all time.[9][10][11]

Biography

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Birthplace of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Birsingha, Ghatal

Ishwar Chandra Bandyopadhyay was born in a Bengali Hindu Brahmin family to Thakurdas Bandyopadhyay and Bhagavati Devi at Birsingha village in Hooghly district; later, the village was added to Midnapore district[12] which is in the Ghatal subdivision of Paschim Midnapore district in current day West Bengal on 26 September 1820. At the age of 9, he went to Calcutta and started living in Bhagabat Charan's house in Burrabazar, where Thakurdas had already been staying for some years. Ishwar felt at ease amidst Bhagabat's large family and settled down comfortably in no time. Bhagabat's youngest daughter Raimoni's motherly and affectionate feelings towards Ishwar touched him deeply and had a strong influence on his later revolutionary work towards the upliftment of women's status in India.

His quest for knowledge was so intense that he used to study under a street light as it was not possible for him to afford a gas lamp at home[13] He cleared all the examinations with excellence and in quick succession. He was rewarded with a number of scholarships for his academic performance. To support himself and the family, Ishwar Chandra also took a part-time job of teaching at Jorashanko. Ishwar Chandra joined the Sanskrit College, Calcutta and studied there for twelve long years and passed out of the college in 1841 qualifying in Sanskrit Grammar, Literature, Dialectics [Alankara Shastra], Vedanta, Smriti and Astronomy[1] As was the custom then Ishwar Chandra married at the age of fourteen. His wife was Dinamani Devi. Narayan Chandra Bandyopadhyaya was their only son.

In the year 1839, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar successfully cleared his law examination. In 1841, at the age of twenty one years, Ishwar Chandra joined Fort William College as head of the Sanskrit department.

After five years, in 1846, Vidyasagar left Fort William College and joined the Sanskrit College as 'Assistant Secretary'. In the first year of service, Ishwar Chandra recommended a number of changes to the existing education system. This report resulted in a serious altercation between Ishwar Chandra and College Secretary Rasomoy Dutta. In 1849, he against the advice of Rasomoy Dutta, resigned from Sanskrit College and rejoined Fort William College as a head clerk.[14]


He resided at what is known today as Vidyasagar Smriti Mandir at 36 Vidysagar Street in North Kolkata.

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Vidysagar residence

Vidyasagar established Barisha High School in Kolkata in 1856 by Amulya Ambati, the reformer.

Widow remarriage

Main article: Widow Remarriage Act

Vidyasagar championed the upliftment of the status of women in India, particularly in his native Bengal. Unlike some other reformers who sought to set up alternative societies or systems, he sought to transform society from within.[15]

With support from people like Akshay Kumar Dutta, Vidyasagar introduced the practice of widow remarriages to mainstream Hindu society. His son named Narayanchandra married a widow lady. The prevailing custom of Kulin Brahmin polygamy allowed elderly men — sometimes on their deathbeds — to marry teenage or prepubescent girls, supposedly to spare their parents the shame of having an unmarried girl attain puberty in their house. After such marriages, these girls would usually be left behind in their parental homes, especially if they were subsequently widowed. These included a semi-starvation, hard domestic labour and close restriction on their freedom of leaving the house or being seen by strangers.

Unable to tolerate the ill-treatment, many of these girls would run away and turn to prostitution to support themselves
. Ironically, the economic prosperity and lavish lifestyles of the city made it possible for many of them to have successful careers once they stepped out of the sanction of society and into the demi-monde. In 1853 it was estimated that Calcutta had a population of 12,718 prostitutes and public women. Many widows had to shave their heads and don white saris, supposedly to discourage attention from men. They led a deplorable life, something Vidyasagar thought was unfair and sought to change.[16]

Bengali alphabet and language reconstruction

He reconstructed the Bengali alphabet and simplified Bengali typography into an alphabet (actually abugida) of twelve vowels and forty consonants, eliminating the Sanskrit phonemes ৠ (re), and ঔ (ḹ) and a few punctuation marks, while adding three new letters, ড় (ṛô), ঢ় (ṛhô), and য় (yô), to reflect contemporary pronunciation. Vidyasagar also removed ৱ (wô) although native, as it had merged with ব (bô) in his own dialect (The distinction still exists in eastern dialects even though the letter does not). He contributed significantly to Bengali and Sanskrit literature, with one of his works, Bôrṇô Pôrichôy ("Character Identification"), being considered a classic.

Books authored by Vidyasagar

• Bangala-r Itihaas (1848)
• Jeebancharit (1850)
• Bodhadoy (1851)
• Upakramanika (1851)
• Bidhaba Bibaha Bishayak Prostab
• Borno porichoy (1854)
• kotha mala(1856)
• Sitar Bonobas(1860)
• Bengali Newspaper – Shome Prakash started publishing in 1858
• Brant'(1858)

Meeting with Ramakrishna

Vidyasagar was liberal in his outlook even though he was born in an orthodox Hindu Brahmin family. Also, he was highly educated and influenced by Oriental thoughts and ideas. Ramakrishna in contrast, did not have a formal education. Yet they had a nice relation between them. When Ramakrishna met Vidyasagar, he praised Vidyasagar as the ocean of wisdom. Vidyasagar joked that Ramkrishna should have collected some amount of salty water of that sea. But, Ramakrishna, with profound humbleness & respect, replied that the water of general sea might be salty, but not the water of the sea of wisdom.[17]

Accolades

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Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar on a 1970 stamp of India

Shortly after Vidyasagar's death, Rabindranath Tagore reverently wrote about him: "One wonders how God, in the process of producing forty million Bengalis, produced a man!" [18][19]

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Vidyasagar Setu, which connects Howrah and Kolkata, is named after him

After death, he is remembered in many ways, some of them include:

1. Vidyasagar Setu (commonly known as the Second Hooghly Bridge), is a bridge over the Hooghly River in West Bengal, India. It links the city of Howrah to its twin city of Kolkata. The bridge is named after Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
2. A fair named Vidyasagar Mela (Bengali: বিদ্যাসাগর মেলা Biddashagor Mêla), which is dedicated to spreading education and increasing social awareness, has been held annually in West Bengal since 1994. Since 1995, it has been held simultaneously in Kolkata and Birsingha.
3. Vidyasagar College in Kolkata is named after him, as well as Vidyasagar University in Paschim Midnapore.
4. Rectitude and courage were the hallmarks of Vidyasagar's character, and he was certainly ahead of his time. In recognition of his scholarship and cultural work the government designated Vidyasagar a Companion of the Indian Empire (CIE) in 1877[20] In the final years of life, he chose to spend his days among the "Santhals", an old tribe in India.
5. There is Vidyasagar Street in Central Kolkata, which is named after him.
6. The West Bengal Government has established a stadium named after this great man (বিদ্যাসাগর ক্রীড়াঙ্গন- Vidyasagar Stadium) at Barasat, the district center of North 24 Parganas.
7. Vidyasagar Hall of Residence, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
8. Vidyasagar Station in Jamtara district of Jharkhand.
9. Indian Post issued stamps featuring Vidyasagar in 1970 and 1998.[21]

Corpus

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar spent the last 18 to 20 years of his life among the Santhals at Nandan Kanan, Karmatar in the District of Jamtara, Jharkhand. The station Karmatar has been renamed as "Vidyasagar' railway station" in his honour.

Textbooks

• Barnaparichay (Parts I & II, 1855)
• Rijupath (Parts I, II & III, 1851–52)
• Sanskrita Byakaraner Upakramanika (1851)
• Byakaran Kaumudi (1853)

References

1. "29 July 1891: Social Reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Passes Away". http://www.mapsofindia.com. 29 July 2013.
2. "Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar". http://www.whereincity.com. Retrieved 20 December2008.
3. "Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar: A Profile of the Philanthropic Protagonist". http://www.americanchronicle.com. Retrieved 20 December 2008.
4. H. R. Ghosal (1957). "THE REVOLUTION BEHIND THE REVOLT (A comparative study of the causes of the 1857 uprising)". Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. 20: 293–305. JSTOR 44304480.
5. Pratima Asthana (1974). Women's Movement in India. Vikas Publishing House. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-7069-0333-1. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
6. Amit Kumar Gupta (5 October 2015). Nineteenth-Century Colonialism and the Great Indian Revolt. Taylor & Francis. pp. 30–. ISBN 978-1-317-38668-1. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
7. Belkacem Belmekki (2008). "A Wind of Change: The New British Colonial Policy in Post-Revolt India". AEDEAN: Asociación Española de Estudios Anglo-americanos. 2(2): 111–124. JSTOR 41055330.
8. Lal, Mohan (2006). "Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar". The Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature. Sahitya Akademi. pp. 4567–4569. ISBN 978-81-260-1221-3.
9. "Listeners name 'greatest Bengali'". BBC. 14 April 2004. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
10. Habib, Haroon (17 April 2004). "International : Mujib, Tagore, Bose among 'greatest Bengalis of all time'". The Hindu.
11. "Bangabandhu judged greatest Bangali of all time". The Daily Star. 16 April 2004.
12. District Gazetteer of Hooghly 1820
13. "Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar: A Profile of the Philanthropic Protagonist by Aparna Chatterjee". http://www.boloji.com.
14. "Ishwar Chandra Vidysagar". vivekananda.net.
15. "ISHWAR CHANDRA VIDYASAGAR". http://www.hinduweb.org. Archived from the original on 18 November 2002. Retrieved 20 December 2008.
16. Sarkar, Nikhil [Sripantho] (1977) Bat tala. Calcutta: Ananda. p. 66. (in Bengali)
17. "Visit to Vidyasagar". Gospels of Sri Ramakrishna by M, translated by Swami Nikhilananda. p. 37.
18. "Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar". WBCHSE. West Bengal Council for Higher Secondary Education. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
19. The Life And Times Of Ramakrishna Parmahamsa (1st ed.). Prabhat Prakashan. 1 August 2013. p. 53. ISBN 978-8184302301.
20. Dutt, Romesh (1962) Cultural Heritage of Bengal. Kolkata, Punthi Pustak. p. 117.
21. File:Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar 1970 stamp of India.jpg, File:Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar 1998 stamp of India.jpg

Further reading

• Benoy Ghosh, Vidyasagar O Bangali Samaj, Orient Longman, Kolkata
• Indramitra, Karunasagar Vidyasagar, Ananda Publishers, Kolkata ISBN 81-7215-040-7
• Asok Sen, Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar and his Elusive Milestones, Riddhi, Kolkata.
• Gopal Haldar, Vidyasagar: A Reassessment, People's Publishing House, New Delhi
• Haldar, Gopal. (1998) [1982]. "I. C. Vidyasagar: Realist and Humanist". In Bishop, Donald H. (ed.). Thinkers of the Indian Renaissance (Second ed.). New Delhi: New Age International. pp. 81–91. ISBN 978-81-224-1122-5. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
• Sarkar, Sumit (2008). "Vidyasagar and Brahmanical Society". In Sarkar, Sumit; Sarkar, Tanika (eds.). Women and Social Reform in Modern India: A Reader. Indiana University Press. pp. 118–145. ISBN 9780253220493.

External links

• Works by or about Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar at Internet Archive
• Dutt, Romesh Chunder (1911). "Vidyasagar, Iswar Chandra" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.).
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Akshay Kumar Datta
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/12/20

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


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Akshay Kumar Datta
Born: Akshay Kumar Datta, 15 July 1820, Chupi, Burdwan, British India (now in Purba Bardhaman, West Bengal, India)
Died: 18 May 1886 (aged 65), Kolkata, British India
Nationality: British Indian

Akshay Kumar Datta (also spelt Akshay Kumar Dutta) (Bengali: অক্ষয় কুমার দত্ত) (15 July 1820 – 18 May 1886) was a Bengali writer from the Indian subcontinent. He was born in Bagerhat, British India. Son of Pitamber Dutta, he was one of the initiators of the Bengal Renaissance.

Early life and studies

After studying in the Oriental Seminary under the special care of Hardman Jeffroy, he had to give up studies because of the death of his father and go job-seeking. However, that could not put an end to his yearning for learning. At the Sovabazar Rajbari library, he studied and mastered Calculus and Geometry. He had learnt Sanskrit and Persian, and read the Hindu scriptures at school. He acquired proficiency in French, German and various Indian languages. He composed the poetry-book Anangamohan at the age of 14. While a youngster he used to translate news items and features for Iswar Chandra Gupta's Sambad Prabhakar. He even studied in Medical College for some time to gain knowledge of botany, zoology and chemistry.

Writing

In 1839, he joined the Tattwabodhini Sabha and soon became its assistant secretary. He was appointed a teacher of the Tattwabodhini Pathsala the next year and in 1843, Tattwabodhini Patrika was published as mouthpiece of both the Tattwabodhini Sabha and Brahmo Samaj. He was the first editor of the journal and contributed substantially towards the development of prose writing in Bengali. He was the first Bengali writer to seriously work for the propagation of a modern scientific outlook, writing books on Physics and Geography in Bengali. He also wrote profusely on astronomy, mathematics and geology. The students of Hindu College used to make fun of Bengali writing and some even felt that nothing worthwhile can be written in the Bengali language. However, whenever, Tattwabodhini Patrika came out they not only read it seriously but even brought it to the attention of one another.

Akshay Kumar Datta was the first person in the Brahmo Samaj to boldly proclaim that the Vedas were not infallible. He succeeded in convincing Debendranath Tagore in this respect and ultimately Brahmo Samaj adopted the thinking that while it respected all religious scriptures it did not consider any as infallible. It was in this perspective that Debendranath Tagore wrote Brahmo Dharma.

Magnum opus

In 1855, he developed some kind of agonising cerebral problem and could not continue with his massive work for the Tattwabodhini Patrika. His work was such that sometimes he used to spend the entire night writing. Moreover, he had serious philosophical and theological differences with his employer Debendranath Tagore. He left Tattwabodhini and served for sometime as Principal of the Normal School for teachers' training established by Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, his friend and mentor.

His magnum opus was the two-part Bharatbarshiya Upasak Sampraday (Vol.1, 1871, Vol.2, 1883). The brilliant introductions to the two volumes of this book evince his profound philosophical, linguistic and scientific learning and depth. Among others, Max Muller, Monier-Williams and Rajendralal Mitra were greatly impressed by his profound scholarship, though not agreeing on all points.

Major points

Deeply influenced by Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, John Stuart Mill, Auguste Comte, Charles Darwin, Thomas Henry Huxley and Rammohan Roy, he was among the first few men in modern India who had presented an empiricist critique of the ancient Indian philosophies. He was bold enough to point out that contrary to popular belief, much of Indian philosophy was suffused with atheist and sceptical thought. For example, Samkhya was professedly atheist; Patanjali / Yoga, while no doubt theist, basically explained the applied aspects of Samkhya; Vaisheshika traced the ultimate reality to paramanu, i.e., atoms; Nyaya studied the logic and methodology of studying reality; Purba Mimamsa of Jaimini pooh-poohed gods; even Vedanta, while accepting that Brahma was the ultimate reality, said that god was not the creator but the constructor of the world. Jainism, Charvaka philosophy and Buddhism also had no place for God, he showed. He was an agnostic and went against all religions, considering them to be harmful for humanity.

Other works

His other books were: Bahyabastur sahit manabprakritir sambandha bichar (based on the Constitution of Man by George Combe), Dharmaniti, Prachin Hinduder Samudrajatra O Banijya bistar (published posthumously by his son Rajani Nath Datta), Charupath (in three volumes), and Padarthyabidya.

The textbook Charupath was mandatory reading for almost three generations. Akshay Datta earned a lot of money from it. This he spent in building up a botanical garden and a geological museum at Shovon-Udyan, his retreat at Bally in Howrah. The portraits of Newton, Darwin, Mill, T H Huxley and Raja Ram Mohan Roy hung in his study cum laboratory.

Personal life

His family life was not happy. Relations with both his wife and his sons were strained. In a sense he died a lonely man, leaving a substantial amount for the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science. A few days after his death in 1886 at Bally in Howrah, a meeting was held in Calcutta where tall promises were made on how to immortalise his memory. But absolutely nothing emerged and eventually he became forgotten.

The renowned Bengali poet Satyendranath Dutta was his grandson.

References

• Ramtanu Lahiri O Tatkalin Banga Samaj in Bengali by Sivanath Sastri Translated into English by Sir Roper Lethbridge as "A History of the Renaissnace in Bengal", Renaissance Publishers Pvt. Ltd., Kolkata, India, 2002
• Sansad Bangali Charitabhidhan (Biographical dictionary) in Bengali edited by Subodh Chandra Sengupta and Anjali Bose
• Akshay Kumar Datta: Aandhar Raatey Ekla Pathik in Bengali by Ashish Lahiri (Dey's Publishing, Kolkata, ISBN 81-295-0789-7)
• Bijnan-Buddhi Charchar Agrapathik Akshaykumar Dutta O Bangali Samaj in Bengali, edited by Muhammad Saiful Islam (Renaissance Publishers, Kolkata)
• Akshaykumar Datta: The First Social Scientist in Bengal (ed. Muhammad Saiful Islam, Renaissance, Kolkata, January 2009
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