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Goethals News Bulletin
Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, Kolkata
Vol. VII No. 1 Bulletin January - March 2004

News Update | Articles | Researchers | New Arrivals | Mails & Emails

News Update

  • Dr. Sanjay Paswan, Central Minister of State for HRD (Education) paid a visit to the Goethals Library and Research Society on February 14. He appreciated the good collection of books, plates and journals. In an informal chat later, with a group of 15 Jesuits and professors of the College, he shared about some of the new ventures of the government in the field of education and answered questions from the floor.

  • GILRS has completed the two projects on "Oriental Scenery" by Daniells and "Calcutta Views" by William Wood and James Fraser. Preparations are on for an exhibition of all the 144 plates of Daniells’ and 52 of Wood and Fraser on April 2, 2004 at SXC. His Excellency the Governor of West Bengal has kindly accepted to inaugurate the renovated library and the Exhibition.


Book Donations

  • The library thanks Mr. Sidhartha Dudhoria for the book "Medieval Goldsmith’s Work", which he has donated.

  • The library thanks Mr. M.M. Rahman (Bangladesh) for his gift of 5 books.

  • The library thanks Sri Ganganarayan Prabhu of ISKCON for the gift of the "Bhagavad Gita As it is", in 3 languages. The books were given to the Director by Mr. Saurav Agrawal, B. Com, IInd Year, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata.

  • We thank Mr. & Mrs. P. K. Mukherji of Kolkata for the book of poems, "The young Magician & other poems," by their (late) son Mr. Arijit Mukherji (1962-2000). Arijit studied in St. Xavier’s from 1968-1983. From 1990 he was on the Faculty of Accounting, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota and was an Associate Professor at the time of his death in October, 2000.

  • The library wishes to thank Fr. Jerome Francis SJ, Provincial, for the presentation of the book by Fr. Yves de Steenhault, SJ. on the History of the Jesuits in West Bengal, Pt. II 1948-1985.


Researchers at Goethals

  • Dr. Indrajit Bose of Presidency College, Kolkata is continuing his research on "One Hundred years of British itinerants in India, 1757-1857."

  • Fr. Francis A.V., SJ, from Loyola College of Education, Sikkim visited the library to do research on the Socio-Economic impact of Catholic Missionaries on Darjeeling.

  • Fr. R. Mary John from the Department of Christian Studies, University of Madras did research on Nationalism and Catholic Christianity in India.

  • M.A. 2nd year English students from Calcutta University who visited the library to do research on Jesuit Education in Bengal were Mantra Roy, Deepti Joseph, Bipasha Biswas and Medha Roy.

  • Mr. Partha Sarathi Banerjee of the Debts Recovery Tribunal did research on Law, Government Administration, Anthropology. Religion and History.

  • Mr. Shankar Mukhopadhyay, a retired project engineer of the port of Montreal, visited the library along with his wife Christel Mukhopadhyay, of the Forest Engineering Institute of Canada, to do research on the History of West Bengal and Kolkata.

  • St. Xavier’s College, B. Com, 2nd year Student Saurav Agrawal visited the library to do research on Indian Religions and Philosophy.


The Young Magician

Will that door open and the other and the other?
will you now put that ghost of a hand
(shadowlike under the frills)
upon the door knob instead of the arm chair handle
or my hand
and give it a little tap
while the garden swims into view?
It is merely innocuous speculation
She has made up her mind she has made up her mind
and the bridge is ready.
All she must do is march across.
She has crossed the threshold and has entered
the dark yet doorless room of someone else’s eyes
leaving the draw bridge of the castle of your mind
"And don’t forget to ask him how she is!"
How did the magician forget his spell
Now that he cannot arrest her as she strides
Towards that door?
"Don’t close someone else’s door!
Open mine!"
How did the magician forget his spell
and lose control?

- From "The Young Magician & Other Poems" by (Late) Arijit Mukherji. Writers Workshop. Kolkata. 2003. pp 97.


Buddhist Education

Nalanda became famous for its ‘Schools of Discussion’: indeed, they harked back to a more ancient and established tradition of monastic education - to the Kathas, an institution of primitive monasteries as we have seen. The Schools attracted learners not only from all over India. but also from the Far East and later from Tibet. "Learning and discussing," says Yuan Chwang, "they find the day too short." The uninhibited scope and freedom of these discussions at Nalanda and also at all other, monastic universities must be counted as a great contributory factor in that process of fusion of Brahmanical and Buddhistic thought and culture which makes it so intriguing a feature of the final period of the history of ancient Indian culture.

Traditional legends of the vast manuscript wealth of Nalanda’s libraries come from Tibetan sources, from Lama Taranatha and other Tibetan writers on the history of Buddhism, belonging to the 17th and 18th centuries. A whole area of the campus was, according to the Tibetan writers, set apart for the libraries and was covered with huge, many-storeyed library buildings, three of which had the fancy names of Ratnodadhi (Sea of Jewels), Ratnasagara (Ocean of Jewels) and Ratnaranjaka (Jewel-adorned), the first named edifice being nine-storeyed. The Tibetan legend is that these great libraries were reduced to ashes by the deliberate act of an infuriated incendiary, a Turuska (Turk).

Architecturally, Nalanda was probably the grandest and most magnificent of all monastic establishments in the 17th century A.D. in India.

- An extract from "2500 years of Buddhism" by P.V. Bapat (editor). Publication division, Govt. of India. pp 166-167. Book No: 35/128.


The Planter Padre Mudnabati
June 15, 1794-January 10, 1800

CAREY’s first business was to get acquainted with his new industry. He was just in time to learn the art. Mr. Udny arranged for him to visit the best indigo concerns of Malda and Goamalti, that he might see the whole process for himself. For by the end of June the ryots were bringing to the factories the piled bundles of the plant. He watched these steep and ferment in the upper vats, and learned how nice a judgment was needed to know exactly when to let the dark green water run into the vats below. In these he was amused to see it beaten and aerated by instanding coolies with paddles, till it changed into an ultramarine blue - the coolies as blue as itself. He was taught to tell when this ‘beating’ sufficed, and the liquid might rest, and the granulations settle, and the water be presently drawn off. Then he watched the valuable sediment cleaned, boiled, strained, pressed, slowly dried, and cut with much care into cubes, and packed in boxes or casks for Calcutta. To one who had made long and loving study of plants’ practical uses the process was of deep interest, and its needed exactitude congenial to his scientific mind.

The Mahipal and Mudnabati ventures were new Outworks of George Udny’s, to take advantage of the attractive concessions and prices the Honourable Company, was offering to its indigo-planters, in its vigorous attempt to capture the British indigo-market from America and Spain. The equipment of both Outworks was well advanced, the two sahibs’ houses, the buttressed reservoirs, and, probably, the vats being almost completed.

- An Extract from "William Carey D. D., Fellow of Linnaean Society" by S Pearce Carey. Hodder & Stoughton. London. 1926 (Book No. 40A/129). pp. 156.


Agriculture & Irrigation

The rainfall of India, brought by the monsoon, besides being seasonal in character, is very uncertain in its distribution. It is therefore natural that from very early times men should have sought to find other ways of bringing water to their fields. There are of course, parts of India with abundant rainfall where there is no need for irrigation; there are parts which are always so dry that no cultivation is possible without it; but in the greater parts of the country the rainfall, though ordinarily sufficient for growing crops, is liable to fail. Irrigation therefore serves two purposes; it acts as a protection against failure of the rains, and it enables crops to be "grown where they could not be grown otherwise."

The great development of irrigation works is one of the most remarkable achievements of the British Raj; but tanks and wells, and even canals, were constructed in India long centuries ago. The Grand Anicut (or weir) on the Cauvery is said to have been built in the eleventh century.

The Persian wheel is one of the oldest forms of irrigation. It consists of an endless band of small earthenware pots which raise the water from a well and empty themselves into a hollowed-out piece of wood discharging into a channel in the field. Some improved Persian wheels are now being used with metal pots and metal receiving channels.

India is a land of contrasts, and side by side with the ancient methods just described we find the most modern form of tube-wells and pumps installed in certain areas, which tap subterranean water supplies often 250 feet below the surface.

Then scattered all over the country are thousands of ‘tanks’ as they are called, of which many are artificial reservoirs formed by building a dam or bund across a water-course or a depression, and so collecting and storing the water draining into it during the rainy season. Some of these are quite small and irrigate only a few acres; others store up millions of cubic feet of water

- An extract from "Living India" by Lady Hartog. Blackie & Sons Ltd., London. 1936. pp. 104,105.


New Arrivals

  1. Archaelogical Excavations in Central India: Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh by R.K. Sharma and O.P. Misra. Mittal Publications, New Delhi, 2003.

  2. Bhagawad-Gita As It Is by Swami Prabhupada. Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. New Delhi, 2003.

  3. Five books from Bangladesh. Four in Bengali and one in Urdu.

  4. History of the Jesuits in West Bengal. Part II: 1947-1985, by Yves de Steenhault SJ, Catholic Press. Ranchi. 2003.

  5. Medieval Goldsmith’s Work by Isa Belli Barsali, Paul Hamlyn. London. 1969.

  6. The Sikh World: An Encyclopaedic Survey of Sikh Religion and Culture edited by R. C. Dogra and V. Dogra. UBSPD, New Delhi, 2003.

  7. The Young Magician and other poems by (Late) Arijit Mukherjee, Published by Writers Workshop, Kolkata, 2003.

  8. Traditional Santal Story of creation and human development by Budhan Kisku. Pragya Publications, Calcutta, 2002.



  1. J Felix Raj, "Sentimental Bonds", The Statesman, 1 February, 2004, Kolkata; "Indo-Bali Bond", The Indian Currents, 14 February 2004, New Delhi. These articles are based on the paper presented by Fr. Felix Raj at the Bali International Seminar on Development.

  2. J Felix Raj & S. Chowdhury… "Grime Beneath the Shine", The Statesman, 15 February 2004, Kolkata. "India Shine" propaganda and "Feel Good" attitude of the Central government is just a temporary phenomenon, unless the government shuns populism and addresses serious problems of the economy.


Mails & Emails

I have seen your article on Teilhard de Chardin, on the web. My academic background is in physics. As a layman, I have in the past, taken some courses on Christology given by the Singapore Pastoral Institute. A few years ago a Franciscan, Fr Roderick Payne gave a course on "Who is Jesus?" In this course he discussed more on the human side of Jesus. He made references to Chardin and the concept of the Cosmic Christ. Unfortunately Fr Payne died soon after the course.

I find that Catholics in Singapore, including the Jesuits, are not interested in talking about Chardin or the concept of the Cosmic Christ. Would you be so kind as to suggest some suitable sources that I can turn to, to satisfy my curiosity about Teilhard de Chardin and about the idea of the Cosmic Christ.
Augustine Y J Chong

I am doing my M.A philosophy in Bhopal in a private institute and for my thesis I have taken the topic "Ethics in Thirukkural." For my reference if you have some material on Thirukkural, kindly help me.
Valan SVD.


Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, St. Xavier’s, 30 Mother Teresa Sarani, Kolkata-700 016, India.
Tel: 0091-33-2280 1919; email: goethals@vsnl.com  Web-site: www.goethals.in 
Director: Fr. Felix Raj, SJ; Library Asst: Mr. Warren Brown; Computer Asst: Mr. Sunil Mondol



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