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Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, Kolkata
Vol. VIII No. 4 October - December 2005
News Update | Articles | Researchers
New Arrivals | Mails & Emails
Brahmabandhab Upadhyay - A Prophet for all seasons
If Subhas Chandra Bose is considered a forgotten hero, Brahmabandhab Upadhyay is
a forgotten prophet of India's search for nationhood and modernity. Born a
Brahmin, Bhawani Charan, as his original name was, typified the new Bengali
middle-class: educated, upper caste and Hindu. Yet his conversion to Roman
Catholicism and his revolutionary ideas for merging Christian doctrines with an
Indian idiom marked him out as exceptional.
His life can be divided into five periods: early life (1861-1881), As a Hindu
Reformer (1881-1890), As a Christian Witness (1891-1901), Mission abroad
(1902-1903) and Nationalist Period (1904-1907).
Brahmabandhab was a fiery patriot from an early age. Under the influence of
Keshabchandra Sen, he joined the Brahma Samaj and went to Sind to preach his new
faith. But, in Sind, he met Reverend Kalicharan Bandyopadhyaya under whose
influence he was converted to Christian faith. On February 26, 1891, he was
baptized by Mr. Heaton, a clergyman of the Church of England. But soon he
decided not to attend the Church services on the ground that he did not belong
to the Church of England.
In September 1891, he was baptized by Jesuit Fr. Bruder, SJ at Karachi and
became a Catholic. His conversion was followed by a number of others and so
created a storm in Sindh. He chose St. Theophilus as his patron saint, whom he
called Brahmabandhab. Theophilus is a Greek word meaning lover of God and
Brahmabandhab means the same. He took this name because St. Theophilus is famous
in ecclesiastical history as the first to use the word Trinity and Bhawani
Charan resolved to be the first in India to sing the praises of the same Triune
Sachchidanandam in the sacred tongues of the Rishis. And his Catholic faith did
not denationalize him in the least; rather it brought him into closer and closer
relationship with Hindu Samaj day by day.
Brahmabandhav Upadhyaya was the first national leader to. demand total
independence for India from the British. He was also the first to envisage a
union between Hinduism and Christianity.
K. P. Aleaz.
Influenced by Swami Vivekananda, he retraced his steps back to Hinduism. To
propagate Vedanta in the West and to enlist the sympathies of European savants
in his cause, he travelled to Europe in 1902. He gave a series of lectures on
Hinduism. He wanted to win over the authorities of the Church to his side. "If
Europe could be made to pay homage to Hindu thought, the ultimate triumph of
Christianity in India would he merely a question of time."
He visited Rome, made his confession, knelt down at the shrine of St. Peter and
St. Paul, and sent up a fervent prayer for the conversion of India. In England,
he met Cardinal Vaughan and narrated to him the tale of the pent-up sorrows of
years. The Cardinal was touched and gave him permission to ventilate his ideas
in the Tablet. Brahmabandhab had carried a letter of recommendation from His
Grace, the Archbishop of Calcutta: "We declare that Brahmabandhab (Theophilus)
Upadhyay, a Brahmin of Calcutta is a true Catholic, of good character, burning
with zeal for the conversion of his countrymen ……….”
He started a monthly Catholic journal, "Sophia" in 1896 and dedicated it to the honour of St. Francis Xavier. He wanted it to be an honored instrument in
carrying out his glorious work of the conversion of India.
He founded the Sarasvata-Ayatana in Calcutta in the tradition of the Vedas. He
actively supported Rabindranath's ideal of a Brahmavidyalaya and helped to
organize the school in its early stages.
The main contribution of Upadhyaya to Indian Christian theology lies in his
explanation of the doctrine of trinity as Saccidananda and the doctrine of
creation as Maya. True, he is following here the basic methodology of putting an
already formulated Christian theology in Vendantic terms.
Brahmabandhab's political sentiments however proved too strong to allow him to
remain in purely educational work for long, and his connection with the school
ceased about a year after the starting of the School.
Rabindranath Tagore described him as a "Roman Catholic ascetic yet a Vedantin -
spirited, fearless, self-denying, learned and uncommonly influential. "Christian
and Hindu, holy man and savant, prophet and revolutionary, Upadhyay was a
paradoxical figure who played a key role in the struggle for independence,
along-side Vivekananda, Tagore, Aurobindo Ghose and others. His fiery
convictions and passionate rhetoric won him many admirers and branded him a
dangerous revolutionary in the eyes of the British colonial establishment. He
was an ardent nationalist, who died while under arrest for sedition on October
The year 2007 is the Centenary of his death. A prophet like Brahmabandhab must
be known and studied by all. Lipner's work, Brahmabandhab Upadhyay: The
Thought of a Revolutionary, is a rich and worthy contribution in this respect. A
group of Jesuits and others is taking the initiative to celebrate the centenary
year. Programmes that are planned include:
Small seminars and discussions in
schools, co1leges, seminaries, etc, on Brahmabandhab's contributions
in English and Bengali,
A documentary film on his life and teachings, and
Two national seminars - in Bangalore and in Kolkata.
The Kolkata seminar will be
organized by the Goethals Library and Research Society in October 2007. By J.
Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity by Ian Bryant Wells, Permanent Black, Delhi.
A Sourcebook of Indian Civilization by Niharranjan Ray, Orient Longman, Kolkata,
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose by Prof. Alok Ray, Scottish Church College, Kolkata.
Democracy Indian Style by Anton Pelinka, Viva Books Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 2004.
Gandhi’s Power by Dennis Dalton, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2004.
Value Vision by Swami Yuktananda, Vivekananda Nidhi, Kolkata, 2003.
The Mother, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry, 2004.
After the Great Mughals by Barbara Schmitz. Marg Publications, Mumbai, 2002.
Goa Dourada by T P Issar. Mytec Process Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore, 1997.
Indus Civilization Sites in India by D. K. Chakrabarti, Marg Publications,
Kushana Studies: New Perspectives by B N Mukherjee. Firma Klm , Kolkata , 2004.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta by Sunita Kumar. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1998.
Origins of the Anglo-Indian Community by G. A. Wilson-deRoza. Sreema Mudran,
Studying Early India by Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya. Permanent Black, Delhi, 2003.
Dr. Sakti Sadhan Mukhopadhyay, Kolkata, H. L. Derozio and its related cultural
Fr. K J Jose, Darjeeling, History of Darjeeling.
Gopal Krishna Pal, Kolkata, Anglo-Indians in India and Abroad.
Rev. Dasan Jeyaraj, Secunderabad, Missiology.
Salai Murmu, Periyasamy Suresh, S Maskarnas Sagayaraj, P. Arockiasamy, Kolkata
Brahmabandhab Upadhyay Collection at Goethals : 2005
Sophia, A monthly Catholic Journal, June-Dec 1900 (2 copies-bound), Jan-Dec
1894 (Vol. I), Jan-Oct 1895 (Vol II), Vol. II-IV (1895-1897), (2 bound copies)
Vol. 5 (1898), Vol. 6 (1899)
Religious Views of Swami Brahmabandhav Upadhyaya: The first Indian Christian
Theologian by Anil Mitra, SJ. 1970. St. Mary’s College, Darjeeling. (6B/407)
The Twentieth Century Vol. I (Jan-Dec. 1901). Editors: N Gupta and Brahmabandhab Upadhya.
Brahmabandhab Upadhyay, The life and thought of a Revolutionary by Julius J
Lipner, OUP. Delhi. 1999 (6B/306)
Writings of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay by Julius Lipner & George Gispert-Sauch,
United Theological College, Bangalore. 2002. 2 volumes. 30B/257(1), (2)
‘Sanibarer Chiti’ (1961-64). 3 articles about Brahmabandhav Upadhyay in
Jote. Vol. 51. January 1947. No. 1.
An Indian Ashram: The Boys’ Own Home (Founded by Animananda) 1924. (38DB/114).
Upadhyaya Brahmabandhav: The political years by C Fonseca, SJ (6B/191).
Panchadasi – text, translation, commentary by B. Upadhyay.
Samaj (Bengali) by Brahmabandhab Upadhyay. (6B/122).
Blade: Life and work of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay by B. Animananda. Roy & Son.
Calcutta. 1949 [511-UB-731a(A)] 2 copies.
Swami Upadhyay Brahmabandhav: A story of His life by B. Animananda. 1908?
Infinite and the Finite by Upadhyaya Brahmabandhav: 3rd Edition 1918.
A Teacher of Genius B Animananda by P Turmes, SJ (2 copies). (6B/130).
Xavier Publications. Calcutta. 1963.
Short Treatise on the Existence of God by B C Banerji (Upadhyay
Brahmabandhav), Karachi, 1893. (32H/2).
Upadhyay Brahmabandhav- Miscellaneous articles by and on Upadhyay
Brahmabandhav, in 5 volumes Titled Varia 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Languages: English &
An Indian Nation Builder by Animananda (A biography on Brahmabandhav
Upadhyay) revised in 1946. Rewachand Gyanchand (Animananda) was the pupil of
Brahmabandhav Upadhyay. (6B/123).
Transcription of an Autographed letter of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay to Fr.
Billard and Lacombe, dated 10 Feb. 1898. (Xerox copy only).
Six large Folios (Preserved-Laminated and Encapsulated documents) containing
articles, correspondence and writings by and pertaining to Brahmabandhab
Upadhyay and Animananda.
Time line of the life of Brahmabandhav Upadhyay (encapsulated) by Timothy C
Tennent. University of Edinburgh. 1997.
Life of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay (1861-1907)
1861 – Born, Feb. 11, Bhavani Charan Banerjee, Khanya, Bengal
1874 – Admitted into Hooghly Collegiate School
1874 – Continued lifetime habit of reading epics
1874 – Invested with the Sacred Thread
1874 – Vows to stop eating meat or flesh
1876 – Joined Arts Department at Hooghly College
1876 – Influenced by Sunendranath Banerji
1877 – Tried to apply to serve as soldier in Zulu War, rejected
1877 – First trip to Gwailor to become soldier
1879 – Second trip to Gwailor
1879 – Opened English School for Brahmin Boys at no charge
1880 – Met Naren Dutt (Swami Vivekananda)
1880 – Attracted to Sadharan Samaj, protested Sen and New Dispensation
1881 - Met Keshub Chunder Sen through Priya Nath Mullick of Sadharan Samaj
1881 - Nava Brindaban performed with Keshub and Vivekananda
1881 - Taught at Memari near Khanyan
1881 - First trip to Jubbulpore, taught at Free Church Institution in Calcutta
Hindu Reformer Period
1883- Eagle’s Nest founded
1884 – Jan 8 – Sen dies, P C Mozumbar becomes leader of Samaj
1884 – BU puts up Ecce Homo, Colleague Nandala Sen puts up Sri Krishna
1884 – Meets Ramakrishna Pramahansa
1885 – July – Eagle’s Nest Group of seven meets regularly
1885 – Publishes handwritten “The Journal”
1885 – Eagle’s Nest publishes “Young Man” fortnightly
1886 – Eagle’s Nest changes name to “The Concord”, BU in charge of sports
1886 – “Young Man” becomes weekly “The Concord”
1886 – BU studies Bible, Shakespeare
1886 – Weekly “The Concord” becomes monthly, BU never contributed
1887 – Jan 6 – BU joins New Dispensation
1887 – The Concord group and journal ceases
1888 – Oct. 28 – Nandalal Sen, Hirananda and BU form Union Academy in Calcutta
1888 – Muzumdar founds “The Interpreter”, BU contributes articles
1888 – BU reads Catholic Belief by Bruno at father’s bedside
1889 – BU extremely active in Brahmo Samaj as lecturer and teacher
1889– Affirms that Christ is free from sin
1890 – Significant intellectual shifts towards Christian orthodoxy
1890 – Aug. to Dec., BU published “The Harmony”
1890 – Nov. – BU visits Protestant meeting in Calcutta
Christian Witness Period
1891 – Feb. 26th – Baptized by Anglican, Rev. Mr. Heaton, but did not unite with
the Anglican (or any other) Church
1891 – March – Met Father Salinger of the Society of Jesus
1891 – Sept. 1st – Unites with Roman Catholic Church, Choose as baptismal name,
Sanskrit for Theophilus
1891 – Period of persecution from Hindu compatriots
1891 – Accepts post as assistant manager of CMS High School
1891 – Editor of “Sindh Times” for one month
1891 – Parmanand and Khemchand are baptized
1892 –Anti-Protestant lectures
1893 – Conversion of Rewachand (Animananda)
1893 – Theological correspondence with Father Boedder, S.J.
1893 – BU publishes “A Tract on the Existence of God”
1894 – Jan. – 5 year monthly “Sophia” begins, reading room opened with help of
1894 – October - BU favors union of Indian bishops
1894 – Nov. 1 – BU lecture in Lahore against Hindu Reformer
1894 – December – BU becomes a Sannyasin, formally adopts the name Brahmabandhav
Upadhyay to be used publicly
1895 – BU began wearing saffron garb of Sannyasin
1895 – Sept. lecture on Catholic faith to mini-parliament of religion at Ajmere
1895 – Nov. 6 – Writes open letter to Annie Besant
1896 – March, April, July, Nov. – Lecture tour, “Infinite and Finite”
1896 – Dec. 11th, 14th, Debates Annie Besant in Max Denso Hall, Karachi
1897 – Jan. Karachi plague
1897 – Feb. BU writes “Impending Crisis”
1897 – Mar. 15 – April 15 – Lecture tour of Southern presidency
1897 – June, Karachi plague
1897 – BU writes “Hindu Philosophy and Christianity”
1897 – BU asks Animananda about dispensation for not attending church
1897 – Dec. – Bombay lecture on Christianity as fulfillment of ancient
1898 – Jan – BU returns to Calcutta
1898 – Feb – B. Animananda joins BU as a fellow Sannyasin
1898 – Feb. BU and Animanda launch idea of a Catholic – Vedantic matha
1898 – Discussion with Ftr. Castets at Trichinopoly
1898 – June – official Catholic correspondence concerning BU’s matha idea
1898 – June 17th – Zaleski opposes matha idea
1898 – July – BU publicly calls for Catholic-Vedanta matha
1898 – Aug 16th – Rome informed of BU plan, Sacred Cong. of Propaganda approves
1898 – Oct. 1st – Ftr. Hegglin writes in diary about anxiety of officials about
1898 – Oct – shift in attitude concerning Vedanta begins, finding full flowering
in the series on Maya, Feb. 1899 and following
1898 – Sat Cit Ananda lecture, lecture on karma, harmonize Aquinas and Vedanta
1899 - Jan – BU announces Kastalik Matha on banks of Narmada
1899 - Feb. – Upadhyay, Animananda and novice (Shankerji) beg in streets of
1899 - March, end of Sophia monthly
1899 – March – April – Lenten 40 day fast, solitude and prayer
1899 – Alienation with Catholic authorities – cancelled trip to Rome due to
1899 – New School Started on Bethune Row then to Simha Bazar St. – BU & Tagore
1900 – June 16th – weekly “Sophia” begins
1900 – June 16, 23 – equates Sankara’s Maya with Thomas’ contingent being
1900 – BU uses pen name Narahari Das
1900 – Sep. 20th – Mgr. Zaleski bans ‘Sophia’
1900 – Oct.–Catholic authorities publish public letter in Bombay Catholic
Examiner concerning banning of “Sophia”
1900 – No. 17th – announces in Sophia upcoming “Twentieth Century”
1900 – Dec 8th Last “Sophia”
1901 – Jan. 31st – 1st issue of “Twentieth Century”
1901 – June 20th – “Twentieth Century” ban raised as issue in Rome
1901 – June – BU tells Animananda that they must perform prayaschitta
1901 – Aug. 1st “Twentieth Century” banned by Catholic authorities
1901 – Aug. 17th – BU open letter to Bombay Catholic Examiner about closing of
1901 – Aug. Prayaschitta explained to “Twentieth Century” readers
1901 – Dec. Last “Twentieth Century”
1902 - Aug. – Separation of Santiniketan and Simha St. Schools
1902 - Sept. – Learns of Vivekananda’s death, goes to Bombay to secure passage
1902 - Oct. 5 – BU leaves Bombay for Genoa (gets off at Naples)
1902 – Nov. 1st – Arrives at Rome
1902 - Nov. 4th – Arrives at London with fever
1902 - Met Cardinal Vaughan in London
1902 – December- lectures at Oxford
1903 – March – Lecture three times at Cambridge
1903 – July – meets T. W. Stead, editor of “Review of Reviews”
1903 – Discussions concerning BU’s help in choosing Cambridge lecturer
1903 – July – BU returns from Europe a confirmed Nationalist
1903 – Simha school continues to grow – 35 children
1903 – BU unsuccessful in getting Brahmin boy to perform Hindu rite
1904 – Feb - Did not allow Orthodox Brahmin to be told BU was a Catholic
1904 – July – BU writes letter saying he has not abandoned faith
1904 – July 25th – Last theological lecture at Albert Hall
1904 – July – “Sandhya” formed (1904-1907)
1904 – Aug 7 – BU joins Svadeshi movement
1904 – Aug. – Sarasvat Ayatan (Collegium Sophia) opened
1904 – Aug. – Address on Sri Krishna – fallout with Rewachand
1904 – Dec. – BU celebrates feast of the Nativity in Calcutta
1905 - Feb. – BU permits puja in honour of Sarasvati, falls out with Rewachand
1905 - Mar. – BU receives sign of the cross
1905 - Sep. – Charged with defamation by Mr. Malcolm
1905 - Nov. – BU calls for complete independence from Britain, not just
1905 - Nov. Tone of Sandhya becomes rustic, common – grows in popularity
1905 - Dec. Answers charges about not notifying government of change of
1905 - Dec. – School moves to Cornwallis St.
1905 - Dec. – BU celebrates feast of Nativity
1906 – June – Shivajee festival; BU permits idol Shivajee at feet of Durga
1906 – June 10th – Participates in Ganga Span festival
1906 – School moves to Serampore
1906 – BU involved in Council on Education, helping to set National Education
1907 - Prayers to Trinity, to Logos etc… prayed
1907 - March – Conversations with Rev. Nag about Vedantism and Christianity
1907 - March –July – Nationalistic periodicals “Karali” and “Svaraj” began
1907 - April 8th – Shivajee festival
1907 - Aug 7th – Police search “Sandhya” offices
1907 - BU performs Prayaschitta
1907 - Aug 13th, 20th, 27th –BU writes articles which form the basis for
sedition charge, such as “Booming the Sedition: The Feringhi is in a Fix!”
1907 - Sept. 10th – 1st Sedition Case launched
1907 - Oct. 21st – BU goes to Cambell hospital for hernia operation
1907 - Oct. 22nd – BU operated on “wonderful has been the vicissitudes of my
life, wonderful has been my faith” to professor Vasvani
1907 - Oct 26th – BU calls out “Thakur, Thakur”
1907 - Oct. 26th – Second sedition case announced, warrant for BU’s arrest
1907 - Oct 27th – Sunday, 8.30 a.m. , BU dies, afternoon processional with great
crowds, cremated and ashes scattered at dusk on banks of Ganges
1907 - Oct 28th BU memorial services begin
Prepared by Timothy C. Tennent, Assistant Professor of World Missions, Toccoa
Falls College, Edinburgh
“I called upon God, and the spirit of Sophia (wisdom) came upon me : and I
preferred her before kingdoms and thrones and esteemed riches nothing in
comparison of her.”
“I love her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light: for
her light cannot be put out.”
“She knoweth and understandeth all things and shall lead me soberly in my works
and shall preserve me by her power.”
“For who among men is he that can know the counsel of God? Or who can think what
the will of God is? Or who shall know Thy thought except Thou give Sophia, and,
send Thy Holy Spirit from above : and so the ways of them that are upon earth
may be corrected, and men may learn the things that please Thee ?”
“For by Sophia they were healed, whosoever have pleased Thee, O Lord, from the
B. Upadhyay Prayer, printed behind the front cover of every issue of “Sophia”
New Year Greetings
Greetings, a thousand hearty greetings to our patrons, subscribers and readers.
The New Year has been rung in and the old one rung out to make us believe and
hope more, and love more too. With joyful hearts do we therefore thank Him who
is worthy of all thanks. He has given us, in spite of our infinite sinfulness, a
new lease of life: Deo gratias. We thank also our benefactors who are His
honoured instruments to carry out the Divine Will. We wish every form of good to
our enemies who take delight in maligning and injuring. We beg pardon of those
whom we have consciously or unconsciously offended. May God Almighty forgive us
Of late we have not been able to devote much attention to our dear little
Sophia. We were obliged last year to wander from place to place homeless,
friendless, following the guidance of our ideal which has taken hold of our
entire being - the ideal of founding a Catholic monastery in India. Perhaps our
wanderings are at an end: the promised land is in sight. Perhaps they are not,
for there may be still a thousand and one obstacles in the way.
We can have no rest until we see the religion of Christ lived by Hindu ascetics
and preached by Hindu Monks; until we behold the beauty of the Catholic Faith
set off with oriental vestments. Do not desert us in our labour and travail. In
this vale of tears fruition is accompanied with pain and narrowly does it escape
the abortive grip of failure. Strengthen us then with tears of pity, if not with
the milk of sympathy. Brahmabandhab Upadhyay, (January 1899).
- By Julius Lipner & George Gispert-Sauch. pp 454-455. Bangalore, 2002. Book No:
30 B/257 (2)
The Educational Problem
“Our rulers are just now considering the revision of the prevailing educational
system. Lord Curzon is anxious to elevate the ideal as well as the standard of
our universities. The model according to which the elevation will be effected is
of course, Western. To ensure our thorough Westernisation the Imperial
Government will take upon itself the direct control of the Education Department.
Half way is dangerous.The hoary traditions of Oxford and Cambridge will be
utilised to mould the education of our children in the perfect English way and
the authorities will superintend the operation with a rigidity which will check
all native attempt to withstand the process of denationalisation. The
constitution of the universities will be so framed as to reduce electoral
independence to almost a non-entity. The introduction of text-books, the
vehicles of knowledge, will be regulated by the principle of glorifying English
valor, English politics, English learning, English civilisation at the expense
of the greatness of other nations and races. A historical treatise maintaining
that Napoleon was a greater hero than Wellington, that the English were defeated
at Chillianwallah, that the Hindu is fitter than the English to teach or learn
higher things, that. Muhammadan rule was superior to the English in certain
respects, that the Anglo-Boer war is utterly unrighteous, must make room for
such soapy books as Lee Warner's "Citizen" Nothing native should be allowed to
spoil the influence of English thought upon our children. English ideals should
dominate over the youthful Indian mind, and our ancient national ideals should
be crushed or made to play a subservient part.
The proposed Education Bill is, no doubt, noble and benevolent, but its
nobleness and benevolence have no existence apart from the dominance English
thought and civilisation. English culture has done us great good but its
beneficence has been frustrated to a great extent by its aggressive character.
It has a tendency to wrench us away from our national stability and break our
integrity as a race. In consequence of this revolutionary influence we have lost
our originality and been reduced to hybrid bantlings. It has become well nigh
impossible for our educated people to be profound. They have been emasculated.”
- “The Twentieth Century” by B. Upadhyay (Editor) pp 217-218. (1901) vol. 1.
A Brief outline of Christianity
Religion is a means to the attainment of the end of man. One should first know
what the end is, to understand the nature of the means.
What is the end of man? To know God as He is; to behold Him, face to face; to be
like Him; to be united with Him. St. John says that we shall be like Him and see
Him as He is. (St. John’s Epistle, I. 32.) St. Paul says that now we see
obscurely, as if through a glass, but then we shall behold Him, face to face.
(I Cor. 13, 12.) Jesus Christ Himself desires us to be one in and with God. (St.
John, 17, 11.) The natural capacity of finite knowledge is inadequate to know
God as He is in Himself. We can only apprehend by inference the transcendent
nature of God. But our destiny is, according to the teaching of Christ and His
apostles, to know Him intuitively, without any medium as living a life above and
beyond the cosmos. Such knowledge - the knowledge of God, the absolute Being (niralamba)
and not merely the First Cause (salamba) related to a chain of effects, the Seer
of Self by Self and not merely a Mind cognising varieties and establishing
harmonies the self complacent, self-sufficient Infinity and not merely a Supreme
Being whose beatitudes depends upon the delight. He takes in finite relations is
not attainable unless our nature be elevated and sanctified by grace. This
elevation does not destroy finite nature out only raises it to a higher plane.
The ordinary plane is called natural and the higher one supernatural. It should
be understood that the supernatural is not anti-natural but co-natural. It does
not go against nature intrinsically but only perfects it.
Human reason can only, as I have already said, apprehend through relations that
god has an eternal life, full and complete by itself, but cannot know its
nature, the how of it. Christianity teaches that God has himself revealed to man
the nature of his inner life, how he lives within the unlimited horizon of the
infinite without condescending to be a cause, and that the contents of that
revelation can be acknowledge in faith, and assimilated in hope and love by only
those who have been elevated and sanctified by grace. It also teaches that by
the practice of virtues (sadahanam) in accordance with the light of the Divine
revelation man is fitted in the long run to behold the very essence of God
abiding in the bliss of correspondence of Self with Self.
But the pre-eminently practical feature of Christianity consists in its mission
of restoration. God elevated man by grace that he may possess Him as he
possesses Himself. But man has lost that grace by sin. It is to be restored to
him in His infinite mercy He has provided a means through which he can recover
his original grace. Without it he is utterly incapable of being like God and
seeing Him, face to face. And when it is restored to man, the end is not reached
at once. Man has to fight against the downward bias (sanskara) imposed upon his
nature by his karma (deed). -
“The Twentieth Century” by B. Upadhyay (Editor) pp
32, 33 (1901) vol. 1.
The Blade: (1902-1904): The life and work of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay
Upadhyay’s Svadeshi was altogether different. He was the first man in our
political history to suggest complete Independence for India. He wrote in the
“I swear by the moon and the sun that I have heard in my hearts this message of
freedom. As the tree in winter gets a new life with the touch of the breeze of
spring, as you feel joy at the return of love, as the heart of a hero dances to
the call of the trumpet of war, so a feeling has throbbed in my heart.
But Independence will mean both freedom from our slave complex and freedom from
“With the spread of English rule and culture, India lost her own ideal of
civilization. Our educated classes think as they have been taught by their
Firinghi Masters. Our minds have been conquered. We have become slaves. The
faith in our own culture and the love for things Indian are gone. India will
reach Swaraj the day she will again have a faith in herself. Ramakrishna had
gone in that line. So did Bamkim. So did Vivekananda. The whole mass of our
people must now be made to appreciate things Indian and to return tour ancient
way. That is Svadesh as opposed to Bidesh.”
“Noble India we want, golden India, the India of Kapila and Gautama, Vasishta
and Vyasa, Raghu and Dilip, Rama and Yudistria. And for the creation of such an
India, freedom from slave mentality is necessary. Political independence there
must be but it is not possible if there be a slave mentality. As long as the
inferiority complex is present, slavery will follow. Pratap’s belief in the
Rajputs, Shivaji’s faith in the Hindus made them declare their wars of
independence. Political independence can never be a bar to progress if there be
mental freedom and self-respect.”
That is why he deprecated the begging attitude and proposed his Svaraj-Garh. “I
see the fort of Svaraj built in various places. There shall be no connection
with foreigner. These forts will be purified by the incense of sacrifice,
resounding with cry of victory, filled to overflowing with corn and grain. The
Blade: The life and work of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay by Animananda. Roy & Son,
Calcutta, pp 136, 137.
by Fr. Felix Raj:
"Jesuit Mission I - a Puzzle and a Model", and Jesuit Mission II - Wholehearted
Response to Multicultural Realities", The Statesman, August 17 & 18, 2005,
"Brahmabandha Upadhday - A Forgotten Prophet", Indian Currents, August 21, 2005.
"A Mantra for Development - I", Indian Currents, Pp. 26-31, 2 October, 2005,
"A new Mantra for Development II - Growth with Trust", Indian Currents, Pp.
33-39, 9 October, 2005, Delhi.
Mails & Emails
I am a professor of English at the University of Toronto, and I have a query to
you who were involved with the "Daniell's Art Show" (information I have come
across online)? I want a follow up on a reference in Edward Moor's The Hindu
Pantheon (1810) to a drawing by the Daniells of "a very magnificent room in [the
Peshwa's] palace at Poona, called the Ganes room. I am wondering if this
"picture of the Poona Durbar" is extant, and if so, if it has been reproduced?
We need a photocopy from the journal “Madras Journal of Literature and Science.”
Vol.12,1840 Pp.48-54 and it is a article of ARNOTT, G.A.W. Remarks on the fruit
of the natural order Cucurbitaceae.
Freek Kiehl, THE NETHERLANDS
I want a photocopy of the last part after Vol III p 212-208) of Bulletin of the
Deccan College Institute which I am missing (as end of the article of Vol III
mentions To be continued).
I hoping to trace my family tree. My father was Kenneth Oscar Ronald Alexander,
he attended at St. Xavier's School. Could you let me know how I could obtain
birth, marriage and baptism certificates. His father was Station Master at
Howrah Railway Station and his parents married at Our Lady's, Bandel. His
grandfather worked for the East India Company. I would be grateful if you could
give me any idea or website links that you might think are relevant.
I am teaching at the Gujarat Regional Theology centre, presently at the final
phase of the doctoral research on Brahmabandhab Upadhyay in Mysore University. I
am sending the 'Abstract' of the proposed paper for the National Seminar
"Christian Contributions to Bengal" to be held in January 2006. The title of the
paper is: "Constructions of National Space: Brahmabandhab Upadhyay's
Contributions to Bengal Nationalism and beyond."
V. Sebastian, S. J., Bangalore
Director and Staff wish you all
A Merry Christmas and a Joy-filled New Year 2006
Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, St. Xavier’s, 30 Mother Teresa
Sarani, Kolkata-700 016, India.
Tel: 0091-33-2280 1919; email: email@example.com
Director: Fr. Felix Raj, SJ; Library Asst: Mr. Warren
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