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Goethals News Bulletin
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 (1861-1907)

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 27, 1907.

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 life and 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:

  1. Small seminars and discussions in schools, co1leges, seminaries, etc, on Brahmabandhab's contributions

  2. A drama in English and Bengali,

  3. A documentary film on his life and teachings, and

  4. 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. Felix Raj.


New Arrivals

Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity by Ian Bryant Wells, Permanent Black, Delhi. 2005.

A Sourcebook of Indian Civilization by Niharranjan Ray, Orient Longman, Kolkata, 2002.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose by Prof. Alok Ray, Scottish Church College, Kolkata. 1998.

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, Mumbai, 2004.

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, Kolkata, 2001.

Studying Early India by Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya. Permanent Black, Delhi, 2003.



Dr. Sakti Sadhan Mukhopadhyay, Kolkata, H. L. Derozio and its related cultural milieu.

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 on Education.


Brahmabandhab Upadhyay Collection at Goethals : 2005

  1. 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)

  2. Religious Views of Swami Brahmabandhav Upadhyaya: The first Indian Christian Theologian by Anil Mitra, SJ. 1970. St. Mary’s College, Darjeeling. (6B/407)

  3. The Twentieth Century Vol. I (Jan-Dec. 1901). Editors: N Gupta and Brahmabandhab Upadhya.

  4. Brahmabandhab Upadhyay, The life and thought of a Revolutionary by Julius J Lipner, OUP. Delhi. 1999 (6B/306)

  5. Writings of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay by Julius Lipner & George Gispert-Sauch, United Theological College, Bangalore. 2002. 2 volumes. 30B/257(1), (2)

  6. ‘Sanibarer Chiti’ (1961-64). 3 articles about Brahmabandhav Upadhyay in Bengali.

  7. Jote. Vol. 51. January 1947. No. 1.

  8. An Indian Ashram: The Boys’ Own Home (Founded by Animananda) 1924. (38DB/114).

  9. Upadhyaya Brahmabandhav: The political years by C Fonseca, SJ (6B/191).

  10. Panchadasi – text, translation, commentary by B. Upadhyay.

  11. Samaj (Bengali) by Brahmabandhab Upadhyay. (6B/122).

  12. Blade: Life and work of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay by B. Animananda. Roy & Son. Calcutta. 1949 [511-UB-731a(A)] 2 copies.

  13. Swami Upadhyay Brahmabandhav: A story of His life by B. Animananda. 1908? (6B/124).

  14. Infinite and the Finite by Upadhyaya Brahmabandhav: 3rd Edition 1918.

  15. A Teacher of Genius B Animananda by P Turmes, SJ (2 copies). (6B/130). Xavier Publications. Calcutta. 1963.

  16. Short Treatise on the Existence of God by B C Banerji (Upadhyay Brahmabandhav), Karachi, 1893. (32H/2).

  17. Upadhyay Brahmabandhav- Miscellaneous articles by and on Upadhyay Brahmabandhav, in 5 volumes Titled Varia 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Languages: English & Bengali.

  18. 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).

  19. Transcription of an Autographed letter of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay to Fr. Billard and Lacombe, dated 10 Feb. 1898. (Xerox copy only).

  20. Six large Folios (Preserved-Laminated and Encapsulated documents) containing articles, correspondence and writings by and pertaining to Brahmabandhab Upadhyay and Animananda.

  21. Time line of the life of Brahmabandhav Upadhyay (encapsulated) by Timothy C Tennent. University of Edinburgh. 1997.


Life of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay (1861-1907)

Early Life

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 Father Hegglin

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 philosophy

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 Zaleski stand

1898 – Oct. 1st – Ftr. Hegglin writes in diary about anxiety of officials about BU plan

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 Jubbulpore

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 illness

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 “Twentieth Century”

1901 – Aug. Prayaschitta explained to “Twentieth Century” readers

1901 – Dec. Last “Twentieth Century”

Mission Abroad

1902 - Aug. – Separation of Santiniketan and Simha St. Schools

1902 - Sept. – Learns of Vivekananda’s death, goes to Bombay to secure passage to Europe

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

Nationalist Period

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 home-rule

1905 - Nov. Tone of Sandhya becomes rustic, common – grows in popularity

1905 - Dec. Answers charges about not notifying government of change of publication place

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 Policy

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 beginning.”

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 our trespasses!

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 Sandhya:

“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 gerrymandering politics.”

“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, Kolkata.

"Brahmabandha Upadhday - A Forgotten Prophet", Indian Currents, August 21, 2005.

"A Mantra for Development - I", Indian Currents, Pp. 26-31, 2 October, 2005, Delhi.

"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? DW.

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

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).
Shashi Dharmadhikari

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.
Celine Alexander-Brown

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.
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