Modern Hindu Personalism: The History, Life, and Thought of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati

Paperback | November 30, 2012

byFerdinando Sardella

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Modern Hindu Personalism explores the life and works of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati (1874-1937), a Vaishnava guru of the Chaitanya school of Bengal. Ferdinando Sardella examines Bhaktisiddhanta's background, motivation and thought, especially as it relates to his forging of a moderntraditionalist institution for the successful revival of Chaitanya Vaishnava bhakti. Originally known as the Gaudiya Math, that institution not only established centers in both London (1933) and Berlin (1934), but also has been indirectly responsible for the development of a number of contemporaryglobal offshoots, including the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Hare Krishna movement). Sardella provides the historical background as well as the contemporary context of the India in which Bhaktisiddhanta lived and functioned, in the process shedding light on such topics as colonial culture and sensibilities, the emergence of an educated middle-class, the rise of the BengalRenaissance, and the challenge posed by Protestant missionaries. Bhaktisiddhanta's childhood, education and major influences are examined, as well as his involvement with Chaitanya Vaishnavism and the practice of bhakti. Sardella depicts Bhaktisiddhanta's attempt to propagate Chaitanya Vaishnavisminternationally by sending disciples to London and Berlin, and offers a detailed description of their encounters with Imperial Britain and Nazi Germany. He goes on to consider Bhaktisiddhanta's philosophical perspective on religion and society as well as on Chaitanya Vaishnavism, exploring the interaction between philosophical and social concerns and showing how they formed the basis for the restructuring of his movement in terms of bhakti. Sardellaplaces Bhaktisiddhanta's life and work within a taxonomy of modern Hinduism and compares the significance of his work to the contributions of other major figures such as Swami Vivekananda. Finally, Bhaktisiddhanta's work is linked to the development of a worldwide movement that today involvesthousands of American and European practitioners, many of whom have become respected representatives of Chaitanya bhakti in India itself.

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Modern Hindu Personalism explores the life and works of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati (1874-1937), a Vaishnava guru of the Chaitanya school of Bengal. Ferdinando Sardella examines Bhaktisiddhanta's background, motivation and thought, especially as it relates to his forging of a moderntraditionalist institution for the successful revival of...

Ferdinando Sardella is Research Scholar in the Department of Theology at Uppsala University.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:November 30, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199865906

ISBN - 13:9780199865901

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Table of Contents

ForewordPhonetic GuideIntroduction1. The Rise of Non-Dualism in Bengal2. Life and Works3. Bhakti Universalist4. Social PhilosopherConclusionsAppendix A: Theoretical and Methodological ConsiderationsAppendix B: ImagesAppendix C: DocumentsAppendix D: Tour to Central EuropeAppendix E: Works by Bhaktisiddhanta SarasvatiNotesBibliographyIndex