Vol. 5 Num 567 Fri. December 30, 2005  

Lest We Forget
Dr Mahanambrata Brahmachari
An extraordinary philosopher-theologian

Dr Mahanambrata Brahmachari was born in Khalisakata village of Barishal on 25th December 1904. His earlier name was Bankim. He did his MA in philosophy and Sanskrit topping the list from the University of Calcutta and awarded gold medal. He was also awarded Ph D by the University of Chicago and D Litt from Vrindaban Theosophical University.

The name 'Dr Mahanambrata' is well-known as a philosopher in the Baishnab world. Not only his knowledge of theology and religion is considered indubitable, but his compassion for the suffering exploited masses is also esteemed as equally great. With the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, despite requests in the contrary, he returned to his motherland relinquishing his post of the International Secretary, World Fellowship of Faiths, the position he held for six years in the USA and since then he did not rest. He had gone to the remotest of the villages and was busy propagating "MAHANAM" (the great name of God). He had delivered innumerable lectures, held discourses on the Gita, the Bhagabat, not only in our country but also before large congregations of scholars and intellectuals in Europe and the USA. From 1933 to 1937 he delivered 354 lectures in the western world on monastic life in India, Hindu homelife, God in human experience, womanhood in India, significance of prayer, cast system in Hindu society, Yoga philosophy, oriental mysticism and ideals of Hindu life etc.

Although I have no occasion to have talks with the great philosopher and saintly person, I have learnt about him through different books, magazines and newspapers. Dr Mahanambrata Brahmachari authored innumerable books. We mention here only a few, which are Baishnav-Vedanta, Gita-Dhyan, Chandi-Chinta, Uddhav-Sandesh, Gour-Katha, Upanishad-Bhabana and Shrimad Bhagabatam.

In his 'Haripurush Jagat Bandhu Mahauddharan' Dr Mahanambrata says, "In Christian theology they have God the father, God the son and holy Ghost; in Vedantic mysticism we have 'sat', chait' and 'ananda'. These three things are nothing but God, Man and Nature -- in Sanskrit 'Brahma' 'jiva' and 'jagad'. In the microcosm they are Soul, Mind and Body. In the soul they are 'sat', 'chit' and 'ananda' -- existence, consciousness and bliss. In the mind they are 'jagrata,' 'swapna' and 'susupta', self-consciousness, sub-consciousness and super-consciousness.

Dr Mahanam in his "Mahatma Gandhi and Universal Brotherhood" says -- "Science has reduced the death rate, but increased the slaughter in war. Why is this? It is because science gives knowledge but not the wisdom to use that knowledge." He explained Brahmachari Brahma means the biggest, widest, greatest. Divine love is the fundamental reality of the universe. The word Jagat-Bandhu means the one which eternally binds all these beings together by the tie of the transcendental Divine love.

Dr Mahanambrata in his "Lord Jagatbandhu -- the Saviour" says, Jagatbandhu believed that the true religion of the world is one and only one but esoteric (outward) expressions of that one are many.

Mahanambrata says -- "To be non-violent is the first article of faith in the doctrine of Bhakti. This means that you must act in such a way that the needs of life are satisfied all around; work for the whole world. This is non-violence." Dr Mahanambrata believed that to live for others, for the universe, for all-life, is the true life. Self-centred life is a vain delusion.

In his eyes, there was no difference between a good Hindu, a good Muslim, a good Buddhist, a good Christian and a good Jew. Great Baishnab philosopher Jagatbandhu's spiritual follower Dr Mahanambrata says, "I am proud to be an humble follower of the New World teacher who has made a proclamation, unheard of, of his glorious mission thus -- 'I will establish a kingdom of love equally over the four continents and then only you shall call me Jagatbandhu' -- the friend of universe".

After long many years of activities, the philosopher cum religious teacher Dr Mahanambrata Brahmachari left this mundane plane for his eternal abode -- the eternal Sree Angan, Mahanam Angan and the eternal Vrindaban. "May he Who is one without second; Who is beyond all distinctions of colours, caste and creed; Who knowing all our needs, meets them with His manifold powers; May he Who is in the beginning, in the middle and in the end; May He unite us in fellowship and understanding." -- RIGVEDA.

Western people knew Indian idealism only through Sankara and Ramanuja and the schools which developed after Sankara and Ramanuja were unknown to them. Dr Mahanam for the first time successfully attempted to bring to the notice of western people a very popular school of Vedanta Achinta Vedavedabad -- the philosophical basis of Vaisnava school of Bengal and Chaitanya Movement.

Prem Ranjan Dev is a freelance researcher.