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Historical figures

AMBEDKAR, Bhimrao
1893 - 1956
India
RELIGION, POLITICS

 

Child of Hindu Dalit (untouchable) caste family background. Post-graduate studies in economics at Columbia in USA and LSE in London - where he also studied Law. Subsequently he practised as lawyer and politician in India campaigning for the rights of untouchables. He was a major contributor to writing of 1947 Constitution of Independent India. Increasing frustration with his fellow Hindus led him in later life to encourage his fellow caste members to convert to Buddhism. It is claimed that there are more statues of him in India than there are of either Gandhi or Nehru.

Life

http://www.angelfire.com/ak/ambedkar/BR_bio.html

Selected writings

Annihilation of Caste http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00ambedkar

The Buddha and his Dhamma

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Buddha_and_His_Dhamma

Video

B R Ambedkar talks about Gandhi (8 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FNSQcEx02A

ANANDA
c.500BCE
India
RELIGION

Assistant to the Buddha, after whose death he became the foremost interpreter of his teaching. Against majority opposition, he favoured women's membership of the sangha.

Life

http://buddhism.about.com/od/The-Disciples/a/The-Life-Of-Ananda.htm

http://what-buddha-said.net/library/DPPN/aa/aananda.htm

AUROBINDO GHOSE
1872 - 1950
India
RELIGION

 

Born into a Bengali Hindu background in Calcutta, he was sent to England at the age of 9, where his studies culminated at Cambridge University. He became adept in several European languages and widely read, returning to India after 14 years, initially to work in state administration, to publish poetry and engage in local politics. These last led to his campaigning against British rule, for which he was imprisoned. He spent the second half of his life in Pondicherry (a French enclave), practising a distinctive version of Yoga which was designed to bring into human reality a present sense of divine being. This became central to the life of an ashram, run by his mother (Mirra Richard) and himself (later centre of the town Auroville). His beliefs are set out in his extensive writings. He embodied an ethical mysticism.

Life

http://hinduism.about.com/od/gurussaintsofthepast/a/aurobindo.htm

Writings

These are extensive. They can be downloaded from: http://www.sriaurobindoashram.org/ashram/sriauro/writings.php

Most notably:

vols 21-2 The Life Divine

vols 23-4 Synthesis of Yoga

vols 25 The Ideal of Human Unity

Video

Life of Sri Aurobindo (10 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6iOjTkqiCk

BESANT, Annie
1847 - 1933
England + India
POLITICS, RELIGION

 

Probably now most associated with the emergence of Theosophy, Annie Besant deserves to be linked with other causes as well. Amongst these were her espousal of atheistic beliefs – elected vice-president of the National Secular Society - and subsequent campaigning for workers’ rights and for birth control. She was branded as immoral by the social and political establishment. In relocating to India she became active in the movement for political independence – for 5 years president of the Indian National Congress.

Life

Writings

Video

Annie Besant (11 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7_73uXRxYI

BHAVE, Vinoba
1895 - 1982
India
RELIGION, POLITICS

 

Vinayak Narahari Bhave (popularly Vinoba) widely regarded as a successor to Gandhi, and revered as national teacher figure (Achyra). Instead of continuing as a university student, he joined Gandhi’s ashram where he began teaching and learned how to contribute to self-sufficient community life, including spinning. He read widely, extended his range of regional and national languages, and accepted challenges given him by his mentor. These included the role of satyagrahi – one prepared to engage individually in non-violent action in the interests of truth and social justice. In these respects he campaigned for the independence of India from Britain. He initiated the Land Gift movement (Bhoodan) invited donations of land for the benefit of the harijans – landless poor, outside any positive status within the caste system. The extent of his success is disputed, but he is a distinctive practitioner of religious humanism.

Life

Writings

Video

Gandhi to Vinoba (3 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlKf7_osq0c

CAITANYA
1486 - 1533
India
RELIGION

Inspiration of the Caitanya sect, better known today as the Hare Krishna Movement or the International Society for Krishna Consciouness. He was born into a Bengali Hindu family. In preference to formal brahminical training he sought to emulate the life of Krishna in a more demonstrative and ascetic life-style, expressed in singing and dance. The ecstasy of his devotion (bhakti) to God proved attractive to followers then and since - they were sensed as engaging with the divine source of all creativity and play in life and expounded theologically as such by his contemporary disciple (Rupa Gosvami) and subsequent tradition.

Life

http://oxfordindex.oup.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095541828

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Caitanya

http://www.stephen-knapp.com/sri_caitanya_mahaprabhu.htm

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Ml2H_z0E7bAC&pg=PA385&lpg=PA385&dq=CAITANYA&source=bl&ots=nZCIPl4Rnv&sig=F1KqrLwhJbr0-PWNrDmtgq_CNpo&hl=en&sa=X&ei=PCyTU8eWA4aq7QbpmIC4Dw&ved=0CEUQ6AEwBThk#v=onepage&q=CAITANYA&f=false

Writings

http://www.prabhupada-books.de/chaitanya/siksastakam_en.html

GANDHI, Mohandas Karamchand
1869 - 1948
India
POLITICS, RELIGION

Best known 20th century non-violent activist, initially in S Africa on behalf of Indian immigrants, then more substantially thereafter in the cause of achieving  Indian Independence and of inter-religious peaceability. His own Brahminic family background became a spur to challenge the negative manifestations of caste in regarding ‘untouchables’ instead as ‘Harijans’ – children of God. He was especially fond of the Bhagavadgita, as also the Sermon on the Mount and the writings of Tolstoy. Is vegetarian lifestyle and use of fasting to demonstrate important points were consistent with his belief in satyagraha – the force of truth.  It’s as foolish to ignore his idiosyncrasies as it is to exaggerate them. He was known as Mahatma ('great souled') or Bapuji ('beloved Father').

Life

Works

Video

Gandhi's first television interview (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpjBWw5w444

GOBIND SINGH
1666 - 1708
India
RELIGION, POLITICS

Last of the sequence of 10 Sikh Gurus. Born in historical context of tension with Muslim Mughal Emperor and fighting between local chieftains; when he was only 9 years old his own father the 9th Guru was executed by the emperor. He initiated several radical changes in amongst Sikhs, including the formation of the Khalsa entered by baptismal vows of lifelong commitment on Baisakhi Day in 1699 and symbolised by the wearing of 5 items beginning with ‘K’. Another was the gathering together of the writings of previous Gurus to create the  Sikh scripture known as the Adi Granth. This was from hereon to be the continuing Guru instead of further individuals. His own writings and those of his immediate followers formed the basis of complementary scriptures – the Dasam Granth; its composition is a matter of continuing contention.  The Sikh life was one of strong moral discipline.

Life

Writings

HATARIA, Manekji
1830 - 1890
India Iran
RELIGION

 

Gujerati born Parsi/Zoroastrian, who became the representative of the ‘Parsi Society for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Zoroastrians in Persia’. During a period of nearly 40 years he founded schools, repaired fire-temples, challenged forced conversions and economic constraints on his co-religionists who continued to live in their country of origin. He developed mutual regard with the newly emergent Baha’is.

Life

Works 

JINNAH, Muhammad
1876 - 1948
India, Paksitan
POLITICS, RELIGION

 

Muhammad Ali Jinnah was first Governor General of the newly created Pakistan, separated from India, in 1947. From a legal practice, following training in law in Bombay and London, he was elected to Indian national councils on which he continually served for nearly 40 years. From his own loyalty to Muslim interests, there was continuing tension with those perceived as over-zealously pursuing Hindu interests. This was at the root of his disagreement with Gandhi. However, the nature and authenticity of his own Muslim identity is challenged by some exponents of orthodox Islam.

Life

Works

Video

Jinnah's speech at the inauguration of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly (4 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Syjim9cmqWg

KABIR
1398 - 1448
India
RELIGION

Widely esteemed poet and mystic, passionate about humanity. Associated with both Hindu and Muslim sources in his background and prospectively with both the emergent Sikhism (hence his writings in the Adi Granth) and the later Kabir-panth sect (as reflected in their Bijak). He was morally scathing about the external habits of institutional religions, favouring instead an attitude of personal reverence and love for all. Many of the reported details of his life are the stuff of legend as is his appropriation of his name in today's youth culture

Life

http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/Poets/K/Kabir/index.html

http://www.sikh-history.com/sikhhist/events/kabir.html

http://www.hinduwebsite.com/sacredscripts/other/lifeofkabir.asp

Writings

Poems http://www.poemhunter.com/kabir

Songs of Kabir - Rabindranath Tagore's translation http://sacred-texts.com/hin/sok/index.htm

Bijak of Kabir https://archive.org/details/bijakofkabirtran00kabiuoft

http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/0195148762.001.0001/acprof-9780195148763

KIPLING, Rudyard
1865 - 1936
India England
LITERATURE

Writer of amusing ditties and verse, animal stories, novels and autobiography drawing on early years in India, short stays in S Africa and the USA,  and main residence in England. Colonial mindset and World War patriotism are captured, conveyed and critiqued. Vividly demonstrative of the power of story for moral education.

Life

Writings

KRISHNA
c 3000 BCE
India
RELIGION

 

Central figure of Hindu devotion. He is found in Indian writings dating back over 4500 years. Although his individual historical existence is open to challenge, he is at the heart of a range of stories – of childhood play, of dancing affection, of authoritative teaching and of rescuing intervention. Above all he is an avatar/incarnation of the Lord Vishnu

Life

Writings

KRISHNAMURTI, Jiddu
1895 - 1986
India
RELIGION

Born in South India, he was exposed through his father to the beliefs of the Theosophical Society, and identified by its leaders as the expected World Teacher – the Lord Maitraya. They sent him for education in England, where in 1922 he had an extended spiritual experience which persuaded him of his special status – independent of any religious organisation. Instead self-awareness bringing unconditional freedom from any previous ‘conditioning’ should be individually sought by everyone through meditation. Intellectual schooling should be replaced by deeper self-knowledge.

Life

Writings

Video

The nature of good and evil (10 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADqJrzx2aGI

LAL DED
14th century
India
RELIGION

 

Lalleshwarif  or Lalla, female yogi and poetess, of whom little is known for certain. Anecdotally, mistreatment by her mother-in-law led to her abandonment of marriage and with it the wearing of clothes. Detached from social conformities found meaning in discovering the Lord of the Universe - Siva - inside herself and extending outward. This she expressed in pithy poetry, prized in Kashmiri tradition. Her  attraction to Sufi Muslims was reciprocated.

Life

http://www.koausa.org/Saints/LalDed/article1.html

http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=9892

http://heritagekashmir.blogspot.co.uk/2007/10/spiritual-journey-of-lal-ded.html

Poems

Vakhs 1 - 65 http://www.koausa.org/Saints/LalDed/Vakhs1.html

Vakhs 66 - 138 http://www.koausa.org/Saints/LalDed/Vakhs2.html

MAHARISHI, Mahesh Yogi
1911/18 - 2008
India United States
RELIGION

Mahesh Yogi Maharishi was founder of the Transcendental Movement/ TM. From a Hindu kshratiyan caste background and after many years learning from his spiritual guru Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, he founded TM and the International Academy of Meditation in the late 1950s. The association with the Beatles raised their profile significantly and subsequently, centres were established throughout the world – both North and South America, Switzerland and Moscow. A notional link with moral education is evident from the claim that individual creativity and understanding is enhanced, along with social well being and health. Less sympathetic critics overlook his enormous wealth creation and simply characterise him as a ‘benign charlatan’.

Life

Writings

Video

What is enlightenment? (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_7leoJfroY

MAHAVIRA
599 - 527 BCE (549 - 477 BCE)
India
RELIGION

 

Historical transmitter of Jain religion, notionally preceded by a sucession of 24 Jinas or ‘ford makers’/spiritual conquerors who relaunch eras of blissful contentment which each deteriorate. This ‘re-booting’ of knowledge, faith and conduct is a mythological process of continual rebirth. Mahavira by practising austerity and ascetiscism gains omniscience and attracts thousands of followers. They share the belief that all living, breathing beings – human, animal and plants life – must be treated compassionately, with the effect that any bad karma is burnt away. Much detail of Mahavira’s life became elaborated over the following seven centuries. It seems likely that he was a contemporary of Gautama Buddha but that they did not meet. Jains are remarkable for their ultimate valuing of non-violence.

Life

Writings

MAUDUDI
1903 - 1979
India Pakistan
RELIGION, POLITICS

 

Abul Ala Maududi also known as Maulana who through his prolific and much translated writings became a leading political exponent of Islam, perhaps even more influential beyond Pakistan where he founded Jamaat-al-Islam in 1941. The clarity of his exposition conveys the impression that his version of Muslim teachings is the whole truth and nothing but the truth – and to question it is to question the authority of the Qur’an. From the perspectives of other Muslims, including the Barelvi and Deobandi scholars and the entire Sufi tradition, his stance is both questionable and misleading. Similarly many Non-Muslim religious believers regard his exclusivist theological reasoning as both morally and theologically presumptuous.

Life

Writings

MEHER BABA
1894 - 1969
India
RELIGION

Self-proclaimed avatar/manifestation of divine love and source of unity for the whole world. From a Zoroastrian family background, he attended a Christian secondary school, had a powerful sense of Muslim enlightenment and Hindu initiation, with the outcome that at the age of 25 he attracted followers who named him Meher Baba/Compassionate Father. In 1924 he set up Meherabad – a community centre to train disciples in love for God, spiritual and moral understanding and service of the poor, with a free school and hospital. For over forty years he lived and taught through silent signs and gestures. Baba loving was subsequently established elsewhere in India as also in the US with the sole priority of promoting the love of others and defeating war.

Life

Writings

Video

Meher Baba's universal message (6 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBPyz6903PA

NAGARJUNA
c150-250
India
RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY

Little known of his life - probably Hindu brahmin family background in S India and later based at Buddhist university of Nalanda in N India. He is generally recognised as the founder of the Middle Way tradition of Buddhism, expounded in his Mula-Madhyama-Karika. On the one hand he challenges a too easily taken for granted acceptance of things. On the other, being emptied from such false consciousness is not a finally negative experience.

Life

http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/approaching_buddhism/teachers/lineage_masters/biography_nagarjuna.html

http://www.iep.utm.edu/nagarjun

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nagarjuna

Writings

Mula-Madhyama-Karika Basic verses on the Middle Way http://www.wisdompubs.org/sites/default/files/preview/Nagarjuna's-Middle-Way-Book-Preview-R.pdf

Sixty Stanzas of Reasoning http://www.tibetanclassics.org/html-assets/SixtyStanzas.pdf

Ratnavali - Precious Garland http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/Nagarjuna/Garland_of_Ratnavali.html

Suhrllekha Friendly Epistle http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/sutra/level6_study_major_texts/suhrllekha_letter_friend_nagarjuna/letter_friend.html

Mula madhyamaka karika - Verses from the Centre http://www.stephenbatchelor.org/index.php/en/verses-from-the-center

NANAK, Guru
1469 - 1530
India
RELIGION, POLITICS

 

Nanak was the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. Throughout India he preached an ecumenical message of unity and equality of all with God. Birth status and caste are irrelevant. Purity of heart and mind matter much more than the performance of religious rituals and ascetic life style. Whilst some of the subsequent accounts of his life are best understood as hagiographic beautification, his life and teaching are well rooted in history and appear as major components of the Adi Granth scriptures. His affinity to Hindus has led some to judge Sikhs to be a subset of that tradition, whereas his affinity with Islam has been commonly resisted by Muslim theologians. 

  • Life

     http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/religion/sikhism/gurunanak.shtml

     http://www.sikh-history.com/sikhhist/gurus/nanak1.html

     http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Guru_Nanak

     http://www.hinduwebsite.com/sikhism/nanak.asp

     http://www.islam-sikhism.info/hist/muslim/muslim01.htm

  •  Writings

     http://www.sikhs.org/japji/japji.htm

     http://www.sikhs.org/transl12.htm

     http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/3298636-sri-guru-granth-sahib

     http://www.philtar.ac.uk/encyclopedia/sikhism/found.html

 

 

NAUROJI
1825 - 1917
INDIA + United Kingdom
POLITICS, RELIGION

 

Dadabhai Nauroji was a mathematician and social reformer in his native India (through the Indian National Congress) as also in the UK (elected as a Liberal MP). His inspiration came from his Zoroastrian faith, with an emphasis on justice for all against the persistent power of vested interests and superstition. In his ‘drain theory’ he identified the unfairness arising from Imperial relationships.

 

                https://archive.org/details/essaysspeechesa00paregoog

NIVEDITA, Sr
1867 - 1911
Ireland, India
POLITICS, RELIGION

 

Irish born Methodist and teacher called Margaret Noble who became a Hindu and political activist under the influence of Vivekananda. In addition to her continuing educational and social work activities, she campaigned as an Indian Nationalist against British domination. Powerful example of direct interface between Hindu spiritual vision and moral transformation.

 

  • Life

http://hinduhistory.blogspot.co.uk/2008/02/sister-nivedita-1867-1911.html

http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=4409

 

  • Writings  

http://sacred-texts.com/hin/niv/index.htm

https://archive.org/details/The.Complete.Works.of.Sister.Nivedita

NOBILI, Robert
1577 - 1656
INDIA
RELIGION

 

Italian born Christian who lived most of his life in India as a Jesuit missionary who lived in the garb of a Hindu brahmin teacher, equally at home in Tamil and Sanskrit. Though temporarily challenged by fellow Portuguese missionaries in Goa his distinctive interpretation of the gospel was approved in Rome, he consistently embraced Hindu theological categories and achieved extensive recognition amongst a wide range of Indian people of all castes.  

PRABHUPADA
1896 - 1977
INDIA United States
RELIGION

Calcutta born businessman (Abban Charan De), who at the age of 37 took on a responsibility for the furtherance of Krishna Consciousness in the West, becoming known as Bhaktivedanta Swama Prabhupada. For 20 years he concentrated on translation of key texts while maintaining family responsibilities (these grew to some 90 volumes by the time of his death). Thereafter, he moved to the USA, briefly in New York and for the rest of his life California. From his base there he promoted the development of ISKCON (the International Society for Krishna Consciousness), generating followers in many American and European cities. Their chanting enthusiasm was in the tradition of the 15th century Chaitanya and responding to the words of the Bhagavadgita. The consequent lifestyle was one of simplicity, with abstention from alcohol, drugs, meat and non-marital sex. He insisted that the sense of bliss arising from a life centred on the Gita would be transformative for both the individual and for all humanity, becoming attuned to cosmic unity.

Video

Interview with Srila Prabhupada (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezr3UNOryFw

RADHAKRISHNAN, Sarvepalli
1888 - 1975
India
PHILOSOPHY, POLITICS
RAJNEESH, Bhagwan
1931 - 1990
India United States
PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION

 

One of the more controversial of modern gurus, Shree Bhagwan Rajneesh resigned his university teaching position in philosophy in 1966 to become a spiritual teacher – of undoubted charismatic power. This led to his creation of an ashram in Poona, referred to as the Orange People, designed for healing therapies, meditation and ‘shocking’ experiences. The shocks were intended to release energies and create more direct awareness, and included physical outbursts and sexual activities. These last contributed to increasing criticism of both him and the movement as a whole; drug abuse and financial scandal was a further challenge to credibility. His creation of a replacement base in the USA 1981 – 5 was a repeat of all these features; following expulsion, he returned to Poona now calling himself Osho with another set of followers. His life is an outstanding example of the need for clarity about the criteria by which any leader or exemplar figure is evaluated.

http://www.oshosourcebook.com/wp-content/uploads/OSHO-Source-BOOK.pdf

Video

'There is no tomorrow' (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf8PUAG2aYU

RAMABAI
1858 - 1922
India United States
RELIGION

 

Pandita Ramabai was a social activist, who challenged dominant conventions from within Hindu, Unattached and then Christian starting points. Her own education and experience included several years in both the UK and USA. From a Brahminic family she chose a lower caste marriage. She went on to set up a school for child widows and continually campaigned in favour of educational provision for women.

RAMAKRISHNA
1836 - 1886
INDIA
RELIGION

Bengali born Hindu moral and spiritual leader with infectious ‘common touch’ teaching style. He sought to convey a form of (mystical) consciousness in which Brahman (‘Godness’) is in the whole of everything. He demonstrated this by periodically living as a woman, as a Christian and as a Muslim. He believed that profound intimacy with the other is the way to ultimate unity.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rls/index.htm

RAMMOHAN ROY
1772 - 1833
India
PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION

 

Born into a Brahminic family and exposed through 12 years of working with officials of the East India Company to western thinking, he is known from his teaching and writing for seeking to reconcile Hindu and western philosophical traditions. He founded the Brahmo Samaj/Theistic Society and taught that many of the mythological and rituals aspects of both Hindu and Christian traditions could and in many instances should be abandoned (eg caste, polygamy and suttee – the obligation on a widow to burned on the funeral pyre of her husband). He regarded the scriptural texts such as the Upanishads and Puranas as complementary to the revelatory character of the natural world. He pursued this theme with Christians during the last three years of his life spent in England. However controversial a figure, he saw education as a central vehicle for very necessary moral, social and religious reform.

RANADE, Mahadev
1842 - 1901
India
PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION

 

Mahadev Ranade was a lawyer and judge who used his various social positions to campaign for a reformed interpretation of Hindu beliefs and morality, especially caste-based differentials. ‘Change from within’ was the policy which characterises his actions. In respect of India’s belonging to the British Empire he favoured giving priority to home-produced materials. In respect of favouring age of consent rather than child marriage, on his first wife’s death he accepted the tradition of re-marriage to a young girl (she was 12 years old), but then made her education a necessary priority.

SAI BABA, Sathya
1926 - 2011
India
RELIGION

 

Religious leader with following of many millions. He claimed to be a reincarnation of his 19th century namesake and the Lord Krishna, and was associated with regular miracle working and healing. In addition to the huge residential ashram in India, there are now centres in countries throughout the world and elaborate educational programmes promoting truth, moral behaviour, peace, love and non-violence. Critics, including former associates, cite evidence of wilful deception, fraud and sexual abuse.

Life

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-13153536

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/religion-obituaries/8471342/Sathya-Sai-Baba.html

http://www.academia.edu/4066433/For_and_Against_Sathya_Sai_Baba_on_the_Internet

Writings

Vahinis (a collation of his articles from the Ashram Journal) http://www.srisathyasai.org.in/pages/srisathyasaibaba/hiswritings.htm

Human Values and Education

http://www.vahini.org/Educ-human-values.html

http://www.sathyasai.org/education/globaloverview/Chapter1_30Jun07.htm

http://www.sathyasai.org/education/globaloverview/Chapter2_30Jun07.htm

Mother's role in Human Values http://www.sssbpt.info/ssspeaks/volume36/sss36-20.pdf

Video

'The purpose of human birth' (7 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjvgD8uvQDQ

SANKARA
788 - 820
INDIA
PHILOSOPHY

Historically, probably the most influential of Indian philosophers. He is seen as the source of the Advaita Vedanta tradition which understands the world and entire universe as grounded in divine reality – Brahman – and which is all-pervasive. Until that is realised, individual and collective life will be distracted and distressed; realisation of that  (moksha) will bring serenity. The stories of his life have been hugely elaborated in tradition (even the century of his life is uncertain). The historical core is brahminic family birth in the south of the country, walking north to Benares spending substantial periods of time there and subsequently in the Himalayan region. He attracted followers to his teaching and is credited with establishing a series of major monastic centres. Amongst the many writings accredited to him is an important commentary on the Brahma Sutra.

TAGORE, Debendranath
1817 - 1905
India
RELIGION

 

Hindu reformer, rejecting 'idolatrous' features in traditional culture and favouring social reform whilst reaffirming distinctive Hindu ideas which he expressed in the Brahmo Samaj organisation. He founded the Tattwabodhini Patrika (Truth Seeking News) journal which encouraged debate about issues in contemporary society, stressing the moral and spiritual aspects of personal development and promoted the education of women and the legalisation of widow remarriage.

Life

http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Debendranath+Tagore

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Tagore,_Debendranath

http://www.thebrahmosamaj.net/founders/debendranath.html

Writings

Autobiography http://archive.org/stream/cu31924022953008/cu31924022953008_djvu.txt

Brahmo Dharma (True worship) http://www.thebrahmosamaj.net/liturgy/brahmodharma.html

Tattwabodhini Patrika http://www.indianetzone.com/54/tattwabodhini_patrika.htm

TAGORE, Rabindranath
1861 - 1941
India
LITERATURE, POLITICS

 

Rabindranath was Debindranath’s youngest son. Initially he associated himself with the religious interests of the Brahmo Samaj, but subsequently concentrated on his own writing, especially poetry. Politically he was critical of British rule, but he campaigned even more vigorously in the cause of internationalism. Gandhi held him in high regard.

A short speech (1 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dOynGVQQyk

TERESA
1910 - 1997
Macedonia India
RELIGION

 

Leading Sister in a Roman Catholic order of nuns committed to lifelong service of the poor. Her own work was principally in Calcutta, but her own influence and that of her order spread throughout the world. Her belief in the sanctity of life led to her constant opposition to contraception and abortion. She was criticised for this (and not only by non-Christians) as also by some for her appearing to give ‘conversion’ priority over best medical care. In the eyes of many Christians and others alike she remains a deservedly imitable example.

Nobel speech (19 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I36Nistc9wE 

VIVEKANANDA
1863 - 1902
India
RELIGION, POLITICS

 

An internationally renowned Hindu reformer whose distinctive message and presence was first heard and seen at a World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893. He was inspired by the teachings of Ramakrishna and sought to put into practice the belief that serving the entire community of humankind and all other beings is serving the greater being of Brahman.

Current expertise

Sky dukan, India
Contact Information: 9721449206
Indira Gandhi National Open University, India
Disciplines:Distance Education, Teacher Education, adult, education, teaching: higher education , pedagogy
Contact Information: +91 9810950662(Mobile phone)

Relevant organisations

Mulyavardhan Peace,Moral and Value Education Programme of Jains for India
India
National Council of Education,Research + Training: Values Education Framework
India
National Resource Centre for Value Education in Engineering
India

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