Showing posts with label Bengal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bengal. Show all posts

Hinduism - Where Is West Bengal In India?


West Bengal is a state in modern India. After India's independence in 1947, the state of Bengal was partitioned into West Bengal and West Pakistan, the latter of which is today known as Bangladesh.

The majority of the state is located in the Ganges River delta's lowlands, however Darjeeling stretches into the Himalayas in the north.

Calcutta, the capital of West Bengal, served as the administrative hub of British India until the turn of the century.

It was also a hotbed of anti-British resistance and is now one of India's most important cultural and intellectual hubs.

Kalighat, in the center of Calcutta, as well as Dakshi neshwar, Tarakeshvar, Tarapith, and Navadvip, are all prominent holy places in West Bengal.

Christine Nivin et al., India, 8th ed., Lonely Planet, 1998, is an accessible reference for general information on West Bengal and all of India's provinces.


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Hinduism - Who Was Ram Mohan Roy Or Raja Ram Mohan Roy?

 

Ram Mohan Roy (1774–1833) 


He was a successful businessman and public servant who hailed from an affluent Bengali family.

He arrived in Calcutta in 1815, just as the British were starting to pay attention to traditional Indian culture, particularly the things they deemed "bad." 

Roy's reforming goals were generally aligned with the British.

Roy had opposed the use of pictures in worship from an early age, probably as a result of his exposure to Sufi teachings, and his first public battle was against such worship of gods and goddesses.

Roy, like other Indian reformers, utilized Sanskrit books judiciously, and the most significant for him were the theoretical Upanishads, which he translated to represent monotheistic (under the influence of English Unitarians) (belief in the existence of only one God).

In his latter years, he advocated for a variety of educational and social causes, but he is most remembered for his resistance to sati, the practice of a widow being burned on her husband's burial pyre.

Brahmo Samaj, the first prominent Indian proponent of Hindu social and religious reform, was created for this goal.

Although he was subsequently criticized for being unduly influenced by the British, his rewriting of history served as a model for others.

Robert D. Baird (ed. ), Religion in Modern India, 1998, is a good place to start.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.