Author: Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
Translator(s): Apratim Ray
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195656113
Although the work first appeared as a series of separate articles in Bengali periodical published from Kolkata, Bankimchandra compiled these in 1888 into Dharmatattva in its present form. It is generally regarded as an important document in the development of Bankimchandra’s ideas and in the history of Indian philosophy. In it, the author rationalizes Hindu thought and practice as influenced by the Utilitarian and Positivist philosophies of nineteenth-century Europe.
Bankimchandra’s exposition is set out in the form of a question-answer dialogue between a guru or Master and his disciple. The ideal of the human being, according to the Maser, is humanism. The means to it is the culture of all human faculties. Each of these faculties must be subjected to a system of culture till it has reached its optimum level of development and rest in perfect equilibrium with the others. This state is the state of bhakti or devotion. It is also the state where Man is filled with universal love and stands in the greatest possible closeness to the Supreme Being. This is dharma or the highest ideal of personal conduct.
To Bankimchandra. Lord Krishna is the epitome of humanism and the Bhagavad Gita the repository of all that is highest and best in Hindu religious thought.
Apratim Rays’ translation is careful and accurate, and Amiya P Sen’s substantive introduction outlines the general context of thought and ideas in which Dharmatattva was written and understood both then and today.
This book will appeal to students of Religion and Philosophy and general readers interested in the development of Hindu thought in the nineteenth century.
Author’s introduction to the first edition
Introduction by Amiya P Sen
What is Suffering?
What is Happiness?
What is Dharma?
What is Humanism?
Anusheelan or the Doctrine of Culture
Balance and Contentment
The Physical Faculties
The Knowledge-acquiring Faculties
Bhakti: Respect for Social Authority
Bhakti: Devotion to God
Bhakti: Devotion according to Shandilya
Bhakti: The Broad Objective of the Bhagavad Gita
Bhakti: Karma in the Bhagavad Gita
Bhakti: Gyana in the Bhagavad Gita
Bhakit: Sannyas in the Bhagavad Gita
Bhakti: Bhaktiyoga in the Bhagavad Gita
Bhakti: Devotion to God in the Vishnu Purana
The Practice of Bhakti
Love for the Family
Love for the Motherland
Love for Living Creatures
The Aesthetic Faculties