By Meera Kosambi
Born in rural Goa, Dharmanand got here below the spell of the Buddha’s teachings in the course of his formative years. As defined in his lengthy autobiographical memoir (included here), at an early age he trigger on a big trip of austere self-training around the size and breadth of Britain’s Indian Empire, halting to teach himself at areas hooked up with Buddhism. His sojourns integrated dwelling in Sri Lanka to grasp Pali as a novitiate-scholar, in a Burmese cave as a bhikshu, and in a few viharas of North India—begging for monastic sustenance—as good as in Nepal and Sikkim which he reached after hard, occasionally barefoot, treks. Over those itinerant years Dharmanand got such mastery of the Buddhist canon that he used to be variously appointed to educate and learn at Calcutta, Baroda, Harvard, and Leningrad.
As a philosopher Dharmanand mixed Buddhist ethics, Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of fact and non-violence, and the beliefs of socialism. He exchanged letters with the Mahatma, labored for his reasons, and died within the authorized Buddhist/Jain demeanour by way of voluntary hunger at Sevagram ashram. Arguably, no Indian scholar’s existence has been as exemplary as Dharmanand’s, or has approximated as heavily to the the Aristocracy and saintliness of the Mahatma’s.
Despite his mastery of numerous languages, Dharmanand selected to put in writing in Marathi as a result of his powerful region-specific dedication. hence, only a few this present day are acquainted with his copious output in Buddhist stories, and less nonetheless together with his contribution to social and political thought.
By translating and marshalling his most vital writings, Meera Kosambi indicates the manifold dimensions of Dharmanand’s character, and the profoundly ethical personality of his highbrow trips. Her advent additionally contextualizes the lifestyles, occupation, and success of 1 of recent India’s maximum scholar-savants.
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Dharmanand Kosambi: The Essential Writings by Meera Kosambi