Banaras Hindu University 1905 to 1935
BENARES HINDU UNIVERSITY
1905 TO 1935
Edited by V. A. SUNDARAM
“Awake. arise and engage yourselves unceasingly and
dauntlessly in works leading to prosperity”
As Chancellor of the Benares Hindu University, and as one who has been closely associated with it from the time the scheme was first mooted, I have been asked to contribute a foreword to this book. I do so with great pleasure. The editor has rendered a service to the University by compiling this record of its birth and its truly remarkable and rapid development to a national institution, embracing wide fields of study, and some notable pronouncements by scholars and patrons on its work. To few men is it given to conceive great and noble things for the benefit of their fellowmen; to fewer still is given the good fortune to see their noble conceptions nobly realised by their own efforts. Of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, the revered founder of this University, it can be truly said that he not only had the vision of dedicating a new temple to Saraswati in the ancient and sacred city of Benares, but also the tenacity of purpose to achieve its material realisation. and within his own life-time to see it become the great seat
of learning that it is today.
To this veteran statesman and his unflagging zeal and indefatigable energy in a very special measure, as also to those honoured names of an earlier generation, who, when the University was in its infancy, nurtured it with work and money, India owes a deep debt of gratitude.
The object of the Hindu University is to create a synthesis of the East and the West; to assimilate the scientific knowledge and methods of Europe with the ancient wisdom and culture of the Hindus; to create, in fact, a new and inclusive civilization, which, while preserving the best in the Hindu tradition,
welcomes the new knowledge which gives to Europe its material strength. How far the University has been able to achieve this noble object in this comparatively short period of twenty years may be seen from the pages of this book.
It has been rightly said that learning cannot be partitioned by artificial walls. Although designated “The Benares Hindu University,” it is a Catholic institution. With its freeships, stipends, and· general scholarships
of merit, the university is. open to persons of all classes, castes, and creeds, and of both sexes; and secular branches of Samskrit learning are also taught without the restriction of caste or creed. . . .
The marked success already attained in the realization of the scheme has been made possible by the generous financial support given to this great University by the Ruling Princes of India, who have also munificently endowed the different branches of learning in which it seeks to specialize. More, no doubt,
remains to be done; and there is every reason to hope that by the continued support of the Government of India, the States and the people of British India, the Hindu University will continue to grow in stature and usefulness and occupy a place of honour among the Universities of the world.
Maharajah of Bikaner
The 22nd July 1936.
“May Sarasvati incarnate in the Shruti,
Heart of Wisdom, ever bloom and shine with
worship from her human children; may they
ever assiduously imbibe the vital milk of
knowledge flowing from her sweet breasts of
Science and Philosophy; may all minds turn
to acts of good alone; and may all hearts be
filled with Love of the Supreme.”
The First Prospectus of 1904
The main features of the scheme of a Hindu University which is sketched out in the following pages were first made public at a meeting, held early in 1904, at the “Mint House” e.t Benares, and presided over by His Highness the Maharaja of Benares. The greater portion of the prospectus had then been reduced to
writing, and after many months of discussion and deliberation, it was sent to the press in July last. Copies of it were circulated in October 1905, among a number of leading Hindu gentlemen of different provinces and the scheme was warmly approved by them. It was then discussed ‘at a select meeting held at the Town Hall at Benares on the 31st December 1905, at which a number of distinguished educationists
and representatives of, the Hindu Community of almost every province of India were present, and a Provisional Committee was appointed to give final shape to the prospectus and to promote the scheme. Lastly, it was laid before the Sanatana Dharma Mahasabha (Congress of the Hindu religion) held at Allahabad, from 10th to 29th January, 1906, under the presidentship of Paramahansa Parivrajakacharya
Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Govardhan Math, and the following resolutions were passed by representatives of the Hindu community who attended the Mahasabha from all Provinces of
India and among whom were a large number of eminent Sadhus and Shastris :-
“1. That a Hindu University be established at Benares under the name of the Bharatiya Vishvavidyalaya-
(a) To train teachers of religion for the preservation and promotion of Sanatana Dharma which is inculcated by the Srutis, Smritis and Puranas, and which recognizes varna and asrama;
(b) To promote the study of the Sanskrit language and literature; and
(c) To advance and diffuse scientific and technical knowledge through the medium of
Sanskrit and the Indian vernaculars.
II. That the University comprises-
(a) A Vaidic college where the Vedas,
Vedangas, Smritis. Darsanas, Itihasas and
Puranas shall be taught; (an astronomical and
meteorological observatory to be attached to
the Jyotish section of this College);
(b) An Ayurvedic (Medical) College with
laboratories and botanical gardens, a first-class
hospital and a veterinary department;
(c) A College of Sthapatya Veda or Artha
Sastra, having three distinct departments, Viz.
a Department of Physics, theoretical and
applied, with laboratories for experiments and
researches, and workshops for the training of
mechanical and electrical engineers;
(d) A Department of Chemistry, with
laboratories for experiments and researches,
and workshops for teaching the manufacture of chemical products;
(e) A Technological Department for
teaching the manufacture, by means of
machinery, of the principal articles of personal
and household use; Geology, Mining and
Metallurgy to be also taught in this department;
(f) An Agricultural College where instruction shall be imparted both in the theory and practice of agriculture in the light of the latest developments of agricultural science;
(g) A College of the Gandharva Veda and other fine arts; and
(h) A Linguistic College, where students
shall be taught English, German, and such
other foreign languages as it may be found
necessary to teach in order to enrich the Indian
literature with the results of the latest
achievements in all important sciences and arts.
III (a) That the Vedic College and all religious. work of the University be under the control of Hindus who accept and follow the Principles of the Sanatan Dharma as laid down in. the Srutis, Smritis and Puranas; “‘
(b) That admission to this College be regulated in accordance with the rules of the
Varnasrama Dharma; , ‘
” (c) That all other Colleges be open to
students of all creeds and classes; and the
secular branches of Sanskrit learning be also
taught without the restriction of caste or creed.
IV (a) That a Committee consisting of the
following gentlemen (vide list A), be appointed
with the power to add to their number, to take all
necessary steps to give effect to the scheme of
the University, as indicated in the preceding resolutions, with the Hon’ble Pandit Madan Moh Malaviya as its Secretary;
(b) Resolved also that the members of the
Provisional Committee which was formed at the meeting held at the. Town Hall at Benares
on the 31st December, 1905, to promote the
scheme of a Hindu University be requested
to become members of this Committee.
V (a) That all subscriptions and donations
for the Vishvavidalaya be remitted to the
Hon’ble Munshi Madho Lal at Benares, and be
deposited in the Bank of Bengal,’ Benares, unless the Committee named above should
(b) That no part of the subscriptions or
donations paid for the Vishvavidyalaya be
spent until the Committee of the Vishvavidyalaya has been registered as a society under Act
XXI of 1860 (an Act for the Registration of
Literary, Scientific, and Charitable Societies),
and its articles of association settled; all the
necessary preliminary expenses to be met, till
then, out of the general fund of the Sanatana Dharama Mahasabha.”
The Committee so formed has begun ita work. It is proposed to have the foundations of the University laid as soon as a sum of Rs. 30 lakhs have been raised, or an annual income of one lakh a year secured.
Endowments and subscriptions will be assigned to special purposes or departments of the University, or appropriated to its general funds, as may be desired by the donors.
MADAN MOHAN MALAVIYA
12th March, 1906.
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