uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Modern Hindu Personalism: The History, Life, and Thought of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, History of Religions.
2013 (English)Book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Modern Hindu Personalism explores the life and works of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati (1874-1937), a Vaishnava guru of the Chaitanya school of Bengal. Ferdinando Sardella examines Bhaktisiddhanta's background, motivation and thought, especially as it relates to his forging of a modern traditionalist institution for the successful revival of Chaitanya Vaishnava bhakti. Originally known as the Gaudiya Math, that institution not only established centers in both London (1933) and Berlin (1934), but also has been indirectly responsible for the development of a number of contemporary global offshoots, including the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Hare Krishna movement). Sardella provides the historical background as well as the contemporary context of the India in which Bhaktisiddhanta lived and functioned, in the process shedding light on such topics as colonial culture and sensibilities, the emergence of an educated middle-class, the rise of the Bengal Renaissance, and the challenge posed by Protestant missionaries. Bhaktisiddhanta's childhood, education and major influences are examined, as well as his involvement with Chaitanya Vaishnavism and the practice of bhakti. Sardella depicts Bhaktisiddhanta's attempt to propagate Chaitanya Vaishnavism internationally by sending disciples to London and Berlin, and offers a detailed description of their encounters with Imperial Britain and Nazi Germany. He goes on to consider Bhaktisiddhanta's philosophical perspective on religion and society as well as on Chaitanya Vaishnavism, exploring the interaction between philosophical and social concerns and showing how they formed the basis for the restructuring of his movement in terms of bhakti. Sardella places Bhaktisiddhanta's life and work within a taxonomy of modern Hinduism and compares the significance of his work to the contributions of other major figures such as Swami Vivekananda. Finally, Bhaktisiddhanta's work is linked to the development of a worldwide movement that today involves thousands of American and European practitioners, many of whom have become respected representatives of Chaitanya bhakti in India itself.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. , 342 p.
Keyword [en]
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati 1874-1937, Vaishnavism, ISKCON, Modern Hinduism, bhakti, Chaitanya, Vivekananda, Gaudiya Math, Bengal, Colonial Period, India, Nazism, New Religious Movements, Hare Krishna Movement
Keyword [sv]
Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati, 1874-1937, Vaishnavism, ISKCON, Modern Hinduism, bhakti, Chaitanya, Vivekananda, Gaudiya Math, Bengal, kolonialtiden, nazism, nya religiösa rörelser, Hare Krishnarörelsen
National Category
History of Religions Religious Studies History
Research subject
History of Religions; Sociology of Religion; History
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-191556ISBN: 9780199865901ISBN: 9780199865918ISBN: 0199865906ISBN: 0199865914OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-191556DiVA: diva2:585845
Available from: 2013-01-10 Created: 2013-01-10 Last updated: 2014-02-13Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links


Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Sardella, Ferdinando
By organisation
History of Religions
History of ReligionsReligious StudiesHistory

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 349 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link