About the Book
The book “THE ROLE OF SWAMI CHINMAYANANDA IN REVITALIZATION OF HINDUISM
AND REINTERPRETATION OF CHRISTIANITY” attempts to show how Swami Chinmayanandaji dedicated his life for the revival of Hindu
religion and in doing so he has tried to reinterpret Christianity in his own
way. There is also an attempt to focus on the condition of Hinduism and the
need of revitalization. We have also discussed the impact of Christianity,
Christian Mission and organization on the life, thinking and practice of Swami
Chinmayananda. It is a useful survey for any student of Religion and Philosophy
who is trying to focus on these two existing religions of our beloved country.
About the Author
Rev. Dr. Jagdhari Masih
is presently serving as the Principal at Allahabad Bible Seminary, Allahabad.
He has been teaching since 1982 and has served on various capacities in this
institution, such as Dean of Students, Academic Dean and Chairman of various
committees etc. He has done his theological studies such as B. Th., B.D., and M.Th. from the Senate of Serampore
College and secular studies BA, MA, and Ph.D from
Kanpur and Rohilkhand Universities. He has been a
Visiting Professor at Haggai Institute, Singapore, Satyaniketan
and Serampore College, Serampore.
He is an ordained minister of the Evangelical Church of India and has 'served
as a Pastor in this church for many years. He has served on the Board of
Studies of the Senate of Serampore College and at
present he has also been appointed on the same position. He has written several
articles in various journals and magazines. He is married and has two children.
As a person who has the conviction that there is a deep affinity between
Advaitic experience and Christian experience, I am
glad to write these lines to appreciate the effort taken by Rev. Dr. Jagdhari Masih to study the
thought of Swami Chinmayananda, a powerful exponent of Advaitic
experience. Of course Swami Chinmayananda was not that interested in Christ of
Christianity. His focus of attention was the Upanishads and the Bhagvad Gita, to communicate the message of these to modern
educated people. But what I would like to indicate here is that the teachings
of the Upanishads and the Gita are in line with the teachings of Jesus. If the
former help us to awake to the One Supreme Brahman/ Atman, the latter help us
to awake to God, the Father. Christians in India as well as the followers of
Swami Chinmayananda are challenged in the third millennium to come to terms
with such an insight.
While studying and preparing for my Master of Theology (M.Th.) in
Religions. I chose “THE UNDERSTANDING OF GURUSHIP IN NEO-GURUISM
: A Study of the Concept in the Movements around His Divine Grace A.C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and
Swami Chmmayananda” as my subject for dissertation.
While studying and writing the above dissertation. I was inspired and impressed
by the philosophy and thought of Swami Chinmayananda and the activities of his
Mission. He himself made a strong and challenging statement which impressed me
to study in detail about his life. “A new type of Swami is emerging in this
country who will serve as Missionaries to their own people. At
this crucial time in our history. we do not
need those who live in a cave and meditate.” Accordingly, Swami Chinmayananda
has brought respect to the spiritual traditions and had started a spiritual
reawakening in India. Swami Vivekananda has also said the same as Swamiji
Chinmayananda has said regarding revitalization of Hinduism. “Nowadays
everybody blames those who constantly look back to their past. It is said that
so much looking back to the past is the cause of India's all woes. To me on the
contrary, it seems that the opposite is true. So long as Indians forgot the
past the nation remained in a state of stupor and as soon as they have begun to
look into their past, there is on every side a fresh manifestation of life. It
is out of this past that the future has to be moulded,
this past will become the future.
As a sincere Christian and a student of Christian
thought and theology. I also studied
Christian religion and philosophy and found its influence on Swami Chinmayananda's thought and philosophy. So, I decided to
carry on research work on his philosophy and thought together with the
influence of Christianity on it. While I was planning for this I came in
contact with Professor M.N. Rastogi. an eminent scholar and a disciple of His Holiness Swami
Sivananda. who is also the Deeksha
Guru of Swami Chinmayananda. I discussed my research plan with Professor Rastogi and the result was the topic: REVITALIZATION OF
HINDUISM AND REINTERPRETATION OF CHRISTIANITY BY SWAMI CHINMAYANANDA'S THOUGHT
AND PHILOSOPHY. for my present research work.
Professor M.N. Rastogi very kindly and willingly agreed
to guide my research work for which I am highly obliged to him. Professor Rastogi, at the age of 18 came in contact with Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj in 1949 and
since then he has been a regular Visitor of Sivananda Ashram. Head Quarter of
Divine Life Society. Rishikesh, and had the opportunity of attending some of
the lectures of Swami Chinmayananda at the Ashram.
In this research work we have tried to explain clearly Swami Chinmayananda's thought and philosophy and his contribution
to revitalize Hinduism. We have also tried to explain his reinterpretation of
Christianity which are found in his writings. By
reinterpretation of Christianity we do not mean that he had created any new
school of thought of Christianity for Christians. What we mean is that he reinterpreted
Christianity for Hindus and moulded some of the
thoughts and Missionary activities of Christianity and imbibed them in his
philosophy and Missionary activities. He did not in anyway
want to interfere with the prevailing thought and faith of Christianity but if
any Christian believer is impressed by and appreciates his way of thinking and
activities, he is free to do so and is welcomed.
We have developed four parts in this Thesis. The Part-I deals with two things: first, Essentials of Traditional
Hindu Religion and Philosophy as well as Essentials of Christian
Religion and Philosophy. Secondly, we have discussed in detail about Swami Chinmayananda's teachings and Mission activities.
Part-II deals with the Historical, Political and Sociological
condition of India in his lifetime which led to Swami's thoughts on
revitalization of Hinduism. We have tried to study the revitalization of
Hinduism in the 19th and 20th centuries from Raja Rammohan
Roy to Swami Vivekananda. from Sri Aurobindo Ghosh to Acharya Vnobha Bhave, and then from Hindu
Mahasabha. Jana Sangh, RSS.
VHP. BJP to modern Guru Movements.
In Part-III we have done an extensive study of Swami Chinmayananda as
a Guru and his Mission. We have intended to study the role of Swami
Chinmayananda as understood by his followers. We have critically evaluated his
thought and Mission activities in the process of revitalization of Hinduism. In
this section we have further studied the impact of Christianity and Christian
Mission and Christian organizations on Indian reformers. viz; from Raja Rammohan Roy
down to the New-Guru Movements. In the last chapter of this section, we have
tried to study the reinterpretation of Christianity by Swami Chinmayananda and
the influence of Christianity on him and his missionary work.
In the final part
i.e. Part-IV we have tried to bring
out conclusions of our research work. We have assessed Swamiji a Hindu
Missionary, a critical estimate of his revitalization – Hinduism, the influence
of Christianity on his thought philosophy and Mission a critical estimate of
his reinterpretation of Christianity and the relevance of his philosophy and
activities in India and other parts of the world.
List of Abbreviations
Essentials of Traditional Hindu Religion and Philosophy
Essentials of Traditional Christian Religion and
Swami Chinmayananda’s Philosophy
The Historical, Political and Social Condition of India
Which Led to the Hinduism
The Role of Swami Chinmayananda and His Mission as
Understood by Hinduism
A Critical Evaluation of the Thought and Mission of
Swami Chinmayananda in Revitalizing Hinduism
Impact of Christanity,
Christian Missions and Christian Organizations in India
A Reinterpretation of Christianity by Swami
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