Bhagwan Das

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 21, 2022, 13:10

Bhagwan Das was a popular figure and a Theosophist in India. He was a member of British India's Central Legislative Assembly for a timespan.

Bhagwan Das joined the Hindustani Culture Society and campaigned against riots as a means of protest. He was frequently threatened by the Colonial administration as an advocate for national independence from British authority. In 1955, he was given the Bharat Ratna.

Bhagwan Das - Life and Achievements

  • Bhagwan Das was born on 12 January 1869 in Varanasi.
  • Dr Bhagwan Das came from Kashi's illustrious Sah family (Varanasi).
  • After a stellar academic career, he joined the government as a tehsildar in 1890 and was appointed deputy collector and magistrate in 1894.
  • Following his father's death in 1897, he resigned from government duty in 1898.
  • He began working with Annie Besant, the president of the Theosophical Society, in the same year (1898).
  • For 15 years (1899-1914), he was the honorary secretary of the Hindu College.
  • Bhagwan Das was also a member of the Theosophical Society, where he was instrumental in founding the Banaras branch.
  • When Annie Besant collaborated to merge the Central Hindu College with Banaras Hindu University, Dr Bhagwan Das was designated as one of the five honorary joint secretaries of the management board of BHU.
  • He was also elected to the University Court, Senate, and other committees.
  • In 1919, Bhagwan Das became the president of the UP Social Conference as soon beginning his political career.
  • In 1920, he presided over the Uttar Pradesh Political Conference, and he promptly rose through the ranks of the Indian National Congress.
  • In August 1920, he took part in Mahatma Gandhi's non-cooperation movement, which began at that time.
  • In 1921, he founded the Kashi Vidya Peeth (Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth) alongside Babu Shiv Prasad Gupt.
  • He was the Kashi Vidya Peeth's first vice-chancellor.
  • Dr Bhagwan Das received honorary doctorate degrees from both BHU and Allahabad University in 1929 and 1937, respectively.
  • At the age of 90, he died on 18th September 1958.

Bhagwan Das - Work and Contributions

  • In 1904, Bhagwan Das released 'Sanatana Dharma: An Advanced Textbook of Hindu Religion and Ethics,' which supplemented the college's Sanatan Dharma series of textbooks.
  • In 1906, he and Annie Besant published a Bhagavad Gita translation, which included both the original Sanskrit verses and the English translation.
  • Bhagwan Das devoted his time to the study of Hindu writings such as the Vedas and the Manusmriti and their interpretation in books and articles for scholars and laypeople.
  • After writing several publications, he became well-known as an educated person and a Vedic scholar.
  • He published over 30 works, many of which were written in Sanskrit and Hindi.
  • His numerous publications are as follows: The Essential Unity of All Religions; Social Reconstruction of Modern Societies; Ancient Solutions for Modern Problems; and An Outline Scheme of Swaraj (jointly with C. R. Das).

In 1955, the nation's highest honour, the Bharat Ratna, was bestowed on Bhagwan Das in appreciation of his outstanding contributions. On the occasion of his birth centennial in 1969, the Indian Postal and Telegraph Department issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honour.

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FAQs on Bhagwan Das

Q1. Who was Bhagwan Das?

Ans. Bhagwan Das was a popular figure and a Theosophist in India.

Q2. When was Bhagwan Das born?

Ans. Bhagwan Das was born on 12 January 1869 in Varanasi.

Q3. For how many years did Bhagwan Das serve as the honorary secretary of the Hindu College?

Ans. Bhagwan Das served as the honorary secretary of the Hindu College for 15 years (1899-1914).

Q4. When did Bhagwan Das die?

Ans. Bhagwan Das died on 18th September 1958.

Q5. Name any two written works of Bhagwan Das.

Ans. Some of the written works of Bhagwan Das are -

  • Social Reconstruction of Modern Societies
  • Ancient Solutions for Modern Problems