Dr. Benimadhab Barua – By Bhikkhu Sunithananda

Prof. Dr. B.M. Barua


Dr. Benimadhab Barua(1888-1948), educationist and writer, was born on 31 December 1888 in the village of Mahamuni under Raozan Thana, Chittagong, son of Kaviraj Rajchandra Talukder. As a young man, Benimadhab assumed the title of ‘Barua’, discarding the family title of ‘Talukder’. He passed ME from his village school, the Entrance examination in 1906 from Chittagong Government Collegiate School and FA in 1908 from Chittagong College. He studied for some time at Scottish Church College and Presidency College but then took admission in Baharampur Krishnanath College from where he passed BA (Hons) in Pāli in 1911. In 1913 he obtained MA degree in Pāli from University of Calcutta. He also studied law at Calcutta City College and Calcutta Law College.

In 1912, while still studying, Benimadhab joined Mahāmuni Anglo-Pāli Institution as headmaster. From 1913-14 he worked as a lecturer in the Pāli Department, Calcutta University. In 1914 he went to England on a government scholarship. He completed MA in Greek and Modern European Philosophy from the University of London. In 1917 he was awarded a D.Lit. by the University of London for his dissertation on Indian philosophy and Buddhism.

Returning to India in 1918, Benimadhab rejoined Calcutta University, where he was subsequently promoted to professor. He revised and developed the MA Pali syllabus. Apart from his work in Pāli, Benimadhab was also associated with the departments of Ancient Indian History and Culture (1919-48) and Sanskrit (1927-48).

Benimadhab wrote several books and research articles. The Bangla translation along with the original Pāli text of his first book, Lokaniti, was published in the annual report (1912) of the Bauddha Dharmankur Sabha. His other noteworthy writings include A History of Pre-Buddhist Indian Philosophy, A Prolegomena to the History of Buddhist Philosophy (1918), A History of Pre-Buddhistic Indian Philosophy (1921), The Ajivikas (1921), Prakrit Dharmapad (which he wrote jointly with Shailendranath Mitra), Old Brāhmi Inscriptions in the Udayagiri and Khandgiri (1926), Barhut Inscriptions (which he wrote jointly with Gangananda Singh), Gaya and Buddha Gaya (1st part 1931, 2nd part 1934), Asoka and His Inscriptions (1946), Brahmachari Kuladananda and His Guru Bijaya Krishna Goswami (1938), Ceylon Lecture (1945), Studies in Buddhism (1947), Philosophy of Progress (1948) etc. Among his works in Bangla are Madhyam Nikay (1st part, 1940), Bauddha Granthakos (1st part, 1936), Bauddhaparinay, etc. Apart from these books, he also wrote over a hundred essays and speeches which were published in different journals.

Benimadhab was a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, member of Vangiya Sahitya Parishad, the Mahābodhi society of India, Calcutta and of the executive committee of Iran Society. He edited Indian Culture, Buddhist India, Jagajjyoti and Vishvavani. In recognition of his contribution to Buddhist studies, he was awarded the title of ‘Tripitakāchārya’ in 1944 by the pundits of Sri Lanka. The Asiatic Society awarded him the Bimalacharan Laha Gold Medal. He died on 23 March 1948 in Calcutta.

External Links

Wikipedia Essays on Benimadhab Barua

বাংলা উইকিপেডিয়ায় বেনিমাধব বড়ুয়া 

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26 thoughts on “Dr. Benimadhab Barua – By Bhikkhu Sunithananda

  1. 1) The present day Bengali Barua community, specially the young generation, should be made known of such charismatic personalities as Prof. Dr. Benimadhab Barua. By doing so doing we shall be proud of them and the new generation will find their guide and be encouraged to go forward and keep up the good work done by the previous brilliants of our Great Bengal….
    2) we should organize some group discussions on these great personalities, their great contribution and what we learn from them…by doing so…we will be able to remember, respect and learn from them and uplift our culture, tradition, community….
    3) we should take an effort to make their valuable writings available in Bengali language….

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  2. Dr. B M Barua is a Buddhist scholar as well as a Buddhist Philosopher. His contribution is
    unparallel. I like to thanks to ven. Bhikkhu Sunithananda for his great effort.
    Best regards
    Ashish Barua
    Rangamati
    June 2011

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    1. Thank you fpr reading. There are many more great people whose unique contributions for the advancement of knowledge and society we want to spread around the world. Please join us in bringing out the lifestories of these great personalities. Do not let them diminish in oblivion!

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    1. Hello Mr. Rowan, BBSU is alive and will always be. But, sometimes our administrators are too busy with other commitments. Sorry for that. Please keep visiting and sharing your valuable ideas.

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  3. Dear Sir, can you provide me some more information about the first book of Dr. Barua that is Lokaniti. Where from I get this book?

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    1. You can try to contact the Bauddha Dharmankur Sabha of Calcutta. They may have a copy of the book. Also the Calcutta University’s Buddhist and Pali Studies Department Library may have one. Hope that’s a help.

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  4. Dr. Suneethananda’s short article on Dr. Beni Madhab Barua is very much appreciated. Manything about Beni Madhab could have said. If you read Bengali, you might also look Dr, Anjali Ray’s book title- “bharattattvavid acarya benimadhab” with an informative introduction by one of Beni Madhab’s student Dr. Sukumar Sen.

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