Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Freethinking Cultural NationalistA Life History of Rahul Sankrityayan$

Alaka Atreya Chudal

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199466870

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199466870.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy). Subscriber: null; date: 27 February 2017

(p.300) Appendix 6 Chronology of Prominent Events in Rahul Sankrityayan’s Life49

(p.300) Appendix 6 Chronology of Prominent Events in Rahul Sankrityayan’s Life49

A Freethinking Cultural Nationalist

Alaka Atreya Chudal

Oxford University Press

9 April 1893

Birth at grandparents’ village of Pandaha in Azamgarh district in Uttar Pradesh


Primary education in Urdu school


Married to Ramdulari by his parents


First fled home, going alone to Calcutta


Fled home to Calcutta for the second time


Undertook a pilgrimage to the western Himalayas before going to Banaras and starting studies there


Studies in Banaras

September 1912

Became a Vaishnava sadhu in Chapra, Saran district, in the state of Bihar; acquired a new name, Ramudar Das

July 1913

Fled Chapra for south India


Reached Tirumishi and was again initiated as a Śri Vaishnava sadhu, given the name Damodarachari


Headed back north to Ayodhya, and gained entry to a Vedanta school

October 1914

Fetched back home by his father, for his final longer stay in the parental home


Entered Ārya Musafir Vidyālaya in Agra, and gained a reputation as a Arya Samajist zealot and an iconoclast


First Hindi article appeared in Bhāskar, directed against bogus sadhus

(p.301) 1916

Undertook advanced studies in the Sanskrit department at Lahore Dayanand Anglo Vedic (DAV) College


Met his father for the last time in Azamgarh. Took a vow not to return to his home district of Azamgarh until he was fifty years old


Travelled to various places in India and studied Mīmāṃsā and Vedanta philosophies in Tirumishi


Entered politics and joined the Congress party in Chapra

January 1922

Was arrested while chairing a meeting of the District Congress Committee in Chapra and sent to Baksar jail for six months.

December 1922

Participated in the Gaya congress and campaigned on behalf of the future Swaraj Party, while also pushing to have the Bodh Gaya Temple handed over to the Buddhists

March–April 1923

Travelled through Nepal to participate in the Śivarātri festival

April 1923–April 1925

Imprisoned for two years in the Hazaribagh jail, and wrote his first book (the Utopian novel Bāisvī̃ sadī)


Took up a teaching post in Sanskrit at Vidyālaṅkāra Pariveṇa in Sri Lanka, where he immersed himself in Buddhist texts; earned the title Tripiṭakācārya


Undertook first journey to Tibet, entering from Nepal, and was accorded the title ‘mahāpaṇḍit’ by the Kāśī Paṇḍit Sabhā from Banaras

22 June 1930

Initiated as a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka, receiving a new name, Rahul Sankrityayan

December 1930–November 1931

Took part in the satyagraha, visited many historically important places including Karachi, Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, and Sarnath

(p.302) 1932–3

Went to London as a religious representative of the Maha Bodhi Society; also visited France and Germany

March 1934

Set off for Tibet via Kalimpong


Visited Malaya, Japan, Korea, Manchuria, Iran, and the Soviet Union


Undertook third journey to Tibet via Nepal


Visited Russia for a second time at the invitation of the Soviet Academy (upon Stcherbatsky’s suggestion) to teach Sanskrit at Leningrad University

22 December 1937

Married Ellena Narvertovna Kozerovskaya in Leningrad


Made fourth journey to Tibet

December 1938

Became a member of the Congress Socialist Party and organized a peasant satyagraha, was imprisoned for a few months

5 September 1938

Birth of his son Igor in Russia


Became a member of the Bihar Communist Party

February 1940

Arrested and spent the next twenty-nine months, from 1940 to 1942, in the Hazaribag and Deoli jails


Travelled to different parts of India for both political work and literary meetings

July 1945–July 1947

Served as a professor at Leningrad University


Was elected president of the All-India Hindi Literary Conference in Allahabad

December 1947

Was dismissed from the Communist Party of India; learned that he was suffering from diabetes

December 1950

Took marriage vows with Kumari Kamala Pariyar


Birth of his daughter, Jaya


Birth of his son, Jeta

(p.303) 1958

Travelled to Burma and China; awarded Sāhitya Vācaspati by the Hindi Sāhitya Sammelan


Headed Department of Philosophy at Vidyālaṅkāra University in Sri Lanka

11 December 1961

Suffered memory loss in Calcutta


Underwent medical treatment in India and Russia

14 April 1963

Died at his Darjeeling house at the age of seventy


Posthumously awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India


(49) For an outline of Sankrityayan’s life see the section titled ‘An Outline of Sankrityayan’s Life’ in Chapter 1 of this work.