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Synopsis: This book is a systematic introduction to Hindu mysticism as it evolved in India through the ages. Mysticism is not an intellectual theory, It is fundamentally an active, formative, creative, elevating and ennobling principle of life. According to the author, mysticism means a spiritual grasp of the aims and problems of life in a much more real and ultimate manner than is possible to mere reason. This small book gives a brief general outline of some of the most important types of mysticism, indicating their mutual relations, sometimes genetically and and sometimes logically. After describing the sacrificial type of mysticism, it discusses the four chief types of mysticism - the Upanishadic, the Yogic, the Buddhistic and the Bhakti. Their striking characteristics have been briefly touched upon and materials have largely been drawn directly from the original sources.

About the Author: Surendranath Dasgupta (1887-1952) was a scholar of Sanskrit and philosophy. He was principal of Sanskrit College and later a professor at the University of Calcutta.

Dasgupta was born in Kushtia, Bengal (now in Bangladesh). His ancestral home was in the village Goila in Barisal District. He studied in Ripon College an affiliated college of the University of Calcutta and graduated with honours in Sanskrit. Later, he received his Masters degree from Sanskrit College in 1908. He got a second Masters degree in Western Philosophy in 1910 from the University of Calcutta.

His career in teaching began with a short stint as a lecturer in Rajshahi College. Later, he became a professor of Sanskrit and Bengali in Chittagong College. After some time, he went back to graduate school and received a PhD from the University of Calcutta, and later went to England to work on his second PhD at the University of Cambridge.

Following his return in 1924, Dasgupta joined the Presidency College as professor of philosophy. Later, he became the principal of Sanskrit College, and later joined the University of Calcutta as a professor.

In 1932, he served as the president of the Indian Philosophical Congress. His own philosophy was known as Theory of Dependent Emergence.

Dasgupta had three daughters Maitreyi Devi (Sen), Chitrita Devi (Gupta) and Sumitra Majumdar. Maitreyi Devi and Chitrita Devi(Gupta) were also famous writers. The list of his famous students includes scholars like Mircea Eliade and Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya.

His sons Subhayu Dasgupta, Sugata Dasgupta and Prof. Subhachari Dasgupta also left behind valuable work in nation building. Subhayu Dasgupta wrote the famous book ''Hindu Ethos and the Challenge of Change'' , while Sugata Dasgupta was a featured speaker and a noted Gandhian while his youngest son, Subhachari Dasgupta , erstwhile professor at the National Institute for Bank Management developed civil society leaders in India for three decades through the People's Institute for development and Training.

His only surviving child Sumitra Majumdar now spends her time between Goa and Calcutta. (Quote from wikipedia.org)

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Surendranath Dasgupta
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