Pratap Chandra Roy.

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distinguished person was noticed in the Saturday Review (of
England), that journal spoke of him as "a Maecenas hailing
from Rungpore." My husband waited several times on him,
but the balance somehow remains unpaid to this day. Indeed,
if Durbhanga and Vizianagram had contributed their quota
and if Maharaja Govind Lai Roy of Tajhat kindly remits the
balance, all the debts incurred in completing the Mahabharata
may be paid off. Seeing, however, an indifference in these
quarters I was obliged to appeal to the general body of subs-
cribers and recipients of the publication for a trifle from each.
Many of them have nobly responded to my appeal. Some
have already remitted their quota. Indeed, relying upon this
generosity of the subscribers and recipients of the Avork I
became emboldened to incur debts for completing it. It is
the simple truth that I could not make a further advance if
I had not been thus favoured by those to whom I appealed. I
am particularly thankful to then for their exceptional kindness,

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although the amounts, when collected, will not enable me to
clear oif even a portion of my debts.

The work of publication occupied more than twelve years.
During this loiig period, many persons and personages have
helped the enterprise. It is my duty to express my gratitude
towards all of them for services rendered with willing hearts.
It is not possible, however, fur me to name all the friends and
patrons of the enterprise, or state the measure of assistance
received from each. If, therefore, I fail to name any one, I
hope he will kindly forgive me. Every one that has rendered
any measure of hel]) to the work deserves my reverent wor-
ship. Indeed, I offer them all a sincere tribute of devotion and
respect. Some, however, I am bound to name. My naming
them will not add to their honour or fame. But my obliga-
tions to them are so great that I cannot rest content by in-
cluding them in my general worship. I hope both they and
the world will excuse me for my endeavour to specialise my
worship on the present occasion. I should be wanting in
gratitude if I acted otherwise. Foremost amongst those to
whom my heart- felt gratitude is due, is the present Duke of
Devonshire. While Marquis of Hartington and Secretary of
State for India, it was he who first suggested to my husband,
through the late lamented Dr. Reinhold Rost, the idea of an
English translation of the Mahabharata. His Grace's senti-
ments, as expressed in Dr. Rost's letter, are given in thie
introductory preface with which the first fasciculus of the
translation was published. Upon receipt of that letter my
husband thought much upon it and consulted many eminent
persons both here and in foreign countries. Some expressed
doubts regarding the practicability of the scheme. Some
offered every encouragement in their power. Among th6
latter, it was Professor Max Muller who rendered the great-
est measure of help. Not content with giving advice, he
sent to my husband an English translation of a portion of
the Aniilcramanilccc (Introductory chapter) of the Mahabha-
rata, which had been executed many years before by a friend
of his and which he had himself transcribed in a neat hand
and kept with him for future use. This served as a .specimen.

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Indeed, it was of great help to the translator employed by my
husband. My husband repeatedly spoke of his obligations to
Professor Max Muller. Besides so helping the enterprise, the
Professor, during the last twelve years, several times brought
the publication to the notice of the reading public through
the columns of the (London) Times and other influential jour-
nals. These notices were of great value to my husband.
They served to awaken the interest of not only foreign scholars,
but of many eminent persons in India, in the work. To
Professor Max Muller, therefore, the English translation of the
Mahabharata owes truly a debt immense of endless gratitude.

Speaking of India, much help has been rendered to the
work by Lord Ripon and Lord Dufferin. The former en-
couraged my husband by a handsome contribution. It was
owing to the latter that a grant of about Ks. 11,000 was ob-
tained from the Government of India. Lord Northbrook also,
though he had retired at the time when the first fasciculus of
the translation was out, very kindly patronised the work by a
respectable contribution. Among Lieutenant-Governors of
Bengal, the greatest measure of assistance was received from
Sir Rivers Thompson and Sir Steuart Bayley. The former
was the first official who came forward to take the enterprise
by the hand. He was pleased to sanction a grant of Rs. 5,000
in its aid. Indeed, the aid received from the other Provincial
Governments in India was not a little due to the example set
by Sir Rivers Thompson. My husband often spoke with tears
in his eyes of the kindness shown to him by Sir Rivers Thomp-
son. Of Sir Steuart Bayley, again, it is difficult to speak in
adequate terms. When the first fasciculus of the translation
came out, my husband waited upon him. He was then a
member of the Governor- General's Council. He manifested
the keenest interest in the work and it was through his in-
fluence that the first State contribution, viz., the grant of the
Bengal Government, was obtained. From the beginning to
the coi^clusion of the undertaking. Sir Steuart Bayley has
befriended it most actively. During his hours of depression
my husband uaed to receive from Sir Steuart words of en-
couragement that instantly dispersed all his clouds and filled
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Mra with renewed energy. Of all the Lieutenant-Governors
of Bengal, therefore, the measure of help obtained from the
noble-minded Sir Steuart Bayley has been very large. His
kindness for my husband was simply unbounded and his
interest in the work did not cease with his departure from
these shores. When lying on his death-bed, my husband re-
peatedly spoke of Sir Steuart Bayley (and of another I shall
presently name) as the kindest of his patrons. To my re-
peated enquiry, prompted by my anxieties, as to how I could
succeed in bringing the work to completion, his one answer
was — "Sir Steuart Bayley will not desert you, although he is
far away. He will not only take care of the work but also of
those who have laboured with me in its prosecution." The
last letter that my husband wrote was addressed to Sir Steuart

Next to Sir Steuart Bayley I must name Sir Auckland
Colvin. When the first fasciculus of the translation reached
him, he made exhaustive enquiries regarding both my
husband and the translator. Satisfied on all points, he gave
the project his sympathy and befriended it actively, always
manifesting a keen and lively interest in it. When he be-
came the Lieutenant-Governor of the North West Provinces,
when, as the late Dr. Sambhu C. Mookerjee said, "a Colvin,
after thirty years, was again on the gubernatorial gucldee"
ready "to realize his sire's enlightened programme and advance
the well-being of the millions of British subjects committed
to his charge," he very kindly sanctioned a second grant of
PbS. 2,000 in aid of the work, bringing up the total of the
contribution by the Government of the N. W. Provinces to
Rs. 5,000. Besides this. Sir Auckland Colvin did his best
to push the interests of the publication by bringing it to
the notice of many eminent officials in India. My husband
cherished sentiments of deep gratefulness towards Sir Auck-
land Colvin.

Amongst other eminent officials I must next name Sir
Charles Aitchison. He, too, was particularly kind to my hus-
band and did much for forwarding the interests of the publi-
cation, His untimely death affected my husband greatly. To

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Sir Charles Elliott also my husband was much obirge(f.
Seeing the difficulties of my husband, Sir Charles very readily
sanctioned a second grant in behalf of the work. Of the
present Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, Sir Alexander Mac-
kenzie, it is difficult for me to speak in adequate terms. He
knew not my husband, except by name. When, however, I
brought my difficulties to his notice, he very kindly granted
me a patient hearing and did his best to render me effectual
help by recommending the work in terms of high praise to
one whose liberality in the cause of the diffusion of Rishi-
literature is well known. That Sir Alexander Mackenzie
should do so much on the appeal of a poor, friendless widow,
is the best evidence of his essentially kind nature. May God
grant him and his length of days and uninterrupted prosperity,
and may his name descend to distant posterity as that of a
beneficent ruler fully alive to the grave interests committed'
to his charge !

I come now to Sir Alfred Croft. Tears fill my eyes when
I recall all the acts of particular kindness which my husband
received from him, and the delicate consideration with which
he has been pleased to treat me since my husband's death.
It was through his kind recommendation that the first granfc
of Rs. 5,000, which, as I have already said, paved the way for
the successive grants of the other local Governments, was sanc-
tioned by Sir Rivers Thompson. The second grant also that?
Sir Charlos Elliott made, was due, after the same manner, to
the kind offices of Sir Alfred Croft. In him my husband had'
a warm friend and patron. Amongst those whose advice and
sympathy enabled my husband to persevere in his work, thos^
of Sir Alfred Croft were undoubtedly of the highest value.
When intelligence of my husband's death reached him, the
letter he wrote to me expressive of his feelings, was highly
consolatory. I received numerous letters of condolence, but
the few lines of Sir Alfred Croft were distinguished above them
all. It is no exaggeration to say that the successful issue of
this herculean task is, in no small measure, due to the lively
interest which Sir Alfred Croft has taken in it at every stage
of its progress. The unremitting efforts of the translator also

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have very largely been due to the encouraging words spoken to
him from time to time by Sir Alfred Croft. It is scarcely
necessary to say that as long as I live, I shall, as I have
hitherto done, take the names of Sir Alfred Croft and Sir
Steuart Bay ley in my daily prayers and invoke the choicest
blessings of Vasudeva on them and theirs.

Among high military officials, my sincerest thanks are due
to General Stewart and his successor Lord Roberts. Both of
them, while in India, freely assisted my husband in every
way. It is not, perhaps, generally known that General Ste-
wart has read the Mahabharata in original. His attainments
in Sanskrit are of a respectable kind. When the first few fasci-
culi of the translation reached him, he made enquiries regard-
ing my husband. Accordingly, when the latter waited upon
him, His Excellency received him with the greatest kindness
and promised to help him to the best of his power. This pro-
mise the General kept by bringing the work to the notice of
many persons capable of helping it with pecuniary contribu-
tions. Lord Roberts also was equally kind to my husband
and helped him as freely. Amongst the few names that my
husband used to frequently mention as those of his kindest of
patrons, was that of Lord Roberts. The photographic likeness
which my husband received from his Lordship at the time of
his departure from India and which my husband handed over
to me on his death-bed, is cherished by me as a precious pos-
session. I shall continue to cherish it as long as I live, as the
likeness of the tutelary deity I worship every day.

There are some other eminent officials whose kindness was
experienced by my husband in a very large measure and who
did much for ensuring the completion of the enterprise. My
husband always used to name them with reverence. They are
Mr. C. P. Ilbert, Sir William Hunter, Sir Andrew Scoble,
Sir Donald Mackenzie Wallace, Mr. J. Gibbs, Mr. Quinton,
General Sir George Chesney, Sir John Ware Edgar, Mr. 0.
P. L. Macaulay, Mr. C. W. Bolton, Dr. G. A. Grierson, Mr.
F. S. Growse, and Sir Anthony Macdonnell. The latter, while
Secretary to the Government of Bengal, powerfully supported
my husband's appeal to Sir Rivers Thompson.

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Among non-official Englishmen who have rendered the
greatest measure of help should be mentioned Archbishop
Goethals, Sir W. Rattigan, Mr. W. Svvinhoe, Mr. J. 0. B.
Saunders of the Englishman^ and Mr. Robert Knight of the
Statesman and Friend of India. Of native editors the work
is most indebted to the late Dr. Sambhu C. Mookerjee, Rai
Kristo Das Paul Bahadur, Babu Narendra Nath Sen, and the
brothers, Babus Shishir Kumar Ghose and Matilal Ghose.

Next to the contributions received from the Secretary of
State, the Government of India, and the various local Govern-
ments and administrations, amounting, in all, to about Rs.
45,000, the greatest measure of pecuniary assistance was ob-
tained from the native Indian chiefs. Foremost among them
was H. H. the late Maharajah of Mysore. Then comes H. H.
the Nizam. Though a Mahomedan prince. His Highness's
culture is so catholic that he freely listened to the appeal of
my husband on behalf of a Hindu religious work. The other
chiefs who have aided the publication substantially are Scindia,
and Travancore, and Baroda and Cochin, and Indore and Jey-
pore, and Cooch-Behar and Jodhpore, and Pattiala and Cutch,
and Udaypore and Bhownaggar, and Kapurthala and Jummoo,
and Ulwar and Faridcote, and Dhar and Dhrangdhra, and
Rewa and Junagarh. Amongst the representatives of the
great landed houses, I should mention the Maharajah of Hatwa,
Maharani Sarnaraoye, the Maharajah of Gidhour, and the
Maharajah of Bettiah. The British Indian Association of
Lucknow and the Punjab University also should be mentioned
among public bodies that have helped the work with substantial
contributions. Amongst Bengal Zemindars, my obligations
are due in the greatest measure to Babu Joykissen Mookerjee
of Uttarparah and his enlightened and noble-minded son,
Rajah Peary Mohan Mookerjee, c. s. i. Both father and son
gave their sympathy to my husband and aided him materially
in many ways.

I should, after this, speak of those Oriental scholars of
world-wide reputation who have aided the work with sympathy
and words of encouragement and, in some instances, even
money. I have already spoken of Professor Max-Muller. The

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English translation of the Mahabharata may be said to be
very much indebted to him. My husband used to regard
Professor Max Muller with feelings of the deepest veneration.
Of Dr. Reinhold Rost, again, it is impossible to speak with-
out an agitated heart. He manifested the keenest interest
in the work. Almost every month letters of sympathy, full
of heart-stirring words of encouragement, came from Dr. Rost.
My husband used to say that these letters were to him
much more than money. They always succeeded in dispelling
his gloom and filling him with additional energy. It was
through the efforts of Dr. Rost that my husband was enabled
to present a copy of the English Mahabharata to Her Gracious
Majesty the Qeen-Empress of India. The suggestion to pre-
sent a copy to Her Majesty came from Mr. Gibbs. So many
difficulties, all due to the usual ways of red-tapeism, had to be
got over that my husband could not possibly succeed without
the powerful support of Lord Dufferin in India and Dr. Rost
in England. The friendship between my husband and Dr. Rost
was, with both, a life-long one. Dr. Rost never lost an oppor-
tunity of serving my husband. The latter was deeply grateful
to the learned Doctor for these services. Among the Oriental'
scholars of England, I should also name the late lamented
Frederic Pincott, Mr. C. H. Tawney and Professor E. B.
Cowell. Mr. Pincott was one of the warmest friends of the
enterprise. As regards the two last, after my husband's death,
both of them did their best to help me in raising the requisite
funds. Both of them very kindly wrote to Mahamahopadhyaya-
Mahesh Chandra Nyayaratna, asking him to exert his influence
on my behalf. Pundit Nyayaratna did his best to help me.
Although his efforts as yet have not been crowned with
success, yet my obligations to both Mr. Tawney and Professor
Gowell, as also to Pundit Nyayaratna, cannot but be deep.

Coming next to the European continent, I must speak first
of Mens. A. Barth and the late Mons. Barthelemy St. Hilaire.
The services which both of them rendered to the work were of
no common kind. It was through their kind efforts that the
French Government proceeded out of its way for sanctioning
a substantial contribution in aid of a foreign work that was

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again, a serial publication. Both these eminent Orientalists
of world-wide reputation never lost an opportunity of bringing
the work to the notice of the learned world through the pages
of the Journal des Savants and the Revue Critique d'Histoire
et de Litterature. Throughout the progress of the work,
Mons. Earth, in particular, encouraged my husband as warmly
and as sincerely as Dr. Kost himself.

Next to these scholars I should name Professor Hermann
Jacobi of the University of Keil, Herr. S. Sorensen of Copen-
hagen, and Dr. Andrew N. Kephallinos of Greece. All these
eminent Orientalists befriended the enterprise from the very
beginning and encouraged by husband to the best of their

I shall now speak of those American scholars to whom my
husband was indebted. Though I come to them last, the
measure of assistance received from them has not been the
•least. To Mr. William Emmette Coleman, Presidio, San-Fran-
cisco, California, my husband's obligations were of the deepest
kind. Taking a keen interest in the work from the very be-
ginning, it was Mr. W. E. Coleman who strove energetically
to bring the work to the notice of his fellow scholars in
America. Mr. Coleman on several occasions spent his own
money for the purpose. That the work has become more
known in America than in any other foreign country, is due to
the single-handed and disinterested exertions of this eminent
American. The friendship of Mr. Coleman with my husband
was of no common kind. My husband used to speak of him
in terms of the most lively gratitude. Mr. Coleman was
deeply affected when intelligence reached him of his friend's
demise. Next to Mr. Coleman I should speak of Professor
Lanman, Professor Maurice Bloomfield of Hopkin's university,
Professor J. W. Reese of Maryland, Mr. James Charleton of
Chicago, and Mr. B. Witton of Hamilton, Canada. So sin-
cere was the interest which Professor Lanman took in the
work and such was his attachment to my husband that
when he came to India, accompanied by his angel of a
wife, he honoured our poor home in Beadon Street with a
visit. Mrs. Lanman is a lady of charming manners. She

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questioned me on various points of Hindu Zenana life and
learnt with visible satisfaction that the seclusion of Hindu
women is by no means an enforced one ; that within one's
own proper sphere we are as much free as our sisters of
other lands. I can never forget the impression which her
intelligence and kindliness of disposition made upon me.
In every letter my husband received from Mr. Lanman, there
were references to the kindly enquiries his good wife made for
herself into our affairs. My husband received even pecuniary
help from Mr. Lanman. Not content with the contribution
he so kindly made, he induced many other people to prove
their interest in the work in the same way. The friendship
of Professor Reese also for my husband was very sincere.
Throughout the progress of the work, he encouraged my
husband to persevere and gave him much valuable advice.
In referring to Mr. B. Witton I must say that the grant
which Lord Dufferin sanctioned in aid of the work was,
in no small measure, due to the lively interest he took in
my husband's labours. Lord Dufferin had been at Canada
before his Lordship came to India. Mr. Witton had come in
contact with him. This circumstance enabled Mr. Witton to
recommend the work very strongly to his Lordship's attention.
Not satisfied with this, Mr. Witton strenuously endeavoured
to bring the publication to the notice of many American
scholars almost all of whom rendered pecuniary help to my
husband. Mr. Witton, therefore, laid my husband under the
deepest obligations to him. To me also, after his demise,
Mr. Witton continued his kindness. May God shower the
choicest blessings upon him for such large-heartedness and
compassion towards people living far, far away from him,
with thousands of miles of water rolling between !

This is the fittest place for summing up the operations of
the Bharata Karyalaya. Altogether, four editions of the
Bengali version of the Mahabharata, one edition of the Ben-
gali Ramayana, one of Harivan^a, and one of Sreemad-Bha-
gavata, one of the Sanskrit Ramayana, and three complete
editions of the Sanskrit Mahabharata, besides the English
translation of the Mahabharata, represent the work of the

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Bharata Karyalaya during the last twenty years. A single
set of the Bengali Mahabharata consists of 7 goodly volumes ;
the Bengali Kamayana of 2 vols; the Harivancja of 1 vol.
Sreemad-Bhagavata of 2 vols ; the Sanskrit Mahabharata of
7 vols ; and the English Mahabharata of 10 vols. Altogether,
therefore, 2,59,000 volumes, have been issued by the institution.

Many persons have, from time to time, been connected with
the Bharata Karyalaya, and have given it their services. I
should, on this occasion, name those to whom the institution
is most obliged for the especial character of their services and
the zeal which characterised them. In the first place I should
name Babu Durga Charan Banerjee, deceased. His connec-
tion with the Karyalaya began from the date of its establish-
ment. He it was who translated the Mahabharata, the Rama-
yaua, the Harivan^a, and Sreemad-Bhagavata into Bengali,
Few native scholars can boast of a better Bengali style. Be-
sides such translation, Babu Durga Charan supervised the
editing of the Sanskrit Mahabharata also. In addition to such
literary services of a substantial kind, Babu Durga Charan
was Manager of the Bharata Karyalaya and, as such, had to
assist my husband in supervising the finances of the institution
as also its printing establishment. A ripe Sanskrit scholar,
wielding a ready pen and a fluent tongue, and with consider-
able proficiency in accounts, he was an invaluable assistant.
Death cut him off prematurely. My husband was deeply
affected by the event.

Next to Babu Durga Charan, I should mention Babu Kisari
Mohan Ganguli, B. L. The English version of the Mahabha-
rata is the result of his ripe scholarship and indefatigable
labour. His connection with the Bharata Karyalaya began
from the date when this magnum opus of the institution was
taken in hand. It is impossible for me to express in words
the extent of the obligations to him of both my husband and
myself. It is not for me to express an opinion on the merits
of the translation. Competent judges have pronounced on
the value of the work. Those pronouncements occur on the
wrappers of the successive fascicules and are, therefore, before,
the world. It is not, however, in the department of transla-
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tion alone that I have to acknowledge the labours of Babu
Kisari Mohan Ganguli. In every other department also, his
services, freely given, have been simply invaluable. The suc-
cess of the Karyalaya in completing its magnum opus has
very largely been due to his untiring zeal. My husband
used very often to say that with all the assistance received by
him from every other quarter, he could never have accomplish-
ed his task if he had not been fortunate in securing a scholar
and collaborateur of Babu Kisari Mohan's calibre and zeal.
My husband scarcely exaggerated the truth when he used to
say that, as regards the English department of the Karya-
laya, he was only the hand that did the work while Babu
Kisori Mohan was the head that directed it. While lying on
his death-bed, he earnestly appealed to Babu Kisari Mohan
to complete the undertaking. With tears in his eyes at
the sight of his weak and helpless friend thus speaking to
;him, Babu Kisari Mohan readily gave the assurance that was
solicited, saying that he would not, on any account, give
up the work. This assurance enabled my husband to leave
the world in peace. His anxiety was dispelled. He even be-
came cheerful. The thought of dying in debt to those few
who had paid in full for the work had made him miserable.
Babu Ganguli's assurance removed that cause of my husband's

Online LibraryPratap Chandra RoyThe Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (Volume 9) → online text (page 41 of 42)