Birth: 9th october 1916

Demise: 28th April 2002

Professor Khudiram Das(9th October 1916 - 28th April 2002) was an educationist, litterateur, linguist, critic and scholar. He was born in Beliatore, Bankura. Struggling with poverty, he defied all odds and excelled academically. After securing first class 1st as Masters of Art (Bengali), he became the first D. Litt. of Calcutta University in Bengali Literature. He taught in various educational institutions notably the Presidency College (1945-55), Moulana Azad College (1959-73) and others. He worked in Calcutta University as Ramtanu Lahiri Professor of Bengali & Head of the Department of Modern Indian Languages (1973-1981). During his active service life and even after retirement he penned down various masterpieces in Bengali literature. His series of books on Tagore coupled with research and analysis, made him the authority on Rabindra Literature. Through his writings he revealed various aspects of Rabindra psyche which was never explored previously. His extensive study on medieval Bengali and how it developed to its current form led him to edit the great Chandikavya of Mukunda Kavikanana. He explored neo-Vaisnavism of Sri Chaitanya and wrote down its literary impact. His works were applauded by eminent scholars and he was the recipient of numerous awards and recognition notably the Vidyasagar Smriti Puraskar (1984) and Rabindra Smriti Puraskar (1994). He compiled the Dictionary of Santhali-Bengali identical words and thus successfully publicized the influence of Santhali language on the Bengali language, a subject which had little research and substantial material available back then. He even ventured to complete a colossal task of compiling the linguistic Dictionary of current Bengali Words. Though this work remains unpublished, you can learn more about it in this website. He was a generous and compassionate person who helped the needy with whatever meager savings he had. He was witty and he charmed everyone with his sense of humor. Along with his expertise in Bengali and Sanskrit, he was brilliant in English. He was a science enthusiast and read a lot to quench his inquisitiveness. He was a visionary and upheld his belief of an egalitarian society. There is a compiled book titled ‘Pather Chayachobite Adhyapak Khudiram Das’ to honour his life and achievements by his students, family and eminent scholars. This website is another small effort to preserve his legacy and is an ode to this great literary genius, socio-cultural contributor and a phenomenal human being.

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Published Works Of Professor Khudiram Das

Rabindra Pratibhar Parichay

His first book (Pub: ) on Tagore’s Poetical genius and this famous book won him the award of the D. Litt. Degree of Calcutta University.Dr. Das was the first scholar to be awarded this highest degree in Bengali literature by the Calcutta University. The book first published in 1953 attempts to set aside the traditional views about Tagore as a religious mystic and a follower of the doctrines of the Upanishads and through critical revaluation of his poems and dramas the author has able to establish him as a great romantic-mystic poet of modern times. In his study the author displays his wide scholarship in both eastern & western philosophies as well as lines of literary criticism. He has taken into account all the major poetic and dramatic works of Tagore and shows a critical talent rarely found in the field of Bengali literature.

Bangla Kavyer Rup O Riti

A treaties of 300 pages on the formal aspect of Bengali Poetry, Medieval and Modern (1958) times. In this book Dr. Das analysed Bengali Poetry from the stand point of Vakrokti of the classical school of criticism, i.e. from the point of view of ‘Beauty” underlying style and expression. In it the particularly interesting portions are his new approach to rhetoric and prosody and his critical analysis of the style & composition of the major poets of Bengal other than Tagore

Chitra Gitamayi Rabindra Vani

A treaties of more than 300 pages on the aesthetic beauty of Tagore’s poems (PUB: 1966). The author has given a lucid and attractive estimate of the aesthetic value of Tagore’s best poems & songs. While in his first book he devoted himself to finding out the true implications of his poems, in this book he has considered them from a purely aesthetic standpoint.

Vaishnava Rasa Prokash

A full treatment of the neo-Vaisnavism started by Sri Chaitanya in more than 400 pages (Pub:1972) The following contents are distributed through several chapters of the book: (I) The historical and social background of the advent of Sri Chaitanya. (II) Particular social and academic atmosphere of Nabadwip against which Sri Chaitanya revolted. (III) The previous systems of Indian philosophy & the Bhakti movement of India and the spread of Sufism with their areas of difference and affinity with Sri Chaitanya’s doctrine. (IV) An accurate historical picture of the life and character of Sri Chaitanya. (V) Full implication of Sri Chaitanya’s doctrine of love of God, equality of men with abnegation of distinction of caste and community and his stress on the simple utterance and chanting of the name of God. (VI) The theories of Vaisnava sentiment as elaborated by the great disciples of Sri Chaitanya along with a detailed treatment of literary Rasas supported by illustration of Padas of great composers. (VII) The Kirtana style of music with its subtle divisions of chapters etc. etc.

Samaj Pragati Rabindranath

A book of about 300 pages dealing with the socialistic trends in Tagore’s writings and activities. Apart from devotion to his literary activities, Tagore vigorously engaged himself in rural reconstruction work and upliftment of the economic condition of the utterly indigent section of both Hindus and Muslims with the aim of creating self-administrative village communes of socialistic pattern. Tagore considered this as a very important work in his life–time, touring, lecturing and organising and engaging suitable persons for restoration of the Panchayet system in the villages of mid-North Bengal for the purpose. His creation of Sriniketan as a rural reconstruction centre is also well known. All these found a comprehensive ideological expression in his prose-writing and poems. That Tagore was a socialist, although not a scientific socialist, has been thoroughly brought out in the pages of the book.

Rabindra Kalpanay Bigyaner Adhikar

i.e Impact of modern science (nulear science & astrophysics) on Tagore’s imagination (1984). The essayist has amply proved that modern scientific outlook on the everchanging face of the universe has been instrumental in bringing about a change in Tagore’s older conception of the force behind the creation of the universe. By way of a detailed analysis of Tagore’s poems as also with the help of other authoritative statements, he removes the general belief that Tagore was guided by Upanishadic thoughts in his conception of the universe.

Choddosho-Sal O Choloman Rabi

A collection of 24 essays by Professor khudiram Das on the Rabindranath Tagore’s thoughts on various subjects like politics, geography, sociology, zoology etc., seemingly distinct essays yet tied together by a common thread of thought i.e. “Chalaman Rabi” the ever evolving through process of the great poet. Dr. Das has shown that, when the modern views were not yet comprehensible to the then contemporary people, Rabindranath’s inquisitive nature was capable of discovering the ailments of the society. Rabindranath was not pleased with the fleeting views of politicians of that era. Thus as an enlightened citizen of then India under British rule, his constructive political views remains a reality after generations. Rabindranath could even foresee the problems of post-independence India. The essays “Sangrami Jagarane Kobir Bhumika” (Poet’s role in Revolutionary Uprising),“Ganachaitanya Jagarone Rabindranath” (Awakening the Public Consciousness by Rabindranath), “Rabindra Bhabadarshe Samaj O Swaraj” (Society and Self Governance Philosophy of Rabindranath), “Manusher Sapakhhe Mahakobi” (Great Poet with the Humanity) provides a detailed insight of how the great poet was actively involved in political and social scene and what his philosophy was on self –governance. Similarly, other esays also explores how modern science influenced Rabindranath and how through his creations he contributed in that scientific movement. “Pranbigyane Kobir Dikkha o Brikkharropone utsaber Prabortan” is another such essay which proves Rabindranath’s progressive views on life science. Through these detailed analysis in this book, Dr Das has once again proves his merit as an authority on Rabindra literature and philosophy.

Bachai Prabhandha

This is an assorted collection of 14 essays by Professor Khudiram Das, which were published in various magazines in different times. The most note worthy one is “Raja Praja Paristhiti” (D. L. Ray Lecture, at C.U). In this essay Dr. Das has beautifully explained the relationship of the ruler and the ruled by referring various literary materials available from the Vedas of ancient India to the Nath literature of medieval Bengal, keeping in mind social, financial, cultural and religious perspectives. Through his essay, “Krishno kirtan kabya rup O Swarup”, he has discussed the influence of love story of Yousuf-Jhulekha in the epic Krishno kirtan book and thus giving rise to a new thought process. This book has two essays dedicated to the life, philosophy and mystic personality (baul) of the spiritual leader chaitanya of medieval Bengal. As a scholar on Rabindra literature and philosophy it is not a surprise that Dr. Das has penned a handful of essays in this book on Rabindranath Tagore and each of them unique and provided a new insight on the great poet.

Kavikankan Chandi

The famous medieval poet with a scientific text, long introduction and etymological notes. (PUB: 1976, 3rd. Edn.). Kavi Kavi kankana Mukunda is a great poet and social historian of medieval Bengal, but unfortunately, the actual text of his composition has been marred by interpolations. The editors of current printed editions generally depended on more or less recent copies of manuscripts which cannot give a correct text of the composition of the medieval poet flourishing as far back as the end of the 16th century. In this edition Dr. Das has taken much pains to go through the oldest Manuscripts available and has been able to present a dependable text with linguistic annotations and an introduction containing the social history of 16 th. Century Bengal.

Desh Kal Sahitya

This is a collection of 25 unique articles , offering unique views and critical analysis on different subjects ranging from famous medieval poet Kavi Mukunda Ram and Chaitanya to the authors of recent times including Vidyasagar, Bankim chandra, Rabindranath , Sarat chandra and poet Sukanta

Santhali Bangla Samasabda Abhidhan

In the words of Dr. Das the preface of this Dictionary … “The nation is already indebted to our guru Suniti kumar, who flawlessly determined the rule of how modern Bengali language developed from Sanskrit Prakrit. However, not only the determination of the rule, but gathering the components also proves his perseverance. During his discussions in various areas many words came up as examples, which did not have any roots in Aryan language or Arabic-Persian. Most probably he designated these words as Non-Aryan. During the tenure of his research and authorship of his books there was not much research available on Santhali language; in fact even the Santhali dictionary was not compiled then. However later in his life after knowing these facts he accepted and recognized the influence of Santhali language on Bengali in various articles and lectures. In this book I have tried to fulfil his unfulfilled wish. Unless time opposes, in next edition of the book I will try to give a more holistic view.


VAISHNAVA RASA PRAKASH: 1st. Part :By Professor Khudiram Das . A.K. Sarkar& Co,1-A, Bankim Chatterjee Street, Calcutta-12 .

“Dr. Khudiram Das, a veteran professor of Bengali language and literature, combines in his make-up a happy amalgam of deep erudition and fine aesthetic sensibilities. We have seen this fusion in his studies of Rabindranath; now this is once more in evidence in his work on Vaishnava literature of which the first part has just been out. Although the book mainly deals with an exposition of the lyrical aesthetic qualities of Bengali Vaishnava poetry, the author supplies its philosophical back ground as well and that in adequate measure. As a matter of fact, the entire corpus of Gandiya Vaishnava philosophy is taken due notice of to serve as a fitting backdrop to the principal subject-matter of discussion of the book. For example, the learned author makes a comprehensive study of the salient features of the different representative Vakti-philosophies of the South as propounded by Ramanuja, Nimbarka, Maldhava and Vallavacharyya and shows their affinities and differences with Achintya-Bhedabheda-Tattva, a particular form of dualism developed by the Bengal School of Vaishnava thinkers. This dualistic philosophy be it noted, although it had its origin in Navadwip and around the personality of Chaitanya, whom the people of the then Bengal and Orissa regarded as an incarnation of God, was improved upon and perfected in Vrindaban by the six Goswamis, and this after the passing away of the Master. The more notable among the six Goswamis were the two brothers Sanatan and Roop and their nephew Jeev, and this celebrity trio, each one of them a highly crudity Sanskrit Scholar, were the men responsible for the building up of the imposing structure known as Gandiya Vaishnavism comprising both its theology and poetics. The famous ‘Achintya-Bhedabheda-tattva’ was their creation. The Nawadwip and Neelachal (Orissan) Vaishnavites poured their hearts best love longing on Chaitanya, while the Vrindaban Goswamis placed Krishna in the central plank of their philosophical edifice in the light of the teachings of the Bhagvat. The dichotomy between the approach of the Bengal and Orissan Vaishnavites and that of their Vrindaban counterparts has baffled some scholars. But Dr. Das gives a convincing answer to this apparent riddle. His argument is that according to the associates and disciples of Chaitanya, the later was no other than the embodiment of Krishna and Radha joined together, so there was no fundamental difference between the two approaches. Besides the Goswamis of Vrindaban did not formulate their philosophy of their own, they had their inspiration from the direct example of the Master, and as for the working out of the details of that philosophy, Rai Ramananda, Swaroop Damodar and Raghunath Das (Goswami) acted as the intermediaries between Neelachal and Vrindaban and thus bridged the gulf between the two seemingly contrary standpoints. From the middle of the sixteenth century onwards for an uninterruptedly period of nearly two hundred years, Bengal witnessed a revolutionary upsurge of emotion in its life and society which it had not witnessed before. This was the direct outcome of the impact of Chaitanya and his Vaishnava faith. There was a levelling down of classes and untouchability and some other social taboos were made short shrift of. The efflorescence of the Vaishnava movement found its best expression in literature where appeared a galaxy of padakaries with their fine lyrics and songs and number of biographers of the life of Chaitanya both in verse and drama. The author takes stock of all these writings with his special attention on the ‘rasa’ aspect of the lyrics. Critical acumen and aesthetic sensibilities are blended together in the elaboration of what he seeks to make out by way of evaluation of Bengali Vaishnava poetry. Except for marks of traditionality here and there, the author’s outlook is on the whole progressive. What is particularly striking is his abiding sympathy for all manner of people belonging to the oppressed and the depressed layers of society, a trait which lends an added charm to the discussion. In a sub-section of the book, Dr. Das devotes a few pages to a comparative study of Vaishnava and Rabindra poetry and opines that Rabindranath was essentially a nature-poet and that there was not much of mysticism in him as understood in the Vaishnavik sense.

Narayan Chaudhuri