|Born||10 June 1832|
Gravesend, Gravesham, Kent, England
|Died||24 March 1904 71) (aged|
|Occupation||Journalist, editor, and poet|
|Education||University College, Oxford|
|Notable works||The Light of Asia|
Sir Edwin Arnold KCIE CSI (10 June 1832 –24 March 1904) was an English poet and journalist, who is most known for his work The Light of Asia .
Arnold was born at Gravesend, Kent, the second son of a Sussex magistrate, Robert Coles Arnold. He was educated at King's School, Rochester; King's College London; and University College, Oxford, where he won the Newdigate prize for poetry on the subject of "The Feast of Belshazzar" in 1852.He became a schoolmaster, at King Edward's School, Birmingham, and in 1856 went to India as Principal of the Government Sanskrit College at Poona, a post which he held for seven years, which includes a period during the mutiny of 1857, when he was able to render services for which he was publicly thanked by Lord Elphinstone in the Bombay Council. Here he received the bias towards, and gathered material for, his future works.
Returning to England in 1861 he worked as a journalist on the staff of the Daily Telegraph , a newspaper with which he continued to be associated as editor for more than forty years, and of which he later became editor-in-chief.It was he who, on behalf of the proprietors of the Daily Telegraph in conjunction with the New York Herald , arranged the journey of H.M. Stanley to Africa to discover the course of the Congo River, and Stanley named after him a mountain to the north-east of Albert Edward Nyanza.
Arnold must also be credited with the first idea of a great trunk line traversing the entire African continent, for in 1874 he first employed the phrase "Cape to Cairo railway" subsequently popularised by Cecil Rhodes.
It was, however, as a poet that he was best known to his contemporaries. The literary task which he set before him was the interpretation in English verse of the life and philosophy of the East. His chief work with this object is The Light of Asia , or The Great Renunciation, a poem of eight books in blank verse which was translated into various languages such as Hindi (tr. by Acharya Ram Chandra Shukla).
In it, in Arnold's own words, he attempted 'by the medium of an imaginary Buddhist votary to depict the life and character and indicate the philosophy of that noble hero and reformer, Prince Gautama of India, founder of Buddhism'.It appeared in 1879 and was an immediate success, going through numerous editions in England and America, though its permanent place in literature is quite uncertain. It is an Indian epic, dealing with the life and teaching of the Buddha. The poem was subjected to two lines of criticism: it was held by Oriental scholars to give a false impression of Buddhist doctrine; while, on the other, the suggested analogy between Sakyamuni and Jesus offended the taste of some devout Christians.
The latter criticism probably suggested to Arnold the idea of attempting a second narrative poem of which the central figure should be Jesus, the founder of Christianity, as the founder of Buddhism had been that of the first. But though The Light of the World (1891), in which this took shape, had considerable poetic merit, it lacked the novelty of theme and setting which had given the earlier poem much of its attractiveness; and it failed to repeat the success gained by The Light of Asia. Arnold's other principal volumes of poetry were Indian Song of Songs (1875), Pearls of the Faith (1883), The Song Celestial (1885), With Sa’di in the Garden (1888), Potiphar's Wife (1892), Adzuma,or The Japanese Wife (1893), and "Indian Poetry" (1904).
In "The Song Celestial" Sir Edwin produced a well-known poetic rendering of the sacred Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita.
Sir Edwin was married three times.His first wife was Katherine Elizabeth Biddulph, of London, who died in 1864. Next he married Jennie Channing of Boston, who died in 1889. In his later years Arnold resided for some time in Japan, and his third wife, Tama Kurokawa, was Japanese. In Seas and Lands (1891) and Japonica (1891) he gives an interesting study of Japanese life. He was appointed CSI on the occasion of the proclamation of Queen Victoria as Empress of India in 1877, and was knighted in 1888 (as KCIE). He was also honoured with decorations by the rulers of Japan, Persia, Turkey and Siam. One of his six children was the novelist Edwin Lester Arnold, born in 1857.
He was a founder member, together with Anagarika Dharmapala, of the Mahabodhi Society of India and was a close associate of Weligama Sri Sumangala.A blue plaque unveiled in 1931 commemorates Arnold at 31 Bolton Gardens in South Kensington.
Arnold was a vegetarian. He was vice-president of the West London Food Reform Society, a vegetarian group based in Bayswater, founded in 1891, with Josiah Oldfield as president and Mahatma Gandhi as secretary.The Society was short-lived and dissolved as soon as Gandhi left Bayswater.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist, who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India's independence from British rule, and in turn inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahātmā, first applied to him in 1914 in South Africa, is now used throughout the world.
Nirvāṇa is a concept in Indian religions that represents the ultimate state of soteriological release, the liberation from repeated rebirth in saṃsāra.
Vinayak Narahari "Vinoba" Bhave was an Indian advocate of nonviolence and human rights. Often called Acharya, he is best known for the Bhoodan Movement. He is considered as a National Teacher of India and the spiritual successor of Mahatma Gandhi. He was an eminent philosopher. The Gita has also been translated into Marathi language by him with the name as Geetai means mother Geeta.
Eknath Easwaran was an Indian-born spiritual teacher, author, as well as a translator and interpreter of Indian religious texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads.
Prakriti or Prakruti, means " the original or natural form or condition of anything, original or primary substance". It is a key concept in Hinduism, formulated by its Sāṅkhya school, and refers to the primal matter with three different innate qualities (guṇas) whose equilibrium is the basis of all observed empirical reality. Prakriti, in this school, contrasts with Puruṣa, which is pure awareness and metaphysical consciousness. The term is also found in the texts of other Indian religions such as Jainism, and Buddhism.
Gandhism is a body of ideas that describes the inspiration, vision, and the life work of Mohandas Gandhi. It is particularly associated with his contributions to the idea of nonviolent resistance, sometimes also called civil resistance. The two pillars of Gandhism are truth and nonviolence.
The Light of Asia, or The Great Renunciation (Mahâbhinishkramana), is a book by Sir Edwin Arnold. The first edition of the book was published in London in July 1879.
Dhyāna in Hinduism means contemplation and meditation. Dhyāna is taken up in Yoga exercises, and is a means to samadhi and self-knowledge.
Barbara Stoler Miller was a scholar of Sanskrit literature. Her translation of the Bhagavad Gita was extremely successful and she helped popularize Indian literature in the U.S. She was the president of the Association for Asian Studies in 1990.
The Bhagavad Gita, often referred to as the Gita, is a 701-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the epic Mahabharata, dated to the second century BCE. It is considered to be the primary holy scripture for Hinduism, the world's third largest and the oldest religion.
In religious studies and sociology, the pizza effect is the phenomenon of elements of a nation or people's culture being transformed or at least more fully embraced elsewhere, then re-imported to their culture of origin, or the way in which a community's self-understanding is influenced by foreign sources.
Pranami, also known as Dhami, is a Vaishnavism sub-tradition within Hinduism, focussed on god Krishna. The tradition emerged in the 17th century in Western India, based on the teachings of Bhakti saints, Sri Devchandra Maharaj and his foremost disciple Sri Mehraj Thakur.
The Gītā Dhyānam, also called the Gītā Dhyāna or the Dhyāna Ślokas associated with the Gītā, is a 9-verse Sanskrit poem that has often been attached to the Bhagavad Gita, one of the most important scriptures of Hinduism. In English, its title can be translated literally as "meditation on the Gita," and it is also sometimes called the Invocation to the Gita.
Alongside its importance in the Hindu faith, the Bhagavad Gita has influenced many thinkers, including Mahatma Gandhi, Aldous Huxley, Henry David Thoreau, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Carl Jung, Bulent Ecevit, Hermann Hesse, Heinrich Himmler among others. The main source of the doctrine of Karma Yoga in its present form is Bhagavad Gita.
Dr. Madan G. Gandhi, a visiting fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, was an educationalist, litterateur and poet.
Josiah Oldfield M.A., D.C.L., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P was an English lawyer, physician and promoter of his own variant of fruitarianism which was virtually indistinguishable from lacto-ovo vegetarianism.
Kishorlal Ghanshyamlal Mashruwala was an Indian independence activist as well as biographer, essayist and translator. Educated in Bombay and Agra, he completed BA and LLB. He was an associate of Mahatma Gandhi and was deeply influenced by him. He extensively wrote on education, religion and philosophy as well as translated some works in Gujarati.
The Song Celestial: A Poetic Version of the Bhagavad Gita is a translation of the Bhagavad Gita from Sanskrit into English by Sir Edwin Arnold, first published in 1885. The translation following The Light of Asia, his narrative-poem of the Lalitavistara Sūtra. It is dedicated to India with the following preface:
So have I read this wonderful and spirit-thrilling speech, By Krishna and Prince Arjuna held, discoursing each with each; So have I writ its wisdom here, - its hidden mystery, For England; O our India! as dear to me as She!
Douglas Allen is an American philosopher, academic, author and an activist. He is a Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and a Founder of Maine Peace Action Committee at the University of Maine.
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