On the auspicious commemoration of Srila Prabhupada’s 125th birth anniversary, the Scottish Church College, which recognizes Srila Prabhupada as one of their eminent Alumni, is organizing an online essay competition. The topic chosen is ‘Spirituality in the Modern World’ which clearly indicates the institution’s acknowledgment of Srila Prabhupada’s contribution in to spirituality in contemporary times.
Srila Prabhupada in his early days as Abhay Charan De completed his higher studies at Scottish Church College affiliated to the University of Calcutta, a university in Bengal. The college was located in north Calcutta, near his residence on Harrison Road.
In college, Abhay Charan De was a member of the English Society as well as the Sanskrit Society, and most of his professors were Europeans.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: We respected our professors as our fathers. The relationship between the students and the professors was very good. The vice-chancellor, Professor W. S. Urquhart, was a perfect and kindhearted gentleman, with whom we sometimes joked.
In my first year, I studied English and Sanskrit, in my second year Sanskrit and philosophy. Then philosophy and economics. Another professor was J. C. Scrimgeour. He was a professor of English literature. While teaching English literature he would give parallel passages from Bankim Chandra Chatterji. “Yes, yes,” he would say, “your Bankim Bābū says like this.” He had studied Bankim’s literature, and he compared Bankim Chandra Chatterji to Walter Scott. In those days, Dickens and Sir Walter Scott were two very great English literary men. So he taught us those novelists, and the relationship was very nice.
Abhay Charan De graduated in 1920 with degrees in English, philosophy, and economics. It must be mentioned here that in order to support Gandhi’s independence movement, he rejected his degree.
For more information on Scottish Church College Writing Competition visit: http://scottishchurch.ac.in/
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