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Kedarnath Datta

(1838—1914)


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(1838–1914)

A Vaiṣṇava theologian and activist who succeeded in establishing a reformed theological and ritual agenda for the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava tradition in the second half of the 19th century. A career civil servant under the British, he had received a Western style education, and was friendly with many of the leading Bengal intellectuals of the time. In his late twenties he became a follower of Caitanya's form of Vaiṣṇavaism, and thereafter devoted himself to systematizing the textual and ritual bases of the tradition to produce a kind of practice, predicated on a relatively conservative theology, which proved attractive to the growing urban middle classes. His work was continued by his son Bhaktisiddānta Sarasvatī (1874–1937), whose disciple Bhaktivedānta Swāmi founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and so brought Kedarnath's reformed Gauḍīya tradition to the West.

Subjects: Hinduism.


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