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Brahmabandhab Upadhyaya (1861-1907)

Born Bhabanicharan Bandyopadhyaya in Khanyan, Hugli, Brahmabandhab was a fiery patriot from an early age. Under the influence of Keshabchandra Sen he joined the Brahma Samaj and went to Sind to preach his new faith. But, in Sind, he met Reverend Kalicharan Bandyopadhyaya under whose influence he was converted into a Roman Catholic.

Influenced by Swami Vivekananda, he retraced his steps back to Hinduism and in 1901 took the name Brahmabandhab Upadhyaya. To propagate Vedanta in the West he went to England where he gave a series of lectures on Hinduism. He founded the Sarasvata-Ayatana in Calcutta in the tradition of the Vedas. He actively supported Rabindranath's ideal of a Brahmavidyalaya and helped to organize the school in its early stages. Brahmabandhab's political sentiments however proved too strong to allow him to remain in purely educational work for long, and his connection with the school ceased about a year after the starting of the school.

Born a Brahmin, he typified the new Bengali middle-class : educated, upper caste and Hindu. Yet his conversion to Roman Catholicism and his revolutionary ideas for merging Christian doctrines with an Indian idiom marked him out as exceptional.