Krishna Chandra Bhattacharyya (1875-1949)

“Krishna Chandra Bhattacharya [sic], a Bengali Brahmin, was born in 1875 at Serampore near Calcutta, one of eight children of an impoverished clerk. Educated at Presidency College in Calcutta, he studied under B. N. Seal, who had revived the study of Indian philosophy. He was a brilliant student clearly destined for an academic career, but his unwillingness to appease British administrators prevented his obtaining an appointment commensurate with his ability, and he held a variety of teaching and administrative positions in government colleges. When he reached the retirement age of 55, he was principal of small Hoogly College. After retirement, however, he became professor in the Calcutta post-graduate department, spent two years at the Indian Institute of Philosophy at Amalner (where he was given the title of director), and finally became George V Professor of Philosophy at the University of Calcutta. After final retirement in 1938 he lived at Serampore, reading little because of failing sight, but writing a great deal and discussing philosophy with his sons and his many visitors until his death in 1949.

Bhattacharya led an austere life, and had few personal belongings. He was a devout Hindu, but not fanatic, and ate meat, if sacrificed to Kali. The progressives claimed him because he taught at the progressive Bethune College for women, and the conservatives claimed him because he observed the orthodox rites. He loved to travel, but never went outside India. He was a simple and retiring man, but proud within himself, never bowing to anyone or trying to advance himself.”

George Burch, Contemporary Vedanta Philosophy, I, The Review of Metaphysics, Vol.9 No.3 (1956), p.486.

His foundational critique of George Thibaut's historicism and blind philological approach to Vedānta in 1901 opened a new era of contemporary philosophy in India.