Preface to the New and Enlarged Edition
The first edition of Sadhus of India - The Sociological View came to light in 1978. Roughly after 25 years, this book is reincarnating in a thoroughly revised form. In these 25 years, many things have happened. Almost all the senior members of my family have left for the other-world. My wife Dr. Madhu Kanta Tripathi too left me and migrated to her heavenly abode. So, virtually I am left alone, feeling 'lonely' in the 'crowd'. But it is this loneliness which prods me to work, to write, to publish. The present edition of the book is the outcome of this lonely prodding.
The following are the new features of present edition of Sadhus of India: (A) Old text has been thoroughly checked and updates, (B) Four new chapters have been added. They are: (1) Sadhus at Kumbh (2) Sadhus, Sharing Social Concern (3) Litigation among Sadhus and (4) Contemporary trends in Aceticism. (C) The book has been amply illustrated. I have incorporated several photographs from Rajesh Bedi/Ramesh Bedi's book Sadhus The Holy Men of India. I feel indebted to the authors of this book. Also, I feel indebted to the editor of India Today, for some photographs from the January 22, 2001 issue of the Weekly.
Further, the author is highly grateful to Radha Soamis for their discourteous responses and frowning countenances which welcomed him whenever he tried to contact them to avail sectarian facts for this book.
On this occasion, the author fondly remembers the following members of his family: Krishna Kant Tripathi, Sheela Tripathi, Shashwat and Astha: Ravi Kant Tripathi, Namrata Tripathi, Aparajita and Shabdita; Nitin Pandey, Poonam Pandey and Parth; Chetan Pandey, Poonam Pandey and Vaishnavi.
The author gratefully acknowledges the help received from the following: Vedanti Swami, Karpatri Dham, Kedar Ghat, Varanasi; Arijeet Das, ISKCON, Varanasi; Shri Vinod Shanker Pandey, Nagawa, Varanasi; Swami Prem Moksh, Assi, Varanasi; Dr. Akhilanand Shastri, Secretary, Kashi Vidwat Parishad; Shri Chandra Bhushan Dhar Dwivedi, Trustee, Sumeru Peeth, Varanasi; Dr. Hari Narain Tiwari, Chandan Nagar, Varanasi; Shri Lalit Mohan Pandey, Dehradun; Shrimati Madhu Pandey, Dehradun; Anand Swarup Brahmachari, Shrividyamath, Kedar Ghat, Varanasi; Swami Kapileshwaranand Saraswati, Dharm Sangh, Varanasi; Swami Chinmays Nand Sasraswati, Sumeru Peeth, Varanasi; Swami Narendranand Saraswati, Sumeru Peeth, Varanasi; Kanu Bhagat, Swami Narain Mandir, Machhodari, Varanasi; Dr. Shyam Dhar Singh, Professor, Sociology, Kashi Vidyapith, Varanasi; Dr. Sushma Khanna, Professor Sociology, Kashi Vidyapith, varanasi; Mahatma Harihar Darshnanand, Kalimohal, Varanasi; Vinay Kumar Srivastava, Dainik Jagran, Varanasi; Babu Bachhan Singh, Karaundi, Varanasi; Bhagwan Singh Bisht, Hanuman Setu, Lucknow; Dr. Shyam Lal Kapoor, Guest Professor, Dept. of Botany Lucknow University, Lucknow; Shri Shashidhar Malviya, Hanuman Setu, Lucknow; Shri Rajesh Kumar Sinha, Karaundi, Varanasi, Shri Alok Verma, Central Library, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi; Dr. Triveni Dutt Tripathi, Mathlar, Deoria; Dr. Surendra Kumar Srivastava, Dept. of Philosophy, Kashi Vidyapeeth, Varanasi; Dr. Kaushalendra Pandey, Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya, B.H.U., Varanasi; Shivani Ganesh, Senior Assistant Editor, Popular Prakashan, Bombay; Swami Rudranand Awadhoot, Anand Marg Math, Chitaipur, Varanasi; Prof. B.N.Saraswati, Varanasi; Dr. Devendra Kumar Singh, Shri Sarveshwari Samooh, Varanasi.
About the Book:
Asceticism enjoyed great respect in Hindu Society in the past. With the advancement of physical sciences, however, the attitude of the people towards asceticism changed and people started doubling the relevance of this institution. Besides, several pernicious practices crept in the ascetic life in course of time which tarnished the image of Hindu Society general and Sadhus' Community in particular.
But even today there are people who value spiritual aspects of asceticism and claim that Indian Sadhus still play a positive role in society. This volume is a study of Sadhus of Uttar Pradesh, with specific aim of evaluating their role and status in the modern Indian Society.
To ensure the authenticity of the investigation, the author adopted the technique of Participant Observation by getting himself initiated in the Shaiva as well as Vaishnava Sampradaya. 500 Sadhus of different sects and maths from ten pilgrim-centres in Uttar Pradesh were interviewed. After giving a brief description of almost all the existing Vaishnava, Shaiva and miscellaneous sects, the author gives an account of the socioeconomic background of Sadhus, their economic and sociopolitical status, their views and belies and attitudes. He also narrates the sociopolitical status, their views and beliefs and attitudes. He also narrates the sociopolitical status, their views and beliefs and attitudes. He also narrates the social services rendered by Sadhus and their different organizations. Against this background, he discusses the problems connected with the future of Sadhus.
In the present revised and enlarged edition, the author has added four chapters namely, Sadhus at Kumbh, Sadhus sharing Social Concern, Litigation among Sadhus and Contemporary Trends in Asceticism.
About the Author
Dr. B. D. Tripathi (1933) was Professor of Sociology in Kashi Vidyapith, Varanasi. He retired from the teaching profession in 1993. He was awarded the degree of Ph. D in Sociology from the University of Lucknow in 1966. His Doctoral dissertation was later brought out as Sadhus of India: The Sociological View in 1978 by Popular Prakashan, Bombay. Earlier, in 1977, Dr. Tripathi's book on Sociological Theory entitled Nature of Sociological Theory The Action Approach came to light.
Dr. Tripathi third book, Society Today and tomorrow was brought out in 1990 by Himalayan Publication, Bombay. This book contains several sociological concepts and theories which are entirely new to the literature of Sociology. Other published book of Dr. Tripathi are; Abhinava Darsham (1989); Muslim Samudaya Tatha Bharatiya Rajniti (1990); Charo Dhama (2000); Meri America Yatra (2001).
Besides these books, Dr. Tripathi has contributed several research papers in English and Hindi Journals. Also, he writes in Hindi and English magazines and Dailies.
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