|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in one series in original order.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains a 381-page handwritten English translation, completed in 1944 by D.D. Chandekar, of Arunodaya. The Autobiography of Bãbã Padmanjí, containing a description of his former life as a Hindu and the causes which led to his conversion. Originally printed by the Anglo-Vernacular Press in Bombay in 1888 and in Bãbã Padmanjí's native language, Marathi, the book gives a brief history of his life as a Hindu, his conversion to Christianity, and details the religious, political, personal and familial struggles he endured as a result. Included in this volume are a short newspaper clipping, photograph, and list of important dates in the front cover. This copy also transcribes the letters of recommendation for Bãbã Padmanjí, which were in the original autobiography, as well as an epitaph for Rev. George Bowen, a former Union Theological Seminary student (class of 1847), Bombay missionary, and editor of the Marathi publications of the Bombay Book and Tract Society. (It should be noted that printed versions of the autobiography may not contain all that Bãbã Padmanjí originally wrote; Rev. M. P. Davis, member of the Foreign Mission Board for the German Evangelical Synod of North America and editor of the autobiography print version called My Struggle for Freedom, mentioned in his forward that "numerous unimportant incidents related by [Bãbã Padmanjí] in the original Marathi version" had been removed.)
Burke Library record group:
Missionary Research Library Archives: MRL3, South Asia
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Information concerning copyright, fair use, and reproduction requests can be consulted at Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.
Item description, MRL 3: Arunodaya. The Autobiography of Bãbã Padmanjí, 1944, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Padmanji, Baba. My Struggle for Freedom: The Autobiography of Baba Padmanji. Raipur, C.P. [India]: Christian Book Depot, 1944. Burke Call Number: MRL Pamphlets 1830
MRL 3: George Bowen Papers, 1846-1862, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Formerly part of the independent Missionary Research Library (MRL), these records were moved with the MRL to the Brown Memorial Tower of Union Theological Seminary in 1929, and accessioned by the Burke Library at the time of the MRL's closure in 1976.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
This item was cataloged by Lynn A. Grove on 1988-07-18. The book was placed in a new acid-free folder and box, and wrapped in tissue and tied with acid-free cotton tying tape. The finding aid was created by BreeAnn Midavaine in 2012 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2020.
2014-04-08 XML instance created by Cecile Queffelec.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
2019-05-14 EAD spot checked and corrected and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Bãbã Padmanjí was born in Belgaum, India in May of 1831 to a prominent family who were Kasar by caste. He grew up in a household filled with extended family and twelve siblings, all of whom were "orthodox and religious minded." He began his education at the Government Marathi School in Belgaum. In 1843 he commenced his studies at the Mission High School where he met the headmaster Rev. W. Beynon, a missionary after whom the school was later named. (The translator of the autobiography, D. D. Chandekar, was the Director of Religious Instruction at this same school.) It was at this school that Bãbã Padmanjí was first introduced to Christianity. He attended Elphinstone College in Bombay from 1847 to 1848 and had to leave early because of his Hindu marriage, though he returned to Belgaum in March 1849 to resume his education, where he attended the Free Church Institution (FCI) and eventually continued on into the college-division. It was while Bãbã Padmanjí was at the FCI that he received a teaching post for Bible classes, even though he was a practicing Hindu. His commitment to the Christian faith was formally acknowledged through his baptism on December 3, 1854.
Padmanji's prolific writing career began while still in the college-division of FCI. He wrote articles for the newspaper and essays, presented sermons, and wrote and translated Christian literature and tracts. According to the Catalogue of the Christian Vernacular Literature of India printed in 1870, some of those works include "Comparison of Hinduism and Christianity," "Manual of Christian Duties," "Atmarampant, or Colloquies with the Angel of Death," "The Sins of Holy Things borne by Christ," and "Comparison of Krishna and Christ." In 1887 he was also invited by the Bombay Christian Tract and Book Society to "assist them in revising and publishing the Bible in Marathi." By the time of Bãbã Padmanjí‟s death on August 29, 1906, his body of original and translated work contained 73 treatises and books.