Nisi Kanta Chattopadhyaya

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Nishikânta Chattopâdhyâya was a well-known Hindu gentleman, Principal of the Hyderabad College and author of works on Oriental, Theosophical, philosophical, and other subjects. His name was erroneously thought to have been a pseudonym used by Master K.H. in Europe.

Confusion with Master K.H.

In The Mahatma Letters, Master K.H. mentions a conversation he had with a certain "G. H. Fechner." Trying to verify this statement, C. C. Massey wrote to Dr. Hugo Wernekke, at Weimar, Germany, inquiring "whether Professor Fechner ever had such a conversation with an Oriental whom we could thus identify with Koot Humi." He received the following answer from Professor Gustav T. Fechner:

What Mr. Massey enquires about is undoubtedly in the main correct; the name of the Hindu concerned, when he was in Leipzig, was however, Nisi Kanta Chattopadhyaya, not Koot Humi. In the middle of the seventies he lived for about one year in Leipzig and aroused a certain interest owing to his foreign nationality, without being otherwise conspicuous; he was introduced to several families and became a member of the Academic Philosophical Society, to which you also belonged, where on one occasion he gave a lecture on Buddhism. I have these notes from Mr. Wirth, the Librarian of the Society, who is good enough to read to me three times a week. I also heard him give a lecture in a private circle on the position of women among the Hindus. I remember very well that he visited me once, and though I cannot remember our conversation, his statement that I questioned him about the faith of the Hindus is very likely correct. Apart from this I have not had personal intercourse with him; but, after his complete disappearance from Leipzig, I have been interested to hear about him, and especially to know that he plays an important role in his native country, such as undoubtedly he could not play here.[1]

C. C. Massey assumed that "Nisi Kanta Chattapadhyaya" was a pseudonym used by Master K.H. However, this is not the case. Charles J. Ryan reports[2] that Katherine Tingley met Dr. N. K. Chattopadhyaya when she was in Bombay in 1896, and received an autograph copy of his book, "The Reminiscences of the German University Life,"[3] where he talks about his encounter with Prof. G. T. Fechner.

Notes