No Chemistry Student reads about P.C Ray who is called as Father of Pharmaceuticals & Chemical Science in India
No Chemistry Student knows about the Two Volume Masterpiece on Ancient Hindu
Ray’s seminal work — A History Of Hindu Chemistry From The Earliest Times To The Middle Of The Sixteenth Century A.D —which revealed to the world the path-breaking advances made by ancient Bharatiya scientists.
Today is the 159th Jayanti of Acharya PrafullaChandraRay
Ray was such a fierce nationalist, he used to tell his students at Calcutta’s Presidency College with “Science can wait, SWARAJ cannot” call.
Born to HarishChandraRay
He absorbed himself in biographies, articles on science, history, geography, Greek, Latin, French and Sanskrit. He completed matriculation from Albert School in 1879 and enrolled in Vidyasagar College but since it did not offer
Ray graduated from Edinburgh University before completing his doctoral studies and returning to Bharat in August 1888. The next year, he started teaching chemistry at Presidency College.
Meanwhile, after returning to Bharat, Prafulla came to realize
But he needed capital – a capital of only eight hundred rupees. But it became difficult to raise even this small amount.
In spite of all these difficulties he founded
With many accidental deaths within family, the entire responsibility of the factory fell on his shoulders. Still, he faced everything with courage.
Directly or indirectly he helped to start many other factories.
He was the driving force behind the
During all these years, he was also actively engaged in research in his laboratory at Presidency College. His publications on Mercurous Nitrite and its derivatives brought him recognition from all over the world.
Prafulla Chandra was from the beginning interested in the work of the early Hindu chemists. After reading the famous book ‘Greek Alchemy’ by the great French scientist Berthelot his interest in Hindu Chemistry grew into a passion. He started reading many
‘Rasendrasara Sangraha’ and sent it to Berthelot.
The French scientist published it with an introduction praising it
After several years of study, Prafulla published his famous book, ‘The History of Hindu Chemistry’
But Prafulla Chandra also knew
Prafulla Chandra did not rest content with giving such advice and he came with the 2nd volume of his Magnum Opus – Hindu Chemistry.
Acharya who founded Bengal Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals, India’s first pharma company, in 1901, pored through voluminous ancient texts like the Upanishads, Vedas, the Arthashastra and other
His book reveals that in the eighth century CE, the caliphs of Baghdad ordered extensive translation of
A very interesting aspect of
ayurveda, and the Atharvaveda. Ray concludes that the Atharvaveda (the fourth Veda) seems archaic in comparison to Charaka’s treatises since the Atharvaveda only
In the preface to the second volume, Ray very authoritatively states: “ancient Hindu astronomy and mathematics were not less advanced than
And he conclusively proves all that in his book.
(Luckily, the book has been
In 1916 he retired from the Presidency College. A prolific scientist, he wrote 107 papers in all branches of chemistry by 1920. He was knighted in 1919, and founded the Indian School of Chemistry (the first chemical research institute in
Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee, the vice-chancellor of Calcutta University, appointed him as professor of Chemistry at the University Science College.
Prafulla Chandra worked in this college for twenty years. He remained a bachelor all his life. All these twenty
In 1921 when Prafulla Chandra reached 60 years he
The value of this endowment was about two lakh rupees. Besides, he gave ten thousand rupees for an
In 1932 he wrote his autobiography in English & named it ‘The Life and Experience of a Bengali Chemist’
It was his strong desire that Hindus should set right the defects in their society like untouchability, child marriage and the giving of dowry.
He used to repeat the Sanskrit saying, ‘A man may desire
A Gandhi follower, He began to spin a yarn with the Charaka at least for an hour every day.
In his 75th year, Prafulla Chandra Ray retired from the Professor’s post. In 1941 the Calcutta University and the public celebrated his eightieth birthday.
Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray attained Moksha