I was born on 26 September 1928 in Cuttack, India. My father started as a lawyer and later became a judge in the State High Court in the same town. After graduating from the Ravenshaw Collegiate School, I studied for 2 years in the Ravenshaw College, both in Cuttack, but then moved to the Presidency College in Calcutta. It was at the Presidency College that I first studied philosophy, both Western and Indian. During my undergraduate years, which were also the years when the Indian freedom movement intensified just before the final independence of the country, two philosophical concerns were of paramount importance for me, viz., Gandhism vs. Marxism and Śamkara vs. Sri Aurobindo. The former intellectual polemic lead me to the question "Is non-violence an effective means of social change?"; the latter to the question "Are the world and finite individuals real or illusory from the metaphysical point of view?" Seeing Gandhi in Calcutta mediating between the Hindus and the Moslems and attending his prayer meetings were a profound experience. I received my B. A. in 1947 (the year India became independent and was divided) and went to the Graduate School of the University of Calcutta. Amongst the teachers who influenced me during those years were N.K. Brahman and Pt. Yogendra Nath Tarkavedantatirtha (who taught me, in exemplary manner, Śamakara's commentaries), R.V. Das (with whom I studied Kant's First Critique in conjunction with Vaihinger's commentary), and Kalidas Bhattacharyya1 (who then and later taught us how to think for ourselves by engaging us in endless philosophical conversations).
Mohanty, J.N. (1993)., Self presentation, in F. M. Kirkland & D. P. Chattopadhyaya (eds.), Phenomenology: East and West, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 289-293.
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