Purvavanga Saraswat Samaj

Purvavanga Saraswat Samaj an autonomous institution established in 1878 for organising and controlling the flow of traditional Sanskrit education in East Bengal. The main office was in its own house at 106, KP Ghosh Street, Wari, Dhaka.

Before Saraswata Samaj had come into existence the Sanskrit education of the toles and chatuspathis was controlled by Hitopadeshini Sabha of village Kalipara, vikramapura. At that time the place of Vikrampur in the study of sanskrit in Bengal was just after Navadwip. After the annihilation of Kalipara by the erosion of the river padma, the Saraswata Samaj was established to take up the responsibilities of the Hitopadeshini Sabha. To run the activities of the Samaj an Executive Council of 10 members from among the Sanskrit scholars of 8 districts like Dhaka, Comilla, Sylhet, Mymensingha, Noakhali, Chittagong, Faridpur and Barisal was elected. Mahamahopadhyaya Kalikishore Smritiratna, a renowned Smarta and Mahamahopadhyaya Prasanna Chandra Vidyaratna, Ex-Principal and Professor of Dhaka College were elected the first President and Secretary respectively of the Samaj. Subjects studied in the toles and chatuspathis of East Bengal and controlled by the Samaja were Nyaya, Sangkhya, Vedanta, Smrti, Sahitya, Darshana, Vyakarana, Purana, Ayurveda and Jyotisa. The examination centres approved by the Samaj were Dhaka, Sudharama (Noakhali), Comilla, Calcutta, Mymensingha, Chittagong, Patia and Kavirajpur (Faridpur). The Samaj played a great role in Sanskrit studies in East Bengal in those days. It awarded different titles like Tirtha, Ratna etc. to the Sanskrit scholars those were accepted with due respect all over India.

The activities of the Samaj had been running fully upto 1947 and partly upto 1971. In 1971, during the Liberation Movement of Bangladesh the main office-house of the Samaj was dispossessed and now it is defunct. [Rabindra Nath Sarker]