Brahmo Samaj was an important factor in the growth of modern India, a strong religious organization in India. Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Dwarkanath Tagore founded it on August 20, 1828, in Calcutta as a reform of the prevalent Brahmanism of the time (specifically Kulin practices), and it started the Bengal Renaissance of the nineteenth century, which was the forerunner of all religious, social, and educational advancements of the Hindu community.
Candidate will learn about the Brahmo Samaj (Established Rajaram Mohan Roy) in this article, which will help with your preparation for the UPSC Civil Service Exam.
What is Brahmo Samaj?
One of India’s most potent socio-religious movements is the Brahmo Samaj. In Bengal, it was introduced in 1828. To promote women’s empowerment, Brahmo Samaj was instrumental in eradicating the dowry and caste systems. With the accomplishment of its goals, it became a trailblazer in the Bengal Renaissance.
Brahmo Samaj Founder
The Brahmo Sabha, subsequently known as the Brahmo Samaj, was established in 1828 by Raja Ram Mohan Roy. The Father of Modern India, he was an Indian reformer. He established the Unitarian Community and the Atmiya Sabha. His main objective was to combat social ills and disseminate societal changes in the areas of education and social policy.
In the Indian press and Bengali literature, Raja Ram Mohan Roy established trends and made contributions to Indian education. In addition to his work with the Brahmo Samaj, he made other significant contributions to society, earning the moniker “Father of Modern India.”
In 1817, Raja Ram Mohan Roy founded the Hindu College in Calcutta, India, along with David Hare. Raja Ram Mohan Roy established the Vedanta College and Anglo-Hindu School, which emphasised on teaching monotheistic ideas, between the years of 1822 and 1826. He aimed to combine a western and modern curriculum with the monotheistic doctrine.
He gave Rev. Alexander Duff the location in 1830 to construct Scottish Church College, which at the time was known as General Assembly’s Institution. He started the Bengali weekly, Samvad Kaumudi (1821), The Persian weekly, Mirat-ul-Akbar, and The Brahmanical Magazine, three well-known periodicals (1821).
Raja was the title he received from Akbar II (titular Mughal Emperor of Delhi). Tagore also described him as a brilliant star in the sky of Indian history. Brahmo Samaj was not just a concept that Raja Ram Mohan Roy had. Other well-known reformers later joined Brahmo Samaj.
Brahmo Samaj Objective
Major Objectives of Brahmo Samaj are:
- Promoting monotheism and purifying Hinduism; condemning idolatry.
- They also provided helpful information on different religions.
Brahmo Samaj and Famous Personality Associated
Brahmo Samaj and Debendranath Tagore
Tattvabodhini Sabha was founded in 1839, and Debendranath Tagore, the father of Rabindranath Tagore, served as its leader. In 1842, he joined the Brahmo Samaj, and via their informal alliance, he gave the Brahmo Samaj a clear framework. His contribution to the Brahma Samaj resulted in the development of new capabilities. Later, a large number of free thinkers, including Ashwini Kumar Datta, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Derozians, and other Rammohan supporters, backed the Brahmo Samaj.
By opposing Christian missionaries, outlawing polygamy, promoting women’s education, and widow remarriage, Tagore made a contribution.
Brahmo Samaj and Keshab Chandra Sen
In 1858, Keshab Chandra Sen joined the Brahmo Samaj alongside Debendranath Tagore. With his introduction to the Brahmo Samaj, there was a surge of energy, and the Brahmo Samaj grew outside of Bengal to towns like Bombay, Punjab, Madras, and the United Provinces (this was known as the Adi Brahmo Samaj).
Because of this, members of the community rejected the 13-year-old girl’s child marriage to a young Hindu Maharaja of Cooch-Behar, which led to the couple’s separation in the late 1870s. Additionally, Keshab Chandra Sen was charged with authoritarianism. The Sadharan Brahmo Samaj replaced the Adi Brahmo Samaj later in 1878 (founded by Umeshchandra Dutta, Sib Chandra Deb, and Ananda Mohan Bose). Dayal Singh College was founded in Lahore in 1910 by the Dayal Singh Trust to teach the Brahmo scriptures.
Brahmo Samaj Principles
Totalitarianism was one of the greatest social ills, which is why Brahmo Samaj was adamantly opposed to totalitarianism in all of its manifestations. Since this practice divided people into the lower and upper classes, it fought against the irrational practice of discrimination against people based on color, caste, religion, creed, and race.
At that time, Hindus practiced polytheism, idol worship, reincarnation, and avatar theory. It opposed the notion of an infinite singularity, viewing it as undefined, boundless, imperceptible, and indivisible.
Society was ruled by superstitions and dogmas, which the Brahmo Samaj rejected. In addition, the women were made to burn alive because to Sati’s superstitions. The main motivation behind the founding of Brahmo Samaj was this Sati practice. This also sparked a wave of hostility against the insignificance of priests, superstitious rituals, and religious institutions.
People used to think that there were prophets, holy books, and intermediaries between human souls and Brahmans. However, according to one’s own taste, the Brahmo Samaj rejects the notion of a mediator and the concepts of Karma and rebirth.
It holds that illiteracy is one of the primary causes of social and religious views. It therefore incorporates knowledge, free will, and truth. Additionally, Brahmo Samaj rejects the notion of imposing sectarianism and religious ideas.
People held to the idea of Mukthi, however the Brahmo Samaj rejects this philosophy and holds that the soul is immortal and on the verge of uniting with Brahman. The Brahmo Samaj likewise rejected the notion of heaven and hell.
The Brahmo Samaj believes that all living things should be revered and treated fairly, yet it forbids its adherents from performing any form of worship.
Brahmo Samaj Divisions
1. Adi Brahmo Samaj
From “Brahmoism,” this branch of the Brahmo Samaj evolved and became the first organized movement in British India. This was counterproductive to the false notion that the caste system distinguished people according to their caste. For the purpose of eradicating the previous social conventions, it began educating secular India. Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Prasanna Coomar Tagore, and Debendranath Tagore founded the Adi Brahmo Samaj.
2. Sadharan Brahmo Samaj
Disunity within the Brahmo Samaj is what gave rise to the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj. In a public gathering held in the Calcutta Town Hall, the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj was founded. Anand Mohan oversaw activities for the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj. Ananda Mohan Bose, Sib Nath Shastri, and Umesh Chandra Dutta were in charge of this Sadharan Brahmo Samaj religious organisation.
Brahmo Samaj Significance
The Brahmo Samaj was successful in denouncing polytheistic religion and idolatry. By challenging numerous superstitions and dogmas, it helped bring about social transformation. It disapproved of the notion of divine incarnation. The caste structure experienced a notable change as a result. The Brahmo Samaj promoted the idea that morality and a logical intellect are more significant than any text and possess the greatest power. The Brahmo Samaj encouraged society to speak out against child marriage.
Even while the Brahmo Samaj significantly altered many social conventions, it was unable to address notions about the soul’s evolution and the idea of karma. The Doctrine of God in Conscience was also contested by a few persons. Conflicting ideas caused this samaj to break down in 1878.
Brahmo Samaj UPSC
Brahmo Samaj has been the subject of numerous questions in both the UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains exams. Therefore, it is crucial to research the subject thoroughly. You can get the History Books for UPSC and other NCERT Books for UPSC to make sure you comprehend Brahmo Samaj and the relevant themes. Additionally, you can assess your readiness with the UPSC previous year test questions.
Brahmo Samaj FAQs
Q) Who founded Brahmo Samaj and why?
Ans. Hinduism’s Brahmo Samaj was a monotheistic group. Through gatherings of Bengalis in Calcutta in 1828, the movement had its start. Ram Mohun Roy was one of the key players.
Q) What is the aim of Brahmo Samaj?
Ans. The adoration of the Eternal God was the main goal of the Brahmo Samaj. It was opposed to sacrifices, ceremonies, and priesthood. It put a strong emphasis on reading the Bible, praying, and reflecting.
Q) What are the four principles of Brahmo Samaj?
Ans. The Brahmo Samajists reject all scripture as authoritative. The Brahmo Samajists don’t believe in avatars. The Brahmo Samajists reject idolatry and polytheism. Caste restrictions are opposed by Brahmo Samajists. Karma and rebirth concepts are optional for Brahmo Samajists.
Q) Who is the God of Brahmo Samaj?
Ans. The Brahmo Samaj, literally the “Society of Brahma”, was founded as a movement by Ram Mohan Roy.
Q) Why did Brahmo Samaj fail?
Ans. Another significant split in Brahmo history occurred in 1878 as a result of the marriage of Sen’s daughter to the maharaja of Cooch Behar in defiance of the Brahmo Marriage Act of 1872. This union gave rise to the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj.
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