Brahmo Samaj | History, Objectives, Significance, Contributions

Brahmo Samaj
Split in Brahmo Samaj

1.Brahmo Samaj was started by Ram Mohan Roy(1772-33) in 1829. Weekly services held at Shantiniketan, services like Upnishads for a general audience, reading of Vedas, recitation, religious hymns, etc.

Ram Mohan Roy is considered as Father of Indian Renaissance. He was modern in views, scientific. His approaches were for social equality and human dignity. He disregarded “Avatars”(like 10 Avatars of Vishnu). They believed in monotheism. Brahmo Samaj took no definite stand on the doctrine of Karma and transmigration of the soul, they left it to the individual to believe whatever you want. More details about terms click here.

Aims and Objectives of Brahmo Samaj-

1.To purify Hinduism and to preach monotheism.

2.Opposition to idolatry.

3.They also taught good things about other religions.

Note-Raja Ram Mohan Roy does not want to create another religion. He only wants to purify Hinduism.

2.Emergence of new sect: Roy died in 1833.  The organization gradually reached a moribund though its name, theology, social ideals continued to live and prosper among certain groups in near Calcutta. Debendranath Tagore joined samaj in 1842. His Tattabodhini Sabha spread ideals of Brahmo Samaj. At this time Samaj had definitely taken the shape of religious sect or community with its own creeds and rituals, regulations. Begin to mark it out as a separate religion.

3.Seprate views and split of samaj: Kehsub Chandra Sen joined in 1857. Sometimes became the right-hand man of Debendranath in mission. Keshub elevated to Acharya post by Debendranath Tagore. (Keshub Chandra Sen first Brahmin to led such post). But there were some differences between them.  Debendranath was conservative while Keshub was reformist, dynamic. Thus split happened.


4.Brahmo Samaj of India: Much more radical, greater emphasis on female education, caste distinctions. Led to the formation of Indian reform Association 1870, Indian Marriage act 1872 which validated the intercaste marriage. Samaj becomes more universal since special relation to Hinduism came to be denied. Along with Hindu, Islam, Christianity, etc were also part of it now. Keshub’s “Doctrine of God in Conscience” which removed the contradiction between profession and practice.

Brahmo samaj history

5.Further Division: Keshub Chandra Sen’s 13-year daughter married to a prince. Keshub was against a democratic constitution in the church. Many members didn’t like these things and wanted to separate. Also, some members do not believe his “Doctrine of God in conscience”. Thus in 1878 some members left and started Sadharan Brahmo Samaj. Sadharan Brahmo Samaj was led by Anand Mohan Bose, Derozian Shib Chandra, Sivnath Shastri, Vijay Krishna.