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Raja Rammohan Roy & The Brahmo Samaj

Who was Rammohan Roy?

Rammohan Roy relocated to Murshidabad in Bengal following the death of his father in 1803. In 1804, he published Tuhafat-ul Muhawiddin, a pamphlet in Persian. In 1815, he settled in Calcutta and began his career as a religious reformer.

Atmiya Sabha: He founded the Atmiya Sabha and began translating the Upanishads into English and Bengali in order to bring to light the evils and abuses that had crept into the original Hindu faith.

Sufi & Islam: He read the Quran and was profoundly influenced by the Sufi and Islamic freethinkers' doctrines.

Semitic Cultures: Between 1820 and 1823, Rammohan Roy conducted extensive research on Christian and Semitic cultures. He also acquired knowledge of Hebrew and Greek, the languages used to write the old and new testaments.

Rammohan Roy began his reforming work by preaching monotheism, or God's unity, and denouncing polytheism, idolatry, and rituals. He emphasised that deviations from the true scriptures were the result of superstitions.

Rammohan Roy's views shook Hindu society to its core, sparking bitter controversies.

Rammohan Roy published the Vedanta in English in 1816.

The Establishment of Brahmo Samaj

In 1828, Ram Mohan Roy established the Brahmo Samaj. He attempted to unite the various sections of society through this samaj on the basis of the fundamental unity and harmony of all breeds. He desired to improve the Indian woman's lot.

  • He protested the practice of sati. Ram Mohan Roy and his followers argued that the safety system was designed more to ensure the temporal happiness of the deceased's surviving relatives than to ensure the husband and wife's spiritual well-being.

  • Additionally, he noted that the majority of cases were not voluntary, but coerced.

When the orthodox leader petitioned the government in August 1818, requesting the withdrawal of the 1812–13 and 1817 regulations, Rammohan Roy and a friend submitted a counter-petition.

Rammohan Roy published a series of articles in English demonstrating that the burning of widows is not mentioned as a mandatory measure in the Hindu shastras.

He also wrote articles against the evil practice of sati in his Bengali journal 'sambad kaumudi'.

And finally succeeded in 1829, when Lord William Bentinck declared sati to be illegal and published the law. Additionally, he was opposed to polygamy. He noted that the shastra permits men to marry again in certain circumstances.

Rammohan Roy advocated for women's education. However, he was unable to accomplish much in this regard.

Rammohan Roy was well aware of the power system's flaws. Writing in an issue of the Brahmanical magazine in 1821, Rammohan Roy emphasised that the cost was a cause of the political dissension among the Hindus, which in its turn had bought about their subjection to foreigners for centuries.

Promotion of Western Education

Rammohan Roy was interested in Western education. He was instrumental in establishing the Hindu College in Calcutta in 1817 for the purpose of spreading English education. He also established the Anglo-Hindu School in order to promote a liberal and enlightened system of instruction in mathematics, philosophy, chemistry, and other sciences.

Brahmo Samaj After Rammohan Roy

Raja Rammohan Roy died on 27 September 1833 in Bristol, England. He was a Hindu throughout his life and death. Following his demise, Dwarakanath Tagore assumed responsibility for the Brahmo Samaj. Debendranath's son attracted a large number of enlightened Hindus to Brahmo Samaj. He and his friend Akahay Kumar Datta, editor of the Tatvabodhini Patrika, made significant contributions to halting Hindu conversion to Christianity.

Though Debendranath was opposed to idolatry, he preferred a gradual approach when it came to social reformers. However, this circumspect approach resulted in a clash with one of his disciples, Keshab Chandra Sen.

Numerous social rituals prescribed by Hindu society were abandoned. Later in life, Keshab Chandra Sen splintered the Samaj by insisting that the Brahmo Samajists should discontinue the wearing of the sacred thread.

Way forward

The movement and religious and social reform became an all-India enterprise under his leadership. He also paid visits to Bombay and Madras. Similar organisations were founded in various cities across the country under the influence of Keshab Chandra Sen, including the Prarthana Samaj in Bombay and the

In Madras, there is a Veda Samaj. He and his disciples openly declared their allegiance to the British Government as an article of faith in their church. In 1870, he founded the Indian Reform Association. The programme placed a premium on women's empowerment and education.

There was a crisis in Brahmo Samaj following the marriage of Keshab Chandra Sen's eldest daughter to the minor ruler of Cooch Behar. Neither of the couples had reached the minimum marriageable age established by the Brahmo Samaj and the 1872 Native Marriage Act. Additionally, the marriage was performed by Brahmin priests in accordance with Hindu rites and in the presence of Hindu deity images. The Brahmo Movement suffered a split as a result of this controversy.

The section was directed by Sivanath Sastri, Anand Mohan Bose, and others who became known as the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj in 1878, effectively ending the Brahmo Samaj Movement.


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