Who founded the Brahmo Samaj. The controversy explained.
Who founded the Brahmo Samaj ?
The Brahmo Samaj was founded at Lahore in 1861 by Pandit Navin Chandra Roy to propagate the Brahmo religion. Nobin Chunder Roy had been deputed by MahaAcharya Hemendranath Thakur to spread the new Adi Dharma message of casteless Vedic Aryanism in Upper India and rescue Christian converts to the fold of the national religion.
Who founded the Brahmo religion ?
The Brahmo religion was founded in 1849 at Calcutta by Debendranath Tagore with the publication of “Brahmo Dharma“. This work established Brahmoism as a separate religion apart from all others.
Excuse me, but I thought Raja Ram Mohan Roy is the Brahmo Samaj founder ?
Not really. Ram Mohan Roy started the Brahma Sabha (Association of Brahmins) along with Dwarkanath Tagore in 1828. The objectives of this association were to publicize the true Vedanta which had been corrupted by Buddhist and Brahmanical influences. The Sabha met every Wednesday at Kamal Basu’s house in Chitpur and later moved to their own premises at Chitpur Road in 1830 (purchased by the munificence Dwarkanath Tagore) . After the death of Ram Mohan Roy in 1833, the Sabha became moribund.
But, were these Chitpur premises of 1830 not the Adi Brahmo Samaj ?
It is correct that the present Adi Brahmo Samaj premises are situated at the same 1830 location. However, the Adi Brahmo Samaj is only the name given by the common people to the Calcutta Bramho Samaj when the antiBrahmo Keshub Chunder Sen and a few of his sympathisers were expelled from it by MahaAcharya.
So, if the Calcutta Brahmo Samaj is the same as Adi Brahmo Samaj, when was it founded ?
The Calcutta Bramho Samaj was so named in 1863, when after a cyclone the Chitpur Road premises were affected and Brahma Sabha (previously amalgamated with Tattwabodhini Sabha) was shifted to the Jorasako Thakur bari.
But didn't Keshub Sen found the Brahmo Samaj of India in 1866 ?
After his expulsion fromn Brahmoism in 1865, Mr. Sen joined a group of other apostates which for a short period styled themselves as the Brahmo Samaj of India. The MahaAcharya got initiated legal proceedings and the name of the organisation was altered to the "New Dispensation", which as Ram Chandra Bose ("Brahmoism", 1868) commented has never since been considered Brahmoism except by Mr Sen and his six followers who call themselves "India".
I'm quite confused. Who then founded the Brahmo Samaj ?
If you are reading this to prepare for a competitive exam the "correct" answer for you is Raja Ram Mohan Roy. The "True answer" however is Dwarkanath Tagore (grandfather of the MahaAcharya).
founders of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj
doctrine of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj
Since the foundation of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, Sivanath became the life and soul of the Samaj – as an organiser of the Samaj, as missionary and as minister of its chief congregation – so much so that it is but bare justice to say that his life and thought has been as a leaven that leavened the whole mass of its activities and aspirations. He was editor of Tattwakaumudi, the Bengali organ of Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, for many years; he contributed regularly to the columns of Brahmo Public Opinion and when the paper ceased to exist, he was chiefly instrumental in starting the Indian Messenger. He helped in the establishment of the Brahmo Balika Shikshlaya and became its Secretary when it was in sore need of his powerful aid. He founded the Ram Mohun Roy Seminary at Patna. He established the Sadhan Asram as a centre of spiritual activity and a home for the training of mission workers.”
Raj Chandra Chaudhuri
Was the prime mover behind the declaration ""Let us all, every Brahmo and Brahmo Samaj, combine to let the world know that the New Dispensation is not the Brahmo religion: That we have not the least sympathy for the creed : That the New Dispensation is totally opposed to Brahmoism."
Dwarkanath raised a storm within the Brahmo Samaj regarding the issue of women sitting behind the screen during prayer meetings. With his strong reformist views, he was obviously opposed to many of the conservative ideas not only in society but even in the Brahmo Samaj. That was the beginning of the split in the Brahmo Samaj of India, which ultimately led to the formation of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj in 1878. Ganguly served several terms as secretary of Sadharan Brahmo Samaj
Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia
Raja Rammohun Roy's greatest follower in Upper India was Sirdar Dyal Singh, in whose person the two strands (of Western ideas and Indian thought) seem to have been fused. Born nine years after Ranjit Singh's death and fifteen years after Rammohun Roy's demise, this scion of the family that helped Ranjit Singh carve out a Sikh kingdom was one of the greatest Brahmos in the Punjab. He was a founding Trustee of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj.