Showing posts with label Brahmo Samaj. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brahmo Samaj. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is The Brahmo Samaj?


Brahmo Samaj is a Hindu religious organization.

Ram Mohan Roy (1774–1833) established the first Hindu reform organization in Calcutta in the early nineteenth century. 

His goal was to rid modern Hinduism of “corrupt” traditions including sati (widow burning), widow remarriage bans, image worship, and caste systems. 

He selected the Upanishads as his primary religious books in his search for a traditional authority for such changes. 

Following his death, the movement was led by Debendranath Tagore (father of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore) and subsequently by Keshub Chander Sen; nevertheless, disputes over ceremonial issues caused the organization to split under both leaders. 

The Samaj's influence had faded by the late 1800s, but it did provide as a conduit for the mystic Ramakrishna to meet many of his followers in an intriguing twist. 

The social agenda of the Brahmo Samaj mirrored and reacted to current European criticisms of popular Hinduism, some of which were leveled by Christian missionaries and others based on the Enlightenment's rationalist focus. 

Because of its transparency, the Brahmo Samaj was at the forefront of legal reform, influencing the 1829 legislation against sati. 

However, its members were mainly Westernized metropolitan intellectuals who were disconnected from Hindu life and religious concerns. 

Spencer Lavan, “The Brahmo Samaj: India's First Movement for Religious Reform,” in Robert D. Baird (ed. ), Religion in Modern India, 1998, for further information.

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