Adi Dharm refers to the religion of Adi Brahmo Samaj (Bengali: আদি ব্রাহ্ম সমাজ, Adi Brahmô Shômaj) the first development of Brahmoism and includes those Sadharan Brahmo Samajists who were reintegrated into Brahmoism after the 2nd schism of 1878 at the instance of Hemendranath Tagore. This was the first organised casteless movement in British India and reverberated from its heart of Bengal to Assam, Bombay State (modern Sindh, Maharashtra and Gujarat), Punjab and Madras, Hyderabad, and Bangalore.
It was never conceived as an "anti-caste" movement, but stood for repudiation of all "distinctions between people" and foundation of a modern educated secular Indian nation under the timeless and formless One God, and its adherents as Adi-Dharmis (or worshipers of the ancient formless indivisible One god Brahma or the Parambrahma "The One without a Second" or EkAdavaitam). Although the doctrine of Adi Dharma is superficially similar to other reformatory "sects" of Hinduism which speak of "different paths to One God", the core beliefs of Adi Dharm irrevocably place Adi Dharm and Brahmoism as the youngest of India's none religions beyond the pale of "Hinduism's catholicism and elasticity".
The core Adi-Dharma doctrinal beliefs differing from Brahmanical Hinduism include:
This Adi Brahma religion Adi Dharma was originally propounded by these Brahmins of Bengal who were excommunicated from Hindu faith for opposing social and priestly evils of the time (18th and 19th centuries). Previously the original ancestors (5 legendary Brahmin scholars of Kannauj Kanyakubja school deputed to the King of Bengal) of all these Bengali Brahmins had been excommunicated from Kannauj (Uttar Pradesh) in the 10th/11th century AD after their return from Bengal.
"Mobility" i.e. leaving the home and being exposed to external influence meant loss of caste for Brahmins (a social device to conserve meagre land holdings and priestly incomes).
Mobile scholars of priestly Brahmin clans such as these in contact with (or in the service of) foreign rulers – like the Mughals or European companies or Indian princelings – were deliberately ostracised by their "fixed" priestly Hindu clan peers (relatives) ensconced within the numerous temples of Bengal and denied their shares of ancestral undivided properties and incomes. As a consequence ghastly social evils like Sati (or the burning alive of Hindu widows) were encouraged, primarily by the fixed priestly class. The mobile clan members banded into associations (Sabhas) to oppose these un-Brahmic practices colliding head on with orthodox ("fixed") Hindu society in Bengal.
The Mughal 'Raja' Rammohun was the first Indian to cross the seas to Britain in 1833, followed by 'Prince' Dwarkanath in 1842. Rajah was so exhausted by work that he became seriously ill and died at Bristol.
The Adi Dharma founders were regularly tainted and scandalised by orthodoxy as Pirali Brahmin and defamed as being officially banned from entering temples like Jaganath Temple (Puri) by Govt regulations of 1807. Subsequently, their families also faced great difficulty in arranging marriages for some of their children such as India's poet-laureate Rabindranath Tagore who could only manage a Pirali Brahmin bride unlike his brothers who married high caste Brahmin brides. This ultimate exclusionary weapon of Hindu orthodoxy resulted in endogamous (i.e. casteist) tendencies in Adi-Dharm marriage practice between these 2 branches of Adi Dharma in the Tagore family, placing Satyendranath Tagore and Rabindranath Tagore and their families against their exogamous brothers. The noted Adi Brahmo historian Kshitindranath Tagore (son of Hemendranath Tagore) who succeeded Rabindranath Tagore as Editor of the Adi Dharma organ, has written that it was Rabindranath who destroyed many family documents.
Consequently, the Adi Brahmos then set up their own faith called Adi Brahma Sabha in 1828/1830 by Trust deed of Brahmo Sabha and codified their religion as Adi Brahma Dharma published from 1848. The founders of this Brahmo religion were foremost reformers for nationalism, equality, secularism and education which now stand enshrined in the Constitution of India as Fundamental Rights. These founding fathers of Adi Dharma believed then that Hinduism was thoroughly corrupted and debased and that strong Law (i.e. Dharma) of first Moslems and then English Rulers could cleanse India from these evils. For their associations with the Rulers of the times, they were ostracised and barred from orthodox Hindu society but were amply compensated by "being so weighed down in honours by the British that they forgot all the radicalism of their youth." It was Dwarkanath Tagore alone who could publicly lambast an English Magistrate Abercrombie Dick on the emergence of servile mai-baap (great lord) ruling culture of 19th-century Bengal as follows:
... If Mr.Dick wishes me to specify what I deem the present characteristic failings of the natives I answer that they are – a want of truth, a want of integrity, a want of independence. .. arising from being subjected to misrule of an igorant, intolerant and licentious soldiery .. falling into abject submission, deceit and fraud.
Previously in 1829 Dwarkanath and Prasanna Coomar had founded the Landholders (Zamindars) Association which in its variants went on to play such role in modern India's development. The first major success of this Zamindari Sabha was arraigning the East India Company forces against Titumir a Muslim extortionist of Zamindar's (landlords who perpetuated a system of feudalism with the support of the British), at Nadia in November 1831.
By the 1830 Trust deed of Brahmo Sabha principles it was held that all men are equal and without distinction and there is no need for priests or formal places for worship etc.
By the 1848 Adi Brahma Dharma published doctrine of Debendranath Tagore, it was held that present Hinduism doctrine is corrupted, but that the original Vedas of pre-Aryan times (being relatively pure, though still fallible and not Scripture to be relied on) as reflected by 11 judiciously chosen Upanishads also speak of a single formless God who requires no temple or priest or idol for worship, only a rational and pure conscience of an intelligent mind. That there is no caste – high or low – all people are equal, in this World and before God. The doctrine of reincarnation is rejected. The doctrine of God being incarnate is also rejected.
This publication resulted in the famous "Removal of Caste Disabilities Act" of August 1850, and Brahmos were free to establish their own religion and marry amongst themselves without fear of disinheritance from ancestral property. At the 23 December 1850 annual meeting of Calcutta Brahmo Samaj, Debendranath formally announced the Brahma Dharma as doctrine of the new religion. This announcement resolving certain aspects of Hinduism in Rammohun's doctrine also served to effectively separate Brahmoism from Hinduism.
Krishnanagar in Nadia district of West Bengal has always had special place in Brahmoism. Many old Brahmo families came from here including that of Ramtanu Lahiri who was the first Adi Dharmi to renounce his Brahmanical caste thread in 1851 (even before Debendra Nath who removed his in 1862). The gesture by Debendranath of sending Lala Hazarilal of Indore (an untouchable from the lowest Shudra caste by birth) as Adi Dharma's first preacher to Krishnagar instead of a Brahmin preacher well versed in Sankskrit literature was, however, not too well appreciated and gave great offence to the Nadia royal family.
in 1856, Christian preachers attempting to convert Adi Dharma adherents were banned entry into Brahmo premises by Debendranath Tagore.
In 1861 the famous Adi Brahmo preacher Pundit Navin Chandra Rai ("Roy") went to Punjab and spread this new faith and opened many Adi Brahmo houses of worship all over Punjab (West and East) at Jullundur, Lyallpur, Lahore, Amritsar etc. People of all faiths and castes without distinction flocked to the new creed, and over 580 Pandit families were enrolled till 1870. Subsequently, the Oriental College was established at Lahore by Pundit N.C. Rai.
In 1861 another Adi Brahmo preacher Atmuri Lakshminarasimham returned to Madras Presidency and devoted much time in the Telugu speaking areas. many publications of Adi Samaj in Bengali were translated into Telugu language and published by him from the printing presses of Madras. In 1862, he came in contact with and converted Kandukuri Viresalingam who was to become father of Telugu language and notable Brahmo nationalist of the era. Later the two fell out over religious differences
In 1865/1866 there was a dispute in the Brahmo Samaj over caste distinctions, and many younger members of the Samaj who were influenced by Christian missionaries were expelled from the Adi Samaj by Hemendranath Tagore – which religion was henceforth known as the Adi Brahmo Samaj.
From 1867 after the First Schism, the Adi Dharam movement became stridently nationalistic. A Hindu Mela was regularly organised which became the precursor to the Swadeshi movement and then the Indian National Congress. In the meanwhile the expelled Christian factions from Adi Samaj launched a sustained and bitter campaign to wean away the Adi Dharma missions outside Bengal. A great deal of propaganda was hurled from both sides.
In 1871 the expelled group petitioned the Government to recognise them and their inter-faith marriages claiming that Brahmos are not Hindu, not Christian, Moslem, Jew or Parsi etc.. The Adi Brahmo group opposed this stating We are Brahmos first, and Hindus second and finally a compromise Law was passed as Act III of 1872 to enable marriages between Brahmos and thereby recognising the Brahmo religion by State.
In 1872/1873 Debendranath Tagore (the Maharshi) and his son Rabindranath Tagore (Gurudev) visited Punjab and spent much time in worship at the Golden Temple at Amritsar. A famous Sikh gentleman Sirdar Dayal Singh Majithia from the priestly family of this temple joined the Adi Dharma and subsequently contributed much money to the faith and also became a founder Trustee of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj in 1880.
In the meantime (1872–1875) in Punjab due to Schisms in Adi Brahmo Samaj at Calcutta, a new variant of Adi Brahmoism called Arya Samaj began to take root. While travelling its founder Swami Dayanand came into close and extended contact with Raj Narayan Bose, Debendranath Tagore etc. Swami Dayanand closely studied Tagore's book Brahmo Dharma, a comprehensive manual of religion and ethics for Adi Dharma, while in Calcutta. The bone of contention between these two Samaj's was over the authority of the Vedas – whose authority the Adi Dharma reject and hold to be inferior works, whereas Arya Samaj hold Vedas to be divine revelation. Despite this difference of opinion, however, it seems that the members of the Brahmo Samaj and Swami Dayanand parted on good terms, the former having publicly praised the latter's visit to Calcutta in several journals and the latter having taken inspiration from the former's activity in the social sphere.
Another close associate of Debendranath Tagore, Lala Hardayal volunteered to promote the Adi Dharma cause in the Central Provinces and Punjab. he linked up with Sirdar Dayal Singh Majithia and the pure Adi Dharma message of One God without Caste or Priests took great root in this Province. Many low caste Sikhs, low caste Hindu converts to Christianity etc. joined the Adi Brahma Dharma to be eventually absorbed back after education into their respective faiths. It is pertinent that Debendranath was greatly influenced by works of Kabir and Baba Guru Nanak and always kept their books at his side.
By 1871 Kandukuri Veeresalingam (father of Telugu nation) was heavily influenced by Brahmoism. A movement was covertly established by him to seek independence of the Telugu speaking provinces of Madras Presidency and the Nizamate of Hyderabad. A secret society for this was organised in 1878 in Rajahmundry under the cover of Prarthana Samaj of Andhra Pradesh. He bitterly opposed immoral (i.e. polygamy and child marriage) practices of the upper classes of Telangana starting a new phase of reform for Adi Dharma in Telugu speaking regions.
Kandukuri vacillated between Adi Dharm nationalism and Keshab Sen's dictum of "Loyalty to Sovereign" being rewarded with Rao Bahadur title in 1893 by British. But by clinging to Keshab Sen philosophy of "Loyalty to Sovereign" till 1907, Viresalingam found himself increasingly isolated from the militant ideology of Adi Dharma's new stridently nationalistic adherents in the region.
In 1862 and again in 1864 the Adi Dharma stalwarts from Calcutta visited Bombay, Madras Presidencies. They also visited Hyderabad (Deccan). As a result, many anti-caste, One Formless God Adi-Dharma affiliates were started including the Prarthana Samaj in Mumbai. The Veda Samaj in Madras, and the Brahma Samajam in what is now Andhra Pradesh.
In 1878 these expelled neo-Christian members split again, but almost all of them recanted (by getting executed a Trust deed of Sadharan Brahmo Samaj in 1880 virtually identical in Principles to the 1830 Adi Trust deed) and were reabsorbed into Brahmoism by Maharshi Debendranath and Raj Narayan Bose the founders of Hindutva (i.e. Brahmoism's nationalistic religion of Adi Dharma of pre-Aryan uncorrupt times means All Indians are One without distinction, regionalism and caste) as Sadharan Brahmo Samaj. The small remainder of Adi heretics formed a Christian / Baha'i new world religion called Navabidhan or New Dispensation and are not considered part of Adi Dharma and in 1891 formed another Samaj in Bangladesh and are called Sammilani's (or Universal Brahmo Religionists) organising annual Conference of Theists.
In 1884 there were two demises in Debendranath's family. The deaths of his third son Hemendranath at the young age of 40 and the unexplained suicide of his daughter-in-law Kadambari Devi (wife of his fifth son Jyotirindranath the then Secretary of the Adi Brahmo Samaj) in April were to have significant implications for Adi Dharm.
In 1897 a landmark decision of the High Court of the Punjab in Sirdar Dayal Singh's case after his demise, upholds that Brahmoism is a separate religion from Hinduism (except for the Adi Brahmos – Adi Dharma'ites who remain within Hinduism), whereas simultaneously affirming such gems as " .. Sikhs are Hindoos and nothing but Hindoos .." and " A Sikh (Sardar Dyal Singh) who follows Brahmoism without actually converting to it continues to remain a Hindoo". This decision is confirmed by the Privy Council in 1903 (Rani Bhagwan Koer & Anr. vs. Acharya J.C.Bose and Ors) and is the leading Judgement even today on the vexed question of "who is a Hindu?".
The heart of Adi Dharma in Punjab Province was Bengal's Adi Brahmo Samaj legend Pundit Nabin Chandra Ray. The Punjab Brahmo Samaj under his influence favoured Hindi language as against Punjabi actuated by nationalistic considerations. He looked upon Hindi as the national language of India and wanted it to be the foundation for the edifice of Indian nationality. He was the founder of Oriental College Lahore and also its principal. He was the first Asst. Registrar of Punjab University, and one of its Fellows. He was Secretary of the Stri Siksha Sabha fighting against heavy odds to establish girls schools. He was one of the most active members of the Anjumani Punjab, afterwards becoming its Secretary and renamed it as Jnan Vistarini Sabha engaging 8 Pundits to translate various works. To spread reform among the backward people of Punjab he published various newspapers in Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi and the highly controversial "Widow Remarriage Advertiser" in English. For the depressed classes he started a night school and the Chamar Sabha. His doors were open to all helpless and the poor. After N.C.Rai left the Punjab in course of his service, initiation into Adi Dharm was given to castes other than Brahmin or Pandit by his successors – a few of whom were Sikh. As a result, many Sikhs also joined Adi Dharm in large numbers relying on the Mulmantra of Sikhism i.e. Japuji Sahib which begins as Ik Onkar Sat Naam Karta Purakh .. translated as "There is only one God His name is Truth He is the creator.."
In 1900 the Government passed the Land Alienation Act. In 1907 other taxing laws were promulgated and finally in 1919 the Government of India Act was amended. As a result, the lower castes of North India were effectively deprived from land ownership. At the same time the Government divided the electorate on communal lines, resulting in sharp polarisation between Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. To counter this the leadership of Adi Dharma (at its 1916 conference at Kanpur) resolved to propagate Adi Brahmoism as a distinct religion for the Punjab. In 1917 this resolution was also seconded by the Indian National Congress which was then closely associated with Adi Dharm.
In 1906 another preacher from Assam by name Kalicharan Brahma was initiated into Brahmoism. His reform work among the Bodo people established the Bodo Brahma Dharma among the Bathow religionists of Assam and reformed that religion of Adivasi Tribal people considerably. The followers of Adi Dharam in that region are known as Brahmas.
From 1922 onwards, dissension in Arya Samaj factions of Punjab between the Vasant Rai and Mangoo Ram groups again split the regional Adi Dharma movement. Both groups approached the Lahore Headquarters of Adi Brahmo Samaj for recognition which was denied to both. This led to rivalry and inducements from all sides including Arya Samaj, Christian missionaries, Sikhism etc. causing considerable confusion in the Northern Provinces as to who represents Adi Dharma here. The major controversy at this time concerned many depressed caste Sikhs of Chamar grade in a supposedly casteless Sikhism rediscovered Ravidass's teachings of the 14th century (claimed by them to be incorporated in Guru Granth Sahib) and got themselves registered as Adi -Dharmi's in the 1921 and 1931 Census of Punjab after the legal decision in Bhagwan Koer's case and the Pirali precedent. This action by a section in the Punjab once again revived the Pirali controversy which echoed in Calcutta. Concerted action and representation by Adi Dharma and all sections of Brahmo Samaj ensured that after 1931 no further caste based Census took place in India. Thereafter the Congress Party revived casteism again with M.K. Gandhi asserting on 7 September 1936 ".. Sikhism is part of Hinduism and if becoming a Sikh is conversion then this kind of conversion on the part of Harijans is dangerous"
A considerable controversy also erupted at this time over validity of Arya Samaj marriages. With low caste converts to Christianity being reinducted into Hindu ranks after shuddhikaran or purification, orthodox Hindu society was not prepared to accept these reconverts or marry with them. With a few deaths of such converts often from very rich families or landed gentry, property disputes began reaching the Courts and the existing laws proved inadequate. With neither side willing to budge, a Marriage Law for Arya Samajis was deferred for almost 25 years. Luckily a fortituous occurrence took place. Krishna Hutheesing (a sister of Jawaharlal Nehru) wanted to marry a Prince – a Jain by religion. Such a marriage between parties of different castes although then allowed in law (by further amendment in the Brahmo law in 1923) was frowned upon and meant separation from the family and community. They arranged to be married under the Adi Brahmo Law of 1872 and gave false declarations (as was done in B.K.Nehru's case also). When these facts came out, the Adi Brahmo's fiercely objected to misuse of their Act and began to watch the banns.
In 1938 Jawaharal Nehru's daughter Indira insisted on getting married to her sweetheart Feroze. Once again being of different faiths they could not be legally married under any law of the time except the Adi Dharma Law. The elders (incl. Rabindranath Tagore) of Brahmo Samaj at Shantiniketan, Delhi and Allahabad were consulted (incl. by M.K.Gandhi) and who after considerable disagreement advised instead that the long pending Marriage Validity law for converted low caste Arya Samajis be enacted, which was speedily done in 1939 by an obliging British Government, enabling the loving couple to be wed in early 1942 by secret pre-Vedic Adi Dharm reformed Brahmic rites taught to Nehru's priest by Adi Dharma elders at Allahabad in the presence of Brahmos like Sarojini Naidu with the groom wearing a sacred Brahmic thread in secret. Ever since, these Adi Dharma rites have been used by the Gandhi-Nehru family for their marriages – such as for Rajiv Gandhi to Sonia Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi to Maneka Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi to Robert Vadra etc. and the Vedic law of Adi Dharma has never been repealed despite passage of the Hindu Code in 1955 which repealed all such similar marriage validity laws for other faiths.
After Partition of India in 1947, the Adi Brahmo Dharma Headquarters for the region shifted from Lahore to New Delhi to Adi Brahmo Brahmin descendants of Babu Raj Chandra Chaudhuri's (who married daughter of Babu N.C. Rai) family settled here.
In 1949–1950 B.R.Ambedkar approached the Adi Dharm leaders at Delhi to get absorbed his followers into Adi Dharma. Due to bitter debates in the Constituent Assembly with Brahmo members and over the Hindu Validity Marriages Validity Act 1949, he could not be accommodated within the Adi Dharma principles. This was chiefly due to his insistence on denouncing Manu – paradoxically respected by Adi Dharma's founding father's as a great Law Giver. Thereafter in about 1955 Ambedkar and his followers instead chose to join Buddhism.
In 1901 (Bhagwan Koer & Ors v J.C.Bose & Ors, 31 Cal 11, 30 ELR IA 249) the Privy Council (Britain's highest judicial authority) upholds the finding of the High Court of the Punjab that the vast majority of Brahmo religionists are not Hindus and have their own religion unlike Sikhs ("who are Hindu and nothing but Hindus"). Debendranath Tagore was held to be the founder of the Brahmo religion. The Court distinguished Brahmo "religionists" from "followers" of the Brahmo Samaj who continue to retain their Hinduism.
In 1916 the Indian Civil Services Ethnography Administration Surveyor R.V. Russell examines in detail and publishes that Brahmo Samaj is indeed a Religion (and differentiates it from "sects").
In 1949 the Government of India passes the "Hindu Marriages Validity Act". Despite discussion in Parliament Brahmos are not brought within the scope of this Law.
In 1955 the Government of India passes the "Hindu Code" (a comprehensive set of laws for Hindus). Again despite discussion in Parliament, Brahmo religionists are not brought within the scope of these laws which, however, now become applicable to Hindus who are also followers of the Brahmo Samaj .
In 2002, Bangladesh enacted a law recognising Brahmo religionists and Brahmo marriages to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists.
On 05.May.2004 the Supreme Court of India by order of the Chief Justice dismissed the Government of West Bengal's 30-year litigation to get Brahmos classified as Hindus. The matter had previously been heard by an 11 Judge Constitution Bench of the Court (the second largest bench in the Court's history).
The Adi Dharma movement of the Brahmo religion is today the largest of the Brahmo developments with over 8 million adherents. Adi Dharma has spawned not only the Indian National Congress party but also the Hindutva agenda of their opposition. Its radical contribution to India's polity was summed up by a President of India,
The pheras took place at night. The marriage ceremony was performed according to the Vedic tradition.
The ceremony uniting Indira and Feroze was neither conventional nor legal ... They were both reluctant to sign a declaration that they did not belong to any religion. .. Hence the illegality of ... Indira's marriage.
Ananda Mohan Bose (Bengali: আনন্দমোহন বসু) (23 September 1847 – 20 August 1906), a barrister, was one of the earliest Indian political leaders during the British Raj. He co-founded the Indian National Association, one of the earliest Indian political organizations, and later became a senior leader of the Indian National Congress. In 1874, he became the first Indian Wrangler (a student who has completed the third year of the Mathematical Tripos with first-class honours) of the Cambridge University. He was also a prominent religious leader of Brahmoism and with Sivanath Sastri a leading light of Adi Dharm.Bangabasi College
Bangabasi College is a Kolkata based liberal arts, commerce and sciences college. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses of the University of Calcutta. It was founded by Acharya Girish Chandra Bose, an educationist, social reformer and agriculturist, in 1887. The College celebrated its 125th anniversary from November 2011 to October 2012. It has been accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council of India (NAAC) with "B" certificate.Bangiya Bijnan Parishad
Bangiya Bijnan Parishad (Bengali: বঙ্গীয় বিজ্ঞান পরিষদ) is a science organization founded by Satyendra Nath Bose in 1948. As a science organization, the Banaiya Bijna Parishad leaded the Science-Movement. Now a days, many science movement organization take the inspiration from Bangiya Bijnan Parishad directly or indirectly.From the Commencement, Bangiya Bijnan Parishad publishes a monthly journal of science in Bengali language, named Jnan-O-Bijnan since January 1948.In 1948 Gopal Chandra Bhattacharya worked with Satyendra Nath Bose (of Bose–Einstein statistics fame) to establish the society for science research.Bangiya Sahitya Parishad
Bangiya Sahitya Parishad (Bengali: বঙ্গীয় সাহিত্য পরিষৎ) is a literary society in Bengal. Established during the time of the Raj, its goal is to promote Bengali literature, both by translating works in other languages to Bengali and promoting the production of original Bengali literature.Brahmo
A Bengali Brahmo or the traditional Bengali elites are Bengal's upper class. They form the bulk of the historical colonial establishment of eastern India. Educated mostly in a select few schools and colleges, they were one of the wealthiest and most anglicised communities of colonial India. Presidency College's control over the development of and continued influence on the Brahmos and vice versa was complete in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Drawn from the ranks of the newly emerging colonial ruling class, considered to be junior partners in the enterprise of the British Empire, the Brahmos were typically employed as Bengal Presidency governors, high court judges, commissioners, collectors, magistrates, railway managers, Presidency College and Calcutta Medical College principals and professors, as well as those who made their major profits in big business. Politically, they were considered to be moderates in nationalist politics, with the aim of joining council politics for the furtherance of the constitutional question within the framework of the Empire. Influenced by the teachings of the Upanishads.Brahmo Conference Organisation
The Brahmo Conference Organisation (Sammilan) was founded on 27 January 1881 at Mymensingh Bangladesh to maintain communication between Adi Dharm and Sadharan Brahmo Samaj after the 2nd schism of Brahmoism in 1878. The stated objectives for founding the organisation included
to resolve the differences between the 2 existing Brahmic divisions of Adiism and Sadharanism,
preach from every platform that the Nabobidhan (a dissenting sect) is not the Brahmo religion but totally opposed to Brahmoism.Brahmo Samaj
Brahmo Samaj (Bengali: ব্রাহ্ম সমাজ Bramho Shômaj) is the societal component of Brahmoism, which began as a monotheistic reformist movement of the Hindu religion that appeared during the Bengal Renaissance. It is practised today mainly as the Adi Dharm after its eclipse in Bengal consequent to the exit of the Tattwabodini Sabha from its ranks in 1839. After the publication of Hemendranath Tagore's Brahmo Anusthan (code of practice) in 1860 which formally divorced Brahmoism from Hinduism, the first Brahmo Samaj was founded in 1861 at Lahore by Pandit Nobin Chandra Roy.
It was one of the most influential religious movements in India and made a significant contribution to the making of modern India. It was started at Calcutta on 20 August 1828 by Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Debendranath Tagore as reformation of the prevailing Brahmanism of the time (specifically Kulin practices) and began the Bengal Renaissance of the 19th century pioneering all religious, social and educational advance of the Hindu community in the 19th century. Its Trust Deed was made in 1830 formalising its inception and it was duly and publicly inaugurated in January 1830 by the consecration of the first house of prayer, now known as the Adi Brahmo Samaj. From the Brahmo Samaj springs Brahmoism, the most recent of legally recognised religions in India and Bangladesh, reflecting its foundation on reformed spiritual Hinduism with vital elements of Judeo-Islamic faith and practice.Raja Rammohan Roy founded Brahmo Samaj in 1828 in the name of Brahmo Sabha.Brahmoism
Brahmoism is a religious movement from the mid 19th century Bengal originating the Bengali Renaissance, the nascent Indian independence movement. Adherents, known as Brahmos (singular Brahmo), are mainly of Indian or Bangladeshi origin or nationality. The Brahmo Samaj, literally the "Society of Brahma", was founded as a movement by Ram Mohan Roy. In 1850 Roy's successor Debendranath Tagore broke from Hinduism and created the new religion of Brahmoism which was recognised as a religion distinct from Hinduism by the Privy Council in 1901, and by the Law Commission of Bangladesh in 2001.Debendranath Tagore
Debendranath Tagore (15 May 1817 – 19 January 1905) was an Bengali philosopher and religious Savant, active in the Brahmo Samaj ("Community of Brahmins"). He was the founder in 1848 of the Brahmo religion, which today is synonymous with Brahmoism. Born in Shilaidaha, his father was the industrialist Dwarkanath Tagore.
Debendranath was a deeply religious man. His movement, the Brahmo Samaj, was formed in 1843 by merging his Tattwabodhini Sabha with the Brahmo Sabha, ten years after the death of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, founder of the Brahmo Sabha. The Brahmo Sabha had fallen away from its original aims and practices, as stated in its Trust deed of Brahmo Sabha. However, Tagore aimed to revive the importance of this deed.
Although Debendranath was deeply spiritual, he managed to continue to maintain his worldly affairs – he did not renounce his material possessions, as some Hindu traditions prescribed, but instead continued to enjoy them in a spirit of detachment. His considerable material property included estates spread over several districts of Bengal; most famously, the Santiniketan estate near Bolpur in the Birbhum district, a later acquisition, where his eldest son Dwijendranath Tagore set up his school.
Debendranath was a master of the Upanishads and played no small role in the education and cultivation of the faculties of his sons.Dera Sach Khand
Dera Sach Khand (Punjabi Gurmukhi: ਡੇਰਾ ਸਚ ਖੰਡ ਬੱਲਾਂ, Shahmukhi: ڈیرہ پالیسیاں کان بالا) is a religious social organization (dera) based in the village of Ballan near Jalandhar, Punjab, India. It was founded by devotees of Guru Ravidas.Dera Sach Khand is devoted to the cause of leading common masses towards a spiritual path. The spiritual heads of the Dera have initiated millions of people and bestowed them with "Naamdaan". They have also adopted the mission of spreading the teachings and bani "sacred writings" of Guru Ravidass throughout India as well as in foreign countries.
The Dera has built a temple at Seer Goverdhanpur Varanasi U.P., the birthplace of Guru Ravidass. Every year they gather in Lakhs on the occasion of Guruji's birthday. The Dera has also built many Darbars in the name of Guru Ravidass in other Indian areas including Sirsgarh in Haryana and Katraj in Pune. The Dera has also managed to establish the Ravidassia Religion, due to the fact of discrimination and the assationation of Sant Ramanand Ji.
The Dera has built charitable hospitals and a school for providing health and education for the poor and needy. The Dera spreads the philosophy of Ravidass through the publication of various books, periodicals as well as visual media such as CDs, DVDs and tapes. The Dera encourages scholars who either carry out research on Ravidass or bring out publications on related subjects. Thus far 22 scholars have been awarded gold medals for their contribution in this area.Hemendranath Tagore
Hemendranath Tagore (1844–1884), Debendranath Tagore's third son, is notable for being the first Brahmo as the first child born in 1844 to any of the original 21 Brahmos who swore the First Brahmo Covenant on 21 December 1843 at Calcutta (now Kolkata). An intensely private person, he was also well known as the strict disciplinarian entrusted with the responsibility of looking after the education of his younger brothers in addition to being administrator for his large family estates.
He was also the constant spiritual companion to his father Debendranath Tagore who founded Brahmoism and, despite his youth, he acted as the mediator between his father and the seniors of the Tattwabodhini Sabha. At the time of the First Brahmo Schism of 1865 he was responsible for expelling the non-Brahmin workers from the Calcutta Brahmo Samaj. The Adi Dharm religion is founded exclusively on his philosophy and is today the largest development from Brahmoism with over 8 million adherents in India alone.
Much like his siblings he had wide interests in various fields and can be regarded as a polymath and 'the scientist of the family'.
He attended the Calcutta Medical College (established by his grandfather Dwarkanath Tagore) and wrote articles on physical science which he planned to compile and edit into a textbook for school students. If his premature death had not prevented him from completing the project, this would have been the first science textbook in Bengali.
From 1867 Hemendranath Thakur began conducting his first experiments into radio waves and electromagnetic propagations. Between 1872-73 he wrote several articles on the results of his researches, these were transcribed by another Brahmin Ramendra Sundar Trivedi. In 1874 he compiled the first scholarly Asian work on physics entitled Prakritik Vijnaner Sthulamarma which was updated in 1878-79. Since the knowledge contained within was potentially explosive its circulation was restricted only to Brahmins of the Adi Brahmo Samaj. Later all works of Hemendranath Tagore and his grandfather Dwarkanath Tagore in the records of Adi Brahmo Samaj were destroyed.He was known for his extraordinary physical strength and prowess in wrestling contests - described as being a "renowned wrestler", as also his expertise in martial arts like judo and ninjitsu. He was also an adept of ancient Raja Yoga at the highest levels with control over Time and Space. Exceptionally modern for the times, after siring 3 sons he sired only daughters thereafter and insisted on formal education for all of them. He not only put them through school but trained them in music, arts and European languages such as French and German. It was another mark of his forward looking mentality that he actively sought out eligible grooms from different provinces of India for his daughters and married them off in places as far away as UP and Assam. A staunch modernist, he instituted various financial trusts for the womenfolk of Tagore family (especially his sisters) and was responsible for settling the Shantiniketan estate near Bolpur which later evolved into Visva Bharati.
A practical and scientific humanist, he was deeply loved by the peasants of his estates in Bengal.Hindu Theatre
The first Bengali theatre was established as early as 1795. Russian Indologist Gerasim Lebedev is credited to have founded it. Prasanna Kumar Tagore established the first Indian owned Bengali theatre in 1831, named the Hindu Theatre.Indian National Association
The Indian National Association also known as Indian Association was the first avowed nationalist organization founded in British India by Surendranath Banerjee and Ananda Mohan Bose in 1876. The objectives of this Association were "promoting by every legitimate means the political , intellectual and material advancement of the people". The Association attracted educated Indians and civic leaders from all parts of the country, and became an important forum for India's aspirations for independence. It later merged with the Indian National Congress.Nastanirh
Nastanirh (also Nashtanir, Bengali নষ্টনীড় Nôshţoniŗh; English: The Broken Nest) is a 1901 Bengali novella by Rabindranath Tagore. It is the basis for the noted 1964 film Charulata, by Satyajit Ray.Sambad Prabhakar
Sambad Prabhakar (also Sangbad Prabhakar, Bengali: সংবাদ প্রভাকর) was a Bengali daily newspaper founded by Ishwar Chandra Gupta. It began as a weekly newspaper in 1831 and became a daily eight years later in 1839. It was the first Bengali daily newspaper. Sambad Prabhakar covered news on India and abroad and put forward its views on religion, politics, society, and literature. It was influential in the Bengali Renaissance and in building public sentiment leading to the indigo revolt.Tagore (name)
Tagore (the anglicised form of the Bengali title Thakur) is the name of a prominent Bengali family of intellectuals, writers and artists, generally known as the Tagore family.Tattwabodhini Sabha
The Tattwabodhinī Sabhā ("Truth Propagating/Searching Society") was a group started in Calcutta on 6 October 1839 as a splinter group of the Brahmo Samaj, reformers of Hinduism and Indian Society. The founding member was Debendranath Tagore, previously of the Brahmo Samaj, eldest son of influential entrepreneur Dwarkanath Tagore, and eventually father to renowned polymath Rabindranath Tagore. In 1859, the Tattwabodhinī Sabhā were dissolved back into the Brāhmo Samāj by Debendranath Tagore.Timeline of Adi Dharm
Below is a timeline of Adi Dharm or Adi Brahmo Samaj.World Brahmo Council
The World Brahmo Council is the new name for the "Brahmo Representative Council", which was founded in 1864. In 2009, the erstwhile Brahmo Representative Council had five nominated members consisting of one from Adi Brahmo Samaj, tep Adi Dharm, one Sadharan Brahmo Samaj (South), and one Sadharan Brahmo Samaj (North).
In 2007 the old registered Council was convened under the name "World Brahmo Council" by the Brahmo Conference Organisation "to protect Brahmoism's "assets - especially its good name and theology" since many websites put up by Brahmos had lapsed and fallen into the hands of spammers and being used as doorways to pornographic sites. Headed by a Brahmo cyberlaw expert and after taking due legal recourse outside India, many websites were recovered to Brahmoism that year.