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Brahmoism
Brahmoism
is a religious movement from the late 19th century Bengal originating the Bengali Renaissance, the nascent Indian independence movement[according to whom?] and the wider Hindu
Hindu
reform movements of the period. Adherents, known as Brahmos (singular Brahmo), are mainly of Indian or Bangladeshi origin or nationality. The Brahmo
Brahmo
Samaj, literally the "Divine Society", was founded as a movement by Ram Mohan Roy. Placing great importance on the use of reason, he aimed to reform Hindu
Hindu
religious and social practices, being influenced by the monotheistic religions and modern science.[1]

Contents

1 Fundamental principles

1.1 Articles of faith

2 History 3 Brief history and timeline 4 See also 5 Notes and references

Fundamental principles[edit] The Brahmo
Brahmo
articles of faith derive from the Fundamental (Adi) Principles of the Adi Brahmo
Brahmo
Samaj religion.

On God: There is always Infinite (limitless, undefinable, imperceivable, indivisible) Singularity - immanent and transcendent Singular Author and Preserver of Existence - "He" whose Love is manifest everywhere and in everything, in the fire and in the water, in the smallest plant to the mightiest oak. On Being: Being is created from Singularity. Being is renewed to Singularity. Being exists to be one (again) with Loving Singularity. (See Tat Tvam Asi.) On Intelligent Existence: Righteous (worshipful, intelligent, moral) actions alone rule (regulate [preserve]) Existence against Chaos (loss [decay, return, pervading emptiness]). Knowledge (Intelligence [reason, sentience, intuition]) of pure Conscience (light within) is the One (Supreme) ruler (authority [law, dharma]) of Existence with no symbol (creation [scripture, book, object]) or intermediary (being [teacher, messiah, ruler]). On Love: Respect all creations and beings but never venerate (worship) them for only Singularity can be loved (adored, worshipped).[2]

Articles of faith[edit] The Articles of faith for Brahmos are:[3]

Brahmos embrace righteousness as the only way of life. Brahmos embrace truth, knowledge, reason, free will and virtuous intuition (observation) as guides. Brahmos embrace secular principles but oppose sectarianism and imposition of religious belief into governance (especially propagation of religious belief by government). Brahmos embrace the co-existence of Brahmo
Brahmo
principles with governance, but oppose all governance in conflict with Brahmo
Brahmo
principles. Brahmos reject narrow theism (especially polytheism), idolatry and symbolism. Brahmos reject the need for formal rituals, priests or places (church, temple, mosque) for worship. Brahmos reject dogma and superstition. Brahmos reject scriptures as authority. Brahmos reject revelations, prophets, gurus, messiahs, or avatars as authority. Brahmos reject bigotry and irrational distinctions like caste, creed, colour, race, religion which divide beings. Brahmos reject all forms of totalitarianism. Brahmos examine the prevalent notion of "sin". Brahmos examine the prevalent notions of "heaven" or "hell". Brahmos examine the prevalent notion of "salvation".

Adherence to these articles are required only of Adi Brahmos or such Sadharan Brahmos who accept Adi-ism i.e. Trust deed of Brahmo
Brahmo
Sabha (1830). History[edit] Ram Mohan Roy's quest for religious truth had led him to study with an open mind the scriptures of all major religions. Thus he not only studied the Hindu
Hindu
scriptures such as the Vedas
Vedas
in Sanskrit; he also read the Quran in Arabic and the Bible in Hebrew and Greek. His study of different religions convinced him that since every religion had the same end, namely, the moral regeneration of mankind, each stood in need of reinterpretation and reassessment in changing circumstances of the time. Therefore, he thought there was no reason for him to give up Hinduism
Hinduism
and accept any other religion. He accepted the universal moral teachings of every religion but without its dogma, ritual and superstition.[4] While Ram Mohan Roy
Ram Mohan Roy
aimed at reforming Hinduism
Hinduism
from within, his successor Maharshi Debendranath Tagore
Debendranath Tagore
in 1850 rejected the authority of the Vedas
Vedas
and thus broke with orthodox Hinduism. Tagore tried to retain some Hindu
Hindu
customs, but a series of schisms eventually resulted in the formation of the Sadharan Brahmo
Brahmo
Samaj in 1878. In 1901, a decision of the Privy Council of British India
India
found that "the vast majority of Brahmo
Brahmo
religionists are not Hindus and have their own religion".[5] The Brahma
Brahma
Dharma
Dharma
was first codified by Debendranath Tagore
Debendranath Tagore
with the formulation of the Brahmo
Brahmo
Dharma
Dharma
Beej and publication of the Brahma Dharma, a book of 1848 or 1850 in two parts. The Brahma
Brahma
Dharma
Dharma
is the source of every Brahmo's spiritual faith and reflects Brahmo repudiation of the Hindu
Hindu
Vedas
Vedas
as authority and the shift away from Ram Mohan Roy's Vedantic Unitary God
God
per the Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara
Advaita school. The traditional seed principles and Debendranath's Brahmo Dharma
Dharma
(or religious and moral law) now stand evolved as the "Fundamental Principles of Brahmoism" and are supplemented by precise evolving rules for adherents, akin to "Articles of Faith" which regulate the Brahmo
Brahmo
way of life. In addition the assembly of Brahmos (and also Brahmo
Brahmo
Samajists) for meeting or worship is always consonant with the Trust Principles of 1830 or its derivatives. Brief history and timeline[edit]

1828 : Raja Ram Mohun Roy
Raja Ram Mohun Roy
establishes Brahma
Brahma
Sabha (assembly of Brahmins).[6] 1829 : Asiatic Society
Asiatic Society
admits the first Indians to its membership, the first of whom are Ramkamal Sen, Dwarkanath Tagore
Dwarkanath Tagore
and Prasanna Coomar Tagore.[7] 1830 : Dwarkanath Tagore, Prasanna Coomar Tagore
Prasanna Coomar Tagore
and Ors. establish the first Brahmo
Brahmo
Place for Worship
Worship
through a legal Trust Deed[8] at Chitpur
Chitpur
( Jorasanko
Jorasanko
Kolkatta
Kolkatta
India). Ram Mohun departs for Britain. 1833 : Ram Mohun dies in Bristol. 1839 : Debendranath Tagore
Debendranath Tagore
forms Tattwabodhini (@Tattvaranjini) Sabha, the "Truth & Life Purpose Seekers" association on October 6, 1839.[9] 1843 : Tattwabodini Sabha merged with Brahmo
Brahmo
Sabha [10] and Calcutta Brahmo
Brahmo
Samaj established. Dwarkanath Tagore
Dwarkanath Tagore
founds the Great Western Bengal Railway Co. in conflict with the State.[11] 1850 : Publication of Brahma
Brahma
Dharma
Dharma
book in 2 parts by Debendranath. Repudiation of Vedic infallibility, separation from Hinduism, establishment of the new religion. 1855 : Keshub Chunder Sen
Keshub Chunder Sen
founds "The British India
India
Society" later associated with Christian
Christian
missionaries James Long and Charles Dall.[12] Dall, a roving Unitarian missionary, is in a troubled marriage in Boston with female emancipator Caroline Wells Healey Dall, suffering a series of mental depressions, and is sufficiently persuaded to grant his wife a Boston divorce by sailing to India forever as the first foreign Unitarian missionary.[13] 1856 : Devendranath Thakur proceeds to hills of Simla. 1857 : Debendranath informs Unitarian preacher Charles Dall that he is no longer welcome at Calcutta Brahmo
Brahmo
Samaj, and that "he would not hear the name of Jesus spoken in the Samaj". Dall then forms the Rammohun Roy Society to wean away the liberal Brahmos from Debendranath.[14] Keshub Sen then subscribes to Calcutta Brahmo
Brahmo
Samaj while Devendranath is away in Simla. The Indian Mutiny
Indian Mutiny
erupts, almost every Trustee of Brahma
Brahma
Samaj supports the Crown while seeking exemplary punishment for the mutineers. 1860 : Charles Dall now openly attacks Debendranath and affiliates to liberal Brahmo
Brahmo
neo- Christian
Christian
group by promoting Theodore Parker and William Channing's methods to convert Hindus to Christianity.[14] 1866 : The First Brahmo
Brahmo
Schism
Schism
and Calcutta Brahmo
Brahmo
Samaj is renamed as Adi (First) Brahmo
Brahmo
Samaj to distinguish it from progressive breakaway group. 1871 : Adi Brahmo
Brahmo
Samaj leaders publicly oppose the progressive faction over the divisive Brahmo
Brahmo
Marriage Bill, 1871 with Debendranath stating "We are Brahmos first, and Indians or Hindus second." 1872 : The Marriage Bill is ostensibly not limited to Brahmos and enacted as the Special
Special
Marriages Act (Act III) of 1872. A declaration is required stating "I am not a Hindu
Hindu
or Muslim or Christian
Christian
or Jew" to marry under this law which is used almost exclusively by Brahmos. 1878 : The breakaway faction splits again, the majority form the middle-path Sadharan (General) Brahmo
Brahmo
Samaj and are formally welcomed back to Brahmoism
Brahmoism
by Debendranath Tagore
Debendranath Tagore
and Rajnarayan Basu
Rajnarayan Basu
of the Adi Samaj. The eminent leaders of Sadharan Brahmo
Brahmo
Samaj at the time include Sivanath Sastri, Ananda Mohan Bose
Ananda Mohan Bose
and Sib Chandra Deb.[15]

See also[edit]

Adi Dharm Brahmo
Brahmo
Samaj Hindu
Hindu
reform movements History of Bengal Prarthana Samaj Sadharan Brahmo
Brahmo
Samaj Tattwabodhini Patrika Yoga
Yoga
Vasistha Ashtavakra
Ashtavakra
Gita

Notes and references[edit]

^ Chambers Dictionary Of World History. Editor BP Lenman. Chambers. 2000. ^ Brahmo
Brahmo
Samaj Website ^ brahmosamaj.org - BRAHMO SAMAJ ^ Ahmed, AF Salahuddin (2012). " Brahma
Brahma
Sabha". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society
Asiatic Society
of Bangladesh.  ^ Official website http://brahmosamaj.org/ "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" ^ 403 Forbidden ^ Heritage Institute of India
India
- article by Dr. Gautam Chatterjee ^ brahmosamaj.org - Banian "Trust" Deed Chitpore Road Brahmo
Brahmo
Sabha ^ Mohanta, Sambaru Chandra (2003). "Tattvabodhini Sabha". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
(First ed.). Asiatic Society
Asiatic Society
of Bangladesh. Archived from the original on 4 October 2006.  ^ http://www.nau.edu/cline/courses/Hay_-_Leaders_of_hindu_reform_and_revival_PDF.pdf ^ http://www.ccsindia.org/lssreader/14lssreader.pdf[permanent dead link] ^ Shivanath Shastri's Brahmo
Brahmo
History (1911) p.114 ^ "Daughter of Boston: The Extraordinary Diary of Caroline Dall", by Helen Deese. p.xv" ^ a b " Charles Dall Archived March 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Primary Source: History of Brahmo
Brahmo
Samaj by Sivanath Sastri
Sivanath Sastri
1911, Secondary Source: Official website brahmosamaj.org

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