The Brahmo Samaj Raja Ram Mohan Raoy
• Ram Mohan Roy was bom in an orthodox Brahmin zamindarfamily in Nadia in 1774. From his early childhood Raja Ram Mohan Roy displayed deep and profound philosophical and religious thinking.
• When he was only 15 years of age, in 1789, he wrote a pamphlet denouncing idoworship and polytheism The orthodox members of his family and his community were outraged and he was disowned by his family.
The Brahmo Samaj
• The Raja left his home and toured the leugth and breadth of the country, exploring the tenets of different religions and thinking of means and methods of removing the evils prevalent in Hindu religion and society.
• His father died in 1803 and in 1805 he joined the services of the East India company. The English firm Digby appointed him as its Dewan He remained in service till 1815. While working in the East India company, Raja Ram Mohan Roy closely observed and studied the positive of western religions, society English way of life.
Brahmo Samaj – Brahmo samaj Marriage and Aims of Brahmo Samaj
• The Raja became proficient in several languages like Bengali, Saniskrit, Persian, English Urdu, Hebrew, French, Latin etc He utilised his deep understanding of the classical languages to study the scriptures of the various religions first hand.
• In 1815 he established the Atmiya Sabha andin 1816 he established The Vedanta Society.
• Being influenced by Christianity, he established the Calcutta Unitarian Committee in 1821.
• However the crowning glory of his achievements was the establishment of the Brahmo Samaj on August 20, 1828
The religious and ethical beliefs of Raja Ram Mohan Ray was based on :-
Catholicity and universal Brotherhood-He believed in the oneness of all religions and was deeply influenced by the Pantheism of the Upanishads. He also believed in the Upanishadic doctrine of the Immortality of the Soul. He extolled his upanishadic beliefs in his book Divine worship By Gayatri, written by him in Sanskrit.
Raja Ram Mohan Raoy.
• Raja Ram Mohan Roy was also deeply influenced by the social cohesion of Islam and also its egalitarianism, which he expressed in one of his earliest works ‘Tuhfat-ul-Muhadin Written in Persian
• The in fluence of Christian theology was manifest in his establishing the Calcutta Unitarian Committee in 1921 and his book ‘Precepts of Jesus’.
Monotheism-Raja Ram Mohan Roy was very critical of the Hindus worshipping many goods and goddesses. He strongly believed that the pristine Vedic Scriptures were quintessentialy Monotheistic Quoting from the Rigveela and the seriptures, he wrote the book on Monotheism “Gifts of Monotheism”
Anti-idolatory- The Raja believed that the quintessence of religion is essentially spiritual and crass symbolisms like idols and rituals degraded religion. In his ‘Brahmanical magazine (Parts I, Il and III), he described at length as to how id olworship had debased Hinduism.
However the crowing glory of the Raja’s social and religious crusade was his unrelenting fight against the system of suttee.
This obnoxious social practice had been banned by enlightened rulers like Akbar and Alfonso de Albuquerque The Raja studied the ancient scripture thoroughly and came to the conclusion that “Sutteé is a heinous crime against man and god alike”.
• Raja Ram Mohan Roy launched a scathing attack on Sullee in his book Brief Remarks on the Ancient Rites of Hindu Females Heprevailed upon Lord William Bentinck to anact the Anti Suttee Act of 1829 and thereby officially ban this in human and dastardly custom.
(e) Raja Ram Mohan Roy also campaigned vigorously against the evil custom of Infanticide and Child marriage Though the Bengal Regulation XXI of 1795 had declared infanticide illegal, yet it was still widely practiced in the country The Raja stirred the conscience of the society against this barbaric practice,
(f) Raja Ram Mohan Roy firmly believed that most of the discriminations against women took place because they were deprived of the right to in heritance in the family ancestral property Accordingly, he wrote a book in 1822, Principles of Hindu Inheritance’, in which he strongly advocated for giving inheritance rights to women.
(g) The Raja firmly negated the Hindu belicfs of re-incarnations. He believed in minimalism religion and advocated for religion being a personal predilection of the individual.
• Freedom of Man and Freedom of the Human Mind were insperable for the Raja. Accordingly he was a firm believer in the Freedom of speech and expression and a strong votary of Press Freedom. His petition to the Governor General Lord John Adams against the coercive Indian Press Act of 1823, has been hailed by his official biographer, Sophia Colet as ‘the Aeropaegitica of Indian History.