Sunday, March 21, 2010

Adi Dharm

Adi Dharm - India's true religion

Founded in 1861, with the publication of Hemendranath Tagore's  "Brahmo Anusthan" (or Brahmo Code of doctrine and practice), Adi Dharm refers to the religion of Adi Brahmo Samaj the first development of Brahmoism and includes those Sadharan Brahmo Samajists who were reintegrated into Brahmoism in 1878.

Adi Dharm -  Ruchi Ram Sahni of Lahore Brahmo Samaj

The ' Karhah parshad "of untouchables was not accepted  in the Golden Temple, Amritsar upto 12th October, 1920. The Khalsa community arranged a rally on 11 and 12 Oct.1920 in the Jallianwala Bagh , Amritsar against untouchability in the Sikh Gurudwaras especially in the Golden Temple .Prof. Teja Singh in his autobiography titled " Aarsi" has recorded this historical incident , the book is published by the Punjabi University, Patiala . Ruchi Ram Sahni whjo organised the protest movement  also wrote a book (in English) on the Gurdwaras reform movement which is published by the S.G.P.C. (Amritsar).

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hemlata Sarkar and the school she founded

Hemlata Sarkar

(Hemlata Sarkar)

The Maharani Girls' School, Darjeeling, was the first Indian managed privately run School for Indian girls in the district imparting modern education through the Bengali medium. The founder of the School was Hemlata Sarkar, the Daughter of Shibnath Shastri (a member of the Brahmo Samaj). Born in the year 1868 in the village of Majilpur as Hemlata Bhattacharya, she was disturbed that there was nothing that looked to the education of the girl child. After her marriage to Dr Bepin Behari Sarkar, she accompanied him to Darjeeling in the year 1907, since he had shifted his practice from Kathmandu to Darjeeling. They took up residence at North View, 437 Hill Cart Road. It was here that her concern for the education of the girl child increased. She was justifiably shocked when she found no schools for the girls of the Indian Community. Her daughters were refused admission to the all the English missionary School for girls namely, Loreto Convent, Darjeeling. However, instead of being a nagging petitioner to the government complaining about lack of facilities, she impelled herself to create them for the community.

Those were the days when Bengal reverberated with the call of equality of status for women as an essential pre-requisite for social reforms. Education for women was the only springboard for realising these lofty ideals. Without education the women could not even have attempted to break away from the strangle hood of the corrupt social system replete with ignorance, superstition and hyperorthodoxy. Among the giants of Bengal pursuing the goal of social emancipation was Pandit Shibnath Shastri.

With the blood of Pandit Shibnath Shastri flowing in her veins, Hemlata was no less an enthusiast. She had good social contacts with renowned personality of her time, which came in handy when she decided to open a school in Darjeeling. Among such valuable and friendly contacts were Suniti Devi, the Maharani of Cooch Behar (daughter of Mahatma Keshab Chandra Sen), the Maharani of Mayurbhanj Sucharu Devi (Suniti's younger sister) and the Maharani of Burdwan. In the year 1908,with the funds received from them for this noble cause, Hemlata Sarkar personally founded the oldest girls institution in Darjeeling. The naming of the school was also a matter of singular ingenuity; with so many Maharanis around it was simply named Maharani Girls' High School. It was first started at Oak Lodge as a primary school. The monthly rent was Rs 150. It's rolls showed an average attendance of 75 students of both sexes. Boys were enrolled only upto class IV; from class V onwards it was an exclusively girls school. The system continues even today. Within three years i.e. 1911, it was upgraded to a High School and in 1957 it was converted into High School Dr Bepin Sarkar took up the responsibility of the first Secretary of the school to help his wife. At the crossroads of Colonial History, Maharani offered a unique experience to its students. Some of the senior citizens of Darjeeling belonging to diverse communities -Nepalese, Lepchas, Tibetans, Mech Adivasis and Bengalis made up the earliest students. The first Matriculate to have passed out from this school in 1912 was Suniti Majumdar, who later became the daughter -in -law of Hemlata Sarkar. Among the students of Darjeeling to name a few were N Laden La, Kazi and Pasang Doma La-ex-headmistress, Minicipal Girls' High School. Among other notable students who later adorned the lives of eminent personalities were Rani Mahalanabis, wife of renowned statistician, Prasanta Mahalanabis and Aditi Sen, wife of Sri Manishi Sen, the last ICS, Sir Jadunath Sarkars daughter Roma Sarkar, Manorama Bose, retired chief inspector of schools and Sebati Mitra principal, Rani Birla College, Calcutta were all students here. Other ex-students of this school were Ila Hom and Meera Sanyal, who later became befitting partners of late Amal Hom and Hironmoy Sanyal, noted literateurs. Satyajit Ray picked up his first alphabets during his mother's short stint as a school teacher here. The school was adjudged as one of the twelve best schools in undivided Bengal. Each Annual Prize distribution day used to be a great occasion as Governors, Maharajas and Maharanis used to preside over the ceremonies. Post- Independence, among those who visited the School was Dr KN Katju, C Rajagopalachari and Sri Dharma Vira.

Dr Sarkar died in 1918 creating a void in Hemlata's life. Undaunted, she plunged into harder work. In early 1930's the school was shifted to "German Sahib's House" in its present location i.e. near the railway station. The huge main block was constructed in 1938. Five years later in1943, Hemlata retired from her eventful life at the age of 75 years. Although the vacuum created by her death can never be filled, but by her contribution in the educational field would remain forever as an immortal figure. Having an overwhelming personality that always lovingly demanded and received obedience and discipline, Hemlata is cherished as an epitome of endurance, great visionary and a woman with impregnable spirit. She has left an indelible mark in the educational history of Darjeeling district and its progeny will always be grateful to her for it.

The school now has reached its 100 years. Now, it has a total number of 350 students, 32 teaching staff and seven non-teaching staffs. With its Principal Madam Purnima Roka, the school celebrated its Centenary on 1and 2 September. Out of the two chief guests invited only Asha Gurung, the President of Gorkha Jan Mukti Nari Morcha was present. The celebration began with a prayer ceremony pursued by a programme on Plantation, organised by The Art Of Living. The other highlight of the day was the exhibition put up by the students which included-The History of Maharani's Foundation, Crafts and Hand works and layout of traditional dresses. It was really a feast for the eyes and enlightenment to those who was unaware of Maharani's posh History. The school will be publishing its first magazine by 2009.

Despite its rich past the school now suffers from various problems. Since the school building is surrounded by habitation and there is no proper fencing to keep the school building aloof from the habitation, there is always a danger from trespassers. There is no hostel for the girls due to which a number of them mostly of XI and XII standard commute daily to the school from places like Rimbick, Takdah, Mungpoo etc.

There is no facility of drinking water. The number of classrooms is less along with a dearth of tables and chairs. The school has a small playground not soothing to eyes. Although the school has an area for the construction of girls Hostel, but their hands have been tied due to lack of Funds. It has come into light that many ex-students have come forward to help the school with their donations. But the mystery still remains where those find goes and in whose hands they have been handed. So, any helpful hand can see their donation being utilised well for the improvement of the school, only when it will be handed to the right users, the school authority.

If Maharani is ridden from all its problems, there is no reason why she will not live up to her name but will be celebrating its 500,1000 and so on years. Thanks to Hemlata Sarkar for its foundation, but for its continuation she would love everyone associated with it to come forward with any help they can for the school, since they are not outsiders to the school.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

False practices in Brahmo Samajes

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sarbajit roy
Date: Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 11:13 AM
Subject: [brahmoconferenceorg] False practices in Brahmo Samajes

Over the years, corruption and ritualism have taken over the Samajes. Most Brahmos today have evidently not heard of the 1830 Trust Deed or read it in any great depth. Unfortunately some Brahmo preachers are also included in this group for they perpetuate practices (such as image worship) in the Samajes which are anathema to "True" Brahmos.

Incidentally, Bengali social writer Krishna Dutta has confirmed "image worship of any kind is abhorrent to true Brahmos" in the book "Calcutta, a cultural and literary history" at page 87, also specifically reminding us that the Trust Deed of the Samaj prohibits the admission of any graven image, picture, portrait, statute into the premises). The position now of Brahmos attending these Samajes is akin to that of cannibals bound in a common oath not to reveal or oppose their horrific shared transgessions of God's path.

When True Brahmoism simply means a) abhorrence of idolalation  and b) Adherence to Brahmo Trust principles, can there be any explanation other than "ritual cannibalism" (also known as consuming the body of Christ)  for so many Brahmos to deny their religion and remain silent to the mummery in the Samaj.

Today I shall highlight another cannibalistic practice, the practice of naming Gods, prophets, or other inspired and great men within our Samaj premises. Too often we hear our false preachers list the names of Jesus, Mohamed, Nanak, etc during our common worship as "the procession of Prophets and Saints"). They evidently do this under the Keshubite sponsored delusion that Brahmoism is a kind of Universal Unitarianism where all religions (and their gods / prophets / saints) are one. These false preachers have forgotten the specific words of Trust "but not under or by any other name designation or title peculiarly used for and applied, to any particular being or beings by any man or set of men whatsoever,"

The Reverend Charles Dall had published why he was expelled from the Calcutta Brahmo Samaj for Debendranath "would not hear the name of Christ spoken in His house because some people worship Christ as God". Another Christian Missionary of that era, R.C. Bose in his published book "Brahmoism or History of reformed Hinduism (1884)" attacked the perversions of the antiBrahmos and their 'Hom' to their processions of saints and prophets, thus

"Christ  doubtless occupies a place, perhaps the chief place, among the Prophets and Saints with whose disembodied spirits communion is to be maintained, and He shares the veneration of mankind with Mohammed, who brought down a text from heaven to justify his illicit intercourse with the wife of his adopted son ; Narad, the notorious makebate among the Hindu gods ; Chaitanya, who revived in Bengal the worship of the god of licentiousness, justly called the Bacchus of India; Nanak, who cherished the wild idea of effecting a union between Hinduism and Mohammedanism ; Buddha and his modern imitator, Comte, who tabooed theology and divorced morality from religion ; Theodore Parker, who lived by abusing Christian orthodoxy and wavered between monotheism and pantheism ; Emerson, who believed in nothing but self ! The Christian's blood must be cold indeed who can see the crucified Nazarene, the Captain of his salvation, the Author and Finisher of His faith, degraded to such association without being filled with indignation ! "

Can there be any better example of why our wise forefathers absolutely prohibited the "speaking of names" within the Samaj?  When will our preachers stop their foolery and instead instruct our children in the tenets of our Trust ?  That "God" has no name and is unsearchable ! That "Om" (a single syllable) is only the penultimate step in comprehending that all those names of God are meaningless for He has no name or syllable !!


URL address of Brahmo Samaj, pages

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

BRAHMOS: An archaic Brahmo catechism (FAQ) from 1867.

From: Malay Sanyal
Date: Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 5:52 PM
Subject: [brahmoconferenceorg] An archaic Brahmo catechism (FAQ) from 1867.

(sourced from Max Muller, so treat with our usual caution)

Q. Who is the deity of the Brahmos?
A. The One True God, one only without a second, whom all Hindu Sâstras proclaim.

Q. What is the divine worship of the Brahmos?
A. Loving God, and doing the works He loveth.

Q. What is the temple of the Brahmos?
A. The pure heart.

Q. What are the ceremonial observances of the Brahmos?
A. Good works.

Q. What is the sacrifice of the Brahmos?
A. Renunciation of selfishness.

Q. What are the austerities of the Brahmos?
A. Not committing sin. The Mahábhárata says, He who does not commit sin in mind, speech, action, or understanding, performs austerities; not he who drieth up his body.

Q. What is the place of pilgrimage of the Brahmos?
A. The company of the good.

Q. What is the Veda of the Brahmos?
A. Divine knowledge. It is superior to all Vedas. The Veda itself says: The inferior knowledge is the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda, the Atharva Veda, etc.; the superior knowledge is that which treats of God.

Q. What is the most sacred formula of the Brahmos?
A. Be good and do good.

Q. Who is the true Brahman?
A. He who knows Brahma. The Brihadâra{n}yaka-Upanishad says: He who departs from this world knowing God, is a Brahman


Am I still a Brahmo ?

From: Arrow Sinha Roy
Date: Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 8:32 PM
Subject: Re: [brahmoconferenceorg] Am I still a Brahmo ?


I wish to clarify that the Bhowanipore Samaj 'prayer hall' maintains pristine purity about not conducting upasana in the presence of any object that may be repfresenting ...or which  in course of time, may come to be associated with a divine image. So not just paintings etc  but even photographs are not allowed. When we hold memorial services for the dear departed, the photo is placed in the outside verandah of the Samaj. No Samaj prayer hall should have figurines or statues inside it.

A Sinha Roy

Your email settings: Individual Email|Traditional


Haradev Chatterjee, a True Brahmo

From: sarbajitr
Date: Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 1:02 PM
Subject: [brahmoconferenceorg] Re: Information about Haradev Chatterjee

I would lay short odds that both refer to the same Haradev Chattapodhyaya who holds many distinctions in Brahmoism.

1) As the Secretary of the Tattwabodhini Sabha from 1840 till 1845.

2) As the second person after Debendranath to take the First covenant in 1843 from Ram Chander Vidyabagish

3) As the close friend and confidante of Debendranath and Akhoy Kumar Dutta, who played a pivotal role in formulating both the second part of the Brahmo Dharma (1848) as well as the Brahmo Anusthan of 1861

4) As the Adi Brahmo who first started the practice of street processions and nagarkirtan which was later copied by future factions.

5) As the father of 2 daughters married to Debendranath's sons. His elder daughter Neepamayi Devi (also spelt as Nipamaya) marrying Hemendranath Tagore and the younger sister Prafullamayee Devi marrying Birendranath (the fourth son).


--- In, Saurav Brahmo <saurav@...> wrote:
> Dr Sanyal is presently in Nepal and has fwd'ed yr email to me.
> We have information on Haradev Chatterjee (all variations) for
> 1) Bolpur (Bhirbhum, W.B.)
> 2) Santragachi (Howrah, W.B.)
> There is also additional information in the Tattwabodhini records.
> Saurav
> >Dear Dr Sanyal
> >
> >Is there any information about Haradev Chatterjee in the Adi Samaj records
> >--
> >Shymal Dutta Basu
> >(Dept of Sociology) UCAM

Ram Mohan Roy
History of the Brahmo Samaj

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Brahmo principles from the 1830 Trust Deed

The Trust Deed for the Chitpur Brahmo Sabha was duly executed on the 8th of January 1830 by 5 "great men" in the Brahmo pantheon. First named among them being Dwarkanath Tagore whose munificence enabled the premises to be purchased. It is a precise legal deed, drafted with great care on the eve of Rammohun Roy's departure for England. It is pertinent that every significant "party of the first part" to the Deed was a "Propertied" sacerdotal Brahmin of the highest "degree" reputed for knowledge of Law and Religion.

At the time of its execution, this small band of reformers were locked in a dangerous (and oftentimes life threatening) struggle in Bengal against the Trinitarian occultic forces - a) obscurantist Trinitarian Hinduism/Brahminism, b) Trinitarian Christianity c) Trinitarian Masonic / Luciferian "Lodges" (incl. secret societies masquerading as Unitarian and Scottish Freethinkers). It is pertinent that the parties to the Deed carefully and with deliberation took their collective personal experience of these aforesaid opposing forces  into consideration while drawing up the Deed to protect and innoculate their heirs and successors.

As the Deed evidences, Brahmoism repudiates entirely the (occultic) doctrines and principles of each of our 3 great historical opponents, which confront us today in new garbs and variations - the fake Magicians and charlatans like SaiBabas,  the Guru / Baba cults like the Ramdevs, the Ravi Shankars,  Swami Narayans etc, and the new Hindu Masonic bodies such as the Ramakrishna Mission.. The first step for every True Brahmo is to know who "the enemy" is. The host of foes who incessantly confuse our minds with their false messages and corruptly distort our principles  Know your friends but know your enemies better, To do this we must study them by the "Light" of our Trust Deed which causes our Fearful Enemy to reveal himself.

The Trust deed was settled for us publicly (not secretly) as a legal document to declare that "Law, Property and Religion" are not dead. These 3 (Law Property Religion) are "revealed" as the "3 Assassins" in the 33rd degree of the infamous Scottish Rite of FreeMasons. To quote a well known (and often assailed) comment from 1888 on this  "Once Religion is dead, Law and Property will fall to our mercy, and we shall be able to regenerate society by founding on the corpses of the assassins of man, Masonic Religion, Masonic Law, and Masonic Property."

Parting kick: Why does the Brahmo Samaj (of 1830) figure in lists like this?
Answer: Because our pulpits are still used to preach the blasphemies of our foes.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

True Brahmo MahaAcharya - Hemendranath Tagore

From: Saurav Brahmo <saurav@med...>
Date: Sun, Feb 7, 2010 at 9:01 AM
Subject: [brahmoconferenceorg] Re: What does the Brahmo Samaj stand for primarily today ?

In True Brahmoism, MahaAcharya  refers to Hemendranath Thakur (Tagore) , 3rd son of Maharshi DebendraNath Thakur. The term means "Great Teacher" reinforcing that the deep spiritual body knowledge of Brahmoism is now beyond intuition and can now only be passed on with the assistance of a teacher (acharya).

The title Pradhan Acharya was informally used by all branches of Brahmoism to describe Maharshi Debendra Nath during his lifetime. As the founder of the Brahmo Samaj, Maharshi Debendra Nath always enjoyed the great love and respect off all Brahmos.

It is recorded in our histories that after the death of Maharshi DebendraNath in 1905 his sons SatyendraNath and RabindraNath embarked on a course not conducive to the expansion of True Brahmoism by the Northern India Brahmo Samaj. This caused the dissolution of the 2nd Calcutta Brahmo Samaj Trust in 1913. Most  papers / documents and other movable assets of the Calcutta Brahmo Samaj located at Jorasanko and Chitpur were removed to Lahore. Several records of the Calcutta Brahmo Samaj / Thakurbari were destroyed by S.N and R.N.Tagore at about that time. Many years later Rabindra Nath expressed his regret for this mentioning that his elder brother had acted unwisely due to the family compulsions.

In Truth

== In brahmoconferenceorg Shymal Dutta <shymal.d@gm..> wrote .. ==

>Just 2 queries
>a) Who is the Maha Acharya ? Is this the same as Pradhan Acharya ?
>b) I was reading on the Brahmo Samaj website that Rabindranath Tagore
>became leader of the Adi Brahmo Samaj in 1911 and carried on until
>his death in 1941. So when did the Adi Brahmo Samaj get dissolved
>or cease to exist ?
>Shymal Dutta Basu
>(Dept of Sociology)

Friday, January 29, 2010

From 'jai he' to 'jai ho'

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sarbajitr <>
Date: Sat, Jan 30, 2010 at 12:51 PM
Subject: [brahmoconferenceorg] From 'jai he' to 'jai ho'

At least this article in the Deccan Herald reminds the nation that Jana Gana Mana was composed as an (Adi) Brahmo hymn and a sign of the rebellion of Adi Brahmo Samaj against the British Imperialists and their monarchy, and reiterates the Brahmo article of faith that when government's policy clashes with our religion's views we must refuse to obey the State.

"Jana Gana Mana was written out of protest towards the monarchy, hence the reference to the eternal lord of India's destiny, 'bharat bhagya vidhata', far greater than any mortal monarch."

Not many people know this, but Brahmos are exempt from standing up when Jana Gana Mana is played.


Article text.
Narrow Nationalism
From `jai he' to `jai ho'

The incongruity of the Republic Day spectacle is best captured by the strains of the National Anthem; a tribute to the universal spirit that has been trapped in the armoury of a nation-state, writes Neerja Dasani

Breathing fire: Is aggression today's nationalism? DH PhotoJanuary 26, 2010. You turn on the television. The remote takes its time to locate the unfamiliar Doordarshan. But the visual that greets you on that fog-filled morning is an all-too-familiar one. The macho military parade. The exoticised tableaux portraying the `unity in diversity' of India. Schoolchildren playing patriot-patriot, or patriot parrots.
The jawans don't carry placards or photo exhibitions depicting the daily violence they are forced to inflict on Indian citizens in the name of `national security'. The Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Orissa tableaux do not portray the struggles of their first people against the `national interest'. The dancing children do not ask you uncomfortable questions such as why the national average for malnourished children is 47 per cent, the highest in the world.

The incongruity of the spectacle is best captured by the strains of the National Anthem; a tribute to the universal spirit that has been trapped in the armoury of a nation-state.
As we enter the year of the 150th birth anniversary of its creator, Rabindranath Tagore, the question arises: What would Gurudev have made of all this? Would the man, who in Nationalism (1917) refers to the `nation' as an `inhuman machinery of politics and commerce' and an `intrusive agent of exploitation and dominance', be pleased with his prescience?

Tagore always stood for the supersession of nationalism by internationalism, which ironically was a significant factor in the selection of the Anthem. Recollecting the moment, then Prime Minister Nehru told the Constituent Assembly, on August 23, 1947: "The matter came to a head on the occasion of the general assembly of the United Nations in 1947 in New York…our delegation possessed a record of  Jana Gana Mana which they gave the orchestra who practiced it. Apart from the general appreciation with which it was received… there was not much choice for us as there was no musical rendering available of any other national song…"

Pre-emptively pacifying ardent nationalists, who might object to the first official version being played by the London Philharmonic Society, Nehru said an expert Indian musician was guiding them.

Sixty two years later Shashi Tharoor is charged with showing disrespect to the National Anthem when he interrupts its singing to urge the audience to place their palms over their hearts instead of merely standing at attention. The previous year, Infosys chief Narayan Murthy has a case registered against him for justifying his company's use of an instrumental version to avoid excluding the foreigners present there. Over the years there have been demands for the word `Sindh' to be replaced by `Kashmir', reducing an abstract concept to a geographical formality. Most recently, Ram Gopal Varma's film Rann ran into trouble with the censor board for a remixed version of the Anthem, depicting India as a broken and bleeding state.

Nationalism has now entered the realm of farce. According to Ashis Nandy, political psychologist and social theorist, this `steamrolling' version of nationalism is a departure from its predecessor, which was based on the idea of a confederation.

In The Political Culture of the Indian State (1988), he refers to the prevalence of two de facto natural anthems, Tagore's Jana Gana Mana and Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay's Bande Mataram, as a good example of a nationalism that refuses to be fully defined. He says: "Jana Gana Mana, despite being the National Anthem of a postcolonial society, is one of the least nationalist anthems in the world. It celebrates an open-ended, nonchauvinist concept of Indian civilisation."

Contextualising the current scenario, he adds: "It is an indicator of the changing mood in India that recent attempts have been again made, after a gap of nearly 40 years, to discredit Jana Gana Mana by alleging that it was originally a paean to George V, the British sovereign. Obviously, it is not an Anthem the tough-minded Indian neo-nationalists are enthusiastic about. Some of them, seeking to make up for what theAnthem lacks in toughness, have tried to make the singing of it compulsory. Only a few have seen these attempts as assaults on the spirit of the Anthem."

But then again, how many of us can claim to understand, let alone do service to, this spirit? Freedom from the British was the clear goal of the earlier nationalists. Freedom for the burgeoning middle class of India, who dictate the terms and conditions of the nation-state, is confined to living a life of passive consumption. A collective is no longer considered cool, fierce individualism is.

The rushed attainment of freedom meant an incomplete process of decolonisation. Vested interests saw the benefits of preserving the Police Act of 1862 as the central piece of legislation governing all acts of policing in India. The Indian Penal Code, drafted in 1860, is full of pruderies long abandoned by Britain, such as Section 497 that deals with adultery and punishes even consensual sex between adults. Creative expression through theatre is still subjected to the Dramatics Performance Act, 1876, which requires each group to submit a script to the police for consent prior to the performance.
Freedom that is still a product of colonised minds could perhaps explain the continuing obsession with fair skin, the incessant migration to the West, the distrust of neighbouring countries still looked upon as competitors rather than comrades and the ceaseless construction of `Buckingham Palaces' in urban India. The country is now defined by a `pan-Indian middle-class consciousness, a homogenising nationalism, and a centralising nation state'.

This shift from `Jai he' to `Jai ho' is an aggressive one, with no tolerance for any form of dissent or questioning. National interest, it is understood, shall always override local or regional interests. National security, says Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, with the backing of the elite class, shall override even human rights.

Nation-building by the book, like history, is predominantly the playing ground of the `fathers of the nation'. Their commanding voices often drown out the soulful songs of those who have stood up against state suppression. These anthems of resistance that relate to the reality of the country do more justice to the spirit of the National Anthem than the prevalent practiced and performed patriotism.

The composition, the first of five stanzas of a Brahmo Samaj hymn, first sung at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress on December 27, 1911, was born of rebellion. The Indian National Congress requested Tagore to write a felicitation for King George V on his visit to India. It was meant to be an appeasement gesture in response to the annulment of the Bengal Partition Act. Tagore was said to be both troubled and deeply offended by the request. Jana Gana Mana was written out of protest towards the monarchy, hence the reference to the eternal lord of India's destiny, bharat bhagya vidhata, far greater than any mortal monarch.

But this was far removed from the foggy fanaticism of today that superimposes a majoritarian divinity onto a political construct. Tagore, said, "To worship my country as a god is to bring a curse upon it."

Ironically, the creator of the national anthem might well have been accused of perfidy in today's India. "Patriotism," he said, "cannot be our final spiritual shelter; my refuge is humanity. I will not buy glass for the price of diamonds, and I will never allow patriotism to triumph over humanity as long as I live."


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Monday, January 25, 2010

Table of contents

Table of contents

Table of Contents for World Brahmo Samaj Council website

  • Brahmo Samaj
  • News, Brahmo Conference Organisation
  • Brahmo Samaj FAQ Frequently asked Questions
  • Brahmo Samaj articles Rabindranath Tagore
  • Brahmo Samaj liturgy and prayers
  • Brahmo Samaj, FAQ Adi Brahmo Samaj
  • Covenant of Brahmo Samaj
  • Brahmo Samaj beliefs, foundations, Raj Narayan Bose Basu
  • Brahmo Samaj Prime Principles
  • Brahmo Samaj Articles of Faith
  • Brahmo Samaj Trust Deed of 1830
  • Brahmo Samaj, Brief History & Time Line
  • Anusthanic Brahmos, Ananusthnic Brahmo Samaj
  • Brahmo Samaj, True Brahmoism
  • Brahmo Samaj, Did God create matter?
  • History of the Brahmo Samaj
  • Brahmo Conference Organisation
  • Sadharan Brahmo Samaj World Brahmo Council
  • Sadharan Brahmo Samaj doctrine
  • Sadharan Brahmo Samaj founders
  • Adi Brahmo Samaj
  • Brahmoism, Genetics, Memetics
  • Brahmo Samaj and Christianity
  • Nature of "True Brahmoism"
  • Adi Brahmo Samaj on caste
  • "True Brahmo" principles
  • Salvation in Brahmo Samaj
  • Monday, January 4, 2010

    Sunday, January 3, 2010

    Doctrine of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj

    Doctrine of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj

    1) Faith in a Supreme Being and in Existence after Death is natural to man;

    2) We regard the relation between God and men to be direct and immediate;

    3) We do not believe in the infallibility of any man or any scripture ;

    4) Whatever book contains truths calculated to ennoble the soul or elevate the character is a Brahmo's scripture, and whoever teaches such truths is his teacher and guide;

    5) We regard the belief in an individual being a way to salvation, or a link between God and Man, as an unworthy belief, and those who hold such belief as unworthy of the Brahmo name;

    6) We consider it to be blasphemy and an insult to the Majesty of Heaven to claim Divine inspiration for any act opposed to the dictates of reason, truth, and morality;

    7) We regard the culture of faith at the sacrifice of reason, or the culture of reason at the sacrifice of faith as equally defective, and as fruitful sources of evil in the religious world;

    8) We consider love of God and doing the will of God as equally imperative in the routine of a Brahmo's life;

    9) We regard the worship of one God as the highest of a Brahmo's duties and as the best of means to improve the soul and the neglect of it as a way to spiritual death.

    More information on Sadharan Brahmo Samaj

    Friday, January 1, 2010

    Timeline of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj foundation

    Sadharan Brahmo Samaj

    History of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj

    1833 Rammohun Roy passes to his heavenly abode on 27th September in Bristol 

    1839 Tattwabodhini Sabha, or truth-teaching society, started by Debendranath Tagore to discuss social and religious matters amongst bhadralok Bengalees.

    1843 Debendranath and 20 of his Tattawobodhini companions are formally initiated in the Brahmo Samaj by Ramchandra Vidyabagish on December 21, (7th Paush 1765 B.E.). Debendranath institutionalizes Rammohun's ideology of reformed Hinduism. Vedas venered as a scriptural source of Hinduism*. 4 Brahmin scholars are deputed to Benares to study the 4 Vedas as sources of religious authority. Their reports some yers later disquiet Debendranath and Akshay Kumnar Dutta (his scribe and companion).

    1850 Debendranath Tagore publishes the Brahmo Dharma in English (it had been previously privately published in Bengali in 1848). The Vedas are henceforth rejected as a religious authority, in favour of "the book of nature" and "man's virtuous intuition".

    1855 Charles Dall, American Unitarian missionary arrives in Calcutta to cause trouble in Brahmoism. He organises a Masonic Lodge called the Goodwill Society where AntiBrahmo Keshab Chandra Sen takes up mebership in 1856. The AntiBrahmo is the grandson of Rammohun's lifelong Hindu Sabha opponent Baboo Ram Kamal Sen.

    1857 AntiBrahmo Keshub Sen, joins the Calcutta Brahmo Samaj when Debendrnath is meditating in the Himalayas.* On his return, Debendranath instructs Dall never to enter the Brahmo Samaj or speak the name of Jesus Christ in his presence. A vengeful Dall forms the "Friends of Rammohun Society" to counter Debendranath's command over the Brahmo Samaj - Keshab Sen is his hand picked protege.

    1859 Tattwabodhini Sabha disbanded after Pt. Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, its famous secularist reformer and secretary, resigns in protest against the AntiBrahmno Keshub's actions which Debendranath was not opposing publicly. Young Brahmo Master Hemendranath Tagore (third son of Debendranath and the "first Brahmo" as well as Dwarkanth Tagore's chosen heir) is annointed MahaAcharya by the outgoing Tattwabodhini Council with the approval of Debendranath. MahaAcaharya embarks on a lifelong Yogic quest under the Tattwabodhini masters.

    1860  The AntiBrahmo Keshub establishes the Sangat Sabha which is the nest of all AntiBrahmo vipers. MahaAcharya Hemendranath Thakur finalises the "Brahmo Anusthan" or formal Code of Practice for True Brahmos. It is only revealed to the sacredotal Brahmins of Adi Brahmo Samaj against solemn oath.

    1861 Debendranath's eldest daughter Sukumari was married according to the new Brahmo Anusthan on 26th July. In the same year the marriages of 3 other Brahmos of Brahmin caste take place by the new Anusthan. The Sangat Sabha mounts a virulent campaign against the new Anusthan. A fortnightly titled The Indian Mirror is established at the Adi Samaj.*

    1862  Considerable tension simmers between the Brahmin Tattwabodhities under MahaAcharya and followers of the AntiBrahmo. To effect reconciliation on 13 April Debendranath grants Keshub Chandra Sen a Ministryship as Acharya Brahmanand under the MahaAcharya. An uneasy stalemate continues for the next 3 years.*

    1863 MahaAcharya now turns to North India and Upper India for expansion. The Brahmo Samaj is founded at Lahore in February by MahaAcharya's lieutenant Pandit Nobin Chandra Roy. The next month the Calcutta Brahma Sabha is renamed as the Calcutta Brahmo Samaj.

    1865  Matters come to a head with the formal expulsion of Keshab Sen from the Adi Brahmo Samaj by MahaAcharya Hemendranath. However, both sides choose to keep this secret for strategic reasons.

    1866  Creation of the Brahmo Samaj of India under Keshub at a meeting held in the house of the Calcutta College on 11th November. AntiBrahmo Keshab is appointed "Secretary for Life" and he decress that "God shall always be President of his Samaj". The Calcutta Samaj is now referred to as the Adi (or Original) Brahmo Samaj by the common people. MahaAcharya intiates legal action for all titles to the Brahmo heritage, his followers are referred to as "True Brahmos".*

    1867 Bijoy Krishna Goswami is expelled from Adi Brahmo Samaj. He persuades Keshub to use Vaishnavism and 'sankirtan' (community singing) in services of AntiBrahmno's Church. By now the Adi Brahmo Samaj is increasingly outspoken against the British Crown, and equates Brahmoism with Nationalism and as the True Hindutvata (Indian-ness). The Hindu Mela - a powerful Swadeshi movement is initiated by the Tagore family, it is opened by a hymn composed for the occcasion by MahaAcharya.*

    1869  Under legal threat from MahaAcharya for fradulent use of the title Brahmo Samaj , Keshub renames his Church as "The Tabernacle of the New Dispensation" and consecrates his chapel on 22nd August 1870. Keshub visits England at the invitation of the British Crown to counter the Adi Brahmo Samaj's national religion campain. Keshab is granted a brief audience with the Queen-Empress who gives him an annuity of 300 pounds per year. The AntiBrahmo promply declares all his followers to be loyal to her Majesty's Sovereignty. In the same year a vigorous campaign is launched by the Adi Brahmo Samaj against the inter-caste mariages being organised by the AntiBrahmo's faction. Keshab seeks the legal opinion of Sir Henry Maine (Legal Member of the Viceroy's Council) and is dismayed to learn that marriages conducted by his followers have no validity in law. *

    1872  The Adi Brahmo Samaj ensures the passage of the Special Marriages Act (Act III of 1972) which forces Keshab's followers to declare that they are "neither Hindoo, nor Mussalman nor Christian". The new doctrine of Hindu nationalism is forcefully articulated before orthodox Hindu leaders of Calcutta by Adi Brahmo Samaj President Raj Narain Bose, in a lecture entitled "The Superiority of Hinduism."*

    1874  With the blessing of MahaAcharya, a Liberal faction within New Dispensation organizes the Samadarshi party to counter Keshab's growing dictatorial tendencies. Keshub abandons Unitarian gospel of social reform. He and his disciples begin a series of bizarre enctments known as "Pilgrimages to the Saints" which afford considerable amusement to his detractors"*

    1876 Members of the Samadarshi party constitute the Indian Association in support of the moderate nationalist ideology of Surendranath Banerjee. The movement leads a decade later to the formation of the Indian National Congress.*

    1878 Marriage of Keshub's eldest daughter, Suniti, to the Maharaja of Cooch Behar, Prince Nripendra Narayan, in violation of the Brahmo Marriage Act of 1872, becomes the cause of action for the First Schism in the New Dispensation. Samadarshi party returns to its Brahmo roots and reconstitutes itself as the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj or the (General Body of the Brahmo Samaj)*

    With acknowledgements to "Brahmo Samaj and the reform of Modern India (1979)" by David Kopf, "The History of the Adi Brahmo Samaj (1893-1897)" in 3 vols edited by Kshitendranath Tagore and "History of the Brahmo Samaj (1911) in 2 vols by Shibnath Sastri M.A. publ. Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, 211, Cornwallis Street Kolkatta.

    Brahmo Dharma

    The philosophy of Brahmo Samaj is contained in the Brahmo Dharma written in 1848 by Debendranath Tagore.

    "Brahmo Dharma, the only book of Brahmoism

    What is the teachings of the Brahmo Dharma ?

    The religious system unfolded in the Brahma Dharma is that of the Upanishads, with some infusion of modern ideas.

    Examples of directions in Brahmo Dharma given to seekers after God :

    To know Him, one should go to the spiritual teacher. To whom comes the pupil of entirely peaceful and well regulated mind, the knower of God, should communicate the particulars of divine knowledge by which is known the Being, undecaying, perfect, and true. He, who is wise, of regulated mind, and is always pure, attains that station after which one is not born again.

    The lesser knowledge is the Rig-Yeda, the Yajur Yeda, the SamaVeda, the Atharva Yeda etc. The higher knowledge is that contemplation by which the Eternal is known.

    Contemplate God through Om, and let welfare attend thee, as thou crossest the darkness of ignorance.

    By means of Om, the knower of God obtaineth Him who is all-tranquil, without decay, without death, without fear, the all excellent. We contemplate the adorable power and glory of the Being divine, who brought forth the world. Silence, Silence, Silence !!!"