A Brahmo web resource devoted to History of the Brahmo Samaj and development of modern Brahmoism with reference to evolution of its main branches the Adi Brahmo Samaj and the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj.
Brahmo Samaj FAQ Frequently asked Questions
Q1. Is Brahmoism a religion or a philosophy? Can one adopt Brahmoism whilst retaining one's current faith.
Brahmoism is a religion. The philosophy behind Brahmoism is "Brahmo Dharma". Any person who believes that there is only one infinite "God" can "follow" Brahmoism by subscribing to membership of a "Brahmo Samaj" while retaining their own religion.
Brahmo Samaj Prime Principle
[On God:] There is always Infinite Singularity - immanent and transcendant Singular Author and Preserver of Existence - He who is manifest everywhere and in everything, in the fire and in the water, in the smallest plant to the mightiest oak.
Brahmo Samaj - The Articles of Faith
Brahmo Samaj embraces righteousness as the only way of life.
Brahmo Samaj embraces truth, knowledge, reason, free will and virtuous intuition (observation) as guides.
Brahmo Samaj - The Trust Deed of 1830
Trust Deed of ADI BRAHMO SAMAJ
THIS INDENTURE made the eighth-day of January, in the year of Christ one thousand eight hundred and thirty,
DWARKANAUTH TAGORE of Jorasankoe in the Town of Calcutta Zumeendar,
KALEENAUTH ROY of Burranugar in the Zillah of Havelly in the suburbs of Calcutta aforesaid Zumeendar,
Brahmo Samaj, Brief History & Time Line
[1828 :] Raja Ram Mohun Roy establishes Brahma Sabha (assembly of Brahmins).
[1829 :] Asiatic Society admits the first Indian natives to its membership, the first of whom are Dwarkanath Tagore and Prasanna Coomar Tagore.
[1830 :] Dwarkanath Tagore, Prasanna Coomar Tagore and Ors. establish the first Brahmo Place for Worship through a legal Trust Deed at Chitpur (Jorasanko Kolkatta India). Ram Mohun departs for Britain.
Brahmo Samaj, True Brahmoism
1) Brahmoism is the highest form of Hinduism, and is so very different from what passes for Hinduism today that Brahmos consider themselves to be "beyond the pale of Hinduism" and a separate religion altogether.
2) A "True" Brahmo is either an adherent of Brahmoism to the exclusion of ll other religions, or a person with at least one Brahmo parent or guardian and who has never denied his faith.
Brahmo Samaj, Did God create matter?
God did not "create" matter, God is matter just as God is equally energy. God created the universe and all the worlds within. Before God there was nothing except Chaos which is still all-pervasive. God sprang from Chaos.
History of the Brahmo Samaj
In order to make the Brahmo Samaj a body of men believing in the One God and worshipping Him in truth and spirit only, Devendra Nath drew up a Brahmo convenant containing a number of vows enjoining the renunciation of idolatry, the worship of the One Only in the Vedanta and the practice of virtue. God as described Devendra Nath himself took the lead in being initiated into Brahmoism by Ram Chandra Vidyabagish by signing this Covenant in Dec. 1843 ; twenty of his friends followed him in this new and momentous departure, Thus was formed the nucleus of a Brahmo community; and by 1874 the number of covenanted Brahmos rose to 767.
The Brahmo Conference Organisation
(Sammilan) was founded on 27 January 1881 at Mymensingh in Bangladesh. It is the inter-faith organisation between the Brahmos of Adi Dharma and some from Sadharan Brahmo Samaj. The stated objectives for founding the organisation are to "achieve purity in Brahmoism" by
Adi Brahmo Samaj
As left by Raja Ram Mohan Roy the Samaj was really nothing more than a mere platform, where men of various creeds met from time to time to listen to the hymns and sermons. By joining it nothing was lost, nothing incurred, nothing pledged. Indeed, there were not a few who would attend the service at the Samaj in the morning and worship idols at home in the evening, thus showing that they had never really grasped the meaning of spiritual devotion.
Hence, in the year 1839, DebendraNath a started the Tattvabodhini Sabha, or Truth-teaching Society, and established various schools at different places, so that young men might be trained for national service in the Adi Brahmo Samaj and to propogate the spiritual researches of Raja Rammohun Roy.
Brahmoism, Genetics and memetics
Brahmoism, and information, is transmitted in at least 2 ways. Genetically or memetically. The human "genome" today has around 3 or 4 billion components (DNA / RNA etc pairs). It was the Tattwabodhini under young Master Hemendranath (founder of modern True Brahmoism) to whom were revealed the secrets of the human genome in about 1861. The power of this revelation transformed Brahmoism and also split it asunder and caused the Tattwabodhini (and its secrets) to go underground. Brahmanism is not an acquired trait, it is acquired genetically and reinforced memetically.
Brahmo Samaj and Christianity
This has reference to a remark made by one of the members of the group saying that Bangalore Samaj has fallen into the hands of property dealers and godless Christians like Global Christian Network. The fact is that Bangalore Brahmo Samaj had got itself registered under the Foreign Exchange Control Act way back in 1983 to receive a small contribution of Rs. 25,000/- (Rupees Twenty Five Thousand Only) from the Social Service Network of International Association for Religious Freedom. It is false to say that heavy donations were received from foreign Christian Aid Organizations to convert Schedule Caste in Karnataka to Christianity.
Nature of "True Brahmoism
"True Brahmos abhor any kind of image worship."
"True Brahmos respect the 1830 Trust deed of the Samaj which forbids the admission of any graven work, painting, sculpture or image etc. into the premises"
Adi Brahmo Samaj on caste
Brahmos constitute a "clan". Being a minority, preservation of the distinctive identity of the clan is paramount. Caste within the clan is almost always patriachal, so a female Brahmo Brahmin who marries a Brahmo Kayasth becomes a Brahmo "Kayasth" . If somebody is admitted to the clan (say by Brahmo wedding, marriage or adoption) then equivalency of caste enters the picture to safeguard the clan.
"True Brahmo" principles
a) Declaring a firm belief in ONE GOD. The True Brahmo conception of "God" is quite different from most other religions which have a Supreme Creator who created everything. Brahmos do not worship "The Author and Preserver" as "God". For us there is only "the One without a Second" what we nowadays describe as "Singularity" - a point where the infinite folds back onto itself to generate "innumerable infinities" - being thereby both immanent *and* transcendant and where all laws of science breakdown.
b) Declaring that one will abide by the Brahmo articles of faith.* These are not "blind faith" articles to be followed like a robut automaton. Brahmoism is now a very scientific religion, well grounded in doctrine after centuries of theological struggle against some of the world's largest religions. Our doctrine is the result of consensus of many ordinary people and a few brilliant individuals. We do not believe in revelations from God to be imposed by "Adesh" as "God's will" through his "chosen messengers.
Salvation in Brahmo Samaj
As is very well known Satyendranath Tagore was a close associate of Keshab and also a Freemason like Keshab. After Satyendranath sided with Keshub during the troubles of 1866 and Hemendranath took over from him, all neo-Christian, Unitarian and Masonic doctrines were exorcised from Brahmoism by Debendranath (and Hemendranath), as Sastri has recorded himself in his History.
When Keshab founded Nababidhan, Satyendranath's composed hymns on salvation were adapted in the Vaisnav sankirtan manner as Sastri records at Page 222.
"To grant salvation the merciful God has sent his new faith of Brahmoism. Lo ! the gates of salvation are wide open. He calls one and all, entrance through his gate is free ; no one ever returns disappointed; the rich and the poor, the wise and the ignorant, all are equally welcome there."Anusthanic Brahmos, Ananusthnic Brahmo Samaj
In 1902, the Highest Appellate Court of the British Empire (ie, the Privy Council) confirmed the detailed 1899 finding by the High Court of the Punjab that "Anusthanic Brahmos are not Hindoos but the anAnusthanic Brahmo Samajists may very well be Hindoos".