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NEWS – March 2019

Krishnanagar Brahmo Samaj

Sometime in 1844 Srischandra, Maharaja of Krishnanagar, established Brahmo Samaj in his palace and started worship of One True God. He also initiated three persons into Brahmo Dharma and motivated them to sign in the Rules and Regulations of Brahmo Dharma drafted by Raja Rammohun Roy of Calcutta Brahmo Samaj.

Maharaja Srischandra then requested Sri Debendranath Tagore, Secretary of Kolkata Brahmo Samaj, to send a Brahmin mentor of Veda to preach Brahmo Dharma in Krishnanagar. Debendranath sent Lala Hajarilal, a Brahmo missionary. But he was not a Brahmin and also not a pundit of Veda. He was a sudra by cast which irked Srischandra. At that time there was one Gobindo Chandra Vedantabagis of Bhatpara who had great knowledge of Veda. But he refused to perform as a preacher of Brahmo Dharma. Having no other option, Srischandra did not send back Hajarilal and instead kept him in his palace.

After few days, Srischandra left for Mursidabad leaving Hajarilal and Brojonath Mukhopadhya to discourse Brahmo Dharma. During his stay at Mursidabad, about forty people of Kishnanagar initiated into Brahmo Dharma and took part in divine service conducted by Lala Hajarilal. After returning from Mursidabad, Srischandra was annoyed to know that Hajarilal, a sudra, perform divine service. He instantly stopped all activities of Brahmo Samaj in his palace.

Local Brahmos then shifted to a rented place at Aminbazar and started Brahmo Samaj there. Brojonath Mukhopadhya performed divine service until Debendranath sent a Brahmin Veda proficient. After sometime, in the year 1847 with active support from Brahmos and Debendranath’s encouragement, prayer hall was built for which Debendranath Tagore donated Rs.1000/-.

This samaj was lying unattended for decades and become dilapidated in natural course. In 2011 West Bengal Heritage Commission declared Krishnanagar Brahmo samaj a heritage property. In recent time one local organisation with support of few influential people taken permission from Heritage Commission and started cleaning up samaj premises and planned new construction. All these happened without the knowledge of Sadharan Brahmo Samaj. Timely action from present executive committee members with active support of local administration prevented intruders to enter this premises further.

Committee members decided to celebrate whole day programme at Krishnanagar Brahmo Samaj on 16th March. Local enthusiastic people took active interest and made all arrangement. Big pandel was erected in samaj premises. Programme started with Baitalik by singers from Shantipur. Before the Divine service, Sri Asis Kumar Pain, President of Sadharan Brahmo Samaj spoke briefly about the Krishnanagar Brahmo Samaj and his personal experiences during his early job posting in Krishnanagar.  Argho Brohmachari acted as minister and conducted Divine service. Hymns conducted by Supratim Chakraborty and his group members. About 200 devotees attended this service. Arrangement was also made to sell Samaj publications. Programme ended with community lunch prepared locally.

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