by K. C. Challa
BHADROTSAV is an important festival of the Brahmos. On 6th of Bhadra 1235 (according to the Bengali calendar) or 20th August 1828 the first Brahmo Samaj was opened by Raja Rammohun Roy with Tarachand Chakravarty as its first secretary. It started on a rented house belonging to Feranghee Kamal Bose and accommodated the first theistic congregation. It should also be noted that coincidentally or otherwise other Brahmo Samajes were also opened in this particular month of the year. On 22nd August 1869 the consecration was held of the Brahmo Samaj of India or the Navavidhan Brahmo Samaj. The Brahmo Sammilan Samaj was also founded in August 1897.
Let me recall and repeat summary of Acharya Sri Sitaramabrahmam’s writings on the Brahmo Faith:
“Brahma Samaj is a Society of people with Monotheistic Worship (Brahma, the One and Only Formless Almighty) and rational and religious attitude and conduct.
The founder of Brahmo Samaj, Raja Rammohan Roy used the word BRAHMA SABHA in the beginning. Brahmo Samaj is also called as PRARDHANA SAMAJ. Since spiritual worship is the life- breath of Brahmo Samaj , the name Prardhana Samaj is used. To indicate universal character, to proclaim that the Brahmo Samaj is not bound by nor does it totally reject any tradition, the word THEISTIC SAMAJ is used. Like a bee that collects honey from different flowers, Brahmo Samaj assimilates truth irrespective of its place and time.
BRAHMO SAMAJ IS NOT A NEW RELIGION. It is not against the spirit of the fundamentals of other religions. IT IS A NEW RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE. It is a spiritual fellowship, a religious brotherhood. It is the Least Common Multiple (LCM) of religions. Brahmo Samaj is one with the spirit of the fundamental teachings of all religions. IT IS DIFFERENT FROM THE POPULAR BELIEFS AND PRACTICES OF EVERY RELIGION.
The AIM OF BRAHMO SAMAJ is to bring about spiritual unity and religious Brotherhood among people of all religions, who believe in ONE God, through a common worship of common God.”
The Significance of 6th Bhadra
By Aniruddha Rakshit
The native Theistic Church of modern India was born on Wednesday, the 20th August, 1828 (৬ই ভাদ্র ১২৩৫ শকাব্দ). It was simply called Brahma Samaj by Raja Rammohun Roy. Ramchandra Sharma (Ramchandra Vidyavagis, younger brother of Rammohun’s venerable Sannyasi associate Hariharananda Trithasvami) was the first preacher and custodian after the Raja left for his last journey. They emphasised the spiritual worship of God and based their discourses on the Vedic Scriptures that focused on the concept that `God is the One without an equal, in Whom abide all the worlds and their inhabitants.’. Their worship was founded on the pillars of self-discipline, self-realization and service of others, and discarded the rituals that stood in the unity of the worshippers. The Brahmo Samaj or Brahmasabha was basically a social and religious movement of the 19th century and acted as a catalyst to the Bengal Renaissance. Rammohun drew his inspiration from the scriptures of all popular religions of the world, eliminating blind orthodoxy and superstitions.
The Trust Deed of the Brahmo Samaj, drawn on 8th January, 1830, on the occasion of inaugurating the first Brahmo Mandir on 23rd January or 11th Magh, of the same year, enshrines the Universal worship of the One True God “in this house of worship, which is open to the public, all people, irrespective of caste and creed, shall unite in love for the worship of the Creator of the universe and the Infinite Eternal Being.”
According to Rabindranath Tagore
“The pursuit of Brahmanism is the pursuit of surrendering the soul to Brahman with knowledge and love – that is what Chetasya must do. It is not a dull theory; It is a devotional religion”.