Personalities in the Brahmo Samaj
Raja Ram Mohan Roy
The cry is as old as the very dawn of spiritual life in man – the cry of the heart ‘needam yadidam upashate’: and the soul awakened comes out with the responsive cry “Atmalai are drashtabya, srotabya, nididhyashitabya’. What thou worshipest is not the Supreme Brahman: the Supreme Soul alone is the object of meditation and the Supreme Vision where soul finds its realisation; ‘yo bai bhumatat sukham, naolpe Sujhamasti’ – the Infinite is the Supreme Bliss. The cry awakened the great mind of Rajah Ram Mohan Roy, truly called the father of Modern India, and, in a sense , of the New Age. He had vision of the free, united India with one common life throbbing and pulsating through all the peoples of different races, professing different religions. This alone can create a great nation out of the heterogeneous mass of humanity inhabiting this our great land of India, representing all types of racial culture and creed, diversities of the unity of spiritual life. He ad a message for humanity – the message of one religion based on the unity of spiritual life behind all diversified forms and creeds and denominational liturgy, expressing itself through diverse tongues in different scriptures.
Maharsi Devendra Nath Tagore
‘Yatoba Imani bhutani Jayante, yena Jatani Jibanti, Jasmin prayantyabhisumbisanti – tat Brahma tat bijignasasva’ – That from which all come, in which all live, and where all enter to find their realisation – the cause, support and perfection of all. This Supreme Spirit revealed itself to Maharsi Devendra Nath, in whom the Rishi-soul of India had a rebirth, as the Supreme Person holding heart to heart personal communication and shining in all his efflugent beauty: and he was lost in the joy of communication with, and the communication of, the Spirit: Maharsi gave the (Brahmo Samaj) Movement its scripture, its liturgy and rituals and ceremonies on a Theistic basis. And he found the vbasis of his religion in Atma-Pratyana – in the height of consciousness where self-consciousness and God-consciousness become one.
Brahmananda Keshab Chandra Sen
Keshab began life armed with the spirit of asceticism and conscience. Free spontaneous prayer in the vernacular of his heart was his only guru and guide. Prayer led him on in endless pilgrimage from character to character. Here is the full man showing the harmony in life of the Rishi-soul, Chaitanya-heart and Christ-will. A great transfiguration came – the life of perpetual babyhood constantly in the Mother’s breat – breat out of which flows out Yoga, Bhakti, Karma and Jnan, harmonised in the Divine life.
He found a new synthesis of life, ever to be realised in a continuous process of rebirth at every stage of creative evolution.
Faith, to him, is not a faculty – not a feeling nor, an apprehension or intellectual assent. It does not come in the evolution of nature. It is a new creation, a rebirth in the spirit or a regenerate life – a new sense and a new spirit. To him faith is the direct vision of God and forestate of life immortal and the realisation of a community of life with all saints and prophets and world-characters. Communion with them as they are living and growing in God, so that they may live and grow in him, did build his life and character with the elements of their lives in and through the in-dwelling Supreme Spirit.