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Editorial – May 2018

Summer heat is here, interspersed with, thunder-showers and rain. Human mind is a state of consciousness. Its behaviour is not always consistent or logical. Take for example the manner in which it reacts to the weather, or rather, its changes. Each summer we experience prolonged heat-waves in the month of the May. We curse them. When thunder-showers give us respite we enjoy, but at the same time we again curse when they bring death and destruction in their trail. Such is the irrational behaviour of human psyche.

Let us now move to a completely different area. We know that the founder of Brahmo faith and Samaj was born on 22nd May, 1772 at the remote village of Radhanagar in the district of Hoogly in Bengal (now West Bengal). This is not the occasion for discussing the achievements of this pioneer who changed the face of medieval India in this search for the ultimate spiritual truth he, among many other faiths, delved into the ancient Vedic literatures and specially Upanishad. Rammohun was per se a seer whose goal was to reach out to the ultimate embodiment of truth whom he called “Brahman” and his creation (Jagat). In this search he became greatly attracted to the “AdvaitaVedantabad’ (philosophy) propagated by the great saint and religious scholar ‘Sankarata (Sankara Acharya) This monotheistic doctrine of Sankaraacharya. But Sankara Acharya did not relent here. He preached that, ‘Brahman’ was the only reality and His creation (Jagat) was a ‘Maya’ (illusion).

Rammohun in his search for the ultimate truth had become deeply attracted to Sankara Acharya’s monotheistic faith. But again, even in his intense spiritual quest he had feet firmly planted on clear reasoning. He was never carried away by emotion. He felt deep within himself that he would never accept that while God, the Creator of the universe or ‘Brahman’is real and the ultimate truth, His creation could be a ‘Maya’ or illusion seemingly without any existence. To him, it was contradiction in terms and he rejected Sankaracharya’s monotheistic “Mayabad”. Rammohan’s spiritual journey continued until he established his own Church or “Brahmo Samaj” in 1828 and opened his ‘Brahma Mandir’ in 1830. He sent his message of universal prayer to all humanity, who believed in Rammohan’s concept of one and only creator of the universe, who was eternal and all pervading. The rest of his journey is history of Brahmo Samaj and modern India. We bow our heads in solemn obeisance to the memory of this colossus who changed the face of modern India.

Samaj observed Rammohun’s birth anniversary on 22nd May at the feet of Rammohun’s statue in Maidan with due solemnity. Garlands were offered by Sadharan Brahmo Samah and other Samaj’s and fellow institutions. There were songs by students of Brahmo Balika Shikshalaya, Montessori Section and prayers.

A last word, Sadharan Brahmo Samaj fighting a legal combat before the Hon’ble Calcutta High court challenging the rejection of the prayer for Minority status for Brahmo Samaj by the State Minority Commission. The legal battle is costly. Samaj is hardly in a position to provide enough funds for the suit on its own. Readers, admirers and others who would identify themselves with the Samaj for this cause are requested to contribute liberally for this purpose. Let us fight for success.

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