History of the Maghotsava

By Maharshi Devendranath Tagore

(Translated from Bengali)

The Brahmo Samaj was losing its fervour and energy, reaching a nadir and almost vanishing into oblivion, before it was integrated with the Tattwabodhini Sabha. Its union with the Tattwabodhini Sabha breathed life into the Brahmo Samaj. It is not difficult to imagine the unfortunate state it would have reached if these two had not been brought together in Shaka 1763 (1841 CE). Perhaps it would have ceased to exist. We were students in an English School founded by Raja Rammohun Roy. Where is it now? Perhaps the Brahmo Sabha would have met with similar fate. At the time of bringing the Tatwabodhini Sabha together with the Brahmo Samaj there were serious debates whether they would be amalgamated together or preserve their separate existences. It was then decided that the Brahmo Samaj would hold the prayer meetings while the Tatwabodhini Sabha would be the organ for the philosophical discourses. Since then the monthly service of the Tatwabodhini Sabha was replaced by the monthly morning prayers of the Brahmo Samaj. Tatwabodhi Sabha used to hold annual celebrations on 21 Ashwin of the Bengali calendar.  This was replaced by the annual Maghotsava around 11th Magh of the Bengali calendar that marked the date the first prayer hall of the Brahmo Samaj was inaugurated in 1830. The annual celebration of the Brahmo Samaj in the Bengali month of Bhadra had been discontinued before I joined Brahmo Samaj. Now the annual celebration and the congregational prayer were restored to 11the Magh.

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