DMPQ- Evaluate the contributions of Raja Rammohan roy and Brahmo samaj in socio-religious field.

. Raja Rammohan Roy (1772-1833), often called the the father of Indian Renaissance and the maker of Modern India, was a man of versatile genius. Rammohan Roy believed in the modern scientific approach and principles of human dignity and social equality. He put his faith in monotheism. He wrote Gift to Monotheists (1809) and translated into Bengali the Vedas and the five Upanishads to prove his conviction that ancient Hindu texts support monotheism.

In 1814, he set up the Atmiya Sabha (or Society of Friends) in Calcutta to propagate the monotheistic ideals of the Vedanta and to campaign against idolatry, caste rigidities, meaningless rituals and other social ills. Strongly influenced by rationalist ideas, he declared that Vedanta is based on reason and that, if reason demanded it, even a departure from the scriptures is justified.

He said the principles of rationalism applied to other sects also, particularly to the elements of blind faith in them. In his Precepts of Jesus (1820), he tried to separate the moral and philosophical message of the New Testament, which he praised, from its miracle stories. He earned the wrath of missionaries over his advocacy to incorporate the message of Christ into Hinduism.

Raja Rammohan Roy founded the Brahmo Sabha in August 1828; it was later renamed Brahmo Samaj. Through the Sabha he wanted to institutionalise his ideas and mission. The Samaj was committed to “the worship and adoration of the Eternal, Unsearchable, Immutable Being who is the Author and Preserver of the Universe”. Prayers, meditation and readings of the Upanishads were to be the forms of worship and no graven image, statue or sculpture, carving, painting, picture, portrait, etc., were to be allowed in the Samaj buildings, thus underlining the Samaj’s opposition to idolatry and meaningless rituals. The long-term agenda of the Brahmo Samaj—to purify Hinduism and to preach monotheism—was based on the twin pillars of reason and the Vedas and Upanishads. The Samaj also tried to incorporate teachings of other religions and kept its emphasis on human dignity, opposition to idolatry and criticism of social evils such as sati.

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