History of movemnets - 13

Established, 3 April 1864.
Reorganized, 23rd December 1884.

In the year 1864, Babu Keshav Chandra Sen paid a short visit to Madras, when he delivered some im­pressive lectures on Theism, to our educated countrymen. An active interest in the cause of Theism was thereby awakened and soon after his departure, a Society, under the name of Veda Samaj, was started on the 3rd of April 1864, by a number of educated men of considerable social influence and respectability. Out of this band of sympathisers, two gentlemen stand out prominently for their last­ing work; one was Rajagopala Charlu, a pleader of the High Court of Madras, and the other was Subryulu Chetty, B A., B. L., of Salem. These two worked hard for the propagation of the Theistic faith in this presidency by delivering lectures, issuing tracts and editing a paper called tativabodhini, in Tamil and in Telugu.

After thus serving the Samaj for four years they both passed away in 1808. .The Samaj so brilliant under their leadership now showed signs of decline. Then Sreedharalu, a young man from Cadalur District,who had been to Calcutta in 1863 to learn all about the Brahraa Samaj from its patriarch, iMaharshi Devendranath Tagore, and whohad been a silent but unnoticed worker, came to the front. IHe was earnest, devout and zealous for the cause of Brahmaism. He translated the standard work, Brahma Dharma, into Tamil and Telugu; published a Tamil translation of Babu K. C. Sen’s “Model form of Divine worship”; revived Tatwabodhini which had ceased to be issued after the death of his predecessors. He was the life of the Samaj until 1874. In January 1874, when he was on a visit to -some of his relatives at Pondicherry, he went out to see a Jain temple at Chidambarum, with a view to ascertain whether it would be suitable as a model for the Brahma Hall, which he wished to erect at "Madras. But on his way, he met with an accident which ended fatally. His last words were, “My funeral should be simple, with only Brahma prayers. I die a devoted Brahma.” Thus passed away the third and perhaps the greatest leader of the Theistic movement in Madras.

The movement declined once again, till 1878, when by the advent of some missionaries from Bengal, it gained new life and gathered new force “ But unfortunately there came a split also, some siding with the Sadharan Brdhma Samaj, others, being in favaur of New Dispensation movement.


This State of affairs continued until 1884, when a reconciliation was brought about and a new con­stitution given under the name of “the Southern India Brahmo Samaj” on 23rd December 1888. Butchia Pantalu, the then secretary of the Samaj, went on a tour to Calcutta, Bombay and other parts of India, for the purpose of collecting funds for the Brahma Mandir. His attempts, having proved fruitful, the Samaj succeeded in purchasing a good building at Annapillay Street,—the present Upasana Mandir. The building was consecrated on the 1st of January 1885, the consecration service being con­ducted by Pandit Siva Nath Sastri M. A. of Calcutta The trust deed was drawn up and registered on 26th January 1885.

The Samaj has since then seen- various vicissi­tudes and has been slowly doing its work of propo- gatingthe Theistic faith in Southern India. It has now got 45 members on its roll out of whom six are anusthanic.

V- Padam Raj Naidu, B. A.