Barisal. Dt. Bakergunj. (Estd. 23-6-1861.) Barisal Brahma Samaj, Barisal, Dt. Bakergunj.
Secretary:—Babu Rajan Eantha Guha, M. A. Principal, B. M. College, Barisal.
Members.—100 Annsthanic Brahmas. 200 Sympathisers.
Meetings:—4 meetings are held every week in Bengali.
Mandir:—The Samaj has a spacious pooja building for a Mandir, consecrated on 1-11-1665. The Samaj has also a Mission house.
Missionaries.—1. Baboo Kali Mohan Dass (ordained in 1881).
2. Baboo Mano Mohan Chakravarti (ordain­ed in 1902).
The Missionaries besides working in the town also visit moffusil places all round.
Organ:—The “Brakmabadi” a Bengali Monthly edited by Baboo Satyanand Das, B. A., and independently managed by him and some of other members ot the Samaj serves the purposes of an organ of the Samaj without entailing any charge on its funds.
Institutions.—1. Brahmica Samaj (Established February 1871) an association for women entirely managed by Brahma ladies. Its meetings are held every month, generally in pri­vate houses and attended by neighbour­ing Hindu ladies.
2. Students’ Weekly Service (Established August 1885) for the benefit of students, holds its meetings during the working seasons of the year.
3.Brahma Bandhu Sabha holds occasional public meetings where religious subjects are lectured upon and discussed.
4. Sangat Sabha holds its sittings on every Tuesday for the old and Sunday noon for the young—for exchanging spiritual ex­periences in the case of the former or for receiving instruction in practical theism as in the case of the latter.
5. Sunday school for Brahma boys and girls (Established 1831) is worked by its Superintendent Baboo Mano Mohan Chakravarti and a lady teacher Miss Sukhalata Das.
6. Theological Classes are held on Sunday mornings by Messrs. Surendra Narayan Mitra, m. a., and Rajanikanta Guha, M.A. Prizes are given to students who come out successful in the examinations held on the subject taught.
7. A library containing over 650 books in English and Bengali.
Publication:—Prarthana Mala (garland of prayers) in Bengali by Baboo G. C. Mazoomdar, being a translation of some of the prayers of Theodore Parker.
Finances.—No permanent funds. Each member has to pay not less than one anna a month. The annual collections over Rs. 600 are almost spent away in meeting the charges.
Brief History.—In April 1800 Baboo Harish Chandra Ma­zoomdar and 4 other youngmen of Dacca Brahma Samaj came to settle down in Barisal. They started the Samaj, the meetings of which were at first held in the private residence of Babu Rnkal Chandra Roy, a Zamindar of the district. Mazoomdar Baboo was the first minister owing to constant dread of their guardians, they con­ducted the services with closed doors. Rakhal Baboo’s father, an orthodox Brahmin, coming to know of the Samaj, shut his doors against the young Brahmas. Undismayed, they managed to meet at the appointed hour, either under the shade of a tree, or by the bank of a river or the side of a tank. Thus continuing to hold meetings for a time, they found warm friends in the persons of Baboo Tara Prasanna Chatterjee, B. A., and one other Deputy Magistrate and an Inspector of Schools. The Samaj was then removed to the house of Baboo T. P. Chatterjee. Sometime after, a crisis came over the Samaj when a public feast without castedistinctions was given. The orthodox Hindus excommunicat­ed all those that had joined the feast. Many members ex­piated for their offence and re-entered the orthodox camp. ‘The attendance at the Samaj dwindled into 3 or 4 and its existence was dispaired of.’ But the calmness, courage and faith of the few that manfully stood firm and bore all the persecutions, won large numbers to the cause. So great was the success that the dawn of the fourth year saw a decent Mandir for the Samaj erected chiefly through the exertions of Baboo Durga Mohan Dass, a local pleader, who latterly re­moved to Calcutta and took a leading part in the controversy against Kesub Chandra Son's Ministry after the Cooch-Behar marriage. After its conseeration ladies began to attend and as many as 28 families declared themselves Brahmas.

A school for grown up women was opened in connection with the Samaj in 1867 and religious instruction was given to 14 or 15 pupils. Instruction in needle and carpet work was imparted by Mrs. Balfour, wife of the then District Judge, who magnanimously volunteered her services. For a year the school worked very satisfactorily. “But as almost all the pupils were married ladies, several domestic cir­cumstances prevented their attending regularly and the school had eventually to be given up.”

In 1871 the Barisal Female Improvement Association was established through the exertions of a few Brahmas. Its mode of operation was follows :—