Directory of Samajes - Bombay - 4

be ridiculed or condemned. No sect shall be vilified, ridi­culed or hated. No prayer, hymn, sermon, or discourse to be delivered or used here shall countenance or eneoarage any manner of idolatry, sectarianism or sin. Divine service shall be conducted here in such spirit and manner as may enable all men and women irrespective of distinctions of caste, colour and conditions and to unite in one family, eschew all manner of error and sin, and advance in -wisdom. faith and righteousness.”
'The total cost of the building, as shown in the account sub joined to this report, was Rs. 24,346-7-1 and a balance of Rs. 199-15-9. A little more than one third only of the total amount raised for this bnilding was contribnted by the members and the rest by sympathisers of the movement.
Mission Fund.—The late Mr. Justice M. G. Ranade first suggested in 1881 the idea of appointing a devoted Mission­ary to propagte the principles of the Samaj. The members of the Bombay Prarthana Samaj thereupon met on the 31st July 1881 under the Presidency of Dr. R. G. Bhandarkar to discuss the question and of those present 13 members pro­mised to pay 2 per cent of their monthly income towards the Mission Fund and also towards maintenance of the Orphanage at Pandharpur if necessary. A circular was sent round and 30 more members off!red to contribute to this fund. Till 1899 this fund was owned and managed by a separate committee annually elected from amongst the subscribers of the Fund, after which it was handed over to the Bombay Prarthana Samaj for management. At this time the total amount of the fund was Rs. 6,171-4-8 as stated in the published report of this Samaj for the year 1900-01.
Missionaries.—The first Missionary appointed by the Samaj was the late Mr. Sadashiv Pandurang Kelkar who worked as such from 1882 to 1894. In 1898 Mr. Shivram Narayen Gokhale was appointed Missionary by the Prartbana Samaj of Poona. He is still working mainly in con­nection with that Samaj and is partly paid out of the proceeds of this Fund. The late Mr. Moti Bulasa, B.A., a

young and energetic member of the Deccan Education Society was sent to England as the first Indian student from the Western Presidency to be trained as missionary in the Manchester College, at Oxford. He sailed on the 16th of September 1900 but unfortunately died of rheumatic fever at Port Said on the way. Mr. V. R. Shinde, B. A., was then sent next year and returned from Oxford in October 1903 after the due course of two years at the Manchester College and worked as Missionary of the Samaj till November 1910. Dr. V. A. Sukhtankar was also sent as the* third scholar and returned after a course of two years at the Manchester College and an additional one of two years in Germany; but he worked as missionary of the Samaj for not more than a year (1908-9).  
The Theistic Association and Rev. Pratapchandra Muzumdar. Although the names of the three great leaders Rammohan Rai, Devendranath Thakur, and Keshab Chandra Sen are rightly held in a pre-eminently high veneration all over the Theistic Church of India, yet it must be distinctly and thankfully acknowledged even in this sketch of the history of this Samaj that no Bengali gentleman, either lay or mission­ary, has shed as much direct and personal influence over this Samaj in the most formative period of its life and as effectively conveyed the message of Brahmoism, both in its practical! and devotional aspects, to this Western Presidency, as the late revered Babu Pratap Chandra Muzumdar. Rev. Mr. Muzumdar resided in Bombay for six months and delivered lectures in English every Saturday and conducted service in Hindi every Sunday evening in the Prarthana Mandir. He also delivered two public lectures in the Framji Cowasji Institute and one in the Town Hall. He held a theological class at his private residence for the benefit of young men, once a week assembled the ladies of the Samaj and with the help of some friends arranged lectures to them on scientific and domestic subjects. Regarding his work and its effect the following remarks are extracted from the report of the Samaj for the year 1872:—

 “ He delivered public lectures and sermons. Besides he gave religious counsel and cheer to individual members that met him- From his advent the mode ot our public worship was largely improved. His main purpose was to remove onr religious indifference and awaken in us a real spiritual earnestness and devotion to God. The benefit of his presence and work amongst us may not as yet be fully estimated, yet that it is there will be admitted by all. He visited Poona twice and spent there a week every time. He spent another fortnight in Baroda and Ahmedabad. The rest of his, six months in this presidency he spent in working in this city of Bombay.”
Mr. Muzumdar started the Theistic Association in 1872 which has been directly or indirectly the cause of nearly all the naw existing institutions of the Samaj. The main aim of this Association was to bring about a working union of all persons of monotheistic persuasion in Bombay either members or sympathisers of the Samaj. According to the first object they met once a month for lectures and religious discussion. According to the 2nd, ladies’ meetings were held every week with a view to introduce religious, moral and practical reform into the families. Thirdly several branches Were started to inaugurate various works of public utility. As the result of this last activity, „ which was generally conduoted on the same lines as those of the Indian Reform Association started by Keshub Chandra Sen on his return from England, a cheap pice paper was started under the name Subodha Patrika in two editions, Marathi and Gujarati. Of these the Gujarati edition was disconti­nued after some years, but the Marathi is still continued from 1873 and is thus one of the oldest journals of this presidency. With a view to promote free primary education among the Millhands and other day-labourers of this city two night schools were first started in 1874, to which twomore were add­ed in 1878. To Messrs. B. K. Gangnaik and Laxman Ganesh Munja is largely due the credit of establishing and conduct­ing those schools in their early days. Now there are eight

Directory of Samajes - Bombay - 3

(4) To worship and pray to images and other created objects is not the true mode of divine adoration.
(5) God does not incarnate Himself and there is no one book which has been directly revealed by God or is wholly infallible.
(6) All men are*his children, therefore they should behave towards each other as brethren without distinction. This is pleasing to God and constitutes man’s duty.
'The object :--The object of this Samaj is that the faith the principles of which are enumerated above should spread and that actious in life should be in conformity thereto.
The Oath:-- Every candidate for membership has to take the following oath before he is admitted as a member of the Samaj.
"I fully believe in the articles of faith above specified and I hold it my duty to act in conformity with them. To this effect 1 solemnly affirm in the presence of Almighty God.
Building.—The following extract is taken from the report of Mr. B. H. Bhagwat, Secretary of the Samaj, published in February 1877.
“ Accommodation for the prayer and other meetings of the Samaj was provided by the President, Dr. Atmaram Pandnrang, in his own house from the beginning down to 1870. For some months afterwards the meetings were held in the- house of the late Rao Bahadur Ramchandra Balkrishna, and subsequently the liquidators of the Central Bank of Western India—The late Messrs. Vinayakrao Jagannath Shankarshet and Limjibhai JamSetji Bottlebhai and Mr. G. Robinson—kindly lent the Samaj free of charge the use of an iron house appertaining to the Girgaum Ice Factory, which stood on the ground now occupied by the Mandir. This place being put up for sale in 1872, quarters were hired in the opposite court-yard belonging to Dr. Manekji Adarji and these continued to be occupied till the building of the

Mandir was completed. Dr. Manakji, however, generously remitted the rent for the last year of the tenancy.
Want of accommodation was early felt by the members of the Samaj, who in 1868 resolved to have a building of their own and started a subscription for the purpose, most of them contributing each his one month’s income. And when the iron house belonging to the Girgaum Ice Factory was as stated above, put up for sale in 1872, the place was purchased. 
The foundation stone of the building was laid on the 29th December 1872 by the hand of Babu Pratapehandra Muzumdar of the Brahma Samaj of India who was then on a visit to Bombay.  
The consecration ceremony was performed on the 26th April 1874. The following conditions were then laid down regarding the use of the building.—
“ Every day, at least every week, the One Only God with­out a second, the Perfect and Infinite, the Creator of all, Omnipresent, Almighty, All-knowing, All-merciful, and All-holy shall be worshipped in these premises. No created object shall be worshipped here. No man or inferior being or material object shall be worshipped here as identical with God or like unto God or as an Incarnation of God ; and no prayer or hymn shall be offered or chanted unto or in the name of any one except God, No carved or painted image no external symbol whieh has been or may hereafter be used by any sect, for the purpose of worship or the remem­brance of a particular event, shall be preserved here. No creature shall be sacrificed here. Neither eating nor drink­ing nor any manner of mirth or amusement shall be allowed here. No created being or object that has been or may hereafter be worshipped by any sect shall be ridiculed or condemned in the course of Divine Service to be conducted here. No book shall be acknowledged or revered as the infallible word of God ; yet no book which has been or may hereafter be acknowledged by any sect to be infallible shall

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(8.) The Brahma Postal Mission:—At the initiative of Mr. V. R. Shinde and with the generous help of the British and Foreign Unitarian Association of London, this work was first started in Poona by Mr. V. A. Sukthankar on the 23nd of January 1902. From June 1904, the centre of the work was transferred to Bombay and is since being con­ducted by Mr. V. R. Shinde. The objects are (1) to spread knowledge of the faith and principles of the Brahma and Prarthana Samajes in India by postal correspondence and free distribution of literature, &e.; (2) to form centres for collecting and giving information about the Liberal Religious Movement, in the world. With these objects this Mission has till the end of the year 1911 either distributed freely or sold at a cheap rate 3,438 Brahma books and 12,702 pamphlets and 633 Unitarian books and 4,897 Pamphlets, the latter being a gift to the Mission from the British and Foreign Unitarian Association of London. Besides this help the B. & F. Association also used to pay the expenses of postage and a small grant till the end of the year 1909. Mr. Shinde organised two lecturing tours under this Mission into some districts of Bombay the expenses of which also were paid by the above Unitarian Association.

History :—Although the Western Presidency will never be slow in acknowledging its deep debt of gratitude to Bengal, especially to the three great leaders, Ram Mohan Rai, Maharshi Devendranath Thakur, and Keshub Chandra Sen, for their spreading the gospel of Brahmaism in India, yet it might be claimed in its behalf with some justice and propriety that both the rise and growth of Thesim in Western India are ofe a more indigenous character than those in the sister pro­vinces, viz., Madras and Punjab.* Asearlyas 1840 an associa­tion called Parama-hansa Sabha was started consisting of the several men of learning and position of the day. The object of this assooiation was to abolish caste distinctions and promote monotheism in the country. But somehow this Society had to carry on its work in secret for about 20 years until it was finally dissolved in I860- It had its branches in Poona, Ahmednagar and elsewhere. Six years after this some of the members of this association desirous to establish a new society on more spiritual and permanent basis met on the 30th of December 1866 at the residence of Dr. Atmaram Pandurang Tarkhad, when the following gentlemen were
resent:—Dr. A.P. Tarkhad, Messrs. Santaram Narayan Bondse (pleader), Mahadev Narayan Shirgaonkar, Moroba Vithoba Sanjgiri, Bal Mangesh Wagle, Bhaskar Hari Bhagwat, Narayen Mahadev Paramanand, Sarvottam Sakharam Mankar, TukaramTatya Padwal, Vishwanath Govind Cholkar, and Wasudev Babaji Nowrange. Meanwhile a Theistic Society had already been started at Madras under the name Veda Samaj, the rules of which were largely utilized by the organizers of this new Society in Bombay. Although Babu Keshub Chandra Sen had visited this city once or twice no direct relations with Calcutta had yet been established. The first divine service of this new society was held on Sunday the 31st of March 1867 which has since been obsered as the foundation day of the Prarthana Samaj of Bombay. A Bengali Sanyasi by name Anandashram Swami, who was

*    The substance of the following information is taken from the first seventeen years’ report of the Prarthana Samaj compiled by the late Mr. S. P. Kelkar.

particularly interested in tbe inauguration of this Samaj oflered the last prayer in this service in Hindi.

The object of the Samaj as then formulated was:-- God is only one and 'without form. To worship him in spirit is one’s duty. Idolatry is a false mode of worship ; it is in­sulting to God and derogatory and degrading to man. It is therefore the object of this Samaj to put a stop to this evil and to promote the right mode of worship among the people and to direct all the religious duties of life* in accordance with this reformed faith.
The declarations of faith were :—
“I firmly believe that God is one, without a second."
“The only one God is the creator of all and I do not believe in Idolatry. ” Besides a member had to take the following oath.
“I shall daily contemplate on God. I shall endeavour to practise good and abstain from evil deeds. In case I do some wrong through defect of nature I shall pray to God that I may repent for it. O God ! Grant me strength to keep this oath.”
In 1873 the above object and faith was minutely recon­sidered and was restated as follows :—
The faith —(1) God is the creator of this Universe. He is the only true God : there is no other God besides Him. He is eternal, spiritual, infinite, the store of all good, all joy, without part, without form, one without a second, the ruler of all, all-pervading, omniscient, almighty, merciful, all holy and saviour of sinners.(2) His worship alone leads to happiness in this world and the next.
(3)Love and reverence for Him, an exclusive faith in Him, praying and singing to Himspiritually with these feelings and doing the things pleasing to Him constitute His true worship.

Directory of Samajes - Bombay - 8

Malvan.      Dist. Ratnagiri.        Estd. Novr. 1911.
Malvan Prayer Meeting, Malvan.
Secretary.—Mr. Sitaiam Gundoba Keni?                                
Meeting.—On every Sunday Divine Service is held in Marathi at the residence of Mr- Bhandarkar.
History.—Mr. V. B. Shinde on his way back from Man­galore visited this place in November 1911 and delivered two lectures and performed a Kirtan in Marathi. At a meeting held atthehouse of Mr. Bhandarkar, L.C.E., retired Engineer,some 8 or 10 gentlemen decided to open a small Theistic Prayer Meeting. Mr. Atmaram Sadashiv Kelkar, member of tile Bombay Prarthana Samaj, took the most active part in orga­nizing this body. Mr. Bhandarkar became the first President and Mr. Keni the 1st Secretary.

Manmad.     (Dist. Nasik)    Estd. 20th May 1903.
The Manmad Prayer Meeting, Manmad P. O. (Nasik Dt.)
Secretary—Mr. Manilal Uttamehand Shah. Commission Agent, Manmad.
Meetings—One in a week in Marathi or Hindi.
Mr. Mr. Mohansihna Motisinha was a regular reader of the Subodha Patrika. at Amraoti and with the aid of theis­tic literature supplied by the Brahma Postal Mission of Bom­bay he became an advocate of theism. He soon gathered a circle of friends in Manmad who shared his views and faith, and these began to assemble for divine service and their regular Meeting was named the Prayer Meeting.

Poona.    1st December 1870.

The Poona Prarthana Samaj, Budhwar Peth, Poona City.
Secretaries—Mr. Mahadeo D. Lotlikar.
Mr. Narayen Ganesh Virkar, B.A.,LL.B.
Meetings—(1) Divine service once a week on Sanday  Mornings.
(2) Young Men’s Gathering on every Tuesday evening.
(3)   Tukaram Society Meetings onoe a week (on Friday evenings).
Generally the meetings are conducted in Marathi.
Mandlr—The Samaj has a spacious Mandir, near Pasodya Maruti, Budhwar Peth.

 * Since Mr. Mohansing had to remove to Belgaum in 1910 this Meeting was discontinued and will be reopened after his return:--3 March 1912; V.R.S.

1.   Sir Ramkrishna G. Bhandarkar.
2.   Rao Bahadur K. B. Marathe.

3.   Mr. G. B Kotkar.
4.   Mr. G. Anjerlekar and others.
Funds—No fixed rule for subscription. About 6 Rs. a month
is collected and sent to Bombay Samaj towards the help of the Mission Fund.
Celebration—The anniversary of the Samaj takes plaoe in April; and the day on which the present new Mandir .was opened is observed as principal day.
Lectures in English and Marathi, Kirtan and a religious Excurshion, &c;t are the general items of the programme. This Samaj annually publishes the following pamphlets.
(a) The Book of Anniversary hymns.
(b) A pamphlet for use on the day of Kirtan daring the anniversary.
History:—The first attempt for a Theistic movement in this city might be said to date from 1862. Bat then the movers had to face enormous odds. The cause of reform was served by an association called ‘‘The Friendly meeting” before the visit of Keshub Chundra Sen to Bombay which helped the promoters a good deal. In 1870 the late Mr. Waman Abaji Modak on his way to Bombay from Ratnagiri visited Poona and delivered a lecture at the Vishrambag on "the Necessity of Religion” whioh roused the above pro­moters to a great enthusiasm and the following gentlemen met at the hoase of Mr. Keshav Pandurang Godbole and resolved to start a Prarthana Samaj:—Messrs. Vishvanath Shastri Kelkar, Ramchandra Dinkar Paranjpe, Ganpat Bhaskar Kotkar, Vishwanath Sadashiv Deodhar, Rajaram Balkrishna Sewak, Babaji Raghnnath Waiwade, Gopal Raoji Mule, Gunapatgir Rutangir, Keshava Pandurang Godbole and two others. The first Theistio service was conducted on the first Sunday of December 1870 which was since observed as the Foundation Day of the Samaj till the open­ing of the New Mandir in 1909- The objeots and principles of the Samaj were laid down on the lines of the Bombay Prarthana Samaj. 
The Old Mandir  For some years after the opening of the Samaj the members used to meet for worship and other parpcaes in private houses. In 1872 when Swami Dayanand Saraswati who afterwards founded the Arya Samaj, came to, lecture in Poona at the invitation of the members of this Samaj, they felt very badly the need of a Mandir of their own. Mainly with the efforts of the late Mr. Justice M. G. Ranade tho plot of ground on which the present Mandir stands was parchased on 23 November 1877 for Rs 817, and a building of a temporary character was raised and opened on May 1878. The total expenditure for the land and building was Rs. 2,903—8—0 of which Rs. 2,279—8—0 were raised by subscriptions and the deficit of Rs. 624 was made good by the then Secretary Mr. Chintaman Sakharam Chitnis. In honour of the completion of this building a six-monthly celebration called  मित्रमेळा,i.e., Friendly Gather­ing used to be held till *1895-96.
The new Mandlr. Even at the time when the above Mandir was built the members had intended to have a larger and a more permanent Hall; but this had some how to be postponed until 1907 when mainly with the earnest efforts and liberal contributions of the venerable Dr. (now Sir) R. G. Bhandarkar and Rao Bahadur K. B. Marathe the movement for building the present new Mandir was set on foot. The foundation stone was laid on the 6th of July 1907 and the Mandir was completed and opened under the name Shri Hari Mandir on the 11th April 1909. Mr. Ganesh Sakharam Khare a member of the Samaj besides his own contribution to the fund of Rs. 400 offered his services free as an Engineer for a larger part of the time while the Mandir was built. Since the opening of this, the 11th of April is observed as the principal day of the Anniversary of the Samaj which is now held in April instead of December as before.
Misslonarles. Mr. Shivram Narayen Gokhale who was appointed Missionary by this Samaj in 1898 is still working as such. As to the late Mr. Motl Bulasa. Mr. V. R. Shinde and Dr. V. A. Sukhatankar, mention about whom is made on pages 134—135 above, it may he only said here that they all originally belonged to and were aotive members of this Samaj.

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Indore.    (Central India.)      Estd. 6th May 1883.
The Madhya Bharat-Varshiya ( Central India ) Brahma Samaj, Near Edward Town Hall, Indore city                                                            
Secretary-—Mr. Ramchandra Gopal Mitbawkar.

Members.—  30 Men.
10 Women.                      = 106.
66 Children
Sympathisers—About 10 strictly speaking—but 75, if sympa­thisers only mean men appreciating the ideal and no farther,
Meetings.—Two Meetings in the week, in Marathi, oneforser- viceand the other for discussion on religions subjects, &c. These are generally conducted in Marathi,
Mandir.—The Samaj possesses a Mandir consecrated on a Chaitra Sudha Pouranima day.
Lay Preachers.—Messrs. P. R. Bhandarkar, R. G. Mitbaw­kar, B. N. Deo, Y. G. Bhandarkar, Dr. A. R. Jadhav.
Institutions.—  (1)  A Free Reading Room.
(2)   Ladies’ Gathering.
(3)   Sangat Sabha.
(4)   Night School and Drawing Class.

History—In the beginning of 1880 Mr. Balkrishna Rao Jadhav Patkar, member of the Bombay Prarthana Samaj, R. B. N. G. Kirtane, Dr. Ganapataing, R. S. Shriniwas Rao, Judge, and Mr. Ekanathpant, Engineer, used to sing songs from Prarthana Sangit and discuss religions subjects now and then at Dr. Ganpatsing’s house. This continued for some time till Babu Shivchandra Sen came on 6th May 1883 on mission work from Lahore, and with the help of Mr. B. R. Jadhav, Mr. A. Shriniwasrao and others called a meeting, conducted divine service at Lala Bhagwan Sahai’s place and then delivered some lectures. The following were elected on the 1st Managing Committee on the 7th Jane 1883:—
A Shrinivas Rao, President; Lala Bhagwan Sahai, VicePresident; Babu Shamacharan Dutt, Secretary; Babu Rasiklaldas, Treasurer; Mr. B.R. Jadhav, Minister; and Messrs. R.G. Mitbawkar, Dattaram Pilgaumkar, Venkatesh Madhav, Atmaram R. Jadhav, Bhavan Rao and Dr. Ganpatsing as members. The Samaj was called the Indore Prarthana Samaj and the principles were taken from the Bombay Prarthana Samaj.
In April 1892 the Mandir was built and on the 17th April 1892 the Samaj was called the Madhya Bharatwarshiya (Central India) Brahma samaj; some changes were made in the confession for dikshit and adikahit members, viz., those who took the vow of strictly adhering to the principles in their conduct of life and those who did not take that vow. Formerly the anniversaries of the Samaj were celebrated in May but since the opening of the Mandir, they are being celebrated on the fall moon day of ‘Chaitra.

The late Mr. S. P. Kelkar came to settle here in 1895 and always took prominent part in the work of the Samaj; he was also appointed for some time Minister but in 1906 he went to Bombay where he died. There are eight Brahma families here in the station at present.

(The above account was received from Mr. R. G. Mitbawkar, Secretary of the C. I. Brahma Samaj, on the 23rd Jan. 1912.)

Karachi. (Sind)    Estd. 1882.

The Karachi Brahma Samaj, Karachi. Sind.
Secretary—Mr. Jogumal Bogumal, Karachi,
Members—40. Out of this 12 persons are initiated.
Meetings—Divine service is held at 9 a. m. every Sunday, in Sindhi.
Mandir—The Samaj has its own Mandir.
History—The Samaj first existed under the name of Prarthana Samaj, Karachi, when its meetings were bqing held in rented houses till about 23 years ago. It was through Sadhu Hiranand that a plot of land was bought and a Mandir erected thereon by public subscriptions. Although a Prarthana Samaj existed before, Sadhu Hiranand and Diwan Navalrai may be considered as the founders of this Samaj here. In 1894 the name was changed from Prarthana Samaj to Brahma Samaj. Since that time it has initiated into Brahma—Dharma about 12 persons.
Two inter-racial marriages were celebrated here ons in 1893, the other in 1903, the former between Mr. Motiram Adwani, Bar-at-Law, and Miss Annie Voysey. These Marriages were celebrated according to Brahmaic rites and registered under the Civil Marriage Act III of 1872.

Kirkee.    Dist. Poona.     Estd- 6th January 1905.

The East Kirkee Prarthana Samaj, Kirkee (Poona).
Secretary.—Mr. Rajaram Ellapa, Clerk, Office of Supdt. of Instruction, 3rd Sappers and Miners, Kirkee.
Members.—20—only 3 of this are anusthanic.
Meetings.—One devotional meeting in a week either in Hindi or Marathi.
Mandir—No Mandlr. This is a great want.
Lay Preachers.—Messrs. G.R. Anjerlekar and L.M. Sattoor.

Kolhapur.     S. M. Country.       Estd. Nov; 1909.

The Kolhapur Prarthana Samaj, Kolhapur.
Secretary.—Mr. G.K, Kadam, Publio Prosecutor, Kolhapur State.
Members.—17 of whom 7 belgng to the Depressed Classes.  
Meetings. Divine Service in Marathi, every Sunday morning in the house of Mr. Abasaheb Sawant, President.
Institutions.—There is a Postal Mission centre maqpged by Mr. B. K. Pisal. There are two Bhajan Samajes consist­ing of members of tbe Depressed Classes residing in two different places in the suburbs of the town which meet every Sunday for devotional purposes and are attended by members of this Prarthana Samaj.

History.—Under the auspices of the Brahma Postal Mission of Bombay, a party of Brahma lecturers consisting of Prof. L. T. Waswani, M.A., and Dr. Reuben of Karachi, Rev. Promotholal Sen of Calcutta, Prof. N. G. Welinkar, M. A., and Mr. Y. R. Shindy of Bombay went to Kolhapur in November 1909 and delivered lectures in English, a sermon in Hindi and a Kirtan in Marathi. The Samaj was started as a result of this tour during which the message of the Brahma Samaj was effectively delivered in this State for tfce first time. A centre of the Postal Mission was also started for the spread of the Theistic Literature. The Samaj held its first Anniversary in June 1911 in which a party of the members of the Bombay -and Poona Samajes took active part.