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When matters were drifting in this unsatis­factory fashion, in the beginning of 1878, the Brahma community was taken by surprise by the intelligence that Mr. Sen’s eldest daughter, who had not till then completed the age required by Brahma law, was going to be married to the young Maharajah of Cooch Behar, who himself was till then a minor. The surprise was soon converted into active opposi­tion by the further news that the marriage was going to be celebrated according to the old Hindu rituals of the Raj family of Cooch Behar with a few modi­fications and earnest protests poured in from many Samajes and individual Brahmas expressive of the wide-spread concern of the whole Brahma commu­nity occasioned by the news. Mr. Sen gave no heed to the protests and proceeded to celebrate the marriage. When it actually came off, it was found that most of the requirements of a Brahma marriage were neglected, and there were other features, which were highly objectionable in the eyes of Brahmas. When Mr. Sen returned to Calcutta from Cooch Behar the protesters wanted to consider his conduct by calling a meeting of the Brahma Samaj of India, which Mr. Sen did not allow, and they actually moved a resolution deposing him from the post of minister of the Brahma Mandir Congregation at a meeting called by Mr. Sen. But in spite of it, Mr.Sen took forcible possession of the pulpit with the aid of the police, the next Sunday, whereon the protesters in a body seceded from the Mandir Service and organised a weekly Service of their own. All this necessarily led to a wide-spread agitation, the consequence of which was the foundation of the Sadharan Brahma Samaj in May 1978.

The Sadharan Brahma Samaj.

The first duty to which the Sadharan Brahma Samaj addressed itself after its formation, was the drafting of rules and the foundation of a constitution on which the future work of the Samaj was to be based. From the time of the commencement of the agitation, they had started a weekly English Journal called the Brahma Public Opinion, and which sub­sequently changed its name into “The Indian Messenger,” and is doing its valuable work even now, and also a weekly Bengali journal called Samalochak and a fortnightly Bengali journal called “Tatwa-Koumudi” was also brought into existence from May 1878. The two journals became the organs of the Samaj and carried its message far and wide. Before the year was over, they ordained their first four missionaries, whose present strength, after many deaths and other accidents, consists of six ordained missionaries and nearly a dozen unordained mission-workers. They soon laid the foundation of their present spacious Mandir on the occasion of the Anniversary Festival of 1879. Funds were collected from all parts of India, and the Mandir was completed wthin a year, and duly consecrated in the year 1880.In the beginning of 1879, some prominent members of the Samaj established an Anglo-Sanscrit school, called the “City School”, which formed a rendevous for the party, and gave employment as teachers to many of its leading and active members. In the course of a few years, this school was raised into the status of a first Grade College, and became one of the most influential educational institutions of the city. The late Mr. A. M. Bose had a leading hand in the foundation of this college and was its main Stay throughout his life. He provided the initial expenses, lent it the valuable aid of his vast educational experience, and presided at its council meetings, and always helped its work by his sage coun sels. Towards the end of his life, he made over the College, of which he was the virtual proprietor, to a body of trustees, with a constitution, that may justly be regarded as a model one for such educational institutions.

In the summer of 1879, a new institution called the Students’ Weekly Service was brought into existence, with the object of supplementing the secular education of the colleges by affording to the students such moral and spiritual culture, as was calculated to lay secure the foundations of a noble and worthy character- The Students’ Service attra'ci- ed from its beginning a large number of College students, many of whom have subsequently joined the Brahma Samaj. In course of time, the Samaj members brought other institutions into existence, as carrying on the traditions of the old Brahma Samaj of India.

They revived the Sangat Sabha, which exists till now and regularly carries on its weekly meetings. Besides the Sangat, some of the mem­bers of the Samaj, both ladies and gentkmen combined to start a Sunday school for children, which is regularly held every Sunday morning, and moral and spiritual instruction is given to its pupils. ^In the course of a few years, the managers of the Sunday School started a monthly magazine for children, called the “Mukool” or the Bud, which is still doing its excellent work. From 1893, the Cal­cutta Congregation of the Samaj was organised under a new system, and a public library and read­ing room called the Brahma Samaj Library was opened as a part of its work with the object of pro­moting the general intellectual and spiritual culture of its members.

Another important institution connected with the Samaj is the Sadhan Ashram, which was established in 1892 to form a shelter for Brahma workers, who gave up their secular employments and wanted to be trained as preachers of Brahmaism. Some of these workers reside in the Ashram. Divine Service is held every morning, and devotional and spiritual exercises are at times instituted for the spiritual training of the inmates. It is intended to be the missionary training ground of the Sadharan Brahma Samaj. At present the Ashram has branches at Bankipur, Allahabad and Lahore, where preachers are stationed to carry on the work of propagation. The members of the Bankipore Sadhan Ashram started some years ago a bearding school at Banki­pore, called the Ram Mohan Ray Seminary, which is a great centre of moral influence and has attracted public notice and has secured official support. Besides the school, the members of the Ashram are useful to the local public in various other ways.

Besides these institutions, the members of the Samaj started another important institution in Cal­cutta. The Brahma Balika Shikshalaya” or the Brahma Girls’ School. It is a boarding institute for Brahma girls, established as early as 1891, and has been maintained up to the present time and a spacious house has been built for it, and it is regarded as one of the best girls’ High Schools in the Presidency.

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Under the head of Temperance, a monthly journal called “Madh na Garah,” (i. e. Wine or Poison?), was published and was maintained for some time. Under the head of Charity, doctors and medicinewere provided for some malaria-stricken districts. This part of the good work also mine soon to an end. Under the head of Cheap Literature the first pice paper called “Sulabh Samachar” or Cheap News was started and maintained for some years. Under the last head, Night Schools for the Industrial Edu­cation of the labouring classes were opened and maintained for a short time.

Unfortunately the work of the Indian Reform Association, which was mainly carried on by Mr. Sen’s missionaries did not show signs of steady progress, and had to be given up within a few years. The second thing that engaged Mr. Sen’s attention after his return from England was the passing of the Act III of 1872. The necessity of a new law for the protection of the reformed marriages was begining to be felt from the year 1867 so to say. Since the foundation of the Brahma Samaj of India, the number of reformed marriages began to multiply, and the attention of the leaders was drawn to the questionable validity of these marriages and steps were early taken in 1868 to appoint a committee to consult legal opinion on the subject. The question was again taken up after Mr. Sen’s return. Both medical and legal opinions were secured. A petition was sent up to Government, which led to the framing of a bill, which after a prolonged controversy was passed in March 1872 as the Act III of that year.

Besides the work mentioned under the Indian Re­form Association, the Sangat Sabha and the old Brahma School were also revived, and a Brahma Students’ boarding house, called the Brahma Niketan, was founded and kept up for some years.In the year 1872, a novel institution called the Bharat Ashram, which formed in fact a family board­ing-house, was started, where Mr. Sen, his mission­aries, and a number of leading Brahmas resided with their families for the purpose of combined spiritual exercises and the development of such virtues as method, order and domestic economy. This Ashram also in the course of a few years came to an end.

From the year 1876, Mr. Sen began to manifest peculiar devotional and ascetic tendencies. He purchased a garden within a few miles of Calcutta and named it Sadhan Kanan or the Garden of Devotional Exercise, retired there with a number of his friends, began to cook his own food, wear a mendicant’s dress and in other ways practised great austerities. This occasioned some dissension amongst his followers, and alienated some of his old friends. Whilst these ascetic practices were going on, the church was internally tom into two rival factions, one consisting of Mr. Sen and his imme­diate followers, and the other consisting of a number of younger men, who wanted to introduce constitutional modes of Church Government. They secretly disliked Mr. Sen’s ascetic practices, agitated for placing the Brahma Mandir in the hands of trustees, and tried to organise a Pratinidhi Sabha or Representative Assembly to take care of the external affairs of the Church. They started a monthly journal called Sama-Darshi or the Liberal for discussion of the above ques­tions. Their party was known as the Sama- Darshi Party at the time. This journal freely ventilated all points of theological difference with Mr. Sen and his friends. Adverse criticisms were passed on the Sama-Darshi Party in the pages of the Sunday Mirror, Mr. Sen’s Organ, thereby clearly indicating the angle of divergence that had arisen in the Church.

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In 1864, Keshav Chunder Sen visited Madras and Bombay, and his visit was instrumental in rousing public interest in the cause, and as a consequence the Ved Samaj of Madras was established in that year, and the Prarthana Samaj of Bombay came into existence in 1867. The Ved Samaj after under­going many reverses of fortune was finally trans­formed into the Southern India Brahma Samaj, and exists even now under that name.

Devendranath so far sympathised with the young­er party, that he placed the whole Samaj under their charge as it were. One of them was placed in charge of £he Tatva Bodhini Patrika, the monthly Bengali journal of the Samaj. Others became the office bearers and members of the Committee. Thing went on like this till the year 1864 in which year, at the earliest request of the younger members of the Sangat, who objected to having assistant ministers, who kept caste and conformed to idolatry at home, Devendranath dismissed the old thread-bearing assistant ministers, and appointed in their place two younger men from the Sangat party, who had formallygiven up caste and idolatory. That gare great offence to the older party and further alienated them from the Samaj, adding fire to fuel as it were. At about this time the younger men celebrated an intermarriage amongst themselves. That served as the last straw that broke the camel’s back. It was felt that the two parties could no more pull on toget­her. Just at this crisis, there happened the great cyclone of 1864 causing damage to the Samaj Chapel, and necessitating the removal of the weekly service to the house of Devendranath. Whilst there, one day when the newly appointed assistant ministers with Keshav Chander Sen came prepared to officiate in the pulpit, they found to their surprise the pulpit already occupied by the old thread-bearing ministers. Necessarily this caused wide-spread discontent among the younger party, who made a representation to Devendranath, who in reply said that as the service was temporarily being held in his house, he might make temporary arrangements he considered best. The younger men were not satisfied at this reply and they practically seceded from the service of the Samaj from that time.

After having made up his mind, Devendranath remained firm. As the sole surviving trustee of the Samaj, he withdrew all the powers he had conceded to the younger men, dismissed ^them from their offices removed the Patrika from their management, and reinstalled men of the older party in their places. After this, two more years' were spent in fruitless negotiations. The young men wanted to have the use of chapel for a Service of their own on another    
day of the week, which prayer was not granted. Driven from the spiritual ministration of the Samaj, Mr. Sen tried to organise a Brahma Pratinidhi Sabha or Brahma Representative Assembly, and to place the department of mission-work under their charge. Deprived of the control of the Patrika, he started a monthly Bengali journal ’called Dharma- Tatwa, which became the organ of his party, and which has subsequently become a fortnightly journal. Spurred on by the internal conflict, the missionaries of the younger party entered upon their mission-work with great zeal and extended their influence far and wide. But step after step happened, which further widened the breach. Mr. Sen’s celebrated lectures on Jesus Christ and Great Men, which caused wide­spread sensation, were vehemently assailed in the pages of the Patrika by the older party, and almost every act of the younger men was subjected to severe criticism. Things went on like this till in Nov. 1866, the younger men formally seceded from the Calcutta Brahma Samaj which thereafter assumed the name of Adi Brahma Samaj, and formed a Samaj of their own, whicb they called the Brahma Samaj of India. This was the first Schism.

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Whilst the male members of the Samaj were chiefty engaged in starting and maintaining these institutions, the female members were not altogether idle. From the earliest times, they combined for the purposes of self-improvement, and the propaga­tion of our principles among the feminine portion of the community. They first started a society called the Banga Mahila Samaj, under which they weekly assembled to have joint prayers, and also started a small circulating library with the object of promot­ing culture amongst themselves. The Banga Mahila Samaj in course of time gave place to another institution, chiefly confined to ladies, which holds its weekly meetings even now for the purpose of joint prayers, the reading of papers and discussions.’  Some ladies connected with this institution have started a Widows Home, where a number of Hindu widows have found shelter. A ladies’ workshop has also been recently started in the neighbourhood of the Sadharan Brahma Samaj Mandir, where Brahmaladies assemble during mid day for four days in the week to learn such arts as needle-work, sewing, knitting, embroidery etc.

Another institution recently started and maintain­ed by the Samaj is the Brahma Boys’ Boarding School, which has its location in Calcutta. It is intended for the children of the members of the Samaj living in the country.
It is also worthy of mention in this place that some members of the Samaj headed by Mr. Sasipad Banerjee of Barra-Nagur, have chiefly concerned themselves for many years past with the moral and spiritual welfare of the working-classes connected with the mills of that place. Chiefly through the exertion of Mr. Banerjee, a workmen’s institute has been built to which he has made over his private library. In connection with this Institute, periodical lectures are delivered to the working people and every encouragement is given to the spread of culture amongst them. The above, though a brief and running report will give some idea of the work done by the Sadharan Brahma Samaj during the years of its existence.

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The Brahma Samaj of India.
Afte he Schism, the Brahmo Samaj of India devoted all its energies to the work of propagation. As a mark of the catholicity of its principles, a book was published containing texts from all religious Scriptues, and tracts and books came out in quick succession, illustrative of its principles. Since the Schism, the two parties assumed two definite characters. The Adi Samaj stuck to the traditions of Old Hinduism and gave itself out as a reforming body of Hindus, whereas the Brahma Samaj of India professed broad and catholic views and began to cultivate special communion with the spirit of Christ and Christianity. They made the Christian Scriptures a subject of earnest study, discussed the life and teachings of Jesus in their private meetings, and some of them went so far as to observe the Christmas in Some way. The propagandistic activity of the missionaries of the Brahma Samaj of India multiplied the number of Samajes in all direc­tions, and drew large numbers into their fold. In the beginning of the year 1868, they laid the founda­tion of their Mandir, an event which was further signalised by a new departure in the spiritual life of community. Up to that time, the preachers were known as more theological than devotional. Many of them had a contempt for the devotional practices of the Bhakti School of Chaitanya, but from the day of the second Schism, unfettered by the influence of the older members, Mr. Sen’s party side by side with the cultivation of the Christian spirit, had com­menced studying Chaitanya’s Bhakti school of thought and had introduced into their devotional exercises the custom of singing Bhakti Hymns, known as Sankirtan. The Introduction of the Sankirtan practice caused great development of emotional fervour, which was manifested this year in a street procession introduced by Mr. Sen for the first time. On the day of the founda­tion of the Brahma Mandir, the procession started from Mr., Sen’s house, singing a characteristic Sankirtan, in whioh the leading principles of the New Faith were proclaimed in rapturous language. The procession was immensely effective, and has since been adhered to by both the liberal sections of the Samaj on the occasions of their anniversaries.

The constructions of the Mandir was finished with great haste, and publicly consecrated in August 1869. In 1870, Mr. Sen went to England and carried the New Tidings there. After his return, he devoted his attention to two things. He first established the Indian Reform Association, which was sub-divided in­to five departments, viz., Education, Temperance, Charity, Cheap Literature, and Industrial Education of the Masses. Under each of these five heads, active sub-committees were appointed to carry on the work.

Under the head of Education, an adult Ladies School was founded where many of Mr. Sen’s mis­sionaries became the teachers, and the wives and grown-up daughters of the Brahmas became the pupils. This institution in course of time obtained Government aid and did its good work for some years, after which it became effete and ceased to exist. Under this head, a higher class Anglo-Sanscrit School, which subsequently became the Albert College, was also started and maintained for some years, after which it was made over to Mr. Sen’s brother, Krista Behari Sen.