Raja Ram Mohan Roy was born in 1772 at Radhanagar in Burdwan district (West Bengal) founded Atmiya Sabha in Calcutta in 1815 to propagate monotheism and reforms in the Hindu society. He is considered as the first great leader of modern India.
In 1820 he published the “Percepts of Jesus” in which he tried to separate the moral and philosophic message of the New Testaments.
The Atmiya Sabha was named Brahmo Sabha and finally Brahmo Samaj in 1828. He launched a movement for the abolition of Sati through his journal Sbad Kaumudi (1819).
He was one of the earliest propagators of the modern education. He established a Vedanta college.
He took over the leadership of the Brahmo Samaj after Raja Ram Mohan Roy. He founded Tattvabodhini Sabha in 1839 and published Tattvabodhini Patrika, a Bengali monthly to propagate the ideas of Raja Rammohan Roy. He got the support of the thinkers like Ishwar Chandra Vidya Sagar and Ashwin Kumar Dutta.
In 1859, the Tattvabodhini Sabha was amalgamated with the Brahmo Samaj. He actively worked for widow remarriage, abolition of polygamy, women education etc.
He compiled selected passages from the Upanishads, which came to be known as Brahma Dharma.
Keshav Chandra Sen was leader of the Brahmo Samaj during the absence of Debendranath Tagore. He joined Bhramo Samaj in 1857. He spread the branches of Bhramo Samaj outside Bengal as well.
He started Bamabodhini Patrika, a journal for women. He launched radical reforms, such as giving up of caste names, inter-caste and widow remarriages and launched movement against child marriages.
These radical reforms led to the first schism in the Brahmo Samaj-the original Brahmo Samaj came to be known as Adi Brahmo Samaj and the other, the Brahmo Samaj of India was established by Keshav Chandra Sen in 1866. Sen formed the Indian Reform Association in 1870, which persuaded the British Government to enact the Native Marriage Act of 1972 (popularly known as Civil Marriage Act) legalizing the Brahmo marriages and fixing the minimum marriageable age for boys and girls.
Atmaram Pandurang founded Prarthana Samaj in 1867 in Bombay. M.G. Ranade joined it in 1870. Along with the reformist attitudes the Prarthna Samaj was also very much attached with the Maharashtrian Bhakti Cult. The other leaders were R.G Bhandarkar and N.G. Chandavarkar.
Swami Dayanand Saraswati, originally known as Mula Shankar founded the Arya Samaj in 1875 in Bombay, wrote Satyartha Prakash (in Hindi) and Veda-Bhashya Bhumika (partly in Hindi and partly in Sanskrit).
Dayanand looked at Vedas as eternal. He condemned idol worship and casteism. The most phenomenal achievement of Arya Samaj has been in the field of education. The Dayanand Anglo Vedic institutions are the proof of this.
Lala Hardyal another Arya Samajist started Gurukul near Haridwar to propagate the traditional teachings.
Blavatsky (1831-91) and Olcott (1832-1907)
Madam H.P. Blavatsky, a Russian woman and Col. H.S. Olcott, an American, founded the Theosophical Society in New York in 1875, but shifted the headquarter of the Society to Adyar near Madras in 1882. After the death of Olcott Annie Besant became its president.
Swami Vivekanand (originally Narendranath Dutta), founded the Ramakrishna Mission in 1887 as a social service league which was registered as a Trust in 1897. He was the disciple of Ramakrishna.
He attended the Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893 and made a phenomenal impression by his speech. He published two papers, Prabudha Bharat and Udbodhini.
It accepted the importance of image worship. It decried untouchability and casteism.
He founded the “Young Bengal Movement”. He followed the most radical views of the time, drawing the inspiration from the French revolution.
He died of cholera at a young age.
Dayal Das, Darbara Singh, Rattan Chand etc.
Manav Dharma Sabha
Radha Swami Satsang
Brahmo Samaj of India
Keshab Chandra Sen
Maulana Hussain Ahmed
Swami Dayanand Saraswati
New York (USA)
Madam H.P. Blavatsky and Col H.S. Olcott
Sadharan Brahmo Samaj
Anand Mohan Bose
Deccan Education Society
Muhammadan Educational Conference
Syed Ahmad Khan
Indian National Conference
Maulana Shibli Numani
Servents of Indian Society
Gopal Krishna Gokhle
Poona Seva Sadan
Mrs Ramabai Ranade and G.K. Devadhar
Social Service League
Satya Shodhak Samaj
Shri Narayan Guru
Shri Narayan Dharma Paripalana Yogam Movement
Shri Narayan Guru, Dr. Palpu and Kumaran Asan
The Depressed Class Mission Society
Justice (Party) Movement
Madras, Tamil Nadu
C.N. Mudaliar, T.M. Nair & P. Tyagaraja Chetti
Depressed Class Welfare
Institute (Bahiskrit Hitkarini Sabha)
Madras, Tamil Nadu
E.V. Ramaswami Naiker ‘Periyar’
Harijan Sevak Samaj