Religious chemistry in British India 1700-1950.

The Hindu society, in the absence of non updating with times including total belief in IDOL worship ,lost a great ground of human numbers to Buddhism, Jainism & than to Muslim invaders by forceful conversions to Muslim way of life. The reformist religious movement in Punjab by spiritual leaders during 1499 – 1850 , resulted in adoption to new way of life by Punjabis, Sindhis, to be known as Sikhism, which was not viewed in genuine prospectus by non Punjabis natives of other India particularly by Brahmins in other India for present Gujarat, Bengal ,Maharashtra, partly Rajasthan who had assumed the exclusive right for ‘drafting Life journey road Map’ for the society & took the situation in the spirit of a challenge.

B)They came together on different platforms in search for a suitable safeguards to save their prevalent identities .The Province of Gujarat , Bombay, some areas in Punjab & others had witnesses large scale conversions to Christianity during British rule over India, between 1800 – 1900. The different group of intellectual Brahmins , redrafted another way of life on modifications to the than existing ,a rigid kind of protocol for rituals by reinventing value in oldest scriptures than to modern ways for life in Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity etc ,so as to reunite society ,earlier divided by them on caste, creed, region basis.

The important one out of them, who attempted to educate or reduce the influence for new ways of life being taught by others against stagnant religious conditions in Hinduism were; Brahmo Samaj -1828, Arya Samaj 1875, Dev Samaj -1887 with moral guidance support from common Hindu platform believing in Idol worship involved; Matths, Mandir Managements in South, East, West & North of India defending them against new developing ways of religions.

C) The Hindu community leaders from Gujarat , Bengal on introspection for the challenges on religious front ,planned to come up with alternative way for living, in between the then Hinduism & other religions. Raja Rammohan one of the Hindu reformist leaders was born in an orthodox Brahmin family but studied Islam, Christianity religions and the Buddhist mysteries. He is reported to have preferred the knowledge in Vedas for his spiritual inspiration and formally founded ‘Brahmo Samaj’ in 1828, dedicated to the “worship and adoration of the Eternal, the Unreachable, the Immutable Being, who is the Author and Preserver of the Universe”. The Samaj was made open to all without earlier distinctions for the; colour, creed, caste, nation, or religion. Mr Devendranath Tagore, the father of the eminent poet Mr Rabindranath Tagore, contributed greatly with his intellectual writings, during 1817 to 1905 for the faith reestablishment in Hindu way of life.

D) Mr Shiv Narayan Agnihotri ,a drawing master in Government School in Lahore was an active member of the Brahmo Samaj, later, he and his wife broke off to form the rival Deva Samaj in 1887 and Agnihotri became Satyananda Agnihotri .Thus, in continuity for the reforms in Hindu way of life , ‘Arya Samaj’ was founded under headship of (Swami) Dayanand on April 7, 1875 in Mumbai and held many views similar to those of in matters both religious (e.g. a belief in monotheism and the eternality of the soul) and social (e.g. the need to abolish the hereditary caste or varna system and uplift the masses through education). Debendranath Tagore wrote a book entitled Brahmo Dharma, which serves as a manual of religion and ethics to the members of that society, and Swami Dayanand had read it while in Calcutta. The second major Arya Samaj was established at Lahore on the 24th of June, 1877. Swami Dayanand made several changes in his approach to the work of reforming Hindu society.

E) Swami Dayanand representing the platform for ‘Arya Samaj’, originally listed 28 rules and regulations but tapered down to ten & the first three principles comprise the doctrinal core of the Arya Samaj, as they summarize the member’s beliefs in regard to God/Ishwer, the nature of Divinity and the authority of the Vedas. The remaining seven principles reflect the reformative ambitions of the Samaj in regard to both the individual and society at large. The logical conclusions from Arya Samaj principles are the unequivocally condemnations for the practices, earlier advocated in 1499 by the founding father for Sikhism, Shri Guru Nanak Sahib, such as: polytheism, idolatry, animal sacrifice, , priest craft, the belief in ancestor worship, pilgrimage in Avatars or incarnations of God, the hereditary caste system, untouchability and child marriage linking to the grounds with that all these lacks in Vedic sanction. The holy book of Arya Samaj is known as “Satyarth Prakash”.

He expressed that: even if there be many different sectarian beliefs prevalent in India, if only they all acknowledge the Vedas, then all those small rivers will reunite in the ocean of Vedic wisdom, and the unity of dharma will come about. Thus, the N.G.O. platform Titled ‘Araya Samaj’ intellectually provided an offensive /defensive religious ideology to their preaching community for future positioning, being taken forward since than religiously taken forward under the garb of democracy.

F) The religious platforms prepared with different titles of A-B-C ‘Samaj’ in Gujarat, Bengal, Bombay targeted all prevalent religions to minimize adoption by Hindus to new way of life for faiths such as: Sikhs, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Muslim etc. They made an aggressive action plan to improve ,modify ,update Hindu way of life, The latest way of life developed stood tested with times, happened to be the Sikh way of life, which was developed on basis for natural principles of life, educated by Sikh Guru Sahibs .These were being adopted by Punjabis (other than Brahmins & Banian race).This was not taken in its right prospective rather considered a threat to old ,although out lived Hindu traditions by the then preaching class of Brahmins who aggressively took charge for teachings on new Hindu ways of life .The Christianity British in India played active role encouraging such religious groups to stand against each other resulting in social divide .

G) Despite the efforts on modifications in Hindu way of life ,Hundreds of people got baptized in Christian melas organized in central Gujarat in 1895 by the bishop of the Methodist Episcopalian Church & Hindu platform created spent more energies in north India than in their own states to stem conversions in Bengal,Gujarat U.P.,Orrisa etc.It is mystery that was the fear of Christianity ruling class or connivance with them or weakness in Punjab leaders who allowed them to meddle in their internal state matters! But the number for the converts increased many fold after the famine when census 1901 reflected great rise in number for converts to Christianity. Christianity drove Hinduism to a defensive attitude, and even an aggressive one…. Idolatry was certainly found losing its hold upon the people.

H) Swami Dayanand laid working road map by stating in a conference.’If you are able to achieve something for the good of mankind by a Samaj, then establish a Samaj; I will not stand in your way. But if you do not organize it properly, there will be a lot of trouble in the future. As for me, I will only instruct you in the same way as I teach others, and this much you should keep clearly in mind: my beliefs are not unique, and I am not omniscient. Therefore, if in the future any error of mine should be discovered after rational examination, then set it right. If you do not act in this way, then this Samaj too will later on become just a sect. That is the way by which so many sectarian divisions have become prevalent in India: by making the guru’s word the touchstone of truth and thus fostering deep-seated prejudices which make the people religion-blind, cause quarrels and destroy all right knowledge”.

I) He further expressed “That is the way India arrived at her sorry contemporary state, and that is the way, this Samaj too would grow to be just another sect. This is my firm opinion: even if there be many different sectarian beliefs prevalent in India, if only they all acknowledge the Vedas, then all those small rivers will reunite in the ocean of Vedic wisdom, and the unity of dharma will come about. From that unity of dharma there will result social and economic reform, arts and crafts and other human endeavors will improve as desired, and man’s life will find fulfillment: because, by the power of that dharma all values will become accessible to him, economic values as well as psychological ones, and also the supreme value of moksha”. The natural principles are always common for every one but is a matter of respective applications. The rigid method of ritualism became a point of exploitation, earlier challenged by Prophet Abraham & later by Sikh Guru Nanak Sahib. All said was to save existing way of life by introduction for moderation, flexibilities towards deprived, discriminated lot of the society including the rights of women.
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