Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Great Reformers and the Socio-Religious Reform Movement

Raja Ram Mohan Roy
Raja Ram Mohan Roy was popularly known as the 'Father of Indian Renaissance ' was born on 22nd May 1772 in a Brahmin family in Bengal. With his gifted brain, he learnt many languages and studied several scriptures of different religions like Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Sufism etc. He was influenced by the Western culture and spread the message of Unity of religions and rationality. He was against of the practice of Idol Worship, blind faith and religious rituals.

He founded the Atmiya Sabha in 1815 and the Brahmo Samaj on 20th August 1828. Through this Institutions he fought against Orthodox Hindus and the fanatic Christian Missionaries.
He was against of Sati system, Polygamy, Child marriage, Caste system and Untouchability. He was the great supporter of Inter-caste marriage, women education, Widow remarriages etc.
Ram Mohan started publishing Newspapers and Magazines for which he was called the 'Father of Indian Journalism'.

Swami Dayananda Saraswati
Swami Dayanada born in 1824 in a small town of Gujurat. Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the founder of the 'Arya Samaj' was one of the maker of Modern India. Taking inspiration from Veda, he criticized evil practices like Idol Worship, Caste system, untouchability etc. Dayananda wrote books like Ratnamala and Bharat Nirvana.

His Arya Samaj gave emphasis on the liberation of the Hindu Society. He called people ‘Go back to the Veda’ created consciousness among the people. He strongly opposed Idol worship, ritualism, practice of animal sacrifice, the idea of Heaven etc. This movement also challenged the Christian Missionaries who tried to convert the uneducated, poor and depressed classes of the Hindus.

Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda was another important Social Reformer who brought spiritual reawakening among the Indians in the 19th Century, popularly known as the ‘Intellectual Monk of India’ He was born in Calcutta on 12th, January, 1863. He began his life of wondering all over the country with his message of ‘Awakened India’ or ‘Prabhuda Bharat’.

He set-up ‘Ramakrishna Mission’ on 1st May, 1897. According to him, ‘Man is the maker of his own Destiny. The whole world has been made by the energy of man, by the power of faith’.
He believes in that types of education which enables one to stand on her/his own leg. His preaching said ‘All religions are pathways to the same God’.

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