Rammohun Roy established the Brahmo Samaj at Calcutta in 1828 in order
to purify Hinduism and to preach monotheism. The Samaj under him was
based on the twin pillars of reason and the ancient Hindu scriptures (only the
Vedas and the Upanishads), and incorporated the best teachings of other
religions as well.
Rammohun Roy (1772–1833)
Born in 1772 at Radhanagar in Burdwan district in West Bengal, he is
unanimously considered as the first ‘modern man’. He was a pioneer of
socio-religious and political reform movements in modern India. He passed
away at Bristol in England in 1833. He was sent to England by the titular
Mughal emperor to plead with the British crown for a larger sum of pension.
His religious ideas and reforms He studied different languages (Persian,
Arabic, Sanskrit, English, French, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, etc.) in order to
study the various religious scriptures in their original. He believed in
monotheism (Doctrine of the Unity of God-head) and opposed idol worship.
In 1803 he published a Persian treatise caned Tuhfat-ul-Muwahidin or ‘A gift
to monotheists’ wherein he explains his concept of monotheism.
    He established the Atmiya Sabha in Calcutta (1815) in order to propagate
monotheism and to fight against the evil customs and practices in Hinduism.
Later in 1828 he established the Brahmo Samaj at Calcutta in order to purify
Hinduism and to preach monotheism.
    He laid emphasis on human reason and rationality in all religious matters.
He also applied rationality to Christianity, by publishing in 1820 a book
entitled The Precepts of Jesus, the Guide to Peace and Happiness, which
embodied the moral and spiritual precepts of Jesus without the narratives of
the miracles. Further, he defended Hinduism and its Vedanta philosophy, as
found in the Vedas and the Upanishads, from the ignorant attacks of
Christian missionaries.
His social ideas and reforms He led a life-long crusade against the
practice of sati and finally in 1829 he succeeded in persuading Lord William
Bentinck to abolish it. He championed women’s rights, like right of
inheritance and property, and attacked polygamy and the degraded state of
    He fought for the introduction and spread of modern education through