monotheistic doctrine. According to him, the only means of salvation was the
practice of surat sabdyoga (union of the human soul with the spirit-current or
word) under the guidance of a Sant Satguru or sincere lover of the Supreme
Being. His teachings were embodied in two books, each named Sarr Bachan
(Essential Utterance). The sect recognises no God of the Hindu pantheon, nor
any temples or sacred places except those sanctified by the presence of the
guru or his relics’.
Shivanarayan Agnihotri
Hailing from UP, he was educated in the Engineering College at Rurki and
later became an active member of the Lahore branch of the Brahmo Samaj.
But due to differences with the other leaders of the Samaj, he left it and
founded the Deva Samaj in 1887 at Lahore with aims similar to those of the
Brahmo Samaj but with an additional element, namely the predominance of
the guru. The religious text of this Samaj was Deva Shastra and the teaching
devadharma. The guru, claiming supernatural powers, was practically
regarded and worshipped as a god by his disciples.
Gopala Krishna Gokhale
This famous moderate nationalist leader was also a renowned social worker.
He founded the Servants of India Society in 1905 at Bombay with the aim of
training Indians in different fields for the service of their motherland. Earlier
he was an active member of the Deccan Education Society (founded by G.G.
Agarkar in 1884 at Poona) but left it after some time due to serious
differences with Tilak who was also its member.
N.M. Joshi
Initially a member of Gokhale’s Servants of India Society, he founded the
Social Service League at Bombay in 1911 with the aim of securing for the
masses better and reasonable conditions of life and work. He also founded the
All India Trade Union Congress in 1920 at Bombay, but left it in 1929 when
it showed leaning towards the Soviet Union, and started the Indian Trades
Union Federation.
H.N. Kunzru
He founded the Seva Samiti at Allahabad in 1914 with the objective of