Debendranath Tagore (1817-1905)

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দেবেন্দ্রনাথ ঠাকুর, মহর্ষি (১৮১৭-১৯০৫)

Debendranath Tagore, or, Debendronath Ţhakur (15 May 1817 – 19 January 1905) was a Hindu philosopher and religious reformer, the founder of Brahmo Samaj, presently known as Adi Braho Samaj, which aimed to reform the Hindu religion and way of life. He was born in Shilaidaha, in the estate of his father Prince Dwarkanath Tagore.
The Brahmo Samaj, was formed in 1843 by merging his Tattwabodhini Sabha with the Brahmo Sabha, ten years after the death of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, founder of the Brahmoism. Although Debendranath was deeply spiritual, he managed to continue to maintain his worldly affairs — he did not renounce his material possessions, as some Hindu traditions prescribed, but instead continued to enjoy them in a spirit of detachment. His considerable material property included estates spread over several districts of Bengal; most famously, the Santiniketan estate near Bolpur in the Birbhum district, a later acquisition, where his youngest son Rabindranath Tagore set up his famous internationally acclaimed school, Santiniketan.
In 1843, Debendranath started the Tattwabodhini Patrika as mouthpiece of the Tattwabodhini Sabha. In the same year, he revived the Brahma Sabha, fallen in vigour and following since the death of Ram mohan Roy in 1833. The Brahmo Sabha was formally absorbed into the Tattwabodhini Sabha and renamed as Calcutta Brahma Samaj. The day Pous 7 of the Bengali calendar is commemorated as the foundation day of the Samaj. The Patrika became the organ of the Samaj and continued publication till 1883. In 1848, Debendranath codified the Adi Dharma Doctrine as Brahmo Dharma Beej (Seed of the Brahmo Dharma). In 1950, he published a book titled Brahmo Dharma enshrining the fundamental principles. These principles emphasise monotheism, rationality and reject scriptural infallibility, the necessity of mediation between man and God, caste distinctions and idolatry.
With the influence of Brahmoism under Debendranath spreading far and wide throughout India, he gathered reputation as a person of particular spiritual accomplishment and came to be known as Maharshi. His spiritual stature was confirmed by Sri Ramakrishna, the great Hindu sage of the 19th century who paid Debendranath a visit.[5] Debendranath’s roles in the Bengal renaissance and the reform and rejuvenation of Hindu religion are considerable.
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