THE RAMAKRISHNA MOVEMENT AND SWAMI VIVEKANANDA
The teachings of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836- 1886) found many followers.
Two objectives of the Ramakrishna movement were—
- to bring into existence a band of monks dedicated to a life of renunciation and practical spirituality, from among whom teachers and workers would be sent out to spread the universal message of Vedanta as illustrated in the life of Ramakrishna
- in conjunction with lay disciples to carry on preaching, philanthropic and charitable works, looking upon all men, women and children, irrespective of caste, creed or colour
Paramahamsa himself laid the foundations of the Ramakrishna Math as a nucleus to fulfil the first objective. The second objective was taken up by Swami Vivekananda after Ramakrishna’s death when he founded the Ramakrishna Mission in 1897.
The headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission are at Belur near Calcutta.
- Narendranath Datta (1862-1902),who later came to be known as Swami Vivekananda spread Ramakrishna’s message
- At the Parliament of Religions held at Chicago in 1893, Swami Vivekananda made a great impression on people by his learned interpretations.
DAYANANDA SARASWATI (1824-1883) AND ARYA SAMAJ
- 1875: The first Arya Samaj unit was formally set up at Bombay and later the headquarters of the Samaj wereestablished at Lahore.
- Dayananda’s views were published in his famous work, Satyarth Prakash (The True Exposition).
- He took inspiration from the Vedas and consideredthem to be ‘India’s Rock of Ages’, the infallible and the true original seed of Hinduism.
- He gave the slogan “Back to the Vedas”.
- Dayananda had received education on Vedanta from a blind teacher named Swami Virajananda in Mathura.
- The nucleus for this movement was provided by the Dayananda Anglo-Vedic (D.A.V.) schools, established first at Lahore in 1886, which sought to emphasizethe importance of Western education.
- The work of the Swami after his death was carried forward by Lala Hansraj, Pandit Gurudutt,Lala Lajpat Rai and Swami Shraddhanand, among others.
- Swami Shraddhanand started the Gurukul at Haridwar in 1902 to impart education in the traditional framework.
The ten guiding principles of the Arya Samaj are —
- God is the primary source of all true knowledge
- God, as all-truth, all-knowledge, almighty, immortal, creator of Universe, is alone worthy of worship
- the Vedas are the books of true knowledge
- an Arya should always be ready to accept truth and abandon untruth
- dharma, that is, due consideration of right and wrong, should be the guiding principle of all action
- the principal aim of the Samaj is to promote world’s well-being in the material, spiritual and social sense
- everybody should be treated with love and justice
- ignorance is to be dispelled and knowledge increased
- one’s own progress should depend on uplift of all others
- social well-being of mankind is to be placed above an individual’s well-being.
- 1908: A Parsi social reformer, Behramji M. Malabari (1853- 1912), founded the Seva Sadan along with a friend, Diwan Dayaram Gidumal.
- It was his efforts that led to the Age of Consent Act regulating the age of consent for females
- 1887: Dev Samaj founded at Lahore by Shiv Narayan Agnihotri (1850- 1927)
- Its teachings were compiled in a book, Deva Shastra.
- Agnihotri spoke against child marriage.
1830: Radhakant Deb founded this sabha.
BHARAT DHARMA MAHAMANDALA
- Some organisations created to defend orthodox Hinduism were the Sanatana Dharma Sabha (1895), the Dharma Maha Parishad in South India, and Dharma Mahamandali in Bengal.
- These organisations combined in 1902 to form the single organisation of Bharat Dharma Mahamandala, with headquarters at Varanasi.
- This organization sought to introduce proper management of Hindu religious institutions, open Hindu educational institutions, etc.
- Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was a prominent figure in this movement.
- 1861: Tulsi Ram known as Shiv Dayal Saheb, founded this movement.
- The Radhaswamis believe in one supreme being, supremacy of the guru, a company of pious people (satsang), and a simple social life.
SREE NARAYANA GURU DHARMA PARIPALANA (SNDP) MOVEMENT
- The SNDP movement was an example of a regional movement born out of conflict between the depressed classes and upper castes.
- It was started by Sree Narayana Guru Swamy (1856- 1928) among the Ezhavas of Kerala
- The Ezhavas were the single largest caste group in Kerala constituting 26 per cent of the total population.
- Narayana Guru, took a stone from the Neyyar river and installed itas a Sivalinga at Aruvippuram on Sivaratri in 1888.
- The movement (Aruvippuram movement) drew the famous poet Kumaran Asan as a disciple of Narayana Guru.
- 1889: the Aruvippuram Kshetra Yogam was formed.
- Thus, the Aruvippuram Sree Narayana Guru Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP) was registered in 1903 under the Indian Companies Act, withNarayana Guru as its permanent chairman, and Kumaran Asan as the general secretary.
- On the wall of the Aruvippuram temple he got inscribed the words, “Devoid of dividing walls of caste or race, or hatred of rival faith, we all live here in brotherhood.”
The SNDP Yogam took up several issues for the Ezhavas, such as:
- right of admission to public schools,
- recruitment to government services,
- access to roads and entry to temples, and (iv) political representation.
VOKKALIGARA SANGHA: The Vokkaligara Sangha in Mysore launched an anti-brahmin movement in 1905.
- On November 20, 1916, around 30 prominent non-Brahmin leaders, including Dr. Natesa Mudaliyar, Sir PT Theyagaraya Chetty, TM Nair, and a woman Alamelu Mangai Thayarammal, came together to form the South Indian Liberation Federation (SILF).
- It was later known as the Justice Party after the ’Justice’ newspaper launched to promote the movement’s ideals.
- They worked to secure jobs and representation for non-brahmins in the legislature.
- This movement was started by E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker, a Balija Naidu, in themid-1920s
- The Self Respect Movement, also known as the Dravidian Movement, advocated for equal rights for the backward castes, with a focus on women’s rights.
- Annai Meenanmbal and Veeramal were two ofthe movement’s female leaders.
TEMPLE ENTRY MOVEMENT
- Vaikom, in the northern part of Travancore, became a centre of agitation for temple entry.
- In 1924, the Vaikom Satyagraha led by K.P. Kesava, was launched in Keralademanding.
- Again, in 1931 when the Civil Disobedience Movement was suspended, temple entry movement was organised in Kerala.
- On November 12, 1936, the Maharaja of Travancore issued proclamation throwing open all government-controlled temples to all Hindus.
- A similar step was taken by the C. Rajagopalachari administration in Madras in 1938.
INDIAN SOCIAL CONFERENCE
- Founded by M.G. Ranade and Raghunath Rao, the Indian Social Conference metannually from its first session in Madras in 1887
- The conference advocate inter-caste marriages, opposed polygamy and Kulinism.
- It launched the ‘Pledge Movement’ toinspire people to take a pledge against child marriage.
- The teachings of Abdul Wahab of Arabia and thepreachings of Shah Walliullah (1702-1763)inspired this essentially revivalist response to Western influences and the degeneration which had set in among Indian Muslims and called for a return to the true spirit of Islam.
- It was started by Sayyid Ahmed Barelvi.
- The Wahabi Movement fizzled out in the face ofBritish military might in the 1870s.
TITU MIR‘S MOVEMENT
- Mir Nithar Ali, popularly known as Titu Mir, was a disciple of Sayyid Ahmed Barelvi, the founder of the Wahabi Movement.
- Titu Mir adopted Wahabism and advocated the Sharia. FARAIZI MOVEMENT
- The movement, also called the Fara’idi Movement because of its emphasis on the Islamic pillars of faith, was founded by Haji Shariatullah in 1818.
- The movement survived merely as a religious movement without political overtones.
SIR SYED AHMED KHAN AND THE ALIGARH MOVEMENT
- A section of Muslims led by Syed Ahmed Khan (1817- 1898) stimulate a process of growth among Indian Muslims through better education and employment opportunities.
- Sir Syed became a member of the Imperial Legislative Council in 1878.
- His loyalty earned him a knighthood in 1888.
- He started the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College (later, the Aligarh Muslim University) at Aligarh in 1875.
- He believed in the fundamental underlying unity of religions or ‘practical morality’.
- Syed’s progressive social ideas were propagated through his magazine Tahdhib-ul-Akhlaq (Improvement of Manners and Morals).
- It aimed at spreading: (i) modern education among Indian Muslims without weakening their allegiance to Islam. (ii) social reforms among Muslims relating to purdah, polygamy, widow remarriage, women’s education, slavery, divorce, etc.
THE DEOBAND SCHOOL (DAR-UL-ULOOM)
- The Deoband Movement was organized by the orthodox section among the Muslim ulema.
- 1866: The Deoband Movement was begun at the Dar-ul- Uloom (or Islamic academic centre), Deoband, in Saharanpur district (United Provinces) by Mohammad Qasim Nanotavi (1832-80) and Rashid Ahmed Gangohi (1828-1905) to train religious leaders for the Muslim community.
- The aim of the Deoband Movement was moral and religious regeneration of the Muslim community.
PARSI REFORM MOVEMENTS
- 1851: The Rahnumai Mazdayasnan Sabha (Religious Reform Association) was founded by a group of English educated Parsis for the “regeneration of the social conditions of the Parsis and the restoration of the Zoroastrian religion to its pristine purity”.
- The movement had Naoroji Furdonji, Dadabhai Naoroji, K.R. Cama and S.S. Bengalee as its leaders.
- The message of reform was spread by the newspaper Rast Goftar (Truth-Teller).
SIKH REFORM MOVEMENTS
The Singh Sabha Movement was founded atAmritsar in 1873 with a two-fold objective—
- to make available modern western education to the Sikhs,
- to counter the proselaytizing activities of Christian missionaries as well as the Brahmo Samajists, Arya Samajists and Muslim maulvis
- The Akali movement (also known as Gurudwara Reform Movement) was an offshoot of the Singh Sabha Movement.
- It aimed at liberating the Sikh gurudwaras from the control of corrupt Udasi mahants
- The government thus passed the Sikh Gurudwaras Act in 1922 (amended in 1925) which gave the control of gurudwaras to the Sikh masses to be administered through Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) as the apex body.
THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
- A group of westerners led by Madame H.P. Blavatsky (1831- 1891) and Colonel M.S. Olcott, who were inspired by Indian thought and culture, founded the Theosophical Society in New York City, United States in 1875.
- In 1882, they shifted their headquarters to Adyar, on the outskirts of Madras (at that time) in India.
- In India, the movement popular with the election of Annie Besant (1847- 1933) as its president after the death of Olcott in 1907.
- Annie Besant had come to India in 1893.
- She laid the foundation of the Central Hindu College in Benaras in 1898.
- The college became the nucleus for the formation of Benaras Hindu University in 1916.