Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

@

The Temple that brought a religious movement in Bengal – Sadharon Brahmo Samaj

3 February, 2021 17:16:31
The Temple that brought a religious movement in Bengal – Sadharon Brahmo Samaj

Sadharan Brahmo Samaj

The temple of Sadharan Brahmo Samaj on Cornwallis Street still holds memories of a religious and social movement that would take Bengal far ahead of its times. Behind it this house, was a huge courtyard that led to the publicity center. This portion was vacated later for Shibnarayan Shastri who used to meditate here. Now this house has been renamed Shibnath Smriti Bhavan. The meditation centre functions on the ground floor of this building and its second floor is named, Mahila Ashram, and is reserved for female members. Anandamoan Basu bought all this land to build the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj temple.

On May 15, 1878, a meeting was convened at Town Hall where the group formally announced its decision to come out of the fold of with Brahmo Samaj of India and form the Sadharon Brahmo Samaj. After formation of the new order, a thorough search was initiated for selecting a place to set up a temple for prayer. Maharshi Debendranath Tagore donated Rs 7,000 for this purpose. Many donated their entire month’s salary for this noble purpose.

On March 24, 1878, a group of Brahmos severed ties with Brahmo Samaj of India and its founder, Keshab Chandra Sen, due to ideological differences. They were branded Samadarshi and Samalochak (who later founded the Sadharon Brahmo Samaj). They continued to hold their prayer meetings in the house of Brahmo member, Dr Upendranath Basu. This house was in the same neighbourhood as the temple. After some time, they rented a spacious hall on No.45 Beniatolla Lane and congregated there for their weekly prayer sessions. 

On May 15, 1878, a meeting was convened at Town Hall where the group formally announced its decision to come out of the fold of with Brahmo Samaj of India and form the Sadharon Brahmo Samaj. After formation of the new order, a thorough search was initiated for selecting a place to set up a temple for prayer. Maharshi Debendranath Tagore donated Rs 7,000 for this purpose. Many donated their entire month’s salary for this noble purpose. With all the money, a plot was finally bought in 1879. On the day of Maghotsav (January 23, 1879), the foundation stone of the temple was laid by Shibchandra Deb. 

On October 6, 1879, City School was established on 13, Mirzapur Street.  This place became the hub of activities for the Brahmo Samaj members. Their office was set up in a room in this school.  The weekly sessions of Sadharon Brahmo Samaj were also held in the school premises.  

During the foundation laying ceremony of the temple, Anandamoy Basu’s father-in-law, Bhagaban Chandra Basu was on leave. Later he took charge of the construction of the temple. Babu Neelmoni Mitra, a distinguished engineer who graduated from Roorkee Engineering College, drafted the building plan for the temple free of cost. 

On January 22, 1881 (10th Magh) a procession was taken out from 45, Beniatolla Lane. The participants sang as they walked the entire stretch till they reached the temple door. The temple was then formally inaugurated by Shibchandra Deb.

In 1880, Maghotsav was conducted in the incomplete temple premises. At that time devotees were optimistic that construction would be complete by 1881 and they would be able to celebrate Maghotsav in the new temple. But by August 1880 it became clear that it was impossible to complete the structure within the stipulated time. Also, Bhagaban Chandra Basu who was supervising the construction work, was served transferred order to move on to another place. He was a deputy magistrate.   

Gurucharan Mahalanobish and Shibnath Shastri were then entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the completion of the construction before the next Maghotsav by the committee. When Shastri was the headmaster of South Suburban School at Bhawanipore, he became friends with Radhikaprasad Mukhopadhyay, who was then the district engineer of 24 Parganas. Radhikaprasad was Sir Asutosh Mukhopadhyay’s uncle. Shastri sought Radhikaprasad Babu’s help. He willingly agreed to help. Under his guidance and supervision, the temple was completed on time. The construction of Sadharon Brahmo Samaj temple cost Rs 45,000.

On January 22, 1881 (10th Magh) a procession was taken out from 45, Beniatolla Lane. The participants sang as they walked the entire stretch till they reached the temple door. The temple was then formally inaugurated by Shibchandra Deb. The foundation stone of the Meditation Hall was laid by Dr. P.K. Roy on January 25, 1921 and the foundation stone of the library and the ladies’ wing was laid by Lord Satyendra Prasad Sinha on January 30, 1925.

(To be continued)

Story Tag:
  • Sadharon Brahmo Samaj

Leave a Comments

Related Post

×