Iscimo , asked a question
Subject: English , asked on 14/2/15

write a short note on raja ram mohan roy.

Bg , added an answer, on 20/9/11
45 helpful votes in English

 Raja Ram Mohan was born of a distinguished Brahmin family in Bengal. He was born in a village called Ramanagar, in the district of Murshidabad in Bengal, on the 22nd of May 1772. His father, Ramakanto Roy was an orthodox Brahmin. Ram Mohan’s parents were devoted to God and strictly performed the duties set by their religion. He himself was devoted to lord Vishnu. He wanted to become a monk in his 14th year but his mother, Tarini opposed his desire. He was married to three wives by the age of nine which was the custom of the day. This, along with “Sati”, influenced much of his social thinking.

Young Ram Mohan was reputed for having a tenacious memory and was intelligent even at an early age. Ram Mohan was educated in Sanskrit, Bengali, Arabic and Persian in his own village. He started to learn English when he was 24 years old. It was in Patna, where he came across the translations of Aristotle and Euclid when to went to study Arabic. He read their books in Arabic. By studying their books, he developed the ability to think for himself.

His wide education and his exposure to different cultures led to many comparative religious questions. He condemned idol-worshiping and he opposed his parents who were doing so. He admired the spirit of freedom as advocated in the Vedas and the Upanishads. He proclaimed that simple living and high thinking should be a man’s motto in life and he lived accordingly.

Ram Mohan joined the service in the Revenue Department of the East India Company. He worked as an assistant to Mr. John Digby, an English officer. Ram Mohan was introduced to western culture and literature shortly following his employment, through Digby. As a lover of knowledge Ram Mohan studied Jainism with the help of Jain scholars, learnt Sufism from Muslim scholars. He translated the Upanishads and other sacred books into English and Bengali.

In 1803 he composed a tract denouncing religious segregation and superstitions. He advocated “natural religion” which guides to the “Absolute Originator” who is the principle of all religions. By 1815, he composed Vadantagrantha, which is a brief summary of Vedanta Sutras in Hindi and Bengali. The central theme of these texts was the worship of Supreme God beyond knowledge, who supports the Universe. His “Gaudiya Vyakaran” in Bengali is the best of his prose works. By translating the scriptures of Hindus into Bengali, he gave Bengali a new dignity. He also translated the New Testament into Bengali with the help of Baptist Missionaries. In 1820, he published the ethical teachings of Christ, entitled “Precepts of Jesus, the Guide to Peace and Happiness”. These publications not only established Ram Mohan as modern exponent of the Vedanta school of Hindu Philosophy, but also as a spiritual nonconformist.

In 1823, Ram Mohan two weekly news papers and in 1822 he founded the Anglo-Hindu school and four years later, the Vedanta college. When the Bengal government proposed a traditional college, he openly protested it claiming that this type of college would not prepare youth for demands of the modern world.

Being a humanist, and a religious reformer, he left the company to devote his time to the service of his people. Influenced by the European Liberalism, he came to a conclusion that radical reform was necessary in Hinduism and also in the social practices of the Hindus. As a result, he founded the “Brahma Samaj” at Calcutta in 1828. ‘There is only one God, None equals Him. He has no end. He is present in all living beings’-is the message of Brahma Samaj. It emphasized the idea of universal brotherhood. It did not recognize differences of caste, creed, or nationality.

He was the first feminist in India and favored equality for women through his book “Brief remarks regarding modern encroachments on the ancient rights of females” (1822). He argued for the reform of Hindu Law, led the protest against restrictions on the press, mobilized the government against the oppressive land lords, and favored the English system of education in India.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy is considered as the “Father of Modern India”. By introducing western ideas of liberal democracy, and reaffirming his faith in Advaita Vedanta, he gave a sense of direction to the course of India’s future development. It was a result of his persistent campaign that the cruel custom of Sati was declared illegal in 1829 by Lord William Bentick.

He visited England in 1831 as the ambassador of the Mughal emperor Akbar Shah. In 1833 he went to Bristol to stay at Beech House in Stapleton Grove. Ten days after arriving in Bristol, he fell ill with meningitis, and died on 27th September 1833. He was initially buried in the grounds of Beech House, but ten years later his friend Dwarakanath Tagore had him reinterred at Arno’s Vale. In 1997, a statue of Raja Ram Mohan Roy was built at Bristol.

Ram Mohan was a multi-faceted personality. He was an intellectual who tried to lead India to modernity. He taught the Hindus to give up meaningless beliefs and customs. He was the lamp that leads Hindus to the essence of Hinduism. He is remembered in the Indian history as the originator of all the important secular movements. Although Raja Ram Mohan Roy introduced the western concepts, he was appreciated not only in India but all over the world for his sincere efforts to build a nation with respectable values and a living place for everybody.

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