The Brahmo tradition of Raja Rammohun Roy was carried forward after 1843 by Devendranath Tagore, who also repudiated the doctrine that the Vedic scriptures were infallible and after 1866 by Keshub Chandra Sen.

The Brahmo Samaj made an effort to reform Hindu religion by removing abuses and basing it on the worship of one God and on the teachings of the Vedas and Upanishads even though it repudiated the doctrine of the infallibility of the Vedas.

It also tried to incorporate the best aspects of modern Western thought. Most of all it based itself on human reason which was to be the ultimate criterion for deciding what was worthwhile and what was useless in the past or present religious principles and practices.

For that reason, the Brahmo Samaj denied the need for a priestly class for interpreting religious writings. Every individual had the right and the capacity to decide with the help of his own intellect what was right and what was wrong in a religious book or principle.


Thus the Brahmos were basically opposed to idolatry and superstitious practices and rituals, in fact to the entire Brahmanical system. They could worship one God without the mediation of the priests.

The Brahmos were also great social reformers. They actively opposed the caste system and child-marriage and supported the general uplift of women, including widow remarriage, and the spread of modern education to men and women.

The Brahmo Samaj was weakened by internal dissensions in the second half of the nineteenth century. Moreover, its influence was confined mostly to urban educated groups.

Yet it had a decisive influence on the intellectual, social, cultural and political life of Bengal, and the rest of India in the nineteenth and twentieth century’s.