a. Arya Samaj Movement:

Arya Samaj was founded by Dayaranda Saraswati in 1875. He gave a call for going back to the days of the Vedas. He strongly believed that the priests and other vested interests perverted the Hindu religion.

He at the same time rejected all the religious movements which ignored or contradicted with the Vedas.

Though he had immense faith in the Vedas he wanted that individuals should understand and interpret these. Thus it may said that individual reason was an important factor in the teaching of Dayananda.


Prarthana Samaj also took active interest in the education of the common people. Followers of the Arya Samaj started a network of school and colleges in the country to impart education.

The Arya Samaj also advocated social reform and worked sincerely for the improvement of the condition of women. As also to spread education among them.

b. The Theosophy Movement:

Theosophy movement was founded in the U.S. The founders, however, later on came to India and founded their headquarters in Madras (present Chennai).


The Theosophy Movement was popularized in India by Mrs. Annie Besant who came to India in 1893. The Theosophists had great admiration and respect for ancient religions like Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and Buddhism.

The greatest contribution of the Theosophy Movement was that respect for the Indian religion by foreigners helped Indians to recover their self-confidence.

c. Reform Movement among the Sikhs:

It was Baba Dayal Das who inaugurated reform movement among the Sikhs of Punjab. He laid the foundation of the Nirankari Movement.


Nirankaris is believed in following the teachings of Guru Nanak word by word. Another movement called. Namdhari Movement was inaugurated by Baba Balak Singh.

The Namdharis laid emphasis on social reforms rather than religious reforms.