Historical Who is Who
1772 - 1833
Born into a Brahminic family and exposed through 12 years of working with officials of the East India Company to western thinking, he is known from his teaching and writing for seeking to reconcile Hindu and western philosophical traditions. He founded the Brahmo Samaj/Theistic Society and taught that many of the mythological and rituals aspects of both Hindu and Christian traditions could and in many instances should be abandoned (eg caste, polygamy and suttee – the obligation on a widow to burned on the funeral pyre of her husband). He regarded the scriptural texts such as the Upanishads and Puranas as complementary to the revelatory character of the natural world. He pursued this theme with Christians during the last three years of his life spent in England. However controversial a figure, he saw education as a central vehicle for very necessary moral, social and religious reform.