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475.2 Rio

All earnest attempts at reform, whether religious, social, political, or of any other description, are based on faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and justice and humanity, which is synonymous with a belief in the moral government of the Universe. This is an essential element in religious belief. One would, therefore, expect to find Raja Rammohun Roy, the Arst all-round reformer in modern India, “above all and benezth all a religious personality. The many and far-reaching ramifications of his prolific energy were forth-puttings of one purpose, The root of his life was religion. He would never have been able to go so far or to move his countrymen so mightily as he did but for the driving power of an intense theistic passion.” As in his life so in his writings, religion occupies the foremost place. His writings on religious subjects are the most important and most voluminous. But their very extent and variety are apt to puzzle those who may strive to find out the exact nature of his religious faith. . The late Babu Rajnarain Bose had it from his father, a disciple of the Raja, that the latter before his departure to England had foretold that after his death .various sects would claim him as belonging to their own particular ranks, but he declared that he did not belong to any particular sect. What the Raja foresaw has actually taken place. “It has been said that Rammohun Roy delighted to pass for a believer in the Vedanta with the Hindus, for a Christian among the adherents of that creed, and for a disciple of the Koran with the champions of Islamism.* The truth is that his eclecticism equalled his sincerity." | It would be ont of place here to enter into a discussion of the question of his religious belief. f Suffica it to say that he believed in pure theism, as his Tuhfat-ul-Muwahhiddin on the one hand and the Trust-Deed of the Brahmo Samaj on the other, in addition to

His habit, in his religious controversies with various sects, of taking his stand not merely upon puro reason but mainly upon their scriptures led some people to think that he was all things to all men. This, of course, is a mistake. His controversial method was meant to convince the followers of different faiths that even their scriptures, which they professed implicitly to follow, enjoined the worship of the one true God.

The Contemporary Evolution of Religious Thought, by Count Goblet d'Alviella, p. 23*.

| For an exhaustive discussion of the subject see the Raja's biography in Bengali, ?op. Baba Nagendranath Chatterji, which ought to be translated into Englislı.

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many of his other works, prove conclusively. He did not reject any truth to be found in any scriptures or in the teachings of any prophet or saint; he revered and accepted truth from all quarters : hut at the same time he did not accept any book or teacher as infallible. It should not, however, be forgotten that though he way, thus cosmopolitan in his acceptance of truth, there are reasons to think that he believed in what may be called national or racial manifestations or developments of universal tlteism. His partiality (in no narrow sense) for the ethical portion of Christ's teachings is evident. But it would be wrong to suppose for that reason that he was exclusively or even principally a follower of Josus. In making this statement we do not solely or.chiefly rely on his prime writings in Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, English or Bengali. His bus in Bengali, too, in our opinion, afford a correct idea of the faith Lhat lay enshrined in the deepest recesses of his heart. For, poetry springs from a deeper source in the soul than anything that is merely didactic, controversial, doctrinal or philosophical. And from the Raja's Bengali devotional poetry, one cannot but take him to have boun a Hindu Theist or a theistic Vedantist.

* It is sometimes asked whether Ram mohun Roy intended that the socioty for the worship of one God tbat he founded should have a sveial counterpart in a religious community separate from all existing ones, such as the Brahmo Samaj has now become. The question is difficult to answer. But from the little study and thought that we havad been able to devote to the subject, it seems to us that at the time when he established the Brahmo Samaj, ho meant it to be simply a moeting-ground for people of all sects who wished to unite foi divine worship, “ a place of public meeting of all sorts and descriptions of people without distinction as shall behave and conduct thudselves in an orderly, sober, religious and devout manner for the worship and adoration of the Eternal, Unsearchable and Immutablo Being who is the author and preserver of the Universo but not under or by any other name, designation or title peculiarly used for and applied to any particular Being or Beings by any man or set of mon whatsoever." Art and philosophy, though each is essentially one all the world over, havo yet found various though fitting garb among Viderent peoples according to racial, climatic and other causes. It secr8 to us, that similarly, the Raja may have thought that Theism, tlogh at bottom one all over the world, has yet found various cxpresslon among different races; and though abstract truth is thinkable, yot as it finds actual manifestation in some concreto shape, it is the part of wisdom to allow the abstract universal theism in all countries and among all races to keep its native shape and colour, in which it is, mbodied, freed, of course, from all that base and impuro, with

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