(Last Updated on : 01/06/2012)
Debendranath Tagore was the founder of the Brahmo Religion in 1848, which today is identical with Brahmoism. This is the youngest religion of India and Bangladesh. Debendranath Tagore was born in May 15, 1817 to the great "Prince" Dwarkanath Tagore. This Bengali personality is the father of 'Gurudev' Rabindranath Tagore
Debendranath Tagore was a deeply pious man and his movement the Brahmo Samaj
was founded in 1843 by merging his Tattvabodhini Sabha
with the Brahmo Sabha
. This Samaj was founded ten years after the death of the latter's founder, Raja Ram Mohan Roy
. The Brahmo Sabha had diverted from its original practices after the death of Raja Ram Mohan Roy; however, Debendranath Tagore revived the importance of this samaj.
Debendranath Tagore's spiritual skill was at the highest order, even while he properly maintained his worldly affairs. He did not renounce his material possessions as some Hindu traditions preached, but rather continued to enjoy them in a spirit of detachment. The considerable material property of Debendranath Tagore included several estates spread over the districts of Bengal. The most popular property of this saint was Shantiniketan
estate near Bolpur in the Birbhum
district where his eldest son Dwijendranath Tagore set up his own school.
Debendranath Tagore mastered the Upanishads
and played a vital role in the education and cultivation of faculties of his sons. Each of Debendranath Tagore's children is prominent in the development and sustenance of West Bengal
Dwijendranath, Debendranath Tagore's eldest son (1840-1926) was a skillful scholar, poet and music composer. He first started the practice of shorthand and musical notations in Bengali. He wrote extensively in various publications and translated Kalidas's Meghdoot into Bengali. Satyendranath Tagore (1842-1923) was the first Indian to join the Indian Civil Service. Hemendranath Tagore (1844-1884) was the scientist, a spiritual prophet and Yogi of the highest order. Jyotirindranath Tagore (1849-1925) was a scholar, artist, music composer and theatre personality. Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was his youngest son and the internationally known pioneer of art and literature in the state of West Bengal. Debendranath Tagore's other sons were Birendranath (1845-1915) and Somendranath.
Debendranath Tagore's daughters Soudamini, Sukumari, Saratkumari, Swarnakumari (1855-1932) and Barnakumari were also equally talented and had the heredity instinct of art and culture within them. Soudamini was one of the first students of Bethune
School and a gifted writer. Swarnakumari was a great writer, editor, song-composer and social worker. All of them were particularly famous for their beauty and rich education.
Debendranath Tagore took part in creating the heritage of Thakurbari - the House of Tagore - in the cultural heritage of Bengal, based in Kolkata
. It was largely through the influence of the Tagore family, following that of the writer Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
. Bengal took a foremost role on the enlightening front as well as on the patriotic one, in the Indian Renaissance
during the nineteenth century.
Debendranath Tagore was a righteous man in steady communion with God, even living within his worldly affairs. A special form of communion with God is prayer. In order to render this communion, Debendranath Tagore said that the prayer must be full of fervor, ecstatic; and the soul of him who prays during his devotions must detach itself from its material dwelling. He was often addressed, as Maharshi Debendranath Tagore. He was the greatest religious genius in India ever produced. He was often said to be truly a successor of the great Rishis of ancient times. Debendranath Tagore was a true and living embodiment of that teaching of the Gita where it is mentioned "A truly wise man is never buffeted by his trials and tribulations, does not covet pleasure, and is free from attachment, fear and anger; the same is a muni." The nation lost this true saint on January 19, 1905.