Debendranath was the oldest son of Indian Prince Dwarkanath Tagore who grew up in the midst of luxury and power. On his birth anniversary, here's everything you need to know about the Indian reformer.
A look into the early life of Debendranath Tagore notes that he was born on May 15, 1817, at Calcutta, Bengal, Bengal Presidency, to Prince Dwarkanath Tagore, a wealthy landowner and successful entrepreneur, and his wife, Digambari Devi.
After receiving his early education at home, he was enrolled at the Anglo-Hindu College in 1827. After attending college for a brief period, he began supervising his family’s property and also showed interest in philosophy and religion.
When he was young, he turned away from the focus on wealth and embraced a deeply religious and philosophical outlook to lead life that was particularly inspired by a night beside his grandmother’s death bed (1838).
He is known to the world for being an Indian reformer who founded the Tattwaranjini Sabha (later renamed Tattwabodhini Sabha), Shantiniketan (a retreat in rural Bengal), and also for his son who made the nation proud with his literary works -- none other than Rabindranath Tagore.
The Sabha which lasted until 1854, aspired to promote the purification of Hinduism (“Adi Dharma”) through the dissemination through philosophical enquiry and teaching of the Upanishads.
Later, Debendranath started publishing a journal named the Tattwabodhini Patrika that had articles on the rationalization of Brahmo doctrines and the propagation of natural theism as well as on female education, widow re-marriage and the denouncing of polygamy.
While serving as the secretary of the Tattwabodhini Sabha, he stopped Hindu puja ceremonies and introduced 'Magh festival', 'Nababarsa', 'Diksa Din' and similar festivals.
In 1843, he revived the Brahmo Sabha, which had diminished since the death of Raja Ram Mohan Roy in 1833. Later, the Brahmo Sabha was formally merged with the Tattwabodhini Sabha and was renamed as ‘Calcutta Brahma Samaj’.
He founded Shantiniketan in 1863, a retreat in rural Bengal, which was off late transformed into an international university under the supervision of his youngest son, Rabindranath Tagore.
Marriage and family life
Tagore married Sarada Devi and the couple was blessed with several children of whom 13 survived. All children went on to make a significant mark for themselves in their respective fields.
Debendranath Tagore died on January 19, 1905, in Calcutta, India, at the age of 87.
(With source inputs)