Paramahansa Mandali

Paramahansa Mandali was founded by Dadoba Panderung (1842-82) and Bal Shastri Jambhekar of Maharashtra in 1849. Dadoba in his book Dharma Vivechan, outlined seven principles of this new movement: that God alone should be worshipped; real religion is based on love and moral conduct; spiritual religion is one; every individual should have freedom of thought; our actions and speech should be consistent with reason; mankind is one caste; and the right kind of knowledge should be given to all. These principles denied polytheism of popular Hinduism, the caste system and the Brahmanical monopoly of knowledge. All members were required to take a pledge that they would abandon caste restrictions and take food and drink prepared by a member of a lower caste.

The Paramahansa Mandali met in secret. “Its insistence on remaining a secret organisation illustrated an unwillingness to openly challenge Hindu orthodoxy.” Young educated Brahmans from Maharashtra joined the Mandali, but the movement collapsed after 1860.