Kulin Brahmin

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This article is about the Indian Bramins. For other uses, see Kulin (disambiguation).

Kulin Brahmin is a strata of upper caste Brahmins in India's caste system. This term is more generally used to refer to upper caste "twice-born" Brahmins in nineteenth century Bengal considered themselves to be more knowledgeable as regards the scriptures as compared to other Brahmins.

The Brahmo Samaj originated to remove the evils of Kulin Brahminism like polygamy and Sati (practice) (wherein a recently widowed woman would immolate herself on her husband’s funeral pyre). From 1822, over 500 secular Kulin Brahmins of Calcutta organised themselves into a vigilante force under legal experts like Ram Mohan Roy, Dwarkanath Tagore and Prasanna Coomar Tagore known as the Brahma Sabha to report and prosecute such offences. A counter force called Dharma Sabha was quickly formed by another set of orthodox Hindu Kulins to excommunicate Brahmins of the Brahma Sabha or assassinate them. Finally in 1829 the Governor General William Bentinck outlawed sati. The excommunicated Brahmins formed their own religion Brahmoism the following year 1830 which was finally codified in 1850, and recognised by the British Government in 1872, and by the Supreme Courts in 1903.

See also[edit]


  • History of the Bengali-speaking People by Nitish Sengupta
  • The Literature of Bengal: a Biographical and Critical History from the Earliest Times, Closing with a Review of Intellectual Progress under British Rule in India. (1877); Calcutta, T. Spink (1895); 3rd ed., Cultural Heritage of Bengal Calcutta, Punthi Pustak (1962).
  • History of the Brahmo Samaj by Sivanath Sastri