The Brahma Samaj maintained a bare existence till 1841, when Babu Debendra Nath Tagore, a member of a famous and wealthy Calcutta family, devoted himself to it.
The great changes that have been wrought in India, politically, commercially, intellectually and religiously, by the combined action of the British government and the Christian missions, are evidenced among other tokens by the growth of such societies as the Arya Samaj and the Brahmo Samaj.
In fact the whole Samaj movement is as distinct a product of the contest of Hinduism with Christianity in the 19th century, as the Panth movement was of its contest with Islam 300 years earlier.
The Arya Samaj is not an eclectic system like the Brahma Samaj, which strives to find the common basis underlying all the great religions, and its narrower scope and corresponding intensity of conviction have won it a greater strength.
For long the Brahmas did not attempt any social reforms. But about 1865 the younger section, headed by Babu Keshub Chunder Sen, who joined the Samaj in 1857, tried to carry their religious theories into practice by demanding the abandonment of the external signs of caste distinction.
But even when we add all sections of the Brahma Samaj together, the total number of adherents is only about 4000, mostly found in Calcutta and its neighbourhood.