Sri Sri Harichand Thakur and Sri Sri Shanti Mata
Matua Mahasangha is a religious reformation movement. Matua is a sect of Hindu folk religion. The movement was launched as a reformation by Sri Harichand Thakur‘s followers. He is popularly known as God Harichand. Born in Namasudra (Namassej) community to a peasant family. He attained Atmadarshan at an early age and preached his Darshan in Twelve Commandments. He preached for education, for uplifting the population and for ending social conflict.
Matua Mahasangha is not a religious organisation in the ordinary sense of Hinduism. There is no Gurutantra. Matua Mahasangha believe in self-Dikshitisation. So anyone who has faith in the Darshan or philosophy of God Harichand belongs to the Matua Mahasangha.
Initially the Matua Mahasangha followers or “matuas” formed an organisation in Orakandi, Faridpur (Bangladesh). After 1947, followers formed a second organisation in Thakurnagar, West Bengal, India. Dr. C. S. Mead, a Catholic Missionary, was involved with the movement. At first, it was very difficult to form the Mandir ( place to worship). The Mandir was initially looked after by Thakur’s family, but as of 2011 it was managed by a trustee chosen by the followers. The State Government of West Bengal offered the Matua Mahasangha 20 cottah of land to build a research organisation.
Followers may be found throughout India and Bangladesh. In some locations, they have worshipping places. In the beginning Matua Mahasangha followed simplified rituals, but later adopted Vaishnabism.