- Born Mul Shankar Tiwari, Dayananda was a prolific reformer of the Hindu religion.
- He was born into a well-to-do family to a tax collector named Karshanji Lalji Kapadia and his wife Yashodabai.
- He learnt Sanskrit and the Vedas in his childhood.
- He started pondering over the meaning of life after his sister and uncle died. Engaged to be married in his teens, Mul Shankar decided he wanted to lead an ascetic life and ran away from home.
- He spent 25 years as a wandering ascetic and travelled to the Himalayas and other religious places in northern India. He was seeking the truth about life and gave up all material goods in this spiritual pursuit.
- He also started practising Yoga during this time. His teacher in all things spiritual was Virajanand Dandeesha.
- Dayananda understood that Hinduism had strayed away from its roots. He promised his Guru that he would strive hard to reinstate the position of the Vedas to its rightful honoured place in the Hindu religion and way of life.
- He preached against the giving of donations to priests. He also challenged established scholars and won debates against them through the strength of the Vedas. He was staunchly against rituals and superstitions.
- He extolled spiritualism and nationalism and appealed to the people to fight for Swarajya.
- He also exhorted the importance of cows for the prosperity of the nation and encouraged the adoption of Hindi for national integration.
- He stressed on the importance of education of all children and preached respect and equal rights for women.
- He founded the Arya Samaj on April 7, 1875. Through this reform movement, he stressed on One God and rejected idol worship. He also advocated against the extolled position of priests in Hinduism.
- He opposed the multiplicity of castes. Furthermore, he thought that caste multiplicity is the main reason behind the conversion of lower castes into Christianity and Islam.
- He also established Vedic schools for the education of girls and boys of all castes. The students of these schools were given free books, clothing, lodging and food, and were taught the Vedas and other ancient scriptures.
- Arya Samaj led a prolonged movement against untouchability and advocated the dilution of caste distinctions.
- Dayanad anglovedic trust and Management society in lahore in 1886 , was an attempt to unite the samaj and its activities.
- They also worked for the protection of widows and other social work like providing relief to victims of natural or manmade calamities.
- He wrote many books. His major contribution is the Satyartha Prakash. Other books include the Sanskarvidhi, Rigved Bhashyam, etc.
- People he inspired include Shyamji Krishna Varma, MG Ranade, VD Savarkar, Lala Hardyal, Madan Lal Dhingra, Bhagat Singh and many others. He was also admired by Swami Vivekananda, Subhash Chandra Bose, Bipin Chandra Pal, Vallabhbhai Patel, Romain Rolland, etc.
- According to S Radhakrishnan, some reforms included in the Indian Constitution were influenced by Dayananda.
- Dayananda was poisoned during his stay at the palace of the Maharaja of Jodhpur, Jaswant Singh II. He succumbed to the injury suffered at Ajmer, where he was sent for better treatment on 26th October 1883. He was 59.
|February 12, 1824
|October 30, 1883
|Place of death
|Karshanji Lalji Tiwari
|Arya Samaj, Shuddhi Movement, Back to the Vedas
|Satyarth Prakash (1875 & 1884);
Sanskar Vidhi (1877 & 1884);
Yajur Veda Bhashyam (1878 to 1889)
The Indian religious leader Swami Dayanand Saraswati was an Indian philosopher, social leader and founder of the Arya Samaj, a reform movement of the Vedic dharma and epitomized the aggressive Hindu religion. He was the first to give the call for Swaraj as “India for Indians” in 1876, a call later taken up by Lokmanya Tilak. He was born on February 12, 1824 in Tankara, Gujarat. His original name was Mul Shankar Tiwari because he was born in Dhanu Rashi and Mool Nakshatra.
Dayananda Saraswati -Life
Swami Dayananda Saraswati was the founder of Arya Samaj. He was a social reformer and a great Hindu religious preacher.
He was raised in the orthodox Hindu tradition but soon found himself unsatisfied with the archaic teachings and practices, especially idol worship and other primitivism imposed on him.
At the age of 19 he left his family and undertook a long period of rigorous, ascetic study of the ancient Vedas—the oldest core of the Hindu religion.
Dayananda Saraswati formed Arya Samaj in 1875 A.D. He formed this ‘Samaj’ for the resurgence of Hindu society. He was born in a Brahmin family of Gujrat. He was a Sanskrit pundit. He did not know English. He came in contact with Keshab Sen after being Saint. After that he appointed himself during his last 8 years of life in reform work of religion and society.
Early Life and Education
Dayanand Saraswati was born on 12th February, 1824 into a wealthy Brahmin family in Gujarat, a part of western India somewhat isolated from British colonial influence. His father was Karshanji Lalji Trivedi and his mother was Yashodabai. His affluent and influential Brahmin family was an ardent follower of Lord Shiva. The family being deeply religious, Mool Shankar was taught religious rituals, piety and purity, and the importance of fasting from a very early age.
He believed that Hinduism had been corrupted by divergence from the founding principles of the Vedas and that Hindus had been misled by the priesthood for the priests’ self-aggrandizement. For this mission, he founded the Arya Samaj, enunciating the Ten Universal Principles as a code for Universalism, called Krinvanto Vishwaryam. With these principles, he intended the whole world to be an abode for Aryas (Nobles).
His next step was to reform Hinduism with a new dedication to God. He travelled the country challenging religious scholars and priests to discussions, winning repeatedly through the strength of his arguments and knowledge of Sanskrit and Vedas. Hindu priests discouraged the laity from reading Vedic scriptures, and encouraged rituals, such as bathing in the Ganges River and feeding of priests on anniversaries, which Dayananda pronounced as superstitions or self-serving practices. By exhorting the nation to reject such superstitious notions, his aim was to educate the nation to return to the teachings of the Vedas, and to follow the Vedic way of life. He also exhorted Hindus to accept social reforms, including the importance of cows for national prosperity as well as the adoption of Hindi as the national language for national integration
Dayanand Saraswati & Arya Samaj
On 7 April, 1875 Dayanand Saraswati formed the Arya Samaj at Bombay. It was a Hindu reforms movement, meaning “society of the nobles”. The purpose of the Samaj was to move the Hindu religion away from the fictitious beliefs. ‘Krinvan to Vishvam Aryam” was the motto of the Samaj, which means, “Make this world noble”. Outlined below are the 10 founding principles of the Arya Samaj was the pillar on which Maharishi Dayanand sought to reform India and asked people to go back to the Vedas and its undiluted spiritual teaching,
- God is the efficient cause of all true knowledge and all that is known through knowledge.
- God is existent, intelligent and blissful. He is formless, omniscient, just, merciful, unborn, endless, unchangeable, beginning-less, unequalled, the support of all, the master of all, omnipresent, immanent, un-aging, immortal, fearless, eternal and holy, and the maker of all. He alone is worthy of being worshiped.
- The Vedas are the scriptures of all true knowledge. It is the paramount duty of all Aryas to read, teach, and recite them and to hear them being read.
- One should always be ready to accept truth and to renounce untruth.
- All acts should be performed in accordance with Dharma that is, after deliberating what is right and wrong.
- The prime object of the Arya Samaj is to do good to the world, that is, to promote physical, spiritual and social good of everyone.
- Our conduct towards all should be guided by love, righteousness and justice.
- We should dispel Avidya (ignorance) and promote Vidya (knowledge).
- No one should be content with promoting his/her good only; on the contrary, one should look for his/her good in promoting the good of all.
- One should regard oneself under restriction to follow the rules of society calculated to promote the wellbeing of all, while in following the rules of individual welfare all should be free.
Maharishi Dayanand was a believer in Hinduism just as the Vedas have outlined, devoid of any corruption and embellishments. Preserving the purity of the faith was of utmost important to him. He strongly advocated the concepts of Dharma which he believed to be free from any partiality and as an embodiment of truthfulness. To him Adharma was anything that did not hold true, was not just or fair and was opposed to the teachings of the Vedas.
He believed in reverence of human life irrespective of anything and condoned the practice of Ahimsa or non-violence. He advised his countrymen to direct their energy towards betterment of mankind as a whole and not waste away in unnecessary rituals. He revoked the practice of idol worship and considered them a contamination introduced by the priesthood for their own benefit. He was against other social evils like superstitions and caste segregation. He advocated the concept of Swarajya, meaning a country free of foreign influence, resplendent in the glory of fair and just participants.
The Shuddhi Movement was introduced by Swami Dayanand to bring back the individuals to Hinduism who were either voluntarily or involuntarily converted to other religions like Islam or Christianity. Shuddhi or purification was imparted to those who sought their way back to Hinduism and the Samaj did an excellent work in penetrating the various strata of society, taking back the depressed classes into the folds of Hinduism.
Dayananda Saraswati – Books
Here listed out some of the books written by Swami Dayanand Saraswati, an influential religious and social reformer and the founder of Arya Samaj.
- Satyarth Prakash
- The Teaching of the Bhagavad Gita
- Introduction to Vedanta
- The Value Of Values
- Vedic View and Way of Life
- Moments With Oneself/The Problem is You The Solution is You
- Moments With Oneself/Vedanta 24X7
- Discovering Love
- Morning Meditation Prayers
- Yoga of Objectivity
- Moments With Oneself/Vedanta 24X7
- Gokarunanidhi ( Hindi Edition )
- Sri Rudram
- Stress Free Living
- Successful Living PUBLIC TALKS
- Freedom from Helplessness
- Action and Reaction
- Freedom in Relationship
- Need for Cognitive Change
- On Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
- Crisis Management
- Living Versus Getting on: from a Survivor to a Contributor
- Teaching Tradition of Advaita Vedanta
- Surrender and Freedom
- Purpose of Prayer
- El Valor de los Valores
- Moments with Krishna
- Morning Meditation Prayers
- Yoga Of Objectivity
- Bhagavad Gita – Home Study Course (Set of 9 Volumes)
- Todo sobre Sadhana