Dayanand Saraswati is famous as the founder of Arya Samaj. Dayanand Saraswati, born on February 12, 1824, was a leading religious and social reformer who played an important role in the redefinition of Hinduism and promoting social and educational reforms in 19th century India.
Through this article, let us know about some important aspects of Dayanand Saraswati’s life and work on his death anniversary.
Biography: Swami Dayanand Saraswati in Hindi
Dayanand Saraswati was born on Dashami Tithi (February 12, 1824) of Krishna Paksha of Phalgun month in Tankara, Kathiawar (Morbi District, Gujarat). His childhood name was Shankar Tiwari as he was born in Sagittarius and Moola Nakshatra. Karshanji Lalji Trivedi and Yashodabai were his parents.
In 1846 he decided that marriage was not for him and ran away from home to pursue the path of asceticism. Dayananda Saraswati spent about twenty-five years as an ascetic united in search of truth. During these years he pursued his spiritual practices under the guidance of his guru Virjananda Dandisha. His Gurudakshina was to restore the Vedas in the Sanatan-Hindu society.
He died on October 30, 1883, at the age of 59.
Contribution of Swami Dayanand Saraswati
Establishment of Arya Samaj
Swami Dayanand Saraswati founded Arya Samaj in Mumbai in 1875. The main objective of the establishment of Arya Samaj was to promote the study of Vedas along with physical, spiritual and social progress and to bring about systemic reforms in the Hindu society. The Arya Samaj proposed social reforms such as monotheism, rejection of idol worship, and abolition of caste-based discrimination through the Arya Samaj.
Promotion of vedic education
Dayanand Saraswati believed in the primacy of the Vedas as the most authentic source of Hindu spirituality. He advocated a return to Vedic principles and a rejection of later Hindu texts, which he considered deviated from the pure teachings of the Vedas.
Additionally, he also stressed the importance of modern education and the spread of knowledge. He encouraged the establishment of schools and colleges to impart Vedic studies as well as modern education.
Dayanand Saraswati wrote extensively. His most famous work is “Satyartha Prakash”, which is famous for its comprehensive criticism of various religious-social views and monotheistic Vedic interpretation. Additionally, he also wrote commentaries on the Vedas and other texts.
“I accept as religion that which is in full accordance with impartial justice, truthfulness, etc.; Which does not contradict the teachings of God embodied in the Vedas. Whatever is not free from partiality and is unjust, is guilty of untruth and I like and oppose the teachings of God embodied in the Vedas – I consider them as Adharma.”
— Satyarth Prakash
Dayanand Saraswati was a strong supporter of social reforms. He campaigned against practices such as child marriage, dowry and the caste system. His ideas laid the groundwork for later social reform movements in India. It is said that the idea of Swaraj was taken by Lokmanya Tilak under the influence of Dayanand Saraswati.