Swami Dayanand Saraswati

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    • Social activists paid their tributes to Swami Dayanand Saraswati on his birth anniversary.

    Swami Dayanand Saraswati (1824-1883)

    • About:
      • He was an Indian philosopher, social leader and founder of the Arya Samaj, a reform movement of the Vedic dharma.
      • He was the first to give the call for Swaraj as “India for Indians” in 1876, a call later taken up by Lokmanya Tilak.
      • Denouncing the idolatry and ritualistic worship, he worked towards reviving Vedic ideologies.
    • Influencers:
      • Those who were influenced by and followed Dayananda included Rai Sahib Pooran Chand, Madam Cama, Pandit Lekh Ram, Swami Shraddhanand, Shyamji Krishna Varma, Kishan Singh, Bhagat Singh, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Bhai Parmanand, Lala Hardayal, Madan Lal Dhingra, Ram Prasad Bismil, Mahadev Govind Ranade, Ashfaq Ullah Khan, Mahatma Hansraj, Lala Lajpat Rai, and Yogmaya Neupane.
    • Ideology:
      • He believed in the infallible authority of the Vedas.
      • Dayananda advocated the doctrine of Karma and Reincarnation.
      • He emphasized the Vedic ideals of brahmacharya, including celibacy and devotion to God.
      • 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. 
    • Contributions:
      • Among Dayananda’s contributions were his promoting of equal rights for women, such as the right to education and reading of Indian scriptures, and his commentary on the Vedas from Vedic Sanskrit in Sanskrit as well as in Hindi.
      • He translated the Vedas and wrote three books viz. Satyartha Prakash in Hindi, Veda Bhasya Bhumika, an introduction to his Vedic commentary, and Veda Bhasya, a Vedic commentary in Sanskrit on the Yajurveda and the major part of the Rig-Veda.

    Arya Samaj

    • Arya Samaj is a monotheistic Indian Hindu reform movement that promotes values and practices based on the belief in the infallible authority of the Vedas. 
    • Founder: Dayanand Saraswati
    • Arya Samaj was the first Hindu organization to introduce proselytization in Hinduism.
    • Principles/Objectives:
      • God is the primordial root (source) of all true knowledge and of all things that can be known through knowledge.
      • God is all Ikuth, All knowledge, All Bliss. He is Bodiless (Formless), Almighty, Just, Merciful, Unborn, Infinite, Unchangeable, Beginninglqss, Incomparable, Support and Lord of all.
      • Rejects Brahmanical dominance of spiritual and social life of Hindus. 
      • Vedas are the books of all true knowledge.
      • Supported Four Varna System but the Varna system should be based on merit not birth.
      • Advocated equal status for women in the society. There is no room for any kind of discrimination against women on the basis of gender.
      • Advocated widow remarriage, female education and opposed polygamy, child marriage, Sati, etc.
      • Backed propagation of Hindi and Sanskrit. Considered good education as the base of a good and solid social system. It did phenomenal work in the field of education even for women.
    • Arya Samaj established a chain of DAV educational institutions for the education of both boys and girls.

    Source: PIB