Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti: In this year, we celebrated on 26 February 2022. Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati was born on 12 February 1824 to a Hindu Brahmin family, in Tankara, Kathiawad region (now Morbi district of Gujarat). His original name was Mool Shankar Tiwari. His father was Karshanji Lalji Trivedi, and his mother was Yashodabai . 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
When he was eight years old, his Yajnopavita Sanskara ceremony was performed, marking his entry into formal education. His father was a follower of Shiva and taught him the ways to impress Shiva. He was also taught the importance of keeping fasts.. He was engaged in his early teens, but he decided marriage was not for him and ran away from home in 1846.
Dayanand Saraswati spent nearly twenty-five years, from 1845 to 1869, as a wandering ascetic, searching for religious truth. He gave up material goods and lived a life of self-denial, devoting himself to spiritual pursuits in forests, retreats in the Himalayan Mountains, and pilgrimage sites in northern India. During these years he practiced various forms of yoga and became a disciple of a religious teacher named Virajanand Dandeesha. Virajanand believed that Hinduism had strayed from its historical roots and that many of its practices had become impure. Dayananda Sarasvati promised Virajanand that he would devote his life to restoring the rightful place of the Vedas in the Hindu faith.
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.
About Arya Samaj
Dayananda Saraswati’s creation, the Arya Samaj, condemned practices of several different religions and communities, including such practices as idol worship, animal sacrifice, pilgrimages, priest craft, offerings made in temples, the castes, child marriages, meat-eating, and discrimination against women. He argued that all of these practices ran contrary to good sense and the wisdom of the Vedas.
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 fictitious beliefs. ‘Krinvan to Vishvam Aryam” was the motto of the Samaj, which means, “Make this world noble”. The ten tenets of the Arya Samaj are as follows:
- 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.
These 10 founding principles of the Arya Samaj were the pillar on which Maharishi Dayanand sought to reform India and asked people to go back to the Vedas and its undiluted spiritual teaching.
Due to his radical thinking and approach to social issues and beliefs, Dayanand Saraswati created many enemies around him. In 1883, on the occasion of Diwali, the Maharaja of Jodhpur, Jaswant Singh II, had invited Maharishi Dayanand to his palace and sought the Guru’s blessings. Dayanand offended the court dancer when he advised the King to forsake her and pursue a life of Dharma. She conspired with the cook who mixed pieces of glass in Maharishi’s milk. The Maharishi suffered excruciating pain but forgave the cook involved before he succumbed to death on October 30, 1883, at Ajmer, on the day of Diwali.
SWAMI DAYANAND SARASWATI QUOTES
God is absolutely holy and wise. His nature, attributes, and power are all holy. He is omnipresent, incorporeal, unborn, immense, omniscient, omnipotent, merciful, and just. He is the maker, protector, and destroyer of the world.-Dayananda Saraswati
Though music transcends language, culture, and time, and though notes are the same, Indian music is unique because it is evolved, sophisticated and melodies are defined.
The greatest musical instrument given to a human being is the voice.
A value is valuable when the value of value is valuable to oneself.
Prayer in any form is efficacious because it is an action. It will, therefore, have a result. That is the law of this universe in which we find ourselves.
Because a human being is endowed with empathy, he violates the natural order if he does not reach out to those who need care. Responding to this empathy, one is in harmony with the order of things, with dharma; otherwise, one is not.
Salvation is the state of emancipation from the endurance of pain and subjection to birth and death, and of the life of liberty and happiness in the immensity of God.
Wealth is a thing, earned with honesty and justice. Its opposite is the Mammon of unrighteousness.
Innocent pleasures are got by virtue and well-earned wealth.
The works of the present life are more important than the whole and entire reliance on wholesale blind fate.
The fitness of the pupil is shown in his love for the acquisition of knowledge, his willingness to receive instruction, his reverence for learned and virtuous men, his attendance upon the teacher, and his execution of orders.
He is good and wise who always speaks the truth, acts on the dictates of virtue, and tries to make others good and happy.
Beneficence removes evils, introduces the practice of virtue, and adds to general welfare and civilization.
The commendable conduct of man is shown by his discriminate treatment of merits and sympathetic regard for pleasure and pain, profit and loss of others. The contrary course is reprehensible.
The tongue should express what is in the heart.
People should never worship images. The spread of mental darkness is due to the prevalence of idolatry.
People should try to know God and imitate him in their works. Repetitions and ceremonials are of no use.
God has neither form nor color. He is incorporeal and immense. Whatever is seen in the world describes his greatness.
It is proper to take photographs or other kinds of pictures of persons to put them before us for sight or remembrance. But it is improper to make pictures and images of God and to take his likenesses therefrom to his great distortion.