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Dayanand Saraswati – Life & Works

Dayanand Saraswati was one of the pioneers of the social and religious reforms in India. Find more info on the life and history of Swami Dayanand Sarasvati.

The founder of Arya Samaj (the Society of Nobles), Swami Dayanand Saraswati was one of the greatest religious leaders ever born in India. He was responsible, to some an extent, in bringing back the age-old teaching tradition of ‘Gurukul’. He advocated for the equal right of women and condemned practices such as untouchability, animal sacrifice, idol worship, etc.

Early Life
Born as Mool Shankar Tiwari to a pious Gujarati couple in 1824, Mool Shankar had an inquisitive mind, and a compassionate nature from his childhood. Once on a Shivaratri festival day, which is observed by fasting and keeping awake the whole night in obedience to Lord Shiva, he saw a mouse dancing on the Shivalinga idol. He tried to find out from elders why this “God Almighty” could not defend himself against the menace of a petty mouse, for which he was rebuked! The sudden death of a favorite uncle, and his beloved sister caused much turmoil in Mool Shankar. He became quite detached from the world, and one day left home, incognito in search of a guru.

The search was long and arduous. Finally, at the age of thirty-six he found his mentor in Virajananda Saraswati, who was blind, but was a master of the ancient lore. The training was rigorous, and the guru was ruthless. But here was a disciple of a lifetime. As the teacher’s fee (gurudakshina — also has a sacred connotation in Hindu thought; it cannot be denied) he wanted his student to devote his life for the revival of Hinduism. The guru called him Dayananda.

Philosophy of Swami Dayananda Saraswati
Dayanand Sarasvati believed that the Vedas were perfect and infallible.

Dayananda advocated the doctrine of karma, skepticism in dogma, and emphasised the ideals of brahmacharya (celibacy and devotion to God).

Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj or the ‘Society of Nobles’ is a Hindu reform movement, founded by Swami Dayanand Saraswati in the year 1875. The main principles, on which Arya Samaj is based, condemn…

  • Ancestor worship
  • Animal sacrifices
  • Caste system
  • Child marriages
  • Discrimination against women
  • Idol worship
  • Pilgrimages
  • Untouchability

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