Today is the birth anniversary of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj. Swami Dayanand Saraswati was more than a religious leader; he was a reformer who left a deep impression on India. He spoke out against following empty rituals. Swami Dayanand Saraswati denounced the caste system and encouraged education and equal rights of men and women. He introduced a complete overhaul of the education system and is often considered as one of the visionaries of modern India. The DAV (Dayanand Anglo Vedic) schools came into existence in 1886 to realize the vision of Dayanand Saraswati. The first DAV School was established at Lahore with Mahatma Hansraj as the Headmaster.
Swami Dayanand Saraswati was a renowned scholar who promoted the Vedic philosophy and principles of karma and reincarnation. His mission in life was universal brotherhood and for this he founded the Arya Samaj.
The Arya Samaj opposes idol worship, caste system based on birth rather than on merit, untouchability, child marriage, pilgrimages, priesthood and temple offerings. Social reform and education were a big part of Swami Dayanand Saraswati’s ideals.
Principles of Arya Samaj
- God is known through knowledge
- God is existent, formless, omniscient, just, merciful, endless and omnipresent
- The Vedas are the scriptures of true knowledge
- One should always accept truth and to renounce untruth
- All acts should be performed in accordance with Dharma
- The main objective of the Arya Samaj is to do good to the world
- Conduct towards all should be guided by love, righteousness and justice
- One should dispel Avidya or ignorance and promote Vidya or knowledge
- One should focus of goodness in people around them
- One should promote physical, spiritual and social good of everyone
Dayanand Saraswati was born on February 12, 1824 at Tankara, Gujarat as Mool Shankar. His parents Karshanji Lalji Tiwari and Yashodabai were deeply religious and followers of Lord Shiva.
Dayananda Saraswati wrote more than 60 books. One of his major scholarly works is Satyarth Prakash, which means The Light of Truth.