Recently, the Prime Minister virtually addressed the 200th birth anniversary celebrations of Swami Dayanand Saraswati.

About Swami Dayanand Saraswati:

  • He was born on February 12, 1824, in Tankara, Gujarat.
  • He was a social reformer who founded Arya Samaj (1875) to counter the prevalent social inequalities.

Educational Reforms:

  • He set up several Gurukuls to teach his followers the knowledge of the Vedas.
  • Inspired by his beliefs, his disciples established the Dayanand Anglo Vedic College Trust and Management Society.
  • The first DAV High School was established in Lahore with Mahatma Hans Raj.

Social and Religious Reforms:

  • Shuddhi Movement: The Shuddhi Movement was introduced to bring back the individuals to Hinduism who were converted to other religions such as Christianity or Islam.
  • Back to Vedas: He suggested the social reformer’s role in awakening India and also led the movement to rediscover the essence of Vedic teachings.
  • Opposition to Sati and Child Marriage: He opposed the practices of Sati and Child Marriage which considered them detrimental to society and against the Vedic principles.
  • Advocate for Women’s rights: Dayanand Saraswati advocated for the rights and empowerment of women. He also encouraged women to receive education and participate in various political, social, and religious activities.
  • He promoted monotheism and rejected the worship of multiple deities, advocating for the worship of one formless God (Ishwar).
  • Dayanand opposed caste-based discrimination and advocated for social equality, education for all, and the upliftment of women.

About Arya Samaj:

  • Dayanand Saraswati formed the Arya Samaj at Bombay in 1875. Arya Samaj was a Hindu reform movement which means ‘Society of the Nobles’.
  • Motto: ‘Krinvanto Vishwam Aryam’ means ‘Make this World Noble’.
  • The Samaj launched programs to support widow remarriages around the 1880s.
  • Famous Personalities: Lala Lajpat Rai, Vinayak Damodar Savarakar, Madam Cama, Ram Prasad Bismil, Madan Lal Dingra and Subhash Chandra Bose.

Literacy Work:

  • The philosophy of Dayanand Saraswati can be attributed to various famous works viz. ‘Satyartha Prakash’ (The Light of Truth), ‘Veda Bhashya Bhumika’, and ‘Veda Bhashya’.
  • Also, the journal ‘Arya Patrika’ was edited by him which reflected his thoughts.
  • Sanskrit Grammar Works: Contributions to Sanskrit grammar and linguistics and also includes Siddhant Kaumudi and Sanskar Vidhi.

Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati was a visionary leader and reformer who left an indelible mark on Indian society through his teachings and actions. His legacy continues to inspire millions of people to strive for truth, righteousness, and social upliftment.

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