Dayanand Saraswati, Swami
(12.02.1824 - 31.10.1883), a Hindu religious leader who founded the Arya Samaj, a Hindu reform movement of the Vedic tradition. e was a profound scholar of the Vedic lore and Sanskrit language. The Theosophical Society and the Arya Samaj were united from 1878 to 1882, becoming the Theosophical Society of the Arya Samaj. Dayananda Saraswati spent nearly twenty-five years, from 1845 to 1869, as a wandering ascetic, searching for religious truth. An ascetic is someone who gives up material goods and lives a life of self-denial, devoted to spiritual matters. He lived in jungles, in retreats in the Himalayan Mountains, and at a number of pilgrimage sites in northern India. During these years Dayananda Sarasvati practiced various forms of yoga. He became a disciple, or follower, of a well-known religious teacher, Virajanand Dandeesha (sometimes spelled Birajananda). Dayanand's mission was not to start or set up any new religion but to ask humankind for Universal Brotherhood through nobility as spelt out in Vedas. For that mission he founded Arya Samaj enunciating the Ten Universal Principles as a code for Universalism Krinvanto Vishwaryam meaning the whole world be an abode for Nobles (Aryas). His next step was to take up the difficult task of reforming Hinduism with dedication despite multiple repeated attempts on his personal life. He traveled the country challenging religious scholars and priests to discussions and won repeatedly on the strength of his arguments based on his knowledge of Sanskrit and Vedas. 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. Hindu priests discouraged the laity from reading Vedic scriptures and encouraged rituals, such as bathing in the Ganges River and feeding of priests on anniversaries, which Dayananda pronounced as superstitions or self-serving practices. By exhorting the nation to reject such superstitious notions, his aim was to educate the nation to Go back to the Vedas.
Dayanand Saraswati, Swami (1824-1883)
Rigvedadi Bhasya Bhumika
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