Swami Dayananda Saraswati

Swami Dayananda Saraswati
Note:This page is about the founder of the Arya Samaj. For others known by the same name, please see Swami Dayananda (disambiguation)
Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati
Born 12 February 1824(1824-02-12)
Tankara, Morvi, Gujarat
Died 30 October 1883(1883-10-30) (aged 59)
Ajmer, Rajasthan
Birth name Mul Shankar Tiwari or Mulshankar Karasandas Tiwari /Shuddha Chaitanya as Brahmachari
Titles/honours Maharshi
Guru Swami Virjananda
Philosophy Traitvad vedic philosophy based on Samhita of four Vedas and its theory derived on Nighantu and Nirukta with six Darshanas supported by Paniniya Vyakaran.
Literary works Satyarth Prakash (1875)
Quotation "Om viswani dev savitar duritani parasuv yad bhadram tanna aasuva."

Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati (Hindi:स्वामी दयानन्द सरस्वती, Gujarati: મહષિૅ દયાનંદ સરસ્વતી) (Born:12 February 1824 – Died:30 October 1883[2]. ) was an important Hindu religious scholar, reformer, and founder of the Arya Samaj, a Hindu reform movement. He was the first to give the call for Swarajya[3] – "India for Indians" – in 1876, later taken up by Lokmanya Tilak.[4][5] Denouncing the idolatry and ritualistic worship prevalent in Hinduism at the time, he worked towards reviving Vedic ideologies. Subsequently the philosopher and President of India, S. Radhakrishnan, called him one of "makers of Modern India," as did Sri Aurobindo.[6][7][8]

One of his notable disciples was Shyamji Krishna Varma, who founded India House in London and guided other revolutionaries. Others who were influenced by and followed him included Madam Cama, Pran Sukh Yadav, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Lala Hardayal, Madan Lal Dhingra, Ram Prasad Bismil, Bhagat Singh, Swami Shraddhanand[9] Sukhabodhananda,[10] Mahatma Hansraj and Lala Lajpat Rai.[11][12] One of his most influential works is the book Satyarth Prakash, which contributed to the Indian independence movement. He was a sanyasi (ascetic) from boyhood, and a scholar, who believed in the infallible authority of the Vedas.

Dayananda advocated the doctrine of karma and skepticism in dogma, and emphasized the ideals of brahmacharya (celibacy) and devotion to God. The Theosophical Society and the Arya Samaj were united from 1878 to 1882, becoming the Theosophical Society of the Arya Samaj.[13] Among Maharishi Dayananda's contributions are his promoting of the equal rights of women, such as the right to education and reading of Indian scriptures, and his translation of the Vedas from Sanskrit into Hindi so that the common person might be able to read them.


Early life

Dayananda was born on February 12 in 1824, in the town of Tankara, near Morvi (Morbi) in the Kathiawar region (since India's independence in 1947 Rajkot district) of the princely state of Gujarat, into the affluent and devout Saryupareen Brahmins family of Karshanji Lalji Tiwari and his wife Yashodabai. Since he was born under Mul Nakshatra, he was named "Mulshankar", and led a comfortable early life, studying Sanskrit, the Vedas and other religious texts to prepare himself for a future as a Hindu priest.[14][15]

A number of incidents in early childhood resulted in Dayananda's questioning the traditional beliefs of Hinduism and inquiring about God. While still a young child, when his family went to a temple for overnight worship on the night of Maha Shivratri, he stayed up waiting for Lord Shiva to appear to accept the offerings made to his idol. While his family slept, Dayananda saw a mouse eating the offerings. He was utterly surprised and wondered how a God who cannot protect even his own offerings would protect humanity. He argued with his father that they should not be worshipping such a helpless God.[16][17]

The deaths of his younger sister and his uncle from cholera caused Dayananda to ponder the meaning of life and death and he started asking questions which worried his parents. He was to be married in his early teens, as was common in nineteenth-century India, but he decided marriage was not for him and in 1846 ran away from home.[16][17]

Dayananda was disillusioned with classical Hinduism and became a wandering monk. He learned Panini's grammar to read Sanskrit texts, and understood from them that God can be found. After wandering in search of God for over two decades, he found Swami Virajananda near Mathura, Uttar Pradesh who became his guru.[18] Swami Virajananda told him to throw away all his books, as he wished Dayananda to start from a clean slate and learn directly from the Vedas, the oldest and most foundational scriptures of Hinduism.[17] Dayananda stayed under Swami Virjananda's tutelage for two and a half years. After finishing his education, Virjananda asked him to spread the knowledge of the Vedas in society as his gurudakshina, or tuition-dues.[17]

Dayanand's mission

Aum or Om is considered by the ((Arya Samaj)) to be the highest and most proper name of God.

Dayananda mission was to tell the humankind for Universal Brotherhood through nobility as spelt out in Vedas and his first step was to take up the difficult task of reforming Hinduism with dedication despite multiple repeated attempts on his 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.[19] 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. While he wanted the people to follow the Vedic life, he also exhorted the nation to accept social reforms like the abolition of untouchability, sati, and dowry, education of women, swadeshi and importance of cows for national prosperity as well as the adoption of Hindi as the national language. Through his teachings, preachings, sermons and writings he inspired the nation to aspire to Swarajya (self governance), nationalism, and spiritualism. He advocated the equal rights and respects to women and advocated the full education of a girl child.

Swami Dayananda did critical, logical and scientific analyses of all faiths ie Islam and Christianity as well as of other Indian faiths like Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism, in addition to denouncing idolatry in Hinduism, as may be seen in his book Satyartha Prakash.[20] He was against what he considered to be the corruption of the pure faith in his own country. Unlike many other reform movements within Hinduism, the Arya Samaj's appeal was addressed not only to the educated few in India, but to the world as a whole as evidenced in the sixth principle of the Arya Samaj.In fact his teachings professed universalism for the all living beings and not for any particular sect, faith, community or nation.

Arya Samaj allows and encourages converts to Hinduism. Dayananda’s concept of dharma is stated in the "Beliefs and Disbeliefs" section of Satyartha Prakash. He said:

"I accept as Dharma whatever is in full conformity with impartial justice, truthfulness and the like; that which is not opposed to the teachings of God as embodied in the Vedas. Whatever is not free from partiality and is unjust, partaking of untruth and the like, and opposed to the teachings of God as embodied in the Vedas—that I hold as adharma"
He also said:
"He, who after careful thinking, is ever ready to accept truth and reject falsehood; who counts the happiness of others as he does that of his own self, him I call just."

Satyarth Prakash

Dayananda's Vedic message was to emphasize respect and reverence for other human beings, supported by the Vedic notion of the divine nature of the individual–divine because the body was the temple where the human essence (soul or "atma") had the possibility to interface with the creator ("Paramatma"). In the ten principles of the Arya Samaj, he enshrined the idea that "All actions should be performed with the prime objective of benefiting mankind", as opposed to following dogmatic rituals or revering idols and symbols. In his own life, he interpreted moksha to be a lower calling (due to its benefit to one individual) than the calling to emancipate others.

Dayananda's "back to the Vedas" message influenced many thinkers and philosophers the world over. Taking the cue from him, Sri Aurobindo decided to look for hidden psychological meanings in the Vedas [1]. Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry. 1972.

Arya Samaj

Swami Dayananda's creation, the Arya Samaj, unequivocally condemns idol worship, animal sacrifice, ancestor worship, pilgrimages, priest craft, offerings made in temples, the caste system, untouchability, child marriages and discrimination against women on the grounds that all these lacked Vedic sanction. The Arya Samaj discourages dogma and symbolism and encourages skepticism in beliefs that run contrary to common sense and logic. To many people, the Arya Samaj aims to be a "universal society" based on the authority of the Vedas.[21]


In 1883 Dayananda was invited by the Maharaja of Jodhpur to stay at his palace. The Maharaja was eager to become his disciple and learn his teachings. One day Dayananda went to the Maharaja's rest room and saw him with a dance girl named Nanhi Jan. Dayananda boldly asked the Maharaja to forsake the girl and all unethical acts and follow dharma like a true Aryan. Dayananda's suggestion offended the dance girl and she decided to take revenge[22]. She bribed Dayananda's cook to poison him. At bedtime, the cook brought him a glass of milk containing poison and powdered glass. Dayananda drank the milk and went to sleep only to wake up later with a burning sensation. He immediately realized that he had been poisoned and attempted to purge his digestive system of the poisonous substance, but it was too late. The poison had already entered his bloodstream. Dayananda was bedridden and suffered excruciating pain. Many doctors came to treat him but all was in vain. His body was covered all over with large bleeding sores. On seeing Dayananda's suffering the cook was overcome with unbearable guilt and remorse. He confessed his crime to Dayananda. On his deathbed, Dayananda forgave him and gave him a bag of money and told him to flee the kingdom lest he be found out and executed by the Maharaja's men[23].

"A man of spirit has passed away from India. Pandit Dayananda Saraswati is gone, the irrepressible, energetic reformer, whose mighty voice and passionate eloquence foe the last few years raised thousands of people in India from, lethargic, indifference and stupor Into active patriotism is no more." – Col Henry Steel Olcott[24]

"Swami Dayananda Saraswati is certainly one of the most powerful personalities who has shaped modem India and is responsible for its moral regeneration and religious revival". – Subhash Chandra Bose.[25]


Dayananda Saraswati wrote more than 60 works in all, including a 14 volume explanation of the six Vedangas, an incomplete commentary on the Ashtadhyayi (Panini's grammar), several small tracts on ethics and morality, Vedic rituals and sacraments and on criticism of rival doctrines (such as Advaita Vedanta, Islam and Christianity). Some of his major works are Satyarth Prakash, Sanskarvidhi, RigvedadiBhashyaBhumika, Rigved Bhashyam (upto 7/61/2)and Yajurved Bhashyam. The Paropakarini Sabha located in the Indian city of Ajmer was founded by the Swami himself to publish and preach his works and Vedic texts.

Following Are the Complete list of his Works:-

01. Sandhya (Unavailable) (1863)

02. Bhagwat Khandnam OR Paakhand Khandan OR Vaishnavmat Khandan (1866

03. Advaitmat Khandan (Unavailable) (1870)

04. Panchmahayajya Vidhi (1874 & 1877)

05. Satyarth Prakash (1875 & 1884)

06. VedantiDhwant Nivaran (1875)

07. Vedviruddh mat Khandan OR Vallabhacharya mat Khandan (1875)

08. ShikshaPatri Dhwant Nivaran OR SwamiNarayan mat Khandan (1875)

09. VedBhashyam Namune ka PRATHAM Ank (1875)

10. VedBhashyam Namune ka DWITIYA Ank (1876)

11. Aryabhivinaya (Incomplete) (1876)

12. Sanskarvidhi (1877 & 1884)

13. AaryoddeshyaRatnaMaala (1877)

14. RigvedAadibBhasyaBhumika (1878)

15. Rigved Bhashyam (7/61/1,2 only) (Incomplete) (1877 to 1899)

16. Yajurved Bhashyam (Complete) (1878 to 1889)

17. Asthadhyayi Bhashya (2 Parts) (Incomplete) (1878 to 1879)

18. Vedang Prakash (Set of 16 Books viz 01. Varnoccharan Shiksha (1879) 02. Sanskrit Vakyaprabodhini (1879) 03. VyavaharBhanu (1879) 04. Sandhi Vishay 05. Naamik 06. Kaarak 07. Saamaasik 08. Taddhit 09. Avyayaarth 10. Aakhyatik 11. Sauvar 12. PaariBhaasik 13. Dhatupath 14. Ganpaath 15. Unaadikosh 16. Nighantu)

19. Gautam Ahilya ki katha (Unavailable) (1879)

20. Bhrantinivaran (1880)

21. Bhrmocchedan (1880)

22. AnuBhrmocchedan (1880)

23. GokarunaNidhi (1880)

24. Chaturved Vishay Suchi (1971)

25. Gadarbh Taapni Upnishad (As per Babu Devendranath Mukhopadhyay) (Unavailable)

26. Hugli Shastrarth tatha Pratima Pujan Vichar (1873)

27. Jaalandhar Shastrarth (1877)

28. Satyasatya Vivek (Bareily Shastrarth) (1879)

29. Satyadharm Vichar (Mela Chandapur) (1880)

30. Kashi Shastrarth (1880)

Note:- For other miscellaneous Shastrarth please read 1.Dayanand Shastrarth Sangrah published by Arsh Sahitya Prachar Trust, Delhi and 2. Rishi Dayanand ke Shastrarth evam Pravachan published by Ramlal Kapoor Trust Sonipat (Haryana).

31. Arya Samaj ke Niyam aur Upniyam (30-11-1874)

32. Updesh Manjari (Puna Pravachan) (04-07-1875) (Please see point 2 of note for some more Pravachan)

33. Swami Dayanand dwara swakathit Janm Charitra (During Puna pravachan) (04-08-1875)

34. Swami Dayanand dwara swakathit Janm Charitra (For The Theosophist Society's monthly Journal: Nov & Dec 1880)

35. Swikar Patra (27-02-1883)

36. Rishi Dayanand ke Patra aur Vigyapan


  1. ^ Dr.Krant'M.L.Verma Swadhinta Sangram Ke Krantikari Sahitya Ka Itihas (Volume-2) Page-347
  2. ^ Dr.Krant'M.L.Verma Swadhinta Sangram Ke Krantikari Sahitya Ka Itihas (Volume-2) Page-347
  3. ^ swamidayanandatirthsamiti.com
  4. ^ Aurobindo Ghosh, Bankim Tilak Dayanand (Calcutta 1947 p1)"Lokmanya Tilak also said that Maharishi Dayanand was the first who proclaimed Swarajya for Bharat i.e.India."
  5. ^ Dayanand Saraswati Commentary on Yajurved (Lazarus Press Banaras 1876)
  6. ^ Radhakrishnan, S (2005). Living with a Purpose. Orient Paperbacks. p. 34. ISBN 8122200311. http://books.google.com/?id=8_DrAZbdlTAC&pg=PA34&dq=Swami+Dayananda+Saraswati&cd=33#v=onepage&q=. 
  7. ^ Kumar, Raj (2003). "5. Swami Dayananda Saraswati: Life and Works". Essays on modern India. Discovery Publishing House. p. 62. ISBN 817141690X. http://books.google.com/?id=5L_2-w13fMMC&pg=PA62&dq=Swami+Dayananda+Saraswati&cd=41#v=onepage&q=Swami%20Dayananda%20Saraswati. 
  8. ^ Salmond, Noel Anthony (2004). "3. Dayananda Saraswati". Hindu iconoclasts: Rammohun Roy, Dayananda Sarasvati and nineteenth-century polemics against idolatry. Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press. p. 65. ISBN 0889204195. http://books.google.com/?id=wxjArixq5hcC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Swami+Dayananda+Saraswati&cd=57#v=onepage&q=Swami%20Dayananda%20Saraswati. 
  9. ^ Swami Shradhanad gave Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi the title of Mahatma Gandhi when Gandhi visited Gurukul Kangri along with Madan Mohan Malviya.
  10. ^ Chinmayananda Mission’s Sandeepany Sadhanalaya Powai. Powai.com, 06 May 2010
  11. ^ Lala Lajpat Rai Biography - Lala Lajpat Rai Life & Profile
  12. ^ Lala Lajpat Rai (Indian writer and politician) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  13. ^ Johnson, K. Paul (1994). The masters revealed: Madam Blavatsky and the myth of the Great White Lodge. SUNY Press. p. 107. ISBN 0791420639. http://books.google.com/?id=bMVrr1XaADwC&pg=PA107&dq=Dayananda+Sarasvati+%28Swami%29+-inauthor:%22Dayananda+Sarasvati+%28Swami%29%22&cd=4#v=onepage&q=Dayananda%20Sarasvati%20%28Swami%29%20-inauthor%3A%22Dayananda%20Sarasvati%20%28Swami%29%22. 
  14. ^ Sinhal, Meenu (2009). Swami Dayanand Saraswati. Prabhat Prakashan. p. 3. ISBN 8184300174. http://books.google.com/?id=iDPGFxCzc54C&printsec=frontcover&dq=Dayananda+Sarasvati+%28Swami%29+-inauthor:%22Dayananda+Sarasvati+%28Swami%29%22&cd=11#v=onepage&q=. 
  15. ^ Garg, Ganga Ram (1986). "1. Life and Teachings". World Perspectives on Swami Dayananda Saraswati. Concept Publishing Company. p. 4. http://books.google.com/?id=Siv6V1VDX-AC&pg=PR44&dq=Dayananda+Sarasvati+%28Swami%29+-inauthor:%22Dayananda+Sarasvati+%28Swami%29%22&cd=21#v=onepage&q=Dayananda%20Sarasvati%20%28Swami%29%20-inauthor%3A%22Dayananda%20Sarasvati%20%28Swami%29%22. 
  16. ^ a b Dayanand Saraswati - Swami Dayanand Saraswati Biography - Dayanand Sarasvati Life History
  17. ^ a b c d Swami Dayanand Saraswati Biography - Swami Dayanand Saraswati Life & Profile
  18. ^ The Meaning of the Word Guru
  19. ^ Swami Dayananda Sarasvati by V. Sundaram
  20. ^ Light of Truth
  21. ^ Hastings, James; John A. Selbie (Ed.) (2003). Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Part 3. Kessinger Publishing. p. 57. ISBN 076613671X. http://books.google.com/?id=i53tYSX9SZEC&pg=PA61&dq=Swami+Dayananda+Saraswati&cd=52#v=onepage&q=. 
  22. ^ Dr.Krant'M.L.Verma Swadhinta Sangram Ke Krantikari Sahitya Ka Itihas (Volume-2) Page-347
  23. ^ Dr.Krant'M.L.Verma Swadhinta Sangram Ke Krantikari Sahitya Ka Itihas (Volume-2) Page-347
  24. ^ Indian Political Tradition: Pg 118
  25. ^ Mohanty, D.K. Indian Political Tradition. Anmol Publishers. ISBN 8174887911. : Pg 118
  • Satyarth Prakash (1875) (Light of Truth – first English translation 1908 [2][3]
  • R̥gvedādi-bhāṣya-bhūmikā / An Introduction to the Commentary on the Vedas. ed. B. Ghasi Ram, Meerut (1925). reprints 1981, 1984 [4][5]
  • Glorious Thoughts of Swami Dayananda. ed. New Book Society of India, 1966 [6]
  • An introduction to the commentary on the Vedas. Jan Gyan-Prakashan, 1973.[1]
  • Autobiography, ed. Kripal Chandra Yadav, New Delhi : Manohar, 1978.[2] ISBN 0685196682
  • Yajurvēda bhāṣyam : Samskr̥tabhāṣyaṃ, Āndhraṭīkātātparyaṃ, Āṅglabhāvārthasahitaṅgā, ed. Mar̲r̲i Kr̥ṣṇāreḍḍi, Haidarābād : Vaidika Sāhitya Pracāra Samiti, 2005.
  • The philosophy of religion in India, Delhi : Bharatiya Kala Prakashan, 2005, ISBN 81-8090-079-7
  • Dr.'Krant'M.L.Verma Swadhinta Sangram Ke Krantikari Sahitya Ka Itihas (3 Vollumes) 2006 Praveen Prakashan 4760-61 23 Ansari Road Daryaganj New Delhi 110002 ISBN 8177831224 (Set)

Further reading

  • Dayananda Saraswati, Founder of Arya Samaj, by Arjan Singh Bawa. Published by Ess Ess Publications, 1979 (1st edition:1901).
  • Swami Dayanand Saraswati, by Dhanpati Pandey. Published by Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India, 1985.
  • World Perspectives on Swami Dayananda Saraswati , Ganga Ram Garg. Concept Publishing Company. 1986.
  • Indian Political Tradition, by D.K Mohanty. Published by Anmol Publications PVT. LTD. ISBN 81-261-2033-9. Chapter 4:Dayananda Saraswati Page 92.
  • Rashtra Pitamah Swami Dayanand Saraswati by Rajender Sethi (M R Sethi Educational Trust Chandigarh 2006)
  • Aurobindo Ghosh, in Bankim Tilak Dayanand (Calcutta 1947 p 1, 39)
  • Arya Samaj And The Freedom Movement by K C Yadav & K S Arya -Manohar Publications Delhi 1988
  • The Prophets of the New IndiaRoman Roland p. 97


  • Prem Lata, Swami Dayananda Sarasvati (1990) [7]
  • Autobiography of Swami Dayanand Saraswati (1976) [8]
  • M. Ruthven, Fundamentalism: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, USA (2007), ISBN 978-0-19-921270-5.
  • N. A. Salmond, Hindu Iconoclasts: Rammohun Roy, Dayananda Sarasvati and nineteenth-century polemics against Idolatry (2004) [9]

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Swami Dayananda Saraswati — (hindi: स्‍वामी दयानन्‍द सरस्‍वती; * 1824 in Tankara, Gujarat, Indien; † 30. Oktober 1883 in Ajmer, Rajasthan, Indien) war ein reformistischer Gelehrter des Hinduismus. Leben Dayananda wurde in einer orthodoxen Brahmanenfamilie unter dem Namen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Swami Dayananda Sarasvati — Swami Dayananda Saraswati (hindi: स्‍वामी दयानन्‍द सरस्‍वती; * 1824 in Tankara, Gujarat, Indien; † 30. Oktober 1883 in Ajmer, Rajasthan, Indien) war ein reformistischer Gelehrter des Hinduismus. Leben Dayananda wurde in einer orthodoxen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Dayananda — Swami Dayananda Saraswati (hindi: स्‍वामी दयानन्‍द सरस्‍वती; * 1824 in Tankara, Gujarat, Indien; † 30. Oktober 1883 in Ajmer, Rajasthan, Indien) war ein reformistischer Gelehrter des Hinduismus. Leben Dayananda wurde in einer orthodoxen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Swami Indravesh — (Hindi:स्वामी इन्द्रवेश) (1937 – 2006) was a social worker, Arya Samaj leader and formerly Member of Parliament. He has done work in the field of education. He was born in Sundana village in 1937 in Haryana in a Hindu Jat family of Dhaka gotra.… …   Wikipedia

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