There are undoubtedly many learned men among the followers of every religion. Should they free themselves from prejudice, accept the universal truths – that is those truths that are to be found alike in all religions and are of universal application-,reject all things in which the various religions differ and treat each other lovingly, it will be greatly to the advantage of the world
Such are the thoughts of Swamiji whose Birthday we celebrate today. Born in a small village near Morbi, State of Gujarat, Mul Shankar was his name before taking up Sanyaas. His parents, ardent devotees of Lord Shiv, imbibed in Mul Shankar devotion for Lord Shiv. He started learning the Vedas and Upanishads and in a very tender age start giving discourses on them.
He knew that he was destined to play his part in the upliftment of Humankind, keeping the Vedas and Upanishads in the base. And for that he went around India challenging great scholars and pundits of his time. People used to throng to his debates to listen to him. With his clear thoughts, he prevailed upon the scholars and won over them.
He established the Arya Samaj to fight against the superstitions then prevailing in the Hindu Samaj. He has been vocal against rituals, especially, then prevalent, Idol worship. He endorsed that the women should learn the Vedas. He has also spoken against priestly practises, child marriages and astrology .
He is considered to be the first to propose the word “Swaraj” (self rule). Lokmanya Tilak, Veer Savarkar, Lala Haradayal and many were impressed by his thoughts and followed them. Sri Aurobind and Dr. Radhakrishnan have called him the “Maker of Modern India”. Such is the contribution of Swamiji.
Such a great personality and life had it’s own envious people. Many a times, there were assassination attempts on his life, which he saved himself through self control and Yoga. Lastly, his own cook, after being bribed, gave him a glass full of milk with finely powdered glass, which led to his eventual death.
But He still lives through his works, his thoughts and Arya Samaj. The contribution by Swamiji is so huge that it cannot be for in a blog. We all need to read his works, especially, “Satyarth Prakash“
Will end with Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan’s words for Swamiji, “Swami Dayananda ranked highest among the makers of modern India. He had worked tirelessly for the political, religious and cultural emancipation of the country. He was guided by reason, taking Hinduism back to the Vedic foundations. He had tried to reform society with a clean sweep, which was again need today. Some of the reforms introduced in the Indian Constitution had been inspired by his teachings.”