founder of the Arya Samaj, was one of the few great men of the world who
sacrificed everything for emancipation for mankind. He
was a great scholar, a Yogi, a social reformer, a philosopher and a
Born in affluence and
luxury, he left the house when forced by his parents to get married and
wandered in the Himalayas in pursuit of knowledge and truth. Facing
hardships and difficulties, resisting all temptations, he studied the
ancient scriptures, particularly the Vedas which he regarded as a source of
Divine Knowledge and engage himself in the Herculean task of spreading that
believed that Dharma consists in following the Truth, which alone triumphs
ultimately and secures for its devotees "Dharma; arth, kama and
man who resolves, said he, "to stick to the Truth at all costs,
steadily rises in virtues. When his virtues raise his reputation and
prestige, he becomes all the more a unerring source of power and
greatness'. Truth according to him, was not only conformity in word,
thought and action "but also propriety of ideas in connection with
real matters". In his Satyartha
Prakasha (Light of Truth), Swamiji lays down certain criteria to judge
what is Truth. Some of them were whether it was in conformity with the
teaching of the Vedas, nature, attributes and characteristics of God;
whether it was in harmony with the practice and teaching of the APTAS, the
pious, truthful, unprejudiced, honest and learned men, whether it was in
keeping with the purity and conviction of one's own self or some whether it
stood the test of direct perception, inference, analogy, testimony,
history, deduction, possibility and negation.
It was indeed his love of Truth that drove him
to make comparative study of the religions and pass judgment on their
demerits and merits. As he himself said,
"My sole aim in criticizing
the views of others is to arrive at the Truth."
was no bitterness in his heart, no malice even for his critics. On the
other hand his heart was so much full of love and sympathy for all that he
even pardoned the man who poisoned him to death. He held many
"Shastarths" (open debates) with Christian missionaries and Sanatni
(Hindu) Pandits all over the country with a view to removing dogmas,
superstitions, rituals and other evils then prevailing in the Indian
society in the name of religion. At times his defeated opponents tried to
assault him. He however carried on his mission undaunted and without fear.
To a well-wisher he said once. "It is not a man, that guards me but
the great Lord, who protects me everywhere. Don't be anxious on my
maintained that man' s salvation lies in following the teachings of the
Vedas which he considered to be revelation from God. The teachings of the
Vedas are infallible because God who revealed them to the Rishis are
held ignorance the root cause of all the miseries. This, he thought,
consisted in regarding impure things as pure, painful things as pleasure
giving, mortal things as immortal. Emancipation depended on removal of this
ignorance. There is no emancipation so long as ignorance persists.
the first time in history he asserted and proved that there was no Monoism
but Trinism in the Vedas. He showed through apt quotations from the
scriptures that God, soul and matter were different attributes.
a social reformer, Swamji, waged an eternal war against evil like idol
worship, untouchability, child marriage and Sati (burning of widows). He
preached that having dip into the sacred water of the Ganges cannot absolve
a person of his sins. One has to bear the consequences of one's sins as God
who is just, is not easily beguiled by such rituals. He also attacked the
theories of Sakarvad (incarnations) on the ground that God is
All-supporting and formless. He removed the misconception among the Hindus
that shudras (low caste) and women had no right to study the Vedas. He
tried to break all barriers of caste, creed, color and sex which separated
man from man by propagating the doctrine of the universal brotherhood based
on the assumption that God is the creator of all.
maintained that one's actions and not sheer birth determined one's Varna
(class). He prescribed the duties of each varna - Brahman, Kshatriya,
Vaishya and Shudra in conformity with the teachings of the scriptures and
also divided a man's life into four stages and taught the respective duties
and obligation of each of ashram in addition to formulation of a common
code of conduct formally. The four ashrams, according to him were
Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sannyas.
that the Indian society's main drawback is its disunity and division, he
gave a call of one God - OM, one religion - Vedic Dharma, one
scripture - HINDI, one caste - ARYA and one method of worship - SANDHYA.
ameliorate the lot of the suffering humanity, he founded an institution
which he named as the Arya Samaj.
good to the whole world" he said, "is the primary object of this
society i.e., to look after its physical, spiritual and social
Among the ten principles enunciated by him for the Arya
We are introducing to the public the life and
teachings of this great Rishi with a hope that it will inspire readers to
emulate his example and follow the path of truth.
- "One should always be ready to accept truth and give up
- "One's dealings should be
regulated by love and justice in accordance with the dictates of
- "One should promote knowledge and dispel
are sure that following his path that humanity can certainly overcome the
pain and suffering and enjoy the Divine bliss and happiness which are being
sought by everybody.
We express our gratitude and thankfulness to Prof. Bhawani
Lall Bharatiya, Acharya Vaidya Nath, Prof. Ratna Chandra Sharma, Acharya
Jagdish Vidyarthi, Shri Bharat Bhooshan and Kumari Jyotsna. Without their
co-operation it would have been difficult to bring out the present
publication. We are also grateful to those who sent financial aid for this
May, 1971 --- Bhartendra Nath.