|The Last Reformer
In the eyes of a few distinguished Westerners
|"The chief mission of Dayanand was neither to established colleges and schools, orphanages and homes for the widows, nor to initiate movements for bettering the lot of the unfortunate Shoodras (low caste), nor yet to abolish the present caste-system and to uproot the concomitant evils. His great work was to give back to the world the Vedas, that ancient treasure-house of the Divine wisdom.
He had taken a long and deep draught at the perennial spring-head which had quenched his thirst and filled his soul with indescribable peace. He had wandered long and far in the gloom before he received the light - the light of true and pure Dharma, the religion of the Vedas.
With insight born of this light he saw clearly through the vast and enveloping mist of error, delusion and superstition which was bedimming the vision of the inhabitants of India and of other parts of the globe.
He did not hug this new-found treasure to his bosom like a miser lest others might come to know of it and snatch it away from him; but, like a generous prince he made a free gift of it to his people. He was a Pari-Vrakaka - a preacher king - and the whole humanity was his congregation.
Though an Indian by birth and parentage he was not of India alone but of the world. And, therefore, what he preached was for the good of mankind and not of mankind alone but of the entire sentient creation. In him there was no sectarian bigotry, no narrow and selfish patriotism, which aims at the exaltation of one's own people or country at the expense of others."
the great fame of the sage, we made up our minds to pay him a visit, and
accordingly went to Anandbag, near Durga Vati in Benares, in which romantic
garden he has taken up his temporary residence. The Rishi-like appearance
of the venerable Pandit, his cheerful countenance and child-like
simplicity, made on our minds an impression never to be effaced. When he
began to speak, manna dropped from his lips, and the wise
instructions he gave us forces us to the conviction that the golden age of
India has not altogether disappeared.
The great Pandit after 18 years of
research into the Vedas has come to the conclusion that they do not savor
of idolatry at all, and with the view of resuscitation the Vedic religion
of the ancient sages of India, he has come out on his mission of religious
reformation. He has bid adieu to all worldly enjoyments, he has assumed the
austerities of an anchorite, and is buoyant with the hope of regenerating
Hinduism and securing a lasting boon for his countrymen"
Patriot of 17th January 1870.
|AN ATHEIST IN SEARCH OF THE ONE TRUE GOD
It would amount to a lost cause if one should ever try to
venture into a search for the path to true religion without ever
knowing of this great reformer. In spite of the appearance of Sankarcharya,
some 2400 years ago, true religion was still on a relentless course to
oblivion; such is the force of credulity in an age of decadence. It was not
until this great soul made his appearance some 124 years ago, that true
religion came to life again.
The impact was severe and deadly to those who were suddenly
confronted by it. The majorities who scorned and scuffed at its wisdom were
quick to rebuke it and soon expressed their rage by their many attempts to
eliminate the cause. Thus in a world of dense ignorance the one true religion of the Vedas has
experienced a very very slow rediscovery amidst a courageous few.
This growth is significant to the difficult and gigantic task
ahead where our individual efforts are measured by the different conditions
we are born in. Even though reasoning is still a long way it is the first
step in the right direction than where the obstacles of race, class and
creed become regular daily issues.
It was during one of Hinduism’s holiest traditional festival of
Shivratree that a young boy’s dream of divine inspiration was shattered.
Mool Shankar, only 14, alone stood awake in anxiety at this all-night
vigil, only to witness rats nibbling at the offerings around the huge
(Shiva) idol, instead. This began his rejection of all notions of the only
God he knew and led to many more altercations between father and son. Thus
his sudden disappearance from family and society a few years later and his
sudden emergence as Maharishi Swami Dayanand Saraswati some 30 years later was imminent.
Atheism: The path to God
The Prospector of rare or precious commodities.
If mankind only knew how rare a commodity truth has become they wouldn't have put diamonds ahead of it. So rare it is, many stubbornly maintain "no one in this world has a monoply" on it. But yet today most theists and atheists claim their beliefs as the truth and in spite of it they still stand deeply divided. We of the Vedic religion also claim truth but we affirm with certainty because we are able with precision to put a definition to it and one universal in nature. That which is harmony with reasoning, science and in conformity with natural laws. Reasoning is the first step towards that goal with science and history to back it up and whatever theories arise there, they must confirm with the immutable laws of nature.
"But there is another prejudice which is cherished by many scholars evidently under the impression of its being a well-recognized scientific doctrine. It is that in the ruder stages of civilization, when laws of nature are little known and but little understood, when mankind has not enough of the experience of the world, strict methods of correct reasoning are very seldom observed." Swami Dayanand
Many are familiar with the profession of a prospector of very rare and precious metals. It is a dangerous , tedious and cumbersome job lace with very life threatening hazards, amidst very rough terrain of brushes, rocks , mud, and amidst threat of poisonous and ferocious animals, etc. mostly occurring in strictly no man's land. The results many times negative but he ploughs on and on and finally he hits the jackpot The journey continues on with the difficult and expensive task of weeks, months and years to retrieve these precious commodities.
The result is great wealth for all concern, this wealth, the more you spend it, the more it diminishes; it can be stolen; it can be inherited and in the end you leave it all behind.
Truth is the rarest of all commodities and Swami Dayanand was the prospector who located it, even though to begin with, he had no idea of what it was. It took him thirty years of his life, against all odds of nature, beasts and man, to complete the mission of emancipation of his soul. With the location now found, see yourselves as miners, and like me, who had no idea of what it is, with much desire, effort and time, who must unearth it. There is no short cut to wisdom which means we all have to undertake the same tedious and cumbersome journey to come face to face with the truth. It might takes us quite a few births more to finally realized emancipation, than the Swami, but here is where we must start even though it is like poison to begin with.
"Keep in mind, everything calculated to advance the dissemination of truth is like poison to begin with, but like nectar in the end."
This wealth (wisdom), the more you spend it the more it increases, it cannot be stolen, lost or be inherited and most importantly, in the end it goes with the soul into the next birth, an elevated one.
"The pleasure one experiences in enjoying the best things of this world does not equal one thousandth part of the pleasure one feels after acquiring true knowledge." Swami Dayanand, the true prospector of the ruder stage of this dark age.
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He was born in Gujrat at Tankara (Morvi) in the State of Kathiawar of a rich family belonging to the highest grade of Brahmins no less versed in Vedic learning than in mundane affairs both political and commercial. His father took part in the government of the little native state. He was rigidly orthodox according to the letter of the law with a stern domineering character, and this last to his sorrow he passed on to his son.
|This man with the nature of a lion is one of those, whom Europe is too apt to forget when she judges India, but whom she will probably be forced to remember to her cost; for he was that rare combination, a thinker of action with a genius for leadership.
While all the religious leaders of whom we have already spoken and shall speak in the future were and are from Bengal, Dayanand came from quite a different land, the one which half a century later gave birth to Gandhi - the north-west coast of the Arabian Sea.
As a child Dayanand was therefore brought up under the strictest Brahmin rule, and at the age of eight was invested with the Sacred Thread and all the severe moral obligations entailed by this privilege rigorously enforced by his family. It seemed as if he was to become a pillar of orthodoxy in his turn, but instead he became the Samson, who pulled down the pillars of the temple; a striking example among a hundred others of the vanity of human effort, when it imagines that it is possible by a superimposed education to fashion the mind of the rising generation and so dispose of the future. The most certain results is revolt.
That of Dayanand is worth recording. When he was fourteen his father took him to the temple to celebrate the great festival of Shiva. He had to pass the night after a strict fast in pious vigil and prayer. The rest of the faithful went to sleep. The young boy alone resisted its spell. Suddenly he saw a rat nibbling the offerings to the God and running over Shiva's body. It was enough. There is no doubt a but moral revolt in the heart of a child. In a second his faith in the idol was shattered for the rest of his life. He left the temple. Went home along through the night, and thenceforward refused to participate in the religious rites.
It marked the beginning of a terrible struggle between father and son. Both were of an unbending and autocratic will, which barred the door to any mutual concession. At nineteen Dayanand ran away from home to escape from a forced marriage. He was caught and imprisoned. He fled again, this time for ever.(1845). He never saw his father again.
For fifteen years this son of a rich Brahmin, despoiled of every thing and subsisting on alms, wandered as a sadhu clad in the saffron robe along the roads of India. Dayanand went in search of learned men, ascetics, studying here philosophy, there the Vedas, learning the theory and practice of the Yoga. He visited almost all the holy places of India and took part in religious debates.
He suffered, he braved fatigue, insult and danger. However, Dayanand remained far from the human masses through which he passed, for the simple reason that he spoke nothing but Sanskrit throughout this period. Dayanand did not see, did not wish to see, anything round him but superstition and ignorance, spirituality, degrading prejudices and the millions of idols he abominated.
At length about 1860 he found at Mathura an old Guru even more implacable than himself in his condemnation of all weakness and his hatred of superstition, a Sanyasin blind from infancy and from the age of eleven quite alone in the world, a learned man, a terrible man, Swami Virjanand Saraswati. Dayanad put himself under his "discipline" which in its old literal seventeenth century sense scarred his flesh as well as his spirit.
Dayanand served this untamable and indomitable man for two and half years as his pupil. It is therefore mere justice to remember that his subsequent course of action was simple the fulfillment of the will of the stern blind man, whose surname he adopted, casting his own to oblivion. When they separated, Virjanand extracted from him the promise that he would consecrate his life to the annihilation of the heresies that had crept into the Puranic faith, to re-establish the ancient religious methods of the age before Buddha, and to disseminate the truth.
Swami Dayananda, born in 1824 at Tankara, a small place in Kathiawad, left his home in the early part of his life, at an age of 22, while the arrangements were brisk for his marriage, and for a large number of years, up to 1860, he literally walked from place to place, from temples to monasteries, from hills to forests, from villages to large cities, along the banks of rivers for the satisfaction of his spiritual urge, and this gave him a unique opportunity of studying the conditions of his country and her people, demoralized to the core on account of personal strifes, internal conflicts and outside impacts.
Dayananda was the first leader in the field of theology who welcomed the advances of sciences and technology. To him, the Vedas as the source book contain the seed of science, and to him, the Vedas advocate the philosophy of dynamic realism.
Dayanand immediately began to preach in Northern India, but unlike the benign men of God who open all heaven before the eyes of their hearers, he was a hero of the Iliad or of the Gita with the athletic strength of a Hercules, who thundered against all forms of thought other than his own, the only true one. He was so successful that in five years. Northern India was completely changed. During these five years his life was attempted four or five times - some times by poison.
Once a fanatic threw a cobra at his face in the name of Shiva, but he caught and crushed it. It was impossible to get the better of him; for he possessed an unrivalled knowledge of Sanskrit and the Vedas, while the burning vehemence of his words brought his adversaries to naught. They likened him to a flood.
Never since Sankara had such a prophet of Vedism appeared.
The orthodox Brahmins, completely overwhelmed, appealed from him to Benares, their Rome. Dayanand went there fearlessly, and undertook in November, 1869, a Homeric contest before millions of assailants, all eager to bring him to his knees, he argued for hours together alone against three hundred pandits - the whole front line and the reserve of Hindu orthodox.
He proved that the Vedanta as practiced was diametrically opposed to the primitive Vedas. He claimed that he was going back to the true word. They had not the patience to hear him. He was hooted down and excommunicated. A void was created round him, but the echo of such a combat in the style of the Mahabharat spread throughout the country, so that his name became famous over the whole of India.
At Calcutta, where he stayed from December 15, 1872 to April 15, 1873 Ramakrishna met him. He was also cordially received by the Brahmo Samaj. Keshab and his people voluntarily shut their eyes to the differences existing between them; they saw in him a rough ally in their crusade against orthodox prejudices and the million of gods. But Dayanand was not a man to come to an understanding with religious philosophers imbued with Western ideas.
His national Indian theism, its steel faith forged from the pure metal of the Vedas alone, had nothing in common with theirs, tinged as it was with modern doubt, which denied the infallibility of the Vedas and the doctrine of transmigration. He broke with them, the richer for the encountered, for he owed them the very simple suggestion, whose practical value had not struck him before, that his propaganda would be of little effect unless it was delivered in the language of the people.
He went to Bombay, where shortly afterwards his sect, following the example of the Brahmo Samaj, but with a better genius of organization, proceeded to take root in the social life of India. On April 10, 1875, he founded at Bombay his first Arya Samaj, or Association of the Aryans of India.
He fell, struck down in his prime, by an assassin. The concubine of a Maharajah, whom the stern prophet had denounced, poisoned him. He died at Ajmer on October 30, 1883. But his work pursued its uninterrupted and triumphant course.
It may perhaps be useful to remind Europe of the reasons at the bottom of his national awakening, now in full flood. Westernisation was going too far, and was not always revealed by its best side. Intellectually it had become rather a frivolous attitude of mind, which did away with the need for independence of thought, and transplanted young intelligence from their proper environment, teaching them to despise the genius of their race.
The instinct for self-reservation revolted, Dayanand's generation had watched, as he had done, not without anxiety, suffering, and irritation, the gradual infiltration into the veins of India of superficial European rationalism on the one hand, whose ironic arrogance understood nothing to the depths of the Indian spirit, and on the other hand, of a Christianity, which when it entered family life fulfilled only too well Christ's prophecy he had come to bring division between father and son……………
The enthusiastic reception accorded to the thunderous champion of the Vedas, a Vedist belonging to a great race and penetrated with the sacred writings of ancient India and with her heroic spirit, is then easily explained. He alone hurled the defiance of India against her invaders. Dayanand declared war on Christianity and his heavy massive sword cleft it asunder with scant reference to the scope or exactitude of his blows.
Nevertheless, as Glasenapp rightly remarks, they are of paramount interest for European Chriatianity of which ought to know what is the image of itself as presented by its Asiatic adversaries.
Dayanand had no greater regard for the Koran and the Puranas, trampled underfoot the body of Brahmin orthodoxy. He had no pity for any of his fellow country-men, past or present, who had contributed in any way to the thousand-year decadence of India, at one time the mistress of the world. He was a ruthless critic of all who, according to him, had falsified or profaned the true Vedic religion.
He was a Luther fighting against his own misled and misguided Church of Rome; and his first care was to throw open the wells of the holy books, so that for the first time his people could come to them and drink for themselves. He translated and wrote commentaries on the Vedas in the vernacular - it was in truth an epoch-making date for India when a Brahmin not only acknowledged that all human beings have the right to know the Vedas, whose study had been previously prohibited by orthodox Brahmins, but insisted that their study and propaganda was the duty of every Arya.
It is true that his translation was an interpretation, and that there is much to criticize with regard to accuracy as well as with regard to the rigidity of the dogmas and principles he drew from the text, the absolute infallibility claimed for the one book, which according to him had emanated direct from the "Prehuman" or Superhuman Divinity, his denials from which there was no appeal, his implacable condemnations, his theism of action, his credo of battle, and finally his national God.
But in default of outpourings of the heart and the calm sun of the spirit, bathing the nations of men and their Gods in its effulgence, Dayanand transfused into the languid body of India his own formidable energy, his certainty, his lion's blood, His words rang with heroic power. He reminded the secular passivity of a people, too prone to bow to fate, that the soul is free and that action is the generator of destiny.
He set the example of a complete clearance of all the encumbering growth of privilege and prejudice by a series of hatchet blows. If his metaphysics were dry and obscure, if his theology was narrow and in my opinion retrograde, his social activities and practices were of intrepid boldness. With regard to questions of fact he went further than the Brahmo Samaj, and even further than the Ramkrishna Mission ventures to-day..
His creation; the Arya Samaj, postulates in principle equal justice for all men and all nations, together with equality of the sexes. It repudiates a hereditary caste system, and only recognizes professions or guilds, suitable to the complementary aptitudes of men in society; religion was to have no part in these divisions but only the service of the state, which assesses the tasks to be performed. The state alone, if it considers it fort he good of the community, can raise or degraded a man from one caste to another by way of reward or punishment.
Dayanand wished every man to have the opportunity to acquire as much knowledge as would enable him to raise himself in the social scale a high as he was able. Above all he would not tolerate the abominable injustice of the existence of the untouchables, and nobody has been a more ardent champion of their outrage rights. They were admitted to the Arya Samj on a basis of equality; for the Aryas are not a caste." The Aryas are all men of superior principles; and the 'Dasyus' are they who lead a life of wickedness and sin."
Dayanand was no less generous and no less bold in his crusade to improve the condition of women a deplorable one in India. He revolted against the abuses from which they suffered, recalling that in the heroic age they occupied in the home and in society a position at least equal to men. They ought to have equal education, according to him, and supreme control in marriage, over household matters including the finances.
Dayanand in fact claimed equal rights in marriage for men and women, and though he regarded marriage as indissoluble, he admitted the remarriage of widows and went so far as to envisage a temporary union for women as well as men for the purpose of having children, if none had resulted from marriage.
Lastly the Arya Samaj, whose eighth principle was "to diffuse knowledge and dissipate ignorance," has played a great part in the education of India - especially in the Punjab and the United Province - & it has founded a host of schools for girls and boys. Their laborious hives are grouped round two model establishments. The Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College of Lahore and the Gurukula of Kangri, national bulwarks of Hindu education, which seek to resuscitate the energies of the race - and to use at the same time the intellectual and technical conquests of the West.
To these let us add philanthropic activities, such as orphanages, workshops for boys and girls, homes for widows, and great works of social service at the time of public calamities famine, etc.
I have said enough about this Sanyasin with the soul of a leader, to show how great an uplifter of the people, he was - in fact the most vigorous force of the immediate and present actin in India at the moment of the rebirth and reawakening of the national consciousness. His Arya Samaj whether he wished it or not, prepared the way in 1905 for the revolt of Bengal. He was one of the most ardent prophets of reconstruction and of rational organization.
I feel that it was he who kept the Vigil; but his strength was also his weakness. His purpose in life was action and its object his nation. For a people lacking the vision of wider horizon, the accomplishment of the action and the creation of the ration might perhaps be enough. But not for India - before her will still lie the universe.
Co-Founder of the Theosophical Society
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Dayanand jerked off the cobra twisting round his leg, and with a single vigorous movement crushed the reptile's head. "Let him do so," he quietly assented, "your God has been too slow. It is I who have decided the dispute. Now go,"added he addressing the crowd, "and tell everyone how easily perish all false Gods." Truly, a marble statue could not be less moved by the raging wrath of the crowd. We saw him once at work. He sent away all his faithful followers, and forbade them either to watch over him or to defend him, and stood alone before the unfuriated crowd, facing calmly the monster, ready to spring upon him and tear him to pieces."
|One is inclined to think that this wonderful Hindu bears a charmed life, so careless is he of raising the worst human passions, which are so dangerous in India. At Benares, a worshipper of the Shiva, feeling sure that his cobra, trained purposely for the mysteries of a Shivaite pagoda, would at once make an end of the offender's life, triumphantly exclaimed: "Let God Vasuki (the snake God) himself show which of us is right!"
"It is perfectly certain that India never saw a more learned Sanskrit scholar, a deeper metaphysician, a more wonderful orator, and a more fearless denunciator of any evil, than Dayanand, since the time of Sankarcharya." (2,300 years ago)
COLONEL H.S. OLCOTT
President, Theosophical Society
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"De moruis nil nise bonum. All our differences have been burnt with the body...We remember only the grand virtues and noble qualities of our former collegue and teacher, and late antagonist. We bear but his life-long devotion to the cause of Aryan regeneration; in his ardent love for the grand philosphy of his forefathers; his relentless, untiring zeal in the work of the projected social and religious reforms; and it is with unfeigned sorrow that we now hasten to join the ranks of his many mourners. In him, India has lost one of her noblest sons. A patriot in the true sense of the word, Swami Dayanand labored from his earliest years for the recovery of the lost treasures of Indian intellect. His zeal for the Reformation of his motherland was exceeded only by his unbounded learning.
|"A master spirit has passed away from India. Pandit Dayanand Saraswati is gone; the irrepressible, energetic Reformer, ........whose might voice and passionate eloquence for the last few years raised thousands of people in India from lethargic indifference and stupor into active patriotism, is no more.
"There can be but one opinion as to his knowledge of Sanskrit, and the impetus to the study of both received at his hands. There are few towns and but one province we believe - namely, Madras - that Pandit Dayanand did not visit in furtherance of his missionary work, and fewer still where he has not left the impress of his remarkable mind behind him. He threw, as it were, a bomb-shell in the midst of the stagnant masses of degenerated Hinduism, and fired with love for the Teachings of the Rishis and Vedic learning the hearts of all who were drawn within the influence of his eloquent oratory. Certainly there was no better or grander orator in Hindi and Sanskrit than Dayanand throughout the length and breadth of this land."
DR. R.L. TURNER
Haverbrack Bishop's Storford.
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"Whatever one may think of the correctness or other wise of Swami Dayanand's interpretaton of many Vedic passages, one cannot withhold one's admiration for a man whose work, perhaps more than that of any other individual, has helped to make India conscious of itself as unity with some distinctive contribution to make to the culture of the world as a whole."
J. RAMSAY MACDONALD
Late Prime Minister of Great Britain
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|"He was a limb of the Church militant; austere; independent, dogmatic, and puritanical was his character, and he imparted those qualities to his followers. You meet then, therefore, today in Lahore, their capital city, dour and determined, ready to sacrificed, propagandists of an accomplished order. They are indeed the puritans of Hinduism - and it is well for us to remember that puritanism became political only under an intolerable Government."
DR. STEN KNOW
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"The Swami never got tired of preaching that in reality, Vedic religion is apt to satisfy the cravings of modern man and to give him strength in the struggle of every day's life, and that the ancient Vedic civilization can be revived and lead to a national renaissance."
DR. JAMES H. COUSINS, D. Litt:
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"I have observed, during my travels in India, the effects of Swami Dayanand Saraswati's influence in ernest efforts to vitalise life in India with the Vedic ideal, which for thirty years had been a fundamental influence in my own life and in that of Mrs. Cousins and for this much-needed service to India and the world; I offer our joint homage to his memory."
Later Lord Passfield
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"Swami Dayanand was a Gujrati of Kathiawar, who never learned a word of English; a Brahmin by caste, and by unmistakable vocation a Sadhu or holy man, a wandering ascetic of the sternest and most uncompromising type without knowledge of European civilization or languages, but learned in the Sanskrit scriptures, and expressing, himself with eloquence and lucidity in Sanskrit and laterly also in Hindi. Wandering up and down Northern and Central India in the decade that followed the Franco-German War - just when English thought was rejoicing in the most scientific materialism and the most commercialism - Dayanand preached a monotheism of an exalted type, and the union of spiritual asceticism with an elaborate ritual and strictly defined rules of conduct for every department of life.
A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF PANDIT GURUDATTA
(By Pt.Chamupati M.A.)
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An unmistakable vein of sincere love of truth for which no sacrifice of personal glory and earthly possession and comfort was too great, runs through them all. This marks Gurudatta out as a genuine philosopher, whose craving for spiritual light was not simply intellectual, it was the innermost call of his disconsolate soul.
|"Pandit Gurudatta Vidyarthi is recognized to have been the greatest achievement of Rishi Dayananda for his ancient Aryan church. The dying glance of the Rishi had miraculously transformed the mettle which was there in the young intrepid scholar. Had not death cut short his scholastic career so early, the Arya Samaj and through it the whole world of religious and metaphysical though may have been considerably enriched by his erudite philosophic contributions, of which the few dissertations and brief discourse he could, in the midst of his manifold activities, find time to write, gave sure promise.
He it was who recognized in the last glance of Rishi Dayananda the soul of a seer, anxious to save a money-mad world from the dismal abyss of gross materialism, to guide it away by the help of the eternal light of the Veda to the empyrean heights of Spiritual Bliss. In that departing glance he read a message, a command to take up the challenge which the asuri demonical, forces of Mammon were throwing out to the ancient diava, divine, culture of the Rishis.
The young boy of nineteen took the challenge up, and coming of a warlike race fought to the last on the side of truth and righteousness. His was the death of a hero who, like another young boy whom Muse glorifies as having died on the station of his duty in another sphere.
Pandit Gurudatta was the last male child of Lala Radhakishen Sardana of Multan, whose ancestors had distinguished themselves in the field both, of letters and arms. He was born on 26th April 1864.
His grandfather was the ambassador of Nawab of Bahawalpur in the court of the Amir of Kabul. From him he inherited an aptitude from Persian which by a little training in the primary classes gave him a working mastery of that language so that he could in his boyhood dip into the deepest waters of the Persian literature. He conceived a fondness for Samskrita too in his schooldays. And the first book that after his study of the Samskrita Priimer fell into the young boy’s hands was the Rig Vedadi Bhashya Bhumika of Swami Dayananda.
He forthwith approached the authorities of Arya Samaj at Multan and challenged then to either make arrangements for his study of the Ashtadhyayi and the Vedas or accept that the scriptures for which they claimed infallibility were only trash. The alternatives proposed appear to us to be an index to his sinner nature. In his heart of hearts he was convinced of the intellectual and spiritual worth of the Vedas, an introduction to which by the Rishi of the time he had already read.
It was his impatience, and irresistible zeal to read more which prompted him to the blasphemous insinuation that the Vedas could, if the were not taught him, be regarded as trash. The Multan Arya Samaj engaged a Pandit who found it beyond his learning and pedagogic capacity to satisfy the little Vidyarthi.
The Vidyarthi solved his own puzzles of Grammar and the Vedas, and though the arrangement made by the Samaj was not satisfactory, he did not regard the Vedas as trash. In 1881 he martriculated. It was this year that he got himself registered in the Arya Samaj as member. In 1883 he undergraduated. He had in the interim founded a Free Debating Club, where profound philosophical questions used to be discussed.
Gurudatta was snow passing through that period of his life when the mind of a young man is yet in a fluid state. The college days of mental and spiritual intractability. The supreme authority to a college-boy is his own virgin opinion. In those days, if ever, liberty of thought holds an absolute way over man’s mentality.
The age of greatest impressionability is also the age of greatest intractability. Everyday and every hour new opinions are borrowed. Every new thought however has during the regime its suzerainty absolute. Pandit Gurudatta’s progress in grasping and assimilating ideas and facts was tremendously rapid. Somehow he acquired the notoriety of being an atheist.
Those who had the occasion to live close to him bear witness to a strong skeptic disposition in him, which to them was a mark of an intensely inquisitive frame of mind. Gurudatta, even when some thought he was an atheist, continued a staunch Arya Samajist. And when the news was received of Rishi Dayananda’s illness at Ajmer, the Arya Samaj at Lahore deputed Lala Kivan Das and Gurudatta to go and tend him.
The resources of the Arya Samaja appear to have been very poor at the time so that the choice for an errand of such importance and responsibility could fall on a lad of nineteen. To Gurudatta the occasion afforded an opportunity of his first and last darshana of his beloved Rishi. He saw the Rishi Dying. Not a word passed between the Master and his devotee, but Gurudatta’s whole nature had in the meantime silently taken a turn.
When he returned to Lahore, he was evidently a changed man. His former frivolity, his impatience, his skepticism had in an instant left him. The zeal was there, but now it was wedded to seriousness. Somehow the feeling had dawned on Gurudatta that the Rishi had by his last glance let his mantle drop on his shoulders. To others the privileges of succession, to Gurudutta were passed the obligations of the Rishis mission.
In 1885 he graduated and in 1886 he passed his M.A. His subject was Physical Science. The position secured by him in the pass list remains yet a record in the University which no succeeding candidate has yet surpassed. In the meantime Gurudatta had been touring the Punjab attending anniversaries of Arya Samajis. He had been busy reading the scriptures and books on philosophy and religion both eastern and western.
For two years he was acting Professor at the Government College where his deep erudition and pedagogic capability met with high and well-merited appreciation. The movement to found a college in memory of Rishi Dayananda had, since the death of the Sage, been launched by the guiding spirits of the Arya Samaj.
Gurudatta threw himself heart and soul into the campaign to collect funds for that, to him a sacred institution. The speeches he delivered on behalf of the cause were recognized as wonderful specimens of erudition and oratory. The D.A.V. College of Pandit Gurudatta’s dream was an institution where Brahmacharya would be the dominant factor in life of the students and ancient Shastras the primary study in the curriculum of the academy. He was yet living when under the influence of the University the D.A.V. college was given its present shape and character.
He expressed strong dissatisfaction with his disagreement with its then conductors as regards there educational policy. In the short period of six years after he had seen the Rishi he had acquired marvelous master of sacred books of Samskrita. A treatise by him entitled “The Terminology of the Vedas” was included in the course of Samskrita for the degree examination at Oxford.
His translation of a few of the Upanishads, when after his death copies of it were sent to America on the occasion of the Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1896, won such appreciation that an American edition of it was published by an American publisher, of his own accord.
Gurudatta spoke for hours in Samskrita, which feat won him the title ‘Pandit’ which sticks still to his name. He in his humility styled himself Vidyarthi, while those who heard him styled him Pandit. This was true Brahmni spirit which marked Gurudatta throughout his career. To his Ashtadhyayi class came some old men, among them an E.A.C who had taken leave for the sole object of reading Grammar with Gurudatta. A young man of only twenty-six, attracting pupils of all ages, and making such stir among the populace recalled scenes from the hoary history of Bharata Varasha of the time of Janaka and Yajanvalkya.
The strain on the nerves of Gurudatta had been great. He had tried to compress within three years what normally should have taken a life-time to accomplish. He had amassed a great deal of learning, so that in his time he well-nigh became an authority on the true meaning of scriptures. But his ceaseless assiduity had cost him his health.
During his school days Gurudatta had been fond of physical exercise: His physique was strong, but his mental labor had of late been great, so that in 1889 he fell victim to consumption, and finding it impossible even then to rest, succumbed to the dire disease in March 1890. he was advised by doctors to take meat, which would uphold him in his weakness. But the smiling answer of the Vidyarthi was:-
“Will meat make me immortal? Will it make me death-proof ever after? If not, why for a chance of saving one’s own life bring about certain death of another?
During the night in which Pt. Gurudatta died Ish-Upanishad had at his request been repeated recited to him. His references to incidents in Rishi Dayananda’s life had always formed a pathetic portion of his speeches. People had therefore urged him to write a biography of the Swami, which the Pandit had gladly consented to do so. When the Pandit was on the point of death somebody asked where his manuscript of the biography was. The Pandit characteristically replied,
”I have been trying conscientiously to record the life-account of my Rishi not on paper, not in ink, but in my own day-to-day life. It was my ambition to live Dayananda. My body, alas! Has failed me. I lay it down, gladly in the hope that the next vehicle will be more in conformity with the aspirations of the soul.”
To us a thread appears to run through the variegated phases of Gurudatta’s life. He was a heroic soul, passionately zealous, impatiently inquisitive, conscientious and inordinately sincere and true. He believed in the Vedas and yet in his zeal to be able to read more of them declared his readiness to denounce them as trash.
He believed in God and yet in his zeal to understand His nature more thoroughly he argued His existence with himself and others and thus appeared as if he were an atheist. He was born for a mission, and when the last glance of the Rishi had pointed the path to him, he had, as it were, almost doubled his age, and become grave and thoughtful like a man of fifty.
The inability to at once take the place of the Rishi was to him intolerable. He wanted instantly to shake off his physical and mental limitations and at once become a sage. The ambition was great, but in it there was not vestige of self-conceit. He was trying everyday of his life to become Dayananda. To that end he learnt Yoga exercises, and when even these could not bridge the mental and spiritual distance between him and his goal he willingly laid down his life. His was the glory of a martyr to his own tyranny.
The day of his death was honored by local colleges and courts being closed for a holiday. The world of letters mourned his loss as the loss of a literary prodigy. The Punjab University was conscious that it has lost its only scholar whose earliest productions has met with recognition at the hands of those who were competent to judge, both in and outside the country.
Of the Arya Samaj he was the one hope. The spirit that inspired him has, however lived. It will forever continue inspiring young hearts. O that he had taken better care of his body!
SHRI NATHURAM VINAYAK GODSE
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(d)Attack on Arya Samaj:-
|"If devotion to one's country amounts to a sin, I admit I have committed that sin. If it is meritorious, I humbly claim the merit thereof. I fully and confidently believe that if there be any other court of justice beyond the one founded by the mortals, my act will not be taken as unjust. If after death there be no such place to reach or to go, there is nothing to be said. I have resorted to the action I did purely for the benefit of the humanity. I do say that my shots were fired at the person (Mohandas Ghandhi) whose policy and action had brought rack and ruin and destruction to lakhs of Hindus." - Shri Nathuram Vinayak Godse - "May it please your honor!"New!
"Gandhiji ostentatiously displayed his love for Muslims by a most unworthy and unprovoked attack on the Arya Samaj in 1924. He publicly denounced the Samaj for its supposed sins of omission and commission; it was an utterly unwarranted reckless and discreditable attack, but whatever would please the Mohammedans was the heart's desire of Gandhiji. The Arya Samaj made a powerful but polite retort and for some time Gandhiji was silenced, but the growing political influence of Gandhiji weakened the Arya Samaj. No follower of Swami Dayanand could possibly be a Gandhian Congressman in politics. The two things are entirely incompatible; but the lure of office and leadership has induced numerous Arya Samajists to play the double game of claiming to be Gandhi to Congressmen and Arya Samajists at the same time. The result was that a ban on Satyartha Prakasha was imposed by the Government of Sind four years ago and the Arya Samaj on the whole took it lying down. As a result its hold on Hindu social and religious life has been further considerably crippled. Individual members of the Samaj are and were strong nationalists. The late Lala Lajpat Rai, and Swami Shradhanand to mention only two names were staunch Arya Samajists but they were foremost amongst the leaders of the Congress till the end of their life. They did not stand for blind support to Gandhi, but were definitely, opposed to his pro-Muslim Policy, and openly fought him on that issue. But these great men are gone now. We know that the bulk of the Arya Samaj continues to be what they always were, but they are ill-informed and badly led by the self -seeking section of the Samaj. The Samaj has ceased to be the force and the power that it was at one time."
(d) (ii) "Gandhiji's attack did not improve his popularity with the Muslims but it provoked a Muslim youth to murder Swami Shraddhanandji within a few months. The charge against the Samaj that it was a reactionary body was manifestly false. Everybody knew that far from being reactionary body the Samaj had been vanguard of social reforms among the Hindus. The Samaj had for a hundred years stood for the abolition of untouchability long before the birth of Gandhiji. The Samaj had popularised widow remarriage. The Samaj had denounced the caste system, and preached the oneness of not merely the Hindus, but of all those who were prepared to follow its tenets. Gandhiji was completely silenced for some time but his leadership made the people forget his baseless attack on the Arya Samaj and even weakened the Samaj to a large extent. Swami Dayanand Saraswati who was the founder of the Arya Samaj; had no fad about violence or non-violence. In his teaching the use of force was not ruled out but was permissible if morally desirable. It must have been a struggle for the leaders of the Arya Samaj whether to remain within the Congress or not because Gandhiji insisted on non-violence in all cases and Swami Dayanand made no bones about it. But Swamiji was dead and Gandhiji's star was ascendant in the political firmament.
THE TEN PRINCIPLES
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|आर्यसमाज के दस नियम
ARYA SAMAJ KE DAS NIYAM
THE TEN PRINCIPLES OF A NOBLE SOCIETY
सत्यविध्या और जो पदार्थ विध्या से जाने जाते हैं, उन सबका आदिमूल परमेश्वर है ।
1. SAB SATYAVIDYAA AUR JO PADARTHA VIDYA SE JAANE JAATE HAI UN SAB KAA AADIMOOL PARAMESHWAR HAI
The first (efficient) cause of all true knowledge and all that is known through knowledge is God, the Highest Lord (Parameshwar).
| २. ईश्वर सच्चिदानंदस्वरूप, निराकार, सर्वशक्तिमान, न्यायकारी, दयालु, अजन्मा, अनन्त, निर्विकार, अनादि, अनुपम, सर्वाधार, सर्वेश्वर, सर्वव्यापक, चर्वान्तर्यामी, अजर, अमर, अभय, नित्य, पवित्र और सृष्टिकर्ता है, उसी की उपासना करनी योग्य है ।
2. ESHWAR SACH-CHIDAANAND SWAROOP, NIRAAKAAR, SARVASHAKTIMAAN, NYAAYAKAARI, DAYAALOO, AJANMAA, ANANT, NIRVIKAAR, ANAADI, ANUPAM, SARVADHAAR, SARVESHWAR, SARVAVYAAPAK, SARVAANTARYAAMEE, AJAR, AMAR, ABHAYA, NITYA, PAVITRA AUR SHRISTI KARTAA HAI USEE KEE UPAASANAA KARNEE YOGYA HAI
God (Ishwara) is existent, and blissful. He is formless, omnisicient, unborn, endless, unchangeable, beginningless, the support of all, the master of all, omnipresent, immanent, unageing, immortal, fearless, eternal, and holy, and the maker of all. He alone is worthy of being worshipped.
|३. वेद सब सत्यविध्याओं का पुस्तक है । वेद का पढ़ना - पढ़ाना और सुनना - सुनाना सब आर्यो का परम धर्म है ।
3. VED SAB SATYAVIDYAAO KAA PUSTAK HAI. VED KAA PARDHANAA- PARDHAANAA AUR SUNNAA-SUNAANAA SAB AARYO KA PARAM DHARM HAI
Vedas are the scripture of true knowledge. It is the first duty of the Aryas to read them, teach them, recite them, and hear them being read.
|४. सत्य के ग्रहण करने और उसत्य के छोड़ने में सर्वदा उद्यत् रहना चाहिएँ ।
4. SATYA KE GRAHAN KARNE AUR ASATYA CHHORNE SARVADAA UDYAT RAHANAA CHAAHIYE.
One should always be ready to accept truth and give up untruth.
|५. सब काम धर्मानुसार, अर्थात् सत्य और असत्य को विचार करके करने चाहिएँ ।
5. SAB KAAM DHARMANUSAAR ARTHAAT SATYA AUR ASATYA KO VICHAAR KARKE KARNE CHAAHIYE.
One should do everything according to the dictates of Dharma, i.e. after due reflection over right and wrong.
| ६. सँसार का उपकार करना इस समाज का मुख्य उद्धेश्य है, अर्थात् शारीरिक्, आत्मिक और सामाजिक् उन्नति करना ।
6. SANSAAR KAA UPKAAR KARNAA ESA SAMAAJ KAA MUKHAYA UDHESYA HAI ATHAART SHAAREEKRIK, AATMIK AUR SAAMAAJIK UNNATI KARNAA.
Doing good to the whole world is the primary objective of this society, i.e. to look to its physical, spiritual and social welfare.
|७. सबसे प्रीतिपूर्वक, धर्मानुसार यथायोग्य वर्तना चाहिए ।
7. SAB SE PRITIPOORVAK DHARMANUSAAR YATHAYOGYA VARTANA CHAAHIYE
Let thy dealing with all be regulated by love and justice, in accordance with the dictates of Dharma.
|८. अविध्या का नाश और विध्या कि दृध्दि करनि चाहिए ।
8. AVIDYAA KAA NAASH AUR VIDYAA KEE VRIDDHI KARNE CHAAHIYE
One should promote knowledge (vidya) and dispel ignorance (avidya).
|९. प्रत्येक को अपनी ही उन्नति से सन्तुष्ट न रहना चाहिए, किन्तु सब की उन्नती में अपनी उन्नति समझनी चाहिए ।
9. PRAYEK KO APNEE HEE UNNATI SE SANTUSHT NA RAHANAA CHAAHIYE KINTU SAB KEE UNNATEE ME APNEE UNNATI SAMAJHNEE CHAAHIYE
One should not be content with one's own welfare alone, but should look for one's welfare in the welfare of all.
|१०. सब मनुष्यों को सामाजिक, सर्वाहितकारी, नियम पालने में परतन्त्र रहना चाहिए आर प्रत्येक हितकारी नियम पालने सब स्वतंत्र रहें ।
10. SAB MANUSHYO KO SAAMAAJIK SARVAHITAKAAREE NIYAM PAALNE ME PARTANTRA RAHANAA CHAAHIYE AUR PRATYEK HITKAAREE NIYAM PAALNE SAB SWANTANTRA RAHE.
One should regard one's self under restrictions to follow altruistic rulings of society, while in following rules of individual welfare all should be free.
Havan and Sandhya
is fettered by the chain forged by superstition and ignorance. I have come
to snap asunder that chain and to set slaves at liberty. It is contrary to
my mission to have people deprived of their freedom.
Though I was born in Aryavarta (India) and live in it, yet just as I do not defend the falsehood of the faiths and religions of this country, but expose them fully; in like manner, I deal with the religions
of other countries. I treat the foreigners in the same way as my own
countrymen, so far as the elevation of the human race is concerned.
Therefore, the purpose of my
life is the extirpation of evils; introduction of truth in thought, speech,
and deeds; the preservation of unity of religion; the expulsion of mutual
enmity; the extension of friendly intercourse; and the advancement of
public happiness by reciprocal subservience of the human family.
grace of the Almighty God and co-operation of the learned soon spread these
doctrines all over the world to facilitate everybody’s endeavor in the
advancement of virtue, wealth, godly pleasure, and salvation, so that
peace, prosperity, and happiness may ever reign in the world.” Swami Dayanand
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|"I am God Almighty, I am the Light of the world like the sun. Neither defeat, nor death, can ever approach me. I am the controller of the universe, know me alone as the Creator of all. Strive ye diligently for the aquisition of power and wealth such ( as true knowledge). Ask ye of me. May ye never lose my friendship. I give true knowledge, which is real wealth, unto men who are truthful. I am the revealer of Vedas, which declare my true nature. It is through the Vedas that I advance the knowledge of all. I am the prompter of the good and true. I reward those who devote themselves to the good of humanity. I am the cause, I am the support of all that exists in this universe. May ye never turn away from me. May ye never accept another God in my place, nor worship him." RIG VEDA, 10:48, 5.