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Life and Teachings
Part 8

of Swami Dayanand Saraswati's
Yoga
Sandhya (Prayer)
Homa (Agnihotra)
    To understand the true meaning of this book you must apply the
    The four subsidiary means of reasoning:

  1. Listening or reading most attentively with a calm mind to the lectures of a learned man, and more so if the subjects are a divine Science, because it is the most abstruse and the subtlest of all the sciences.
  2. Thinking over what one has heard or read in retirement, and in removing doubts if there be any by questioning the speaker. Questions may sometimes be asked even in the middle of a discourse if the speaker and the audience think proper.
  3. Rationalizing is the next step. When all doubts are cleared after hearing or reading a discourse and thinking over it, let the enquirer enter into the superior condition and see for himself by the help of yoga (self-realization through meditation) whether it is the same as he had heard and reasoned out or not.
  4. The result is the correct knowledge of the nature, properties and characteristics of the desired object.


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TOUR IN THE N.W.P. – OUDH, BIHAR AND DEHRADOON
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Having done with the Kumbha Fair Swami Dayanand, in response to an invitation received, left for and arrived at Dhradoon on 14th April, 1879. the place was a Sanitorium, and the Swami was anything but unwilling to lose an opportunity which, while it would enable him to attend to the interests, of prachar in a new locatlity, would give him a chance to recoup his health. He reached Dehradoon so weak that he had to be helped to get up to answer the calls of nature, and these calls were frequent and sudden, coming when he was engaged in conversation.

The exhaustion consequent on the frequency of motions was so great that for two or there days public preaching had to be gone without, and the updesh to be addressed to a small number of select gentlemen. When, after all, the number of motions seemed to be decreasing, and the strength returning, the Swami had notices issued, announcing his lectures. The lectures delivered at a European Lady’s Bungalow, where the Swami had put up, drew large audiences.

Offending an European Missionary.
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In one of these which was on the “Existence of God’” the Swami commented freely on the Biblical idea of the Deity. Doctor Morrison, a Padri Colonel and there other Europeans were among the listeners. The Missionary was deeply offended at the Swami’s strictures, and, on the termination of his speech, got up in a passion and explained: “The Pandit Sahib has done nothing but kick up dust, hiding his Vedic Faith in that dust.” After giving utterance to these words, he began to dispose of the objections which the Swami had, both directly and indirectly brought against the Christian conception of God.

The Swami listened to him patiently and perfectly unmoved, and, after he had done speaking, rose to reply. This was too much for the irate Missionary, and, in the excess of his rage and disappointment, he commence interrupting the speaker every second. The other European gentlemen at last could not help remonstrating with the Doctor on his strange conduct observing that the lecturer was proving his contention in temperate language and in a perfectly rational manner, and that the Doctor should give him the same patient hearing as he himself had been accorded when speaking. This only added fuel to the fire, and, in angry tones, he answered: “I am replying to the man in a proper way. If you thing my answer is not proper, you had better go and join him.” Saying this, he turned his back upon the crowd and disappeared!

After he had gone, Mr. Palmer and Mr. Cartlaine, two of the European gentlemen still present, approached the Swami and wished

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to have some talk with him in private. The Swami agreeing to this a conversation ensued between the parties in the verandah of the bungalow. But he had hardly made a commencement when Mr. Bose, Master, Mission High School, came edging in and began speaking in favor of the Bible. This interruption and intrusion was unwelcome to Mr. Palmer and Mr. Cartlaine. And the discussion took place between the latter gentleman and Mr. Bose, and it lasted till midnight.

It was not only the Christians that had taken umbrage at the Swami’s remarks, the Muhammadans and Brahmo Samajists also were in a state of great excitement, for the Puranic conception of God as the Brahmanic, had not been left unexamined and uncommented upon by the apostle of the Vedic Faith. The Mussalmans (Muslims) in particular looked desperate, and it was feared that the thatch-work of he bungalow would be set on fire. But better counsels seemed to have prevailed, and the night passed off peacefully. On the following day, however, a very large number of Muhammadans came hurrying into the bungalow, in none of the best of moods, but soon cooled down and there was no disturbance. After a short time spent in discussing the conditions in view of a probable shastrarth which however, never came off, the retired.

The Swami delivered nine lectures in all a Dehradoon. These and the labor entailed in other ways brought on a relapse, and the motions again commenced. Not liking to make a longer stay at Dehradoon, the Swami left for Saharanpur on 30th April, 1879, and it was some two months after his departure from this station that an Arya Samaj came to be established here. One of the members was a Muhammadan gentleman, and he is still a follower of the Vedic religion. Ever since his conversion, he has called himself Alakhdhari.

At MEERUT accompanied by Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcoot.
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At Sharanpur the Swami halted only for two days, and then in company with Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott, who were waiting for him there, he left for Meerut, arriving there on 3rd May 1879. the Swami’s first installment of updesh during his present visit to Meerut was a lecture on the “Existence of God.” At the conclusion of this lecture he said a few words about Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky also. On his resuming his seat, Colonel Olcott made a short speech in English, suited to the occasion. Next day the Colonel’s lecture proper came off. Ti gave some account of America, dealt with the tenets of Christian religion, and set forth the aims and objects of the society which Madame Blavatsky and her friends had established. He stated, in words clear and unmistakable, that they had come to India accepting the Swami as their guru and guide. After the substance of the Colonel’s lecture had been given to the audience in Urdu, the Swami spoke a few words in connection with what had been said by the lecturer, and Madame

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Blavatsky also said something. The meeting broke up in a very happy mood.

A grand feast given to the Americans at the station and they left for Bombay on 7th May, 1879, the Swami, however, stayed her up to the 25th of the month, on which date he left for Aligarh, proceeding thence, in company with Thakur Bopal Singh and Thakur Manna Singh, to Chhalesar, there to place himself under the treatment of a competent physician and take a little rest.

AT MURADABAD
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Leaving Chhalesar on 3rd July, 1879, the Swami arrive at Muradabad anything but improved in health. This was his second visit to the place. The Arya Samaj established here during his first visit had ceased to exist, and a new one had to be established on a firm footing, and such a one came on 20th July, 1879. The orthodox priests gave out that the Samajists had eaten the leavings of the Swami, and the idle rumor proved so mischievous that the Biradiries commence persecuting all who had embraced the Vedic Religion.

The weak-minded left the Samaj, but there were others who were not in the least move by the threats indulged in by their enemies. Munshi Indramani, the great Arabic and Persain Scholar, who had been a member of the defunct Samaj, was nominated President of the present one; Kanwar Parmanand and Thakure Indra Singh were appointed Secretaries; Sahu Shyam Sundar and Raja Jaggan Nath, Treasurer and Librarian, respectively. In addition to these, the Samaj had 38 members.

though the Swami stayed for 27 days at Muradabad he could deliver only three lectures during the period. Dysentery had robbed him of his strength, and he found it rather irksome to work. One of the lectures was delivered in the Cantonment, under the presidency of the Collector, on Rajniti (political wisdom). The collector was highly pleased with the remarks which fell from the speaker’s lips on the subject and on the termination of the speech spoke of him in very high terms.

The well-wishers of the Swami at Muradabad finding how weak he was, placed him under the treatment of a Vaid, summoned specially for the purpose from Badaon., but the Vaid’s medicines did him no good. At last the European physician, Dr. Dane was called in. His treatment proved highly beneficial, and before long the Swami was restored, evidently, to perfect health. On the completion of the recovery, Rs. 200 were offered to the Doctor, but the good man refused to receive any remuneration, observing that he could not accept anything from one who was laboring for the good of humanity.

A remark which fell from theSwam’s lips at Muradabad, no doubt as a protest against words, intentionally or unintentionally uttered by some one, ought to yield a lesson to al who are, or who may become, members of the Arya Samaj. Addressing the Samajists the Swami said:

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”It is wrong for anyone of you to say that you believe in the religion of Dayanand; what you should say instead is, that your religion is Vedic.”
BADAON
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A Sabhasad of the Badaon Samaj had come over to Muradabad to take the Swami to Badaon, and although the Swami was still weak, he did not like in the interests of reform, to disappoint the gentlemen who wished to see him so much. He reached Badaon on 30th July, 1879, and stayed there till 13th August, lecturing almost daily. The City Pandits one day waited upon him, and a discussion took place between himself and them on the “Nature of God, Incarnation, and the right to study the Vedas.”

The Pandits repeating the well-known mantra of the Yajurveda - Sahasra Shrisahpursha, etc. declared that God, having so many heads, etc., was not merely incorporeal, and that He could incarnate Himself at will. The Swami’s reply explained the true meaning of the mantra, saying that there were in the all-pervading God innumerable heads, innumerable eyes, innumerable feet, and so on. Similarly, he brought forward various arguments, proving that Divine incarnations were an impossible thing, and he quoted authorities showing how the Vedas were meant for entire mankind and not for any particular class.

The Salono festival came off while the Swami was yet at Badaon. Seeing the Brahmans going form house to house with red thread and asking largesses the Swami sorrowfully remarked:”Ignorance has brought about the extinction of all our sankars. This festival had for its object the raksha (protection) of Vidyarthis (students), and the enforcement of righteous practice. But today all men, old and young, are tying the red thread round their wrists!”

AT BEREILLI – THE SHASTRARTH
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From Badaon the Swami repaired to Bereilli (14th August, 1879), where he became a guest of Lala lachhmi Narayan, Treasury Clerk. His lectures commenced, and they were largely attended, the local European officials and the lical Missionaries often forming par to the audience. One of the lectures was on the Puranas and similar other books. Mr. Edwards, the Commissioner, Mr. Reid, the Collector, and the Rev. Mr. Scott were present. So long as the Puranas were being exposed, the European gentlemen felt delighted and went into rears of laughter; but when the turn of the Bible came, and the birth of Christ and similar other mysteries where commented upon, the became sober and serious, and not unoften frowned. According to Lala Munshi Ram, Editor-in-Chief of Pandit Lekh Ram’s Life of Swami Dayanand, the Commissioner, shortly after the lecture was over, sent for Lala lachhmi Narayan and told him to warn the Pandit not to be very strong in his language; “for,” said he, “if the ignorant Hindus and Muhammadans get excited, the

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lectures of your Swami Pandit will be stopped.” The treasury Clerk in hesitation and fear carried the message to the Swami, but while he was trying to express himself in a round-about fashion, not knowing how his communication would be received, the Swami grasping his meaning burst out laughing, and bade the Lala be easy. The evening lecture for the day was on “the Nature of the soul.”

In importance of truth, the Swami observed:

”People say – Don’t give expression to truth, the Collector will be displeased, the Commissioner will be annoyed, and the Government will make you suffer? O ye simple ones! Let the Chakravarti Raja himself be displeased, if he will, I will give expression to truth alone.”
and then reading a passage from the Upanishad, which says that the soul defies the attack of fire, water, weapon and of everything else material, however subtle, he resumed in a voice of thunder:
”This body of mine is perishable, and nothing can be more ridiculous for me than to commit acts of unrighteousness for the preservation thereof. Whoever wishes may destroy it. But show me a warrior who claims that he can destroy my Soul. So long as such a warrior is not forthcoming in the world, so long I am not prepared even to think that I shall suppress truth.”
The Rev. Mr. Scott had been regular in his attendance at the Swami’s lectures from the first, but one day he did not put in an appearance. The Swami, who used to call him by the name of Bhagat Scott; asked those around, about the cause of the Missionary’s absence. The reply was that it was a Sunday, and the Missionary had to attend the Church. Upon this the Swami said that since the Bhagat had not come, he should himself go and see him in the Church. So in the company with some tow or three hundred men he walked off to the sacred building.

When he entered the edifice, the Reverend gentleman, who had but just finished his sermon, came down at the sight of him from the pulpit and conducted him to it, offered him the seat there, and requested him to say something. The Swami complied, and, without taking the preferred seat, spoke fa a few minutes on “Man-worship.” The Missionaries of Bereilli came to the determination of holding a discussion with the Swami, and it was at last settled that is should come off on 25th august, 1879. The subjects to be taken up were:

  • ’Transmigration of Souls,’ the Swami speaking for, and the Rev. Scott against.
  • The doctrine of ’Incarnation,’ the Rev. gentleman upholding, and the Swami refuting;
  • ’Forgiveness of Sin,’ (the attitude of the parties in this case being the same as in respect of the doctrine of Incarnation).
The discussion came off in the building of the local Library; in the presence of large gathering, most of the gentry and nobility of the town being among them.

Debate with Christianity on Transmigration of Souls.
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As agreed upon, the doctrine of the Transmigration of Souls was taken up first.

Swami ~ “The inherent qualities, activities and tendencies of the Soul are eternal, and the divine, attributes, Justice, mercy , etc., are also eternal. Whoever does not believe this but holds that the Soul and its attributes, etc., are born and accidental, he must also concede that they are perishable. And

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he must furnish satisfactory and convincing proofs, to himself and others, in respect of the origin and cause of the Soul and its attributes, etc.; for the birth of an effect in the absence of a cause is absolutely impossible. (The fact is, that the good and bad actions of the Soul, by virtue of their regularity of succession, are eternal, and the Deity, to be true to His nature, metes out, rewards and punishments for the same). And be it known that it is impossible for the Soul to taste of pleasure or pain, except through a body, be it gross, or subtle or elemental.

This being the case, the soul must assume a body over and over again, for a free agent is ever doing new actions, and these accumulate and go on forming new destinies (Prarabha). Were a person to contemplate this world with eye of knowledge, the laws of nature in operation and the Pratayaksha and other parmanas would soon convince him that the doctrine under discussion is true. Only think that Monday, i.e., to day, comes over and over again; the months, the days and nights also are perpetually recurring. The wheat-seed that is sown, reproduces itself in continual succession.

Rev. Scott - “The teaching that is being now offered to us, means that we are to believe that all the Souls that there are, are being constantly born, sometimes in the body of man, sometimes in that of a bull, sometimes in that of a monkey and anon in those of worms and insects. But this teaching is being gradually repudiated by the enlightened communities. The ancient Egyptians originally believed in the doctrine of transmigration, but subsequently they gave it up. Similarly, the Greeks, the Romans and the English at the outset believed in it and abandoned it in the end…..My question to the Pandit is, what are the arguments in support of this doctrine? When any specially remarkable proofs are given in support of the doctrine, I shall raise objections in refutation of the doctrine. In the meantime, I have to ask a few questions in connection with what has been said, and they are:

  • Are Souls other than that of God also from ever?
  • Shall we ever be free from birth?
  • As regards your contention that all that we see in the world, is there as punishment, it may be asked: Is re-birth only for punishment, or does it proceed from some other cause?
  • Another question is: Is the Deity always sagun or does He become nirgun also? Is this perpetual rebirth the result of a special exertion of His power, or is it traceable to the operation of some natural law? - some such law, for instance, as regulates the growing of a seed, the ripening of a fruit, or the coming down of rain, etc.?
Swami Dayanand ~ “Three things are eternal: God, the Material cause of the universe, and the Soul. There will never be freedom from birth. Re-birth is for punishments as well for rewards. God is always sagun as well as nirgun. His natural law is only this, that He punishes or rewards, in compliance with the dictates of His

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absolute justice, everyman in proportion to the amount of sin or righteous action committed or performed. The admission on the part of the Padri Sahib that the doctrine of re-birth was originally believed in by his nation proves that it was an article of faith n all lands in ancient times. As to his assertion that every community that is progressing in civilization is gradually abandoning the doctrine, I would put him the question - Are all ancient things false or are some of them true also? And further, Is modern teaching true in all its entirety, or is there something untrue in it too? If the Padri Sahib should assert that the old teaching is not fit to be believed in, then the teaching of the Old Testament – the Pentateuch, etc., as well as that of the New Testament being old, when contemplated in connection with the present age, should no longer be believed in now, does not prove the thing to be true or otherwise….

”As to the Padri Sahib’s words, that I should furnish proofs in support of the doctrine of Transmigration of Souls or rebirth, I got the reporters to write down at the outset that the actions, etc., of the Soul, and the attributes of justice, etc. of God are eternal. If the doctrine of Karma is to be rejected, then how would you account for God’s creating in this world the wise side by side with the obtuse, the poor and indigent side by side with princes? For, doing such thing as a mere matter of whim savors of partiality, and partiality on the part of the Deity would utterly defeat the ends of His justice. When action has fruit, God is certainly just and otherwise: he never commits an act of injustice.”

Rev. Scott. - “According to the assertion of Panditji all the Souls are eternal. This being the case, there is no difference in the eternity of the Souls and that of God; in other words, two existences are eternal, which, in away, means, that there are two Gods. My objection is, that this teaching is totally oppose to what is taught in the Old Testament – Pentateuch and the Gospel, and I want to inquire, in what teaching there is greater comfort: whether in the consciousness that our Souls will keep wandering, through eternity, in a state of bewilderment – sometimes in the bodies of oxen, sometimes in those of monkeys, sometimes in the repulsive frames of worms and insects, and occasionally in tenements of higher type, in a never-ending succession; or whether it is more consoling to believe that people who are striving after righteousness and do become pure, will, at last, reach a resting-place, where they will be safe form re-birth and secure from all suffering…..How, again, can God be nirgun and sagun both at the same time – with attributes and without attributes? What thing is there that is wholly destitute of properties or attributes?

”If (according to this position of yours) God does not possess the attribute of justice, how He exercise this attribute….? Moreover, if re-birth is for punishment, what punishment can there be in being made to be born again? The monkey, for instance, does not know what sins he committed (that brought down his soul into the frame of a monkey). Similarly a Padri or a Pandit, coming to assume the repulsive shape of a worm or insect, has really no punishment inflicted upon him, for it is wholly unknown to him what sins he had committed. Has anybody ever been able to remember,

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or can he remember, that he was a monkey at such and such a time, or that he was a jackal on such and such a occasion? When nobody in the whole world is conscious of ever having passed through such bodies, how can re-birth serve as punishment in the case of nay one whatsoever? We believe that pain is sometimes for punishment and sometimes not.”

Swami Dayananand ~ “The fact that both (God and Soul) are eternal, does not make them equal so long as they are not equal in their attribute, powers, and so on. As it is, God is infinite, the Soul is finite; God is omniscient, and the Soul is partially knowing; God is ever pure and in a state of salvation, the Soul is only occasionally pure and sometimes in bondage and sometimes free; this being the case, both cannot be equal.

”The fact that a thing is opposed to the teachings of the Bible, does not prove that, if really true, it is false. For in the Old Testament, etc., the things that are true have, through delusion, been often declared as false, and vice versa. The teaching of that book alone can be true, in which from its beginning to its end not a single untruth is to be found. Such a book is nowhere to be found in the world except the Veda, of Divine Origin, because the teachings of the Veda alone fits in with the attributes, actions and nature of God. ..God, by virtue of His own attributes, such as omniscience, etc., is sagun, and He is nirgun when viewed as destitute of the properties of unconsciousness matter and of the characteristics of the Soul, - such as birth, death, doubt, delusion, ignorance, and so on. From what has been said, it follows as something indisputable, that there is nothing in the world which is not sagun and nirgun at the same time.

”When the sin committed by the soul exceeds the amount of merit (punya), it has to assume the body of a monkey, etc. when its merits and demerits are equal, it is born as man; and when merit exceeds demerit, it appears in the world as a sage, etc.”

Rev. Scott - “Not all the ancient teaching is false, nor is the new teaching true in all its entirety. But when enlightened communities, after prolonged though and reflection, give up a thing as false, the proof is conclusive that it is false. The Old Testament is not all new compared to the Vedas. It does not at all speak of re-birth. the point at issue at this time is not whether the teachings of the Old and the New Testament is or is not false. For all that, however, the fact is insignificant that while civilized communities are firm in their belief in the Old and the New Testament, the Hindus, in proportion, as they are advancing in education, are abandoning the Vedas. If necessary, I could cite a thousand instances. If, it be asserted that all His actions are good, then where is the impossibility that the Soul also, through His grace, be so fructified as not to go down into the bodies of monkeys and jackals. As is written in our sacred Book, man has to die only once, and after that he is to be regenerated (for everlasting life).

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”As regards nirgun and sagun, I have no faith in the explanation which the Swami has given of the words. Nirgun does not imply in a thing the existence of gunas. When God is nirgun, He cannot be sagun, and the case being such, who arranges for births then? I ask again: if the Soul’s re-birth is for punishment, it ought to be in a position to remember why it is being punished, otherwise the purpose of punishment is utterly defeated. I inquire again, Why it is that nobody remembers that he was a monkey or a jackal in his previous birth?”

Swami Dayanand”As to the first question of the Padri Sahib, the Soul is alpagya (possessing partial knowledge, etc.), and hence it cannot remember thing connected with the previous birth or births. The Padri Sahib ought to ask himself, ‘Why do I put such a question?’ For even in the present birth, a person cannot remember things connected with the first five years of his age. And when a person is in sound sleep, he cannot remember even a single thing connect with his waking-hours. And from perceptions of an effect one may be sure about the cause of that effect; the wise without an exception, concede that such is the law.

”When the fruit of merit and demerit (pap-punya) is clearly observable in the world in the form of happiness and suffering, of elevation and degradation how can one deny the existence of cause – the actions of previous birth, of which all these are the result?
”I can site the names of hundreds of men who have told me themselves - the author of the Bible in India and other scientific men of the present day, that they have given up believing in the Bible. Colonel Olcott and others also say that they do not follow the teaching of the Bible. An our educated people – F/A.’s, B.A.’s, M.A.’s, LL.D’s thousands of them have no faith in the Bible, and they are all educated. This will show that the illustration the Padri Sahib gave in the interests of the Bible, does not meet the requirements of the case. There is no birth of God, for He is infinite and all-pervading, and no material frame can contain Him. He is ever in a state of salvation, and never does aught of which bondage is the result.”

Rev. Scott - “The illustration of a child which Pandit gave, asserting that (when grown up) he cannot remember anything, is false, for a child does remember something at least. And the question that naturally suggests itself in this connection is, since our Souls are from eternity and since, like the child, we have become grown-up (through the lapse of years), why should not we remember something like him? But in point of fact we remember nothing. This argument deserves consideration.

”It is impossible that, being from eternity, we should have, on assuming a body, forgotten everything. And re-birth in such a case can serve no end. And a regards sleep, it appears from the (Swami’s) reply that things connected with sleep are remembered. Some people hit upon great idea in sleep. Here I want to bring forward a strong objection. This teaching or re-birth encourages the commission of sin. For people say to themselves, - ‘Let us do whatever we like, it will be some time before we suffer for it, and after all, a desirable kind of re-birth may fall out lot. And they further way to themselves (in their helplessness), “This succession of births is everlasting, what are we

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to do?” We do admit that there must be some reason for the suffering which comes to people in the world. Sometimes it is sent to the wicked as punishment, and sometimes to the wise that hey may have training of different kinds.”

Swami Dayanand ~ “By citing the example of a child, I meant to say that the pleasure or pain which he enjoys or suffers, he cannot re-call to memory of himself; he remembers it occasionally when reminded of it by somebody else.

”And the inherent qualities of the soul remain ever unchanged, it is only the accidental ones that increase or decrease. Hence the Souls is always the same, but the stock of its knowledge and information grows and grows after the fifth year (from the date of its birth) has expired. If anyone were to ask the Padri Sahib or myself now, What did you talk with such a one ten years ago? Can you re-call the words and the letters you sued in their proper order?” the reply will be, that ‘we can’t remember or reproduce what we said, correctly’.

”If the Souls are not from ever, where have they come from? Although people do not know, for certain, what and what crimes this and that prisoner committed, yet they can infer that it must be for some crime or other that the prisoners in question are in jail, and they can take the lesson from the condition in which the prisoners are, that they (people) should never do what the prisoners did, as otherwise their state would be that of the prisoners. The Padri Sahib has not grasped my meaning. I spoke of Sushupti, and not of the ordinary sleep in which one dreams. Sushupti is profound slumber in which nothing is remembered and no idea is hit upon or re-called. Those who have faith in no re-birth, their teaching increases sin in the world, for ‘there is not re-birth,’ say they, ‘let us do what pleases us.’

”And this postponement of the case of a departed non-believer in birth is something hard and unreasonable. His departure from this world takes place to-day, and his Soul remains in custody uncared for till the day of judgment. The door of the Court is shut, and God is sitting idle. The Soul that goes into Hell, is Hell’s time to come, and the actions performed by the Soul are limited, but the rewards and punishments meted out for the same are eternal in duration! This is very unjust of God. And suffering, in the absence of hope, cannot generate man. What is the cause of suffering? If suffering is sent to man as a warning, then it is for his good, but the lesson from that suffering comes only through wisdom. As to the assertion of Padri Sahib, that the Souls will enjoy bliss in a certain place for ever, will he specify the place and its geographical position?”

Rev. Scott - “As to the assertion that some qualities are retained by the Soul and some disappear and that hence it is that things in connection with re-birth are not remembered, I maintain that since some qualities are retained by the Soul, we should remember something at least in connection with our previous birth. if I had a talk with Panditji somewhere during the current year, I could not fail to remember some things at least. The illustration of

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sleep is out place, for if things are sometimes not remembered in sleep, they are still very often remembered. This being the case, why don’t we remember things connected with our previous birth? the example of jail that ha been given, that too does not meet the requirements of the case, for it implies that punishment has only one object. In point of fact, punishment has two-fold object, - the improvement of the sufferer and to serve as a warning to the spectators. But re-birth furnishes warning only to the spectators: the man show is suffering the punishment, does not know at all why he is suffering it. As to the question where the Souls have come from, the civilized nations of the present day hold that just a seed proceeds from a seed, a tree from a tree, and nobody says that the tree existed previously, even so is one Soul born of another Soul, and one body of another body. For all this, however, it is incomprehensible in what particular manner the body comes into existence, and in what the Soul. But is not a fact that the Soul which occupies a body at present was in some other body before; it of recent birth. And when the Soul departs from this world, it will be dealt with impartially, according to the character of it actions. Hence God is not unjust: on the contrary, the fact proves Him just. As to the question where the Souls stay, we don’t pretend to be omniscient that we should specify the locality where bliss is to be enjoyed. The almighty God can give the Soul a resting-place, what does it signify if we know it or not?

Swami Dayanand ~ “There is a stock of accidental qualities present in childhood, but it is small; the essential qualities of the Soul, however, are always the same, never varying. This fact the Padre Sahib has not been able to thoroughly grasp. To illustrate, the heat that comes into the water from fire, that is naimittic or accidental, but the heat that is in fire, that is essential or inherent (swabhavik) to it. The essential qualities or attributes of the Soul neither increase nor decrease, but the accidental qualities do increase and decrease. As to the observation of the Padri Sahib that although the sight of the prisoners in jail produces a fear in the minds of the spectators, warning them not to do what brought the prisoners in their present sorry plight, this lesson is not at all conveyed to the souls that are made to be re-born (by the Deity), for these Souls do not remember what they are suffering for, I beg to say that when people can infer a cause form an effect, why can’t a sufferer draw a similar inference in regard to his sufferings.

”Suppose that a physician gets an attack of fever, and an ignorant man also. The physician, by the assistance of his knowledge, will know the cause of the fever, but the ignorant man will be unable to hit upon the right cause. Both however, are conscious of suffering, nor can even the ignorant man fail to conclude from his suffering at least this much, that intemperance or imprudence in some way or another has given him the fever. Hence the punishment he is suffering is for his future benefit. For he says to himself; ‘If I do anything objectionable, the result of this will be pain to me, as it is to such and such a one.’

”If the Souls are born from Souls and bodies from bodies, the it’s not God that is your Maker. This shows that what you

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say is far from being true. And, according to your theory, the Souls and bodies that came to be in the beginning, from what Souls and bodies did they proceed? If you assert that the proceeded from God, then God must be like unto horses, trees and stones, for an effect is always of the nature and character of its causes. And then effect is always of the nature and character of its cause. And then the postponement of the departed Soul’s case for an indefinite period. The suffering with which this delay must be fraught must far exceed the pain that could come from actual punishment. If the Soul is to undergo the suffering inseparable from a postponement of its case, for what actions then can it be sent to Heaven or condemned to Hell? – there are virtually no actions to receive a reward or punishment for.

”If you are not omniscient, why do you contend that there is no re-birth? all this does not prove your theory of single birth, but does prove the doctrine of re-birth.”

The debate continues on ‘Incarnation’.
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The discussion on the 2nd day, 26th August, was on ‘Incarnation.’ The opening speech was from the Missionary, and the upshot of what he said was, that whoever pretended that he knew everything about God was in error, and such being the case, no one could reasonably maintain that God could not assume a body if it so pleased Him. In reply the Swami observed that in saying what he had the Padri Sahib had done anything but proved his contention, which was, that God does incarnate Himself. The real questions that should be answered were:
  • ’what necessity is there for God to take a body?
  • Is it or is not, His pleasure subject to any restriction?
  • Is He incorporeal or corporeal?
  • Is He all-pervading (witnessing all), or is He confined to a particular locality, etc.?”
The missionary ‘s answer, stated the popular belief as to the omnipresence or all-pervading character of God, adding that no one could positively say what Divine omnipresence really meant. What he (the Missionary) affirmed and maintained was that God did incarnate Himself, He passed in all His entirety into the body assumed, and yet remained outside of it also, for He could do it, and there was nothing to be wondered at this. To entertain the idea that the assumption, by God, of a body was something that detracted from His greatness and glory, was to labor under misapprehension.

To this the Swami made answer, that if God was all-pervading, His entering a body or coming out of it was an impossibility. The Missionary (he said) had not shown how it was necessary for God to assume a body. As to the assertion that God had made man in His own image, it was worth knowing in whose image He had made other creatures, - lower animals, etc.

There were further questions and replies, till at last the Missionary leaving the point of issue remarked that the incarnation

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of Jesus Christ fulfilled a Divine purpose, which (he said) was fully evident from the fact that the Bible was being gradually accepted by the civilized nations. He added: “The Bible has been translated into hundreds of languages, and millions of copies of this book are printed and distributed. Who says ‘I don’t believe in this book?

And finally on “Forgiveness of sins”.
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” Hence it is clear that an incarnation of God was possible. Belief in such an incarnation of God was nothing oppose to reason: on the contrary it was only proper that such an incarnation should take place. The great necessity of such a thing coming to pass he (the Padri) had described, and the words of the Bible were true!

The Third discussion on the subject selected for the purpose came off on 27th August, 1879. the contention of the Missionary was, that Divine forgiveness of sin was possible under certain circumstance, for instance, when a man came to have faith in Jesus Christ; while the Swami maintained that forgiveness of sins was impossible, for to hold the contrary view was virtually to declare that God was the encourager of sin in the world. But, indeed, God was no such thing. Hemetedout punishments and rewards for all actions in all their fullness.*

SHAHJAHANPUR
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From Barelli the Swami went to Shahjahanpur, where he satyed till 17th September, 1879, delivering during the period six lectures. The updesh, however, was daily given, the enquires coming in large numbers. The orthodox sent for and prevailed upon one Pandit Angad Shastri, who had at one time served as a teacher in the Pililbhit School on a salary of Rs 15 a month, to hold a shastrarth with the Swami.

The Pandit proved an ideal orthodox disputant. He would not come forward, declaring that the conditions of the would be shastrarth were unsatisfactory, and that till they were amended and altered so as to be perfectly acceptable to his friends and brethren, the shastrarth could not commence. What the Pandit seemed to be rally striving for was the bringing about a publicjalsa, in which the mischievous element at his beck and call should have a chance to display their activities and should accomplish, by dint of noise and abuse and force, that which he had not the learning and the brains to achieve in a fair contest.

The Swami perceived his aim and would not give him a chance to carry out nefarious purpose, insisting that the conditions of the contemplated discussion should be, in an equal degree, cognizant of the interests of both the parties. The Pandit’s letters to the Swami were generally full of unparliamentary expressions, but the Swami could bear fouler language than that, and his replies were always thoroughly courteous in tone. Of course, the shastrarth never came off.

It was at Shahjahanpur that the Swami conceived the idea of



*Only the substance of what was said by the parties on 26th and 27th August has been given. The space at oru disposal is limited, and will not permit us to give the discussion in full –C.S.

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writing books of a purely educational value, and it was also here that he gave the idea a practical shape.

Shahjahanpur already boasted an Arya Samaj, of which Lala Bakhtawar Singh, Editor and Proprietor, The Arya Darpan, was the Secretary, and the Swami left the station for Lucknow on 18th September, 1879.

AT FURRAKHABAD
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The Swami did not stay long at Lucknow. After a week’s halt during which the updesh given die not appear to have led to any definite and tangible results, he left for Furrakhabad. An Arya Samaj already existed here, but it was markedly strengthened by the Swami’s presence. The members, with a view to securing permanency to the religious institution which had been founded in their midst, came forward with liberal donations for the purpose, each individual subscription ranging from Rs. 200 to 1,000. Over and above this they subscribed Rs. 1,000 in the aid of the Veda-Bhashya. A new building having been secured for the use of the Samaj, the Swami delivered his lecture on 5th October, 1879, in the premises of the same. We may be sure that the orthodox Pandits were in none of the most enviable of moods at finding thousands of rupees going in to the coffers of the Samaj, and at seeing that Body making itself perfectly at home in their midst.

When the Swami was about to leave Furrakhabad, the champions of idolatry had as many as 25 questions, duly written and subscribed, sent to the Swami for an answer. It was a clever move on their part. They thought that the Swami would not stop to answer them, and if such a thing actually came to pass, they would have a chance of proclaiming with the beatof drums that the Swami had given them the slip! The unexpected, however, came to pass. The Swami answered their questions on the 7th October, and the Dharma Sabha has to gulp down its disappointment as best as it could.

One of the questions was: ”Can a Muhammadan or Christian join your faith, and are you and your followers prepared to eat the food cooked by his hands?” To this the Swami thus replied: “My religion is none; whoever follows the commandments of the Vedas, the same is a follower of the Vedic Religion. Have you, falling into darkness, come to identify Dharma with eating and drinking, with answering the calls of nature, with wearing shoes, dhoti, angrakha, etc.? Listen and reflect, such things are mere usages and customs, peculiar to one country or another?”

While at Farrukhabad, the Swami assisted at many Yajnopavit sankars, and it is noteworthy that his lectures here were frequently attended by English Officials also.

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MIRZAPUR
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Starting from Furrakhabad on 8th October, 1879, and making brief hlats at Cawnpur and Prayag, the Swami arrived at Mirzapur on 23rd October, 1879, and lectured there for dour or five days. He was far from being in the best of health yet, but for all that, the updesh was given without fail, and religious conversation with the enquirers was being daily pushed on. A Samaj already existed here, doing by itself and others what it was in duty bound to do.


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The Swami left Mirzapur for Danapur (Behar) on 30th October, 1879, in company with some members of the Danapur Samaj, who had come to fetch him. He delivered on different subjects some fourteen lectures during the seventeen or eighteen days he stayed there. the lectures were attended by the Missionaries and by other European gentlemen also. Being full of criticism on the Hindu, Muslim and other creeds, they created considerable excitement, and threats of vengeance were forthcoming freely. A Muhammadan youth, thrown into a state of frenzy by the reformer’s comments, warned the Swami not be so free with his creed, but the only reply which the Swami gave to the menace was that in is public lecture when he said:
”So long as Muhammadans had their way, they spread their religion by the sword, but now that India had a better Government and the people enjoyed the blessing of freedom of speech, there was no reason why men like him should not expose absurdities and abused, like rational men, with their tongue!”
At one of the lectures delivered on the teachings of the Bible, General Roberts, the Commander-in-Chief, with his staff, was present. The comments were as strong as ever. On the termination of the speech the General shook hand with the Swami, remarking:
“When you can speak in this fashion on the Bible in our presence, you must care but little for others.”
A real Sanyasi will fear nothing.

The local Dharma Sabha, in its desperation, sent for its famous Pandit Chaturbhuj, to hold a shastrarth with the Swami. The Pandit obeyed the call, but he would not come forward, insisting that the shastrarth,if it was to take place, should take place in a building to be specified by the Dharma Sabha. The Swami suspected foul play, but at last he agreed. His suspicions proved to be true.

Pandit Chaturbhuj did not put in an appearance at al in this new building either, the Secretary of the Dharma Sabha only attending and declaring that he should speak in place of the Pandit. The Swami refused to have anything to do with him, on which that truly excellent man extinguished the lamp, and, giving admission to a large number of Muhammadans from the other entrance to the house, prepared to set upon the Swami and his companions, but he was playing a losing game. There was that in the voice of the Swami which sent terror into the hearts of the miscreants. The party forcing their way through the crowd emerged into the open, safe and sound, although the Dharma Sabha-followers and the Muslims in combination had sen after them showers of stones and bricks.

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The Missionaries and other Europeans saw the Swami when he was comparatively at leisure. Mr. Jones one day urging an objection against the Arya Religion, on the ground that the Hindus observed chhut-chhat, the Swami replied:

“We do not believe that Dharma lies in eating or drinking with this or that man. All these things have to do with the usages and customs of a country or a nation. They have no bearing on the true Dharma. Those who are wise, they too will not infringe the national usages unnecessarily.” At the same time, the Swami, in the course of further observations made on the point, assured the European that the real religion of the Hindus (Aryas) was not ‘idol-worship.’
People were not wanting at Danapur, who would misrepresent the reformer through the press. One good man sent a telegram to the Indian Mirror, Calcutta, saying that the Swami had kicked an idol! But what sensible man could ever believe such idle and unfounded reports? The unbiased minds at Danapur gave the lie to the telegram by an increased faith in the Swami and in the true and enduring character of his mission.

One person, who, through the fear of the priests and the biradiri, has not the moral courage to hear the Swami’s updesh openly, one day waited upon him early in the morning, in a secluded spot, far from human habitation, when the Swami was returning from his “constitutional.” Giving the Swami an insight into his inmost feelings, he touched his foot with his head, in spite of the Swami’s declaration that it was useless doing so, and then went his way.

The Danapur Arya Samaj had now been in existence for over a year, having been established in April, 1878, when the Swami was yet in the Punjab. In fact, it was a development of the Hindu Sat Sabha, which the station had possessed for some time past.

AT BENARES
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Returning to Mirzapur the Swami proceeded to Benares, which he reached on the 19th November, 1879. He stayed here for six months. During this period the Vedic press was established, and much was accomplished in connection with the Veda-Bhashya and other works on hand, nor was the updesh-work neglected. The orthodox Pandits were challenged to come forward for a discussion over again and again, but there was no response there was, however, no dearth of men the exact prototypes of excellent Pandit Shardha Ram, in Benares. One of these, by name Jugal Kishore, had a printed notice put up, saying that the gentlemen, whose names were given at the bottom of the notice, had waited upon Swami Dayanand, but finding that his conversation was oppose to the teaching of the Vedas and to the lessons which practices of men of righteous conduct yield, they thought of having their doubts removed by the Brahm Amrit Dahrshini Sabha. “The accordingly, (said the notice), waited upon the Sabha, and their doubts having been thoroughly removed by the same, they underwent and expiation by the advice of Pandit Jugal Kishore, and got rid of their sins by being face to face with the gods…..”

In due course the notice came to be read at a meeting of the

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Bradm Amrit Darshini Sabha, and how far it was relished by that Body will be clear form the following article which appeared in the Arya Darpan, May, 1880:-

”Bawa Narian Singh, Member, Arya Samaj, Benares, asked Pandit Jugal Kishore to produce the men whose names appeared in the notice. The Pandit, livid with rage, answered that he should produce them at the next meeting of the Sabha,. But as the men referred to in the notice were merely creations of the Pandit’s fancy, imagined into realities solely for the sake of amusement, where could he produce them from for the Sabha?

The Pandit was in a dilemma, and at last began to look out for and train stray lads to his purpose, telling them to accompany him and depose so-and-so before the Sabha. But who could accede to the Pandit’s request in connection with such an ugly business? The very mention of the word Prayashchit is sufficient to frighten people out of their senses, the more so as the confession on a person’s part that he performed a prayashchit gets him an ill-name. However, the Pandit made a shift to produce one man at the next meeting of the Sabha. When his name was asked, he said, it was Ram Krishn Doobe. (The Pandit must have put him to say that he was called Ram Krishn Doobe, but how long can one remember an assumed name? It slipped from the man’s memory).

They next asked him, whether he had gone to the Swami? The reply was in the negative. This reply exposed Pandit Jugal Kishore’s nefarious trick, and the people now asked him why he had got a false notice printed and circulated. The Pandit was red with anger and began to talk incoherently, uttering, among others, the words, ‘he who ahs seen Dayanand’s face, he is not from the seed of a Hindu!”

Upon this Bawa Narain Singh observed that at the Kashi shastrarth of Samvat 1926, there were thousands of Hindus present, among others, the Maharaja of Kashi, Pandit Balshastri, Swami Vishuddhanand, etc., and that the Pandit and virtually offered them a gross insult, in saying what he had.

”The result of this was that the Sabha, passing a resolution for the expulsion of Pandit Jugal Kishore, turned him out. The Pandit, when being expelled, raised a hue and cry, and mutual thrashing was about to commence; but God be thanked, matter did not take a serious turn, and all ended well.”

The Swami delivered at Benares some twenty lectures in the beginning of 1880. an Arya Samaj was established on 15th April, 1880, and it continues to exist down to the present day, having a fair Mandir of its won, the result, in a great measure, of the zeal and efforts of Rai Bahadur Surjan Das, Executive Engineer.

The Press was established largely by subscription, the members of the Arya Samaj contributing each a specific sum. As the contributions had been accepted on the distinct understanding that they should be considered as a loan, the money was in time returned to the donors. The late Lala Sain Das, however, who had contributed about Rs. 250, declined to receive back the sum, which anything but pleased the Swami, who insisted upon repayment, remarking that the donor could spend it in charity in some way or another.

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AT MAINPURI
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On May 5th, 1880, the Swami left Benares for Lucknow, where he preached for about two weeks and then left for Furrakhabad, staying there till 30th June. From Furrakhabad he went to Mainpuri, whence he departed to Meerut on 6th July, arriving there on the 8th, and five days after he had left Mainpuri, an Arya Samaj was established there (11th July, 1880.)

AT MEERUT
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At Meerut the Swami came across Pandita Ramabai, who had purposely come there to see him. The Swami presented her with a copy of his works, and counseled her to preach the Vedic Faith to women, adding that if she had doubts on any doctrinal points, he would remove them and convince her of the truth of the doctrines. The Pandita begged to be excused from following the counsel, though she did deliver some lectures on “Female Educaiton” at Meerut. When she was leaving the station, the local Samaj presented her with Rs. 125 in cash, and a full piece of cloth.

Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky also paid a visit to the Swami at Meerut. In the course of conversation with the Americans on “God,” the Swami, on hearing their views on the subject and discovering that they were not prepared to change them under any circumstances, drew the line of demarcation between the Arya Samaj and the bold declaration of facts on his part led to the creation of a gulf between the two Bodies which has never been bridged, nor is likely to so long as the Theosophical Society does not give up, among other things, the atheism or materialism to which the Americans, in Swami’s time, were so partial.

While at Meerut the Swami received a letter from Lala Nihal Chand, Resis, Requesting him to come to Muzaffarnagar. The Swami accepted the invitation and spent about a fortnight at Muzaffarnagar, delivering during the period, some ten lectures.

Professor’s Monier William’s view on the Sanskrit language.
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It was from Meerut that the Swami indited a letter, in Sanskrit, to Shyamji Krishna Varma, assistanat Professor of Sanskrit at the Oxford University. This letter was published by Professor Monier Williams in an English paper, with his own comments. In this interesting letter the Professor said a great deal in praise of Sanskrit, declaring that it was the lingua franca of India, and that those who thought it was now a dead language, were laboring under a delusion. Could a language, he asked, be called ‘dead’ which was drawn upon to such and extent in the daily talk of the Indian people, and which was the invariable medium of commnunication among the learned of the land? To quote his own words:
”Some individuals entertain the idea that Sanskrit is no longer in use, while others think that it is on the decline. But can anybody justly consider a language defunct or extinct which still exists and is full of life, in which thoughts are exchanged and conversation is carried on, whose permanency gains strength from daily correspondence, and, whose living influence, as displayed from Hindukush down to Ceylon, in literary composition and in matters of religion, in enduringly complete?”
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Speaking of Swami Dayanand, the Professor referred to an article published in the Athaeiem a year back in which the famous Scholar was mentioned as a person who, while was well-versed in the Classical Sanskrit of ancient days, was one who, by his denunciation of heresy, infidelity and idol-worship, had produced a commotion in all the modern religious sects of Aryavarta. The writer added:

“The Swami is a believer in the pure theism of the true religion of the Arya nation, and takes his stand upon the Vedas s the basis of his religious beliefs. The name of this generator and reformer is Swami Dayanand Saraswati, to whose eloquence of speech, faultless (or weighty) composition, I can myself bear witness.”
To convince the readers of the Athaenium that he did not praise the Swami on the strength of second-hand evidence, the Professor informed them that he was present at a lecture of the reformer at Bombay, and further, that the Sanskrit letter, a translation of which now appeared in the paper, was fully worthy of the man whom he had occasion to hear in the Commercial Capital of India – a model letter, in the highest sense of the word model.

Never for a moment oblivious of the interests of his mission, the Swami did not forget to ask his pupil, among other things, if he was doing anything to disseminate the principles of the Vedic Religion among those he now came in contact with, had whether the attitude of his (Dayanand’s) friends – Professor Monier Williams and Professor Max Muller, towards the Vedas and the Shastras, was the same as before. ‘How do they like the Veda-Bhashya?’ he further asked, and how far are they disposed to give encouragement of the interpretation of the contents of these works (Samhitas)? And is it true that the Theosophical Society, as a branch of the Vedic Religion, has been established in London?”

From Meerut the Swami went to Dhradoon, where he stayed up to 20th November, 1880, giving updesh throughout the period of his stay. The Muslims and Hindus kept back as usual, declaring, just to pass off time, that they could not come forward for a discussion till such and such terms were granted to them. A Missionary gentleman, however, came, but finding that argument was not his forte (when pitted against the Swami), he went his way.

From Dehradoon the Swami left for Agra, arriving there on 25th November, 1880. He stayed here for some three months and- a –half, the first series of his lectures ending on 22nd December. The result was that here also a Arya Samaj was established on 26th December, 1880. the second series of lectures commenced on 23rd January, 1881, and was continued during February. The orthodox Pandits bestirred themselves after their fashion, their leader, Chaturbhuj, making two men undergo Prayashchit. One of these men had broken in two his kanthi on hearing the Swami’s updesh, and the other had committed the great sin of teaching Sanskrit to Aryas!

At Agra the Swami, at the request of the Archbishop, visited the local Cathedral, and had a long conversation with His Lordship.

At Agra ends the last tour of Swami Dayanand in Upper India.

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THE ARYA SANMARG DARSHINI SABHA
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While Swami Dayanand was a Agra, a Sabha, called the Arya Sanmarg Darshini Sabha, was established at Calcutta, with the object of having it decided and settled, once for all, by the most distinguished representatives of orthodoxy in the land (that could be got hold of for the purpose, of course), that Dayanand’s views on Shradhs, Tiraths, Idol-worship, etc., were entirely unorthodox and unjustifiable. Sanskrit Scholars and Reises to the number of three hundred responded to the call of the Sabha, and a grand meeting, composed of the local men and of he outsiders, came off in the Senate Hall on 22nd. January, 1881.

It is significant that not one of the numerous distinguished Pandits present thought of suggesting or moving that the man upon whom the Sabha was going to sit in judgment, should also, in fairness, be summoned before the august tribunal, to be condemned or acquitted after he had been fully heard. It may be urged that the Sabha was not in a homor to acquit Dayanand under any circumstances, but still he should have been permitted to have his say before he was condemned. Surely, one man could be dealt with very well by assemblage so illustrious and so erudite. But the Pandits and their admirers were wise in their generation.

Dayanand, though one, had proved too many for a still more learned and august gathering at Benares. His powerful intellect and the still more powerful truth, which he was called upon to defend and advocate, had carried everything before them, and left the formidable and unique multitude opposed to him no other alternative than to resort to a mean trick if they would extricate themselves, from their most embarrassing position and make the ignorant mass believe that the victory had been theirs.

It was, thus, wholly inadvisable that Swami Dayanand should be present. “Lord! Who could miss the man when we are present?” must the great Pandits have said to themselves. Among the great ones in evidence and gracing the occasion, were:- Pandit Mahesh Chandra Nyyaratna, Pandit Tara Nath Vachaspati, Pandit Banke Bihari Lal of Cawnpur, Pandit Jamna Narayan Tiwari, Pandit Bindraban Sudarsdnachari, Shastri Ram Subramania of Jaunpur, Maharaja Jotindrao Nath Tagore, C.S.I., Maharaja Kanwal Krishna Bahadur Mukhopadhya, Junwar Debindrao Mulluck, Hon’ble Babu Krishna Lal paul, Babu Charu Chandra Mulluck, Lal Narain Das of Mathura, Rai Badri Das Lakhim Bahadur, Seth Jugal Kishore, seth Nahar Mal, etc. , etc.

The proceedings of the meeting opended by Pandit Mahesh

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Chandra Nyyaratna explaing the object of the Sabha, and laying before his brother Pandits the following questions for consideration;-

  1. Are or are not the Brahmanas entitled to be as much believed in as the Samhita portion – the Vedas, and are or are not the other Smritis as much worthy of being accepted as the Manu Smriti is?
  2. Are or are not we allowed, according to the Shastras, to worship Shiva, Vishnu, Durga, and other gods and goddesses; to perform the Shradhs, in honor of the departed ancestors; to reside at and bathe in Tiraths like the Ganges, living and bathing at Kurushetra, and other Tiraths and Kshetras?
  3. Does not the word ‘Agni’ occurring in mantras like Agni mile prohitam, etc., mean God or Fire?
  4. Are Agnihotra and other Yajnas performed for the purification of oar and water, or for obtaining heaven (swarga), etc.?
  5. Is or is it not a sin to belittle the ‘Brahmana portion of the Veda?’
Pandit Ram Subramania Shashtri replied to the questions, seriatim, and we give the substance of what he said:-
  • ’In the Veda Samhita it is written that whatever Manu said, is worthy of acceptance; hence the Manu Smriti is worthy of acceptance then the Veda, which enjoins the acceptance thereof, will also become unworthy of acceptance. Dayanand Saraswati has accepted the Manu Smriti (as authoritative), and he ahs declared as such in his Satyarth Prakash also. And similarly, there are many arguments which prove that the Brahmana portion is fully as worthy of being believed in (i.e. is authoritative) as Samhita, and that the Vishnu, Yajanavalk and other Smritis are, in every way, on a level with the Manu Smriti.
  • ’all these (worship of Shiva, etc.), are allowed in the Shastras. The worship, the establishing, etc., of the Shivalinga, according to the well-known shloka of the Purana, bear all the fruit attendant on worship (pujan). There are many other shlokas (the speaker cited these too) which say that the worship of Shiva, Vishnu, and Durga is allowed in the Shastras, and that whoever neglects the worship, commits a sin for which prayaschit has to be performed. The worship of idols also is supported by a passage in the Brahmanas. Dayanand is wrong in interpreting the passage as meaning that it speaks of the dwellings of the sages and of Brahmaloka, etc. As to Shradhs, the word pitriman occurs in the Vedas and it proves that Shradhs in honor of the departed are allowable.
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    The Smritis say that whoever say does not perform Shradhs in honor of the departed is born in the race of Chandals for thousands of generations. This shows that Shradhs and Tarpans are allowed both by Shruti and Smriti. And the Tiraths are mentioned in the Rigveda. It is said there that bathing in the Ganges etc., gets one heaven (swarga) and destroys one’s sins in the Manu Smriti it is said that bathing in the Ganges and living at Kurukshetra is an expiation for lying.’
  • ’The word Agni in such mantra means Fire.
  • ’The object of the Yajnas is to secure Swarga to the Soul, and the performance of the same does obtain one Swarga.
  • ’The Brahmanas being part and parcel of the Vedas to belittle them is to belittle the Vedas: in other words, it is a sin to speak disparagingly of the Brahamanas.'

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"The man who resolves, 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 devotee of truth. This devotion to truth becomes an unerring source of power and greatness." Swami Dayanand

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