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One True Religion
The ten principles
Gayatri Mantra
A tribute
Light of Truth
Preface and Introduction
Satyartha Prakasha
Swami Dayanand
Sandhya (Prayer)
Homa (Agnihotra)
We repeatedly bow unto God Who is a true personificaton
of Existence, Consciousness, and Bliss.
Publisher's note and Introduction
How the second edition is an improvement upon the first.
Contents of Book
The aim of the author in writing this book.
The author has taken no sides in the way of jarring creeds.
A detailed statement of the contents of chapters dealing with religions other than Vedic
How to judge the spirit of an author's teaching.

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"Satyarth Prakash" (Light of Truth) is the Magnum opus of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the illustrious founder of the Arya Samaj. It occupies a prominent place in the classical Religious and Philosophical literature of the world. It is regarded as the Bible of the Arya Samaj and is as immortal as the truth is.

It is, in fact, the beacon light leading people from darkness to light, irrationality to rationality, irreligion to religion, and nescience to science. It embodies the teachings of Swami Dayananda Saraswati on all matters religious, social, educational, political and moral, also his beliefs and disbeliefs and the way of life as envisage by the Vedas and the Vedic culture, which prevailed throughout the whole World about 5000 years back, when enlightenment, peace, and prosperity was at the Zenith of its glory.

It presents a charter of life at once sublime and noble. It contains principles and rules of conduct to all. In short, it makes people mold and better their lives on the lines which were chalked out by the Vedas and the pattern laid down by what is the best in ancient Vedic heritage, whose living symbol was the Swami himself.

Author's comments on the tenets and working of various religious denominations were made in good faith and were not motivated, as the author has envisaged, for injuring the susceptibilities of their adherents. He meant to bring forth truth to light and prevent the perpetration of "Adharma" (unrighteousness) in the name of 'Dharma ' (righteousness). In fact, it gave the incentive especially to the divines of those faiths to revise their teachings and give them a rational tone. The object of the Maharshi in writing this volume, to quote his own words, is as under:-

'There is not the remotest idea to hurt the feelings of any person either directly or indirectly; but on the contrary, the book proposes that men should distinguish truth from falsehood. Thus alone can the human race steadily advance on the path of happiness, since none but the preaching of truth is the cause of the improvement of the human family."
It is widely read by the people living in India and overseas. This treatise was written in Hindi so as to enable both classes and the masses to be benefitted by it and has been availed by crores of people. It has been translated in all the principal regional languages of India as well as in English, French, German, Chinese and Burmese.

The present is the new edition of the English Translation rendered by the late Shri Dr. Chrianjiva Gharadwaya. It enjoys greater popularity and has already run into a number of editions. The Sabha has brought it out to meet a great and persistent demand as a present on the sacred occasion of Arya Samaj Foundation Centenary which is being celebrated all over the world this year under the Sabha's aegis.

Our thanks are due to Dr. Satyakam Bharadwaja (son of the learned Translator) and his family, who have to give cooperation in the publication of this volume and also to Shri Pandit Narendra, the Convener of the Sarvadeshik Arya Samaj Foundation Centenary Committee for his valuable assistance in making this edition attractive and worthwhile in all respects.

We very much appreciate the cooperation of Bharat Mudranalaya and its partner, Shri Bharat Bhushan, Chairman, Special Zonal Committee (Shahdara), Municipal Corporation, Delhi for the speedy and nice printing.

Omprakash Tyagi, M.P.,
Sarvadeshik Arya Printinidhi Sabha,
Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Bhawan,
Ramlila Maidan,
New Delhi 110001, India
Dated o2 04 1975


Page I
How the second edition is an improvement upon the first
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At the time when the first edition to this book, called the Satyarth Prakasha, was published and before that, we spoke Sanskrit and made use of the same in reading and writing, while our mother-tongue was Gujarati. For this reason, we had poor knowledge of the language (i.e. Arya Bhasha) in which this book is written.

Consequently the language of the first edition was very defective. Now that we have acquired fair practice in speaking and writing Bhasha, we have corrected the language in accordance with the rules of grammar and brought out his (second) edition. Emendations in words, idioms and the construction of sentences have been made here and there because it was found absolutely necessary to do so. But not alteration had been made in the subject matter, through some new matter has been added. The book has been carefully revised, and misprints, which had crept into the first edition, having been carefully corrected.

This book is divided into 14 chapters. Out of these the first ten constitute the first part, while the remaining four form the second part. But the last two chapters and "A Statement of my Beliefs" were, through some cause, left out in the first edition and have been incorporated into this edition.

Contents of Book
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  • Chapter I is an exposition of "Om" and other names of God.
  • Chapter II treats of the up-bringing of children.
  • Chapter treats of the upbringing of children.
  • Chapter III treats of Brahmacharya, the duties and qualifications of scholars and teachers, good and bad books and the scheme of studies.
  • Chapter IV treats of marriage and married life.
  • Chapter V treats of Vanaprastha, (the Order of Asceticism) and of Sanyas Ashrama (the Order of Renunciation).

    Page ii

  • Chapter VI treats of Raj Dharma (Science of Government).
  • Chapter VII treats of the Veda and God.
  • Chapter VIII treats of the Creation, Sustenance and Dissolution of the Universe.
  • Chapter IX treats of knowledge and ignorance, and emancipation and bondage.
  • Chapter X treats of Conduct "desirable and undesirable, and of Diet permissible and forbidden.
  • Chapter XI contains a criticism of the various religions and sects prevailing in India.
  • Chapter XII treats of the Charvaka, Buddha (Buddhist) and Jain religions.
  • Chapter XIII treats of Christianity (the Bible).
  • Chapter XIV treats of Muhammadism (Qur'an).At the end of the book we have given a summary of the teachings of the Eternal Vedic Religion which we profess.

    The aim of the author in writing this book.
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    My chief aim in writing this book is to unfold the truth. I have expounded truth as truth and error is error.
    The exposition of error in place of truth and of truth in place of error does not constitute the unfolding of truth.

    To speak of, write about, and believe in a thing as it is, constitutes truth. He that is prejudiced tries to prove that even his error is the truth, while the truth of his religions opponent is the error. He cannot, therefore, know what the true religion is. Hence it is the bounden duty of truthful and learned men to unfold this right nature of truth and error before all men in their writings and speeches and then to leave them free to judge what promotes their welfare and what is prejudicial to their interests and to embrace what is true and reject what is false.

    This will lead to the happiness of the people at large. Though the human souls possess the capacity for ascertaining the truth, yet through self-interest, obstinacy, wrong-headedness, ignorance and the like, it is led to renounce truth and incline towards untruth. We have freed ourselves from these influences while writing this book. It is not our object to hurt anyone's susceptibilities or to injure anyone. On the other hand, our aim is to further the advancement and advance the well-being

    Page iii
    to help (all) humankind in the attainment of what is right, and to enable them to accept the truth and reject falsehood. In our opinion, there is no other way of elevating the human race.

    All errors or omissions, typographical or otherwise, on being pointed out to us, will be rectified, but no heed will be paid to anything that is said or written through prejudice with the object of unnecessarily criticizing this book. Of course, any suggestions made by persons actuated with the spirit of furthering the welfare of humanity, on being found good, will be most acceptable.

    There are undoubtedly many learned men among the followers of every religion. Should they free themselves from prejudice, accept the universal truths, that is those truths that are to be found alike in all religions and are of universal application-, reject all things in which the various religions differ and treat each other lovingly, it will be greatly to the advantage of the world, for it cannot be denied that differences among the learned create bad blood among the ignorant masses. This leads to the multiplication of all sorts of sorrows and sufferings and destroys human happiness.

    This evil, which is so dear to the heart of the selfish, has hurled mankind into the deepest depths of misery. Whoever tries to do anything with the object of benefiting mankind is opposed by selfish people and various kinds of obstacles are thrown away. But finding solace in the belief that ultimately truth must conquer and not error and that it is the path of rectitude alone that men and women of learning and piety have always trodden, true teachers never become indifferent to the promotion of public good and never give up the promulgation of truth.

    It is our firm belief that everything calculated to the advancement of knowledge and righteousness is like poison, to begin with but like nectar in the end. We have kept all this in view while writing this book. Let all those who read or hear it being read keep an open mind, enter into the spirit of the author and form an independent opinion.

    The author has taken no sides in the way of jarring creeds.
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    We have incorporated into this book whatever is true in all religions and in harmony with their highest teachings but have refuted whatever is false in them. We have exposed to the view of men learned for otherwise - all evil practices whether resorted to secretly or openly. This will help our readers to discuss

  • Page iv
    religious questions in a spirit of love and embrace the one true religion. Though we were born in Aryavarta (India) and still live in it, yet just as we do not defend the evil doctrines and practice of the religions prevailing in our own country, on the other hand, expose them properl in like manner we deal with alien religions.

    We treat the foreigners in the same way as we treat our own countrymen in recognition of our common humanity. It behooves all the rest to act likewise. Had we taken the side of oyne of the prevailing religions of India; we would have but followed (blindly) the example of sectarians who extol, defend and preach their own religion and decry, refute and check the progress of other creeds. In our opinion, however, such things are beneath the dignity of man.

    Should a man act like an animal, which if strong, oppresses the weak and even puts them to death, he is more an animal than a man. He alone can fitly be called a man who is strong protects the weak. He that injures others in order to gain his selfish ends can only be called a big animal.

    A detailed statement of the contents of chapters dealing with religions other than Vedic.
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    In the first eleven chapters, we have chiefly dealt with the religions of the people of Aryavarta (India). We believe in the religion that has been expounded in the first to 10th chapters as it is in harmony with the Vedic teachings, but we disbelieve in the false teachings of the Puranas (which are of a recent origin) the Tantras and the like books which we have condemned (in the 11th chapter).

    In the twelfth chapter we have discussed the Charvaka faith aw well as the Jain and the Buddhist religions. The Charvaka greatly resembles the Jain and the Buddhist religions in being an atheistic creed and in many other respects.

    It has greatly declined in our day but it is the most atheistic of all; hence it is absolutely necessary to check its activity. If nothing be done to eradicate false ideas and practices, disastrous consequences are sure to follow. The Buddhist and the Jain religions are also dealt with along the Charvaka in the twelfth Chapter and we have set forth their points of agreement and of difference with one other. The reader should consult that Chapter for further information on the subject. In our criticism of the

    Page v
    Buddhis religion we have quoted the most ancient and authentic books of the Buddhists, such as Dipavansha, Baudhamata Sahgraha and Sarvadarshana Sangraha, etc.

  • ~ Four Sutra books:-
    1. Avaashyaka Sutra
    2. Vishesha Avashyaka Sutra
    3. Daha Vaikalika Sutra
    4. Pakshika Sutra.
  • ~ Eleven Angas (Limbs):-
    1. Acharanga Sutra
    2. Sugadanga Sutra
    3. Thaananga Sutra
    4. Samavayanga Sutra
    5. Bhagvati Sutra
    6. Jnatadharma Katha Sutra
    7. Upasakadasha Sutra
    8. Antagada Dasha Sutra
    9. Anuttarovavai Sutra
    10. Vipaaka Sutra
    11. Prashnavyakarana Sutra
  • Twelve Upangas (Sublims):-
    1. Upavai Sutra
    2. Rayapseni Sutra
    3. Jivabhigama Sutra
    4. Pannavana Sutra
    5. Jambudwipapannati Sutra
    6. Chandapannati Sutra
    7. Surapannati Sutra
    8. Niriyavali Sutra
    9. Kepyiya Sutra
    10. Kapabarhisaya Sutra
    11. Puppyyia Sutras
    12. papyachuliya Sutra
  • ~ Five Kalpa Sutras:-
    1. Uttaradhayana Sutra
    2. Nishitha Sutra
    3. Kalpa Sutra
    4. Vyavahara Sutra
    5. ~ Jitakalpa Sutra
  • Six Chhedas:-
    1. Mahabnishithav Rihadvachana
    2. Mahanishithala ghuvachana Sutra
    3. Madhyamavachana Sutra
    4. Pindianirukti Sutra
    5. Ougha nirukti Sutra
    6. Paryushana Sutra
  • ~ Ten Payanna Sutras:-
    1. Chatussarna Sutra
    2. Panchakhans Sutra
    3. Tadulavaiyalika Sutra
    4. Bhaktiparijnana Sutra
    5. Mahapratyaknyana Sutra
    6. Chandavijaya Stura
    7. Ganivijanya Sutra
    8. Marana Samadhi Sutra
    9. Devendarstamana Sutra
    10. Sansar Sutra
    11. Nandi Sutra and Yogoddhara Sutra are also regarded as authentic.
    Page vi
  • ~ Four Panchangas:-
    1. Translations of the above books
    2. Nirukti (Etymological explanations) of the above-mentioned books
    3. Charani (Poetical expositions)
    4. Bhashya (Commentaries).
    These four constitute what are called Avayasas (parts).All the books (mentioned under the above headings) are original.

    The Dhundia sect does not believe in the Avayasas. There are many other books besides the above that is believed in by the Jains. Their religion is discussed in detail in the twelfth chapter.

    There are million of repetitions in the Jain books. It should be borne in mind that some of the Jains are in the habit of disavowing books that fall into the hands of non-Jains or are published. They are, not at all, justified in doing so since books that are believed in by some, though repudiated by others, cannot be said to be unauthentic. Of course a book that is not believed in by any Jaini nor has even been unauthentic, but they're not a single book (referred to by us in our criticism) which is not believed in by some Jains at least; hence our criticism of Jain book will hold good for him who believes in that particular book.

    But there are many Jains who though they really believe in a book repudiate it in public controversy. The Jains hide their books from non-Jains and do not let others see them, because they are full of absurdities to such an extent that no Jaini could ever answer nay objections urged against them. The best answer, however, that one could give to an objection raised against false belief is to give it up.

    How to judge the spirit of an author's teaching.
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    In the thirteenth chapter, we have discussed Christianity. Its followers believe the Bible to be their Holy Book. For further information, the reader is requested to consult the said chapter. Muhammadanism has been dealt with in the fourteenth chapter. Its followers hold the Q'uran to be their sacred book. The reader is advised to consult this chapter for detailed information on the subject. Then we have given a brief summary of the teachings of the Vedic religion. Whosoever will read this book with a biased mind will fail to understand what the author's aim (in writing this book) is,

    Page vii
    There are four elements necessary to convey a complete sense of a passage, viz:-

    1. Akankasha consists in entering the spirit of the speaker or the author.
    2. Yogyata in the fitness of compatibility of sense. For instance, when it is said "water irrigates" there is nothing absurd in the mutual connection between the objects signified by the words.
    3. Asatti consists in regarding or speaking words in proper sequence, i.e., without detaching them from their context.
    4. Tatparya is to give the same meaning to the words of a writer or a speaker which he intended that they should convey..
    There are many people who, through bigotry and wrong-headedness, misconstrue the meaning of the author. The sectaries are the greatest sinners in this respect because their intellect is wrapped by bigotry. Just as we have studied the Jain and Buddhist scriptures, the Puranas, the Bible and the Q'uran with an unbiased mind and have accepted what is good in them and rejected what is false and endeavor for the betterment of all mankind, it behooves all good men to do likewise.

    We have but very briefly pointed out the defects of these religions. The perusal of this book will help men to sift truth from error and to embrace the former and renounce the latter. It does not become wise men to mislead people. The ignorant are sure to misinterpret what we say, but if the willing will realize what our aim is in writing this book, we shall consider our labor amply rewarded.

    We place this work before all men ins the hope that they will embrace the truth and make our labor fruitful. We consider it the first and foremost duty of every man to proclaim the truth without fear or favor. May the Omniscient, Omnipresent, Supreme Spirit Who is the true personification of Existence, Consciousness, and Bliss through His grace diffuse this spirit and give it permanence.

    A word to true seekers of truth
    Udeypur, 1939 Vikram,
    Bhadarpud Shukula Paksh
    (A.D. 1882).


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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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