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Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati

(12 Feb 1824 - 30 Oct 1883)


Dayanand Saraswati was a Hindu religious leader who founded the reform movement,
Arya Samaj. This biography of Dayanand Saraswati provides detailed information about
his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline
QUICK FACTS

Also Listed In : Spiritual & Religious Leaders, Social


Reformers
Also Know As
: Mool Shankar Tiwari
Nationality
: Indian Famous Indian Men
Birth Date
: 12th February, 1824 AD
Died At Age
: 59
Sun Sign
: Aquarius Aquarius Men
Born In
: Tankara, Gujarat
Father
: Karshanji Lalji Tiwar
Mother
: Yashodabai
Married
: No
Died On
: 30 October 1883 AD
Place Of Death
: Ajmer, Rajasthan India
Dayanand Saraswati, a prominent Hindu religious leader and a Vedic scholar was the first Indian to voice his
right for freedom of India from British rule in 1876. A highly intelligent and rational personality, he was way
ahead of his times. He was a staunch believer in the Vedic tradition and denounced idol worship and the
rituals that were very wide spread during him time
A scholar in Vedic lore and Sanskrit he aspired to wean the Indians away from
meaningless rituals and guided them towards true Vedic ideologies. Even as a
young boy he was inclined towards asceticism and ran away from home when
his parents tried to arrange his marriage with a girl of their choice. He was
deeply devoted to God and translated the Vedas from Vedic Sanskrit to
Sanskrit and Hindi so that the common man could also read them. A
visionary, he called for the equality of rights of all human beings irrespective
of gender, religion or social standing.
Among his biggest contributions to mankind was the founding of the Arya Samaj, a
socio-cultural movement that promoted true Vedic learning and worked for the
upliftment of the society.
Childhood & Early Life

He was born as Mool Shankar in Gujarat, India, to Karshanji Tiwari and his wife Yashodabai. His
family was Brahmin by caste. His father, a tax collector, was a rich and influential person.

He had a comfortable upbringing as his family was financially well off. His father was a staunch
believer in Lord Shiva and also made his children pray to the lord and keep fasts. As a boy he was
educated about the Vedas and Sanskrit.

Certain incidents in his childhood made him think about the meaning of lifethe death of his
younger sister was one of them. His parents, troubled by the questions their son had begun to ask
tried to get him married.

Young Mool Shankar realized that family life was not for him and ran away from home.
Later Life

Shocked by the death of his little sister, he roamed around as an ascetic searching for answers to his questions
about life and death. From 1845 to 1869 he wandered all over India looking for the truth. He visited
temples, met many yogis, and even spent time in Himalayan retreats. But no one could give him the answers
he was seeking.

He finally found what he sought when he arrived at Mathura one day. There he found Swami Virajanand
Dandeesha and became his disciple. Virajanand gave the young man some invaluable advicehe was asked to
throw away all his books and seek knowledge directly from the Vedas.

He completed his Vedic education under the guidance of his guru who also asked him to spread the
knowledge of Vedas among the masses as the common man was moving away from the true knowledge of the
Vedas and getting entangled in meaningless rituals
Swami Virajanand christened Mool Shankar as Rishi Dayanand when the time came for him to leave the
ashram. Dayanand promised to his teacher and mentor that he would devote his life to disseminating the
teachings of the Vedas.

As promised to his Guru ji, Dayanand formed the Arya Samaj at Bombay in April 1875. Formed with the
motto of Krinvanto Vishvam Aryam" (Make this world noble), it was a socio-cultural movement aimed at
reforming the society by making the people aware of true Vedic knowledge.

The Arya Samaj was based on ten principles which were based on the Vedas but were distinct from the
prevalent practices of Hinduism at that time
Dayanand did not want to create another religion; he just wanted to re-establish the teachings of the ancient
Vedas.

In 1875 he wrote the book Satyarth Prakash, meaning The Light of Truth which is considered one of his
major scholarly works. The book mainly deals with the reformist policies he advocated and a comparative
study of different faiths in India.

He wanted people to think for themselves and analyze whatever religion taught them instead of blindly
following it. He aimed for the upliftment of the society through spiritual and social reforms.
Major Works:

He founded the Arya Samaj which was an organization for teaching the true Vedic
religion and also a social reform movement.

He fought for equal rights for all and emphasized on social upliftment of women and
the so-called lower caste.

He denounced superstitions and condemned practices such as animal sacrifices.


Personal Life & Legacy

Even as a youngster Dayanand had been interested in asceticism and ran away from home as a teenager in search
of truth.

He was a very outspoken person who bravely fought against the ill-practices of the society and was vocal in his
criticism of meaningless religious practices. Because of this many people turned against him and had tried to kill
him.

He was given a glass of poisoned milk by his own cook on 29 September 1883; the cook had been bribed by
someone to kill him. The swami suffered in pain for a whole month before leaving for his heavenly abode on 30
October 1883.