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Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti

Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti

Every year, we celebrate Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti on February 26th to honor his birth anniversary. According to the traditional Hindu calendar, Dayanand Saraswati was born on the Dashami Tithi of Phalguna Krishna Paksha.

About Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati

  • Swami Dayanand Saraswati was born on 12th February 1824 in Tankara, Gujarat in a Brahmin family. His parents, Lalji Tiwari and Yashodhabai were orthodox Brahmin.
  • He was earlier named Mool Shankar Tiwari as he was born during Mool Nakshatra.
  • He wandered as an ascetic for fifteen years (1845-60) in search of truth. Dayananda published his views in his famous work, Satyarth Prakash (The True Exposition).
Contribution to the Society:
  • He was an Indian philosopher, social leader and founder of the Arya Samaj.
  • He was a self-taught man and a great leader of India leaving a significant impact on Indian society.
  • During his life, he carved out a prominent name for himself and gained recognition among a wide array of princes and the public.
  • His vision of India included a classless and casteless society, a united India (religiously, socially and nationally), and an India free from foreign rule, with Aryan religion being the common religion of all.
  • He took inspiration from the Vedas and considered them to be ‘India’s Rock of Ages’, the infallible and the true original seed of Hinduism.
  • He gave the slogan “Back to the Vedas”. He subscribed to the Vedic notion of chaturvarna system in which a person was not born in any caste but was identified as a brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya or shudra according to the occupation the person followed.
Contribution to the Education System:
  • He introduce a complete overhaul of the education system. Thus he is often consider as one of the visionaries of modern India.
  • The DAV (Dayanand Anglo Vedic) schools came into existence in 1886 to realize the vision of Swami Dayanand Saraswati.
  • The first DAV School was established at Lahore with Mahatma Hansarj as the headmaster.

What is Arya Samaj?

  • Arya Samaj is a movement that aims to reform Vedic dharma, the ancient Hindu way of life. Someone founded it in 1876, calling for “India for Indians” and seeking to re-establish the Vedas as the ultimate truth. This movement rejects later additions to the Vedas but includes some post-Vedic ideas in its interpretation.
  • The first Arya Samaj unit was formally established in Mumbai in 1875, and later its headquarters were set up in Lahore. In the 1920s and early 1930s, tensions arose over various issues, including the Arya Samaj’s efforts to bring back those who had recently converted to Islam.
  • The Arya Samaj has a significant following in western and northern India and opposes practices like idol worship, animal sacrifice, caste discrimination based on birth, untouchability, and more. It emphasizes the importance of the Vedas, the concepts of karma and samsara, the sanctity of the cow, and social reforms.
  • The movement actively promotes female education, encourages inter-caste marriages, and establishes missions, orphanages, and homes for widows. Additionally, it contributes to famine relief and medical work through a network of schools and colleges.

Read Also: Raja Ram Mohan Roy

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