Birthday Special: Swami Dayanand Saraswati, founder of Arya Samaj

Feb 11 2019 05:21 PM
Birthday Special: Swami Dayanand Saraswati, founder of Arya Samaj

Swami Dayanand Saraswati was more than a religious leader of India who left deep impact on the Indian society. He was born on February 12, 1824, at Tankara, Gujarat. His parents was  Karshanji Lalji Tiwari (Father) and Yashodabai (Mother). His early education was Self-taught.

He founded the Arya Samaj that brought about changes in the religious perception of Indians. He voiced his opinions against idolatry and the pointless emphasis on empty ritualism, and man-made dictates that women are not allowed to read the Vedas. His idea of denouncing the caste system inherited by oneself in lieu of their birth was nothing short of radical. He brought about a complete overhaul of the education system by introducing Anglo-Vedic schools to offer Indian students an updated curriculum teaching both the knowledge of the Vedas along with contemporary English education. Although he was never really involved in politics directly, his political observations were the source of inspiration for a number of political leaders during India’s struggle for independence. He was given the epithet of Maharishi and is considered as one of the Makers of Modern India.

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Dayanand Saraswati was born on February 12, 1824 in Tankara, Gujarat as Mool Shankar to Karshanji Lalji Tiwari and Yashodabai. His affluent and influential Brahmin family was an ardent follower of Lord Shiva. The family being deeply religious, Mool Shankar was taught religious rituals, piety and purity, importance of fasting from a very early age. The Yajnopavita Sanskara or the investiture of the "twice-born" was performed, when he was 8 and that initiated Mool Shankar into the world of Brahmanism. He would observe these rituals with much honesty. On the occasion of Shivaratri, Mool Shankar would sit awake the whole night in obedience to Lord Shiva. On one such night, he saw a mouse eating the offerings to the God and running over the idol's body. After seeing this, he questioned himself, if the God could not defend himself against a little mouse then how could he be the saviour of the massive world.

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