Swami Dayanand Saraswati & Arya Samaj

Arya Samaj:

  • Mula Shankar, later known as Dayanand Saraswati, was born in 1824 in a Brahmin family, in the petty state of Morvi, Kathiawar in Gujarat.
  • Left home at the age of 21 & wandering for 15 years in search of knowledge.
  • At last, in 1860, he found his guru in Swami Virjananda Saraswati, a blind Sanyasi at Mathura.
  • He translated the vedas & wrote three books-
  1. Satyartha Prakash (the truth exposition) in Hindi. Central theme – Dualist doctrine of mind & matter.
  2. Veda Bhasya Bhumika – an introduction to his vedic community.
  3. Veda Bhasya – a vedic commentary in Sanskrit on the Yajurveda & the major part of the Rigveda.
  • With the help of Mahadev Govind Ranade, he founded Arya Samaj (Society of Nobles) at Bombay in 1875 & later shifted to Lahore in 1877.
  • He looked upon the Vedas as ‘India’s Rock of Ages’. He believed that the Hindu religion & the Vedas on which it was based were eternal, unalterable, infallible & divine. Therefore, he gave the slogan ‘Go back to the Vedas’ & ‘the Vedas are the source of all knowledge’.
  • The Samaj opposed the domination of priestly classes, encouraged widow remarriages, founded schools & colleges, hospitals, providing social service. 
  • The Samaj was associated with the controversial ‘Shuddhi‘ (Purification) movement, which created communal hatred in Punjab, U.P. & other parts of north India where Arya Samaj was stronger.
  • Another plank in the programme of the Arya Samaj, which led to serious trouble, was protection of the cow. In 1882 the Arya Samaj formed a ‘Cow Protection Association‘.
  • Greatest Contribution – in  the field of Education.
  • After the death of Dayanand in 1883 in Ajmer, his disciples were divided in to two groups.
  • Liberal Group– led by Lala Hansraj & Lala Lajpat Rai set up Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College at Lahore in 1886, where both Western & Indian knowledge was imparted.
  • Orthodox Group– led by Lala Munshi Ram (Swami Shraddhanand) demanded Sanskrit as the medium & founded The Gurukul University at Kangdi, Haridwar, in 1902.
  • Split in Arya Samaj – 1892.

Montagu Declaration or August Declaration [1917]The Left Movement and Congress Socialist Party
Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms or the Government of India Act 1919State Peoples Movement
The Government of India Act 1935Popular resistance to company rule– NIOS

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