Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati

Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati

Why in news:

  • Recently Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati 200th birth anniversary celebrations has been started and will be celebrated for next two years.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the ceremony said that the Arya Samaj founder removed “all evils falsely attributed to religion with the light of religion itself”.

More about Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati:

  • Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, (12 February 1824 – 30 October 1883) also known as Maharshi Dayanand.
  • He was an Indian philosopher, socialleader and founder of the Arya Samaj, a reform movement of the Vedic dharma.
  • He was the first to give the call for Swarajas “India for Indians” in 1876, a call later taken up by Lokmanya Tilak.
  • Denouncing the idolatry and ritualistic worship, he worked towards reviving Vedic.
  • He believed in the infallibleauthority of the Vedas.
  • Dayananda advocated the doctrine of Karma and Reincarnation.
  • He emphasized the Vedic ideals of brahmacharya, including celibacy and devotion to God.
  • Among Dayananda’s contributions were his promoting of the equal rights for women, such as the right to education and reading of Indian scriptures,  and his commentary on the Vedas from Vedic Sanskritin Sanskrit as well as in Hindi.
  • He believed that Hinduism had been corrupted by divergence from the founding principles of the Vedas and that Hindus had been misled by the priesthood for the priests’ self-aggrandizement.

Arya Samaj:

  • It is a monotheistic Indian Hindu reform movement that promotes values and practices based on the belief in the infallible authority of the Vedas.
  • The samaj was founded by the sannyasi(ascetic) Dayanand Saraswation 7 April 1875.
  • Arya Samaj was the first Hindu organization to introduce proselytization in Hinduism.
  • The organization has also worked towards the growth of civil rights movement in India since 1800s.

Syllabus: Prelims + Mains; GS1 – History and Culture