20 Unknown Facts About Swami Dayanand Saraswati

Who was Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati?

Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Early Life, Family and Education

Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati was born on 12 February 1824. He was born at Tankara located in Gujarat, India. 

20 Unknown Facts About Swami Dayanand Saraswati

His original name is Mool Shankar Tiwari. His Father was Karshanji Lalji Tiwari and his Mother Named Yashodabai. 

They brought up in a religious, wealthy brahmin family. 
Their family was a fierce follower of Lord Shiva.

His family was profoundly religious that's why Mool Shankar learns religious rituals, purity, devoutness and the importance of fasting at a very early age. He was a renowned scholar of Vedic knowledge. 

He performed Yajnopavita Sanskara as 8 years old that initiated Mool Shankar into the world of Brahmanism. He observed all rituals with very honesty. 


His family was profoundly religious that's why Mool Shankar learn religious rituals, purity, devoutness and the importance of fasting at a very early age.

He became skilled in Sanskrit. He observed all rituals very honestly and imbibed the wisdom of Hindu scriptures, especially the Vedas. 

Gradually, certain incidents that occurred during his childhood, made young Mool Shankar contemplate the larger meaning of life.

Such as one incident was that the Mool Shankar always seated awake the whole night in adherence for Lord Shiva on Shivaratri. On one such night, he saw a mouse eating the offerings to God and running over the idol's body. After seeing this, he questioned himself, if God could not defend himself against a little mouse then how could he be the savior of the grand world.

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Such as one another big incident was the death of his younger sister. He began asking questions about life, death and the afterlife to his parents to which they had no answers. On being asked to get married following societal traditions, Mool Shankar ran away from home to search for the truth.

Who is the guru of Maharishi Dayanand?

Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati spent almost 25 years errant to found a deep perspective of life and its meaning. 

From 1845 to 1869 as a devotee he visited temples, met with sages and yogis, as well as spent time in Himalayan retreats. At last, he arrived at Mathura where he met Swami Virajananda  Dandeesha. 

Mool Shankar became his disciple and Swami Virajananda  Dandeesha directed him to learn directly from the Vedas. 

He found all his questions regarding life, death and the afterlife answered during his study. 

Swami Dayanand Saraswati took up the study of the Vedas under his guru’s guidance. 

When the time came for Mool Shankar to leave the ashram then Swami Virajananda  Dandeesha entrusted Mool Shankar with the task of spreading Vedic knowledge throughout the society and rechristened him as Rishi Dayanand. 
Rishi Dayanand Saraswati promised Swami Virajananda  Dandeesha that he will devote his complete life to expand the teachings of the Vedas.

Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati was fully convinced that the lack of knowledge was the main culprit behind the adulteration of Hinduism.

He was a universally revered figure and one of American Spiritualist Andrew Jackson Davis called him Maharishi Dayanand “Son of God".

Today, the Arya Samaj is very active not only in India but also in other parts of the world. The United States, Canada, Trinidad, Mexico, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Malawi, Mauritius, Pakistan, Burma, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia are some of the countries where the Samaj has its branches.

Why is Swami Dayanand Saraswati Famous?

Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati founded Arya Samaj on 7th April 1875 in Bombay. 

He believed that “all actions should be performed with the prime objective of benefiting mankind.” 

Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati firmly believed that Hinduism had diverged from its founding principles and his life was dedicated to reviving Vedic ideologies.

He was the first Indian to raise voice for the freedom of India against British rule in 1876. 

Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati not involved directly in politics but He influenced and inspired a large number of freedom fighters such as Ram Prasad Bismil, Subhas Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh and Lala Lajpat Rai. Bhagat Singh was an alumnus of the Dayanand Anglo Vedic School in Lahore. His grandfather, Arjun Singh also followed Arya Samaj. 

His political observations were the source of inspiration for a number of political leaders during India’s struggle for independence.  

In 1876, his voice was first to say for Swaraj as "India for Indians” later it follows up by Lokmanya Tilak.

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How Did Swami Dayanand Saraswati contribute to our Society?

1. Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati founded Arya Samaj on 7th April 1875 in Bombay. It was a Hindu reforms movement, meaning "society of the nobles".


2. The philosophy of Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati can be known from his three famous contributions namely “Satyartha Prakash”, ”Veda Bhashya Bhumika” and “Veda Bhashya Bhumika” and Veda Bhashya. Further, the journal “Arya Patrika' edited by him also reflects his thought.


3. Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati only aimed to re-establish the Vedas teachings. He wanted to spread knowledge among people about the principles of the Vedas and to promote qualities that he was considered were truly divine.


4. Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati was an Indian philosopher, social leader and founder of the Arya Samaj, a reform movement of the Vedic dharma. He was given the epithet of Maharishi and is considered one of the Makers of Modern India.


5. Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati established Gurukuls where his followers learned about the principles of the Vedas. The first Dayanand Anglo Vedic High School was founded on June 1, 1886, with Lala Hansraj as the headmaster. The curriculum combined knowledge of the Vedas and contemporary English education. After his death, his followers set up the Dayanand Anglo Vedic College Trust and Management Society.


6. Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati wrote an estimated 60 books, the most important among them was Satyarth Prakash (The Light of Truth).


7. Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati was the first Indian to raise voice for the freedom of India against British rule in 1876.


8. Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati strongly backed the granting of equal rights for all and also emphasized the need for the social uplift of women and of the underprivileged sections.


9. The Arya Samaj programs support widow remarriage and women's education in the 1880s. He proclaimed that an educated man needs an educated wife for the overall benefit of society.


10. Preserving the purity of the faith was the utmost importance for him.  He believed in human life and condoned the exercise of Ahimsa or non-violence. He was against other social evils like superstitions and caste segregation.


What were the main principles of the Arya Samaj?

He wrote 10 important principles of Arya Samaj that are following by millions around the world.

1. God is the efficient cause of all true knowledge and all that is known through knowledge.


2. The purpose of the Samaj was to move the Hindu religion away from fictitious beliefs. 'Krinvan to Vishvam Aryam" was the motto of the Samaj, which means, "Make this world noble".


3. God is existent, intelligent and blissful. He is formless, omniscient, just, merciful, unborn, endless, unchangeable, beginning-less, unequaled, the support of all, the master of all, omnipresent, immanent, un-aging, immortal, fearless, eternal and holy, and the maker of all. He alone is worthy of being worshiped.


4. The Vedas are the scriptures of all true knowledge. It is the paramount duty of all of us to read, teach, and recite them and hear.


5. One should always be ready to accept the truth and to renounce untruths. All acts should be performed in accordance with Dharma that is, after deliberating what is right and wrong.


6. The prime object of the Arya Samaj is to do good to the world, that is, to promote the physical, spiritual and social good of everyone.


7. Our conduct towards all should be guided by love, righteousness and justice.


8. We should repel Avidya (ignorance) and promote Vidya (knowledge).


9. The Arya Samaj not only sought spiritual reorganization of the Indian psyche but also worked towards abolishing various social issues.


10. No one should be content with promoting his/her good only; on the contrary, one should look for his/her good in promoting the good of all.


When was Saraswati Dayanand died?

Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati strongly resisted social ills and outdated religious practices as an outspoken person. 

In the same, he made many enemies and many of whom also tried to harm him but he always survived from many attempts till 29th September 1883, until his own cook gave him a glass of poisoned (pieces of glass mixed in milk glass) milk. 

The Swami Dayanand suffered in pain for a month and died on October 30, 1883, in Ajmer, Rajputana.

The places Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati visited during his lifetime were often changed culturally as a result.

Written by Papori Goswami
Writer and Translater