Dayanand Saraswati:Biography, Role & Facts

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Dayanand Saraswati

Dayanand Saraswati was a thinker, philosopher, and social reformer from India. His ardent devotion to religious and social upliftment made him a pivotal figure in the 19th century. Born in 1824 in the region of Tankara in present-day Gujarat. He marked his position in Indian society through his beliefs, teachings, and the establishment of Arya Samaj. In this article, we will delve into the life, beliefs, and contributions of Dayanand Saraswati, along with his role in the Arya Samaj movement and his impact on India as a whole.

The Early Life of Dayanand Saraswati

  • Dayanand Saraswati was born in a Brahmin family as Mul Shankar Tiwari on 12th February 1824.
  • His father was Karshanji Lalji Tiwari who belonged to the Audichya Brahmin caste and his mother’s name was Yashodabai.
  • From an early age, he displayed a keen interest in the Vedas and Hindu scriptures.
  • He was well-versed in the ancient texts and showcased remarkable scholarly skills.
  • He ran from his family and home to lead an ascetic life and wandered in the Himalayas for 25 years.
  • He also used to practice yoga and his spiritual teacher was Virajanand Dandeesha.

Also Read – Brahmo Samaj: Founder, History, Significance

What were the Beliefs and Teachings of Dayanand Saraswati?

He staunchly believed in the principle of “back to the Vedas” and advocated for a return to the original teachings of Hinduism.

  • He vehemently opposed various social evils prevalent in society, such as the caste system, child marriage, and mistreatment of women.
  • Dayanand Saraswati emphasized the importance of monotheism and the worship of one supreme God.
  • He propagated the concept of “Satyarth Prakash,” a book that challenged the prevailing religious beliefs and practices.
  • Through his teachings, Dayanand Saraswati aimed to unite people and promote a spirit of universal brotherhood.

What was his role in Arya Samaj?

Dayanand Saraswati founded the Arya Samaj in 1875, inspired by his ideals and vision.

  • The Arya Samaj was a socio-religious movement aimed at reforming Hindu society and purifying Vedic practices.
  • Dayanand Saraswati intended to establish a society based on truth, purity, and righteousness.
  • The Arya Samaj advocated for the upliftment of women, education for all, and social equality.
  • His teachings became the guiding principles of the Arya Samaj, and the organization gained widespread support across the country.

Also Read – Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the Modernist Reformer of India

Contributions to India

He played a significant role in the Indian freedom movement by instilling a sense of nationalism and pride in Indian culture and heritage.

  • His relentless efforts towards eradicating social evils laid the foundation for a more progressive and inclusive society.
  • Saraswati’s emphasis on education led to the establishment of numerous educational institutions, empowering individuals from all sections of society.
  • He actively promoted the use of Indian languages and worked towards the upliftment of the marginalized sections of society.
  • Dayanand Saraswati’s influence extended beyond his lifetime, as his teachings and principles continue to inspire millions of people in modern-day India.

Interesting Facts about Dayanand Saraswati

  1. Dayanand Saraswati famously called for the abolition of untouchability, declaring that “everyone is born a Shudra (the lowest caste) and later becomes a Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, or Shudra based on their actions.”
  2. He organized “Shuddhi” ceremonies to reconvert people who had converted to other religions back to Hinduism.
  3. Dayanand Saraswati advocated for the use of Swadeshi products and the boycott of foreign goods, emphasizing economic self-reliance.
  4. He delivered captivating discourses and speeches, gathering immense public support and admiration.
  5. Dayanand Saraswati authored several books, including “Satyarth Prakash” and “Yajurved Bhashyam,” which elucidated his philosophical and ideological beliefs.


What was Swami Dayanand Saraswati famous for?

Dayananda made significant contributions to society by standing against the practice of untouchability, advocating for equal rights for women, and providing commentary on the Vedas in both Sanskrit and Hindi.

Which movement did Dayanand Saraswati start?

In the early 20th century, the Arya Samaj and its founder Swami Dayanand Saraswati initiated the Shuddhi Movement. The movement aimed to encourage individuals who had converted from Hinduism to Islam or Christianity to revert back to their original religion.

Who founded Arya Samaj?

In 1875, Swami Dayanand Saraswati founded Arya Samaj – an organization that advocated for important issues such as the education of young girls and the remarriage of widows.

Why Dayanand Saraswati is called Martin Luther of India?

Swami Dayanand Saraswati is known as the Martin Luther of India because he was the first to advocate for self-governance through his writings. He reintroduced the phrase “good governance is not a substitute for self-governance” back into the Vedas.

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