Swami Dayananda Saraswati
Swami Dayananda, was born in 1824 at Tankara in Morvi State (Kathiawar-Gujarat). While Dayananda Saraswati was hardly of thirteen years of age, he refused to submit to the authoritarian traditional dictates of his father in the field of religious conscience and after attaining full knowledge of the sacred literature and being enlightened; he rebelled against the leaders of Hindu orthodoxy.
His original name was Moolshanker, but on being initiated into sannyasa by Swami Purnananda at the age of about twenty-four years he became Swami Dayananda Saraswati and it is by this name that he is now known to the world.
In India, the Hindu classical revival commenced about the beginning of the 18th century and reached almost the climax under Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj. Though not exactly the herald of Indian classical renaissance, he stood as its last and greatest representative who accomplished more than any of his predecessors for Hindu revival.
Dayananda’s Spiritual Nationalism and His Political Ideas
Dayananda was not a political thinker in the modern sense. His primary concern was to re-interpret the Vedas in their true sense and revive the old civilization of India.
However, we can get a clue of his political views by reading his works, Satyarthaprakasha and Rgvedadibhashyabhumika. He was not a speculative thinker, but was an aggressive exponent of Hindu revivalism he was a man of action and change, and his philosophy of the Vedas gave an inspiration to the manifestation of the strength of the country. He found the solution to the problem of India’s dependence in Vedic idealism.
Arya Samaj and social and Religious Reforms
The Arya Samaj, founded by Swami Dayananda (April, 1875) was a kind of protestant church. It denounced idolatry and aimed at establishing the Aryan or the Vedic faith in its purest form that was discoverable in the Vedic Scriptures. But it was not eclectic like the Brahmo Samaj, and consequently it appealed more to the human mind of the Hindus. T
he human mind not only wants a religious label, out also a label that would proclaim the continuity of culture and tradition in which its own ancestors for thousands of years were brought up before. The pride of ancestral culture and tradition is the greatest factor in the scheme of nationality, and the belief or even the pretence that all that is worth knowing or having has been recorded in the Vedic Scriptures was calculated to take the roots of nationality to depths from which it would be impossible to take out.