Dayanand Saraswati

Indian social reformer (1824-1883)
(Redirected from Maharshi Dayananda)

Dayanand Saraswati (12 February 1824 – 30 October 1883) was a 19th century philosopher. Remains highly applauded for his religious movement and influence.

Dayanand Saraswati in 1874


  • All Christian missionaries say that Jesus was a very calm and peace loving person. But in reality he was a hot-tempered persons destitute of knowledge and who behaved like a wild savage. This shows that Jesus was neither the son of God, nor had he any miraculous powers. He did not possess the power to forgive sins. The righteous people do not stand in need of any mediator like Jesus. Jesus came to spread discord which is going on everywhere in the world. Therefore, it is evident that the hoax of Christ’s being the Son of God, the knower of the past and the future, the forgiver of sin, has been set up falsely by his disciples. In reality, he was a very ordinary ignorant man, neither learned nor a yogi.
    • "Hindu Nationalists of Modern India" by Jose Kuruvachira, p. 20
  • Had the God of the Quran been the Lord of all creatures, and been Merciful and kind to all, he would never have commanded the Mohammedans to slaughter men of other faiths, and animals, etc. If he is Merciful, will he show mercy even to the sinners? If the answer be given in the affirmative, it cannot be true, because further on it is said in the Quran "Put infidels to sword," in other words, he that does not believe in the Quran and the Prophet Mohammad is an infidel (he should, therefore, be put to death). (Since the Quran sanctions such cruelty to non-Mohammedans and innocent creatures such as cows) it can never be the Word of God.
    • "Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research, Volume 19, Issue 1", p. 73
  • Sahebji, I am sorry I have been misunderstood. Forgive me for what I am being forced to say. The reference to freedom of speech was made by me in a specific context. It was not at all my intention to uphold the British usurpation of my country. Make no mistake. I consider the British Raj to be a curse. I stand for svarãjya [self-rule].
  • "In none of the Sanskrit of history textbooks," he wrote, "has it been stated that the Aryans came from Iran, vanquished the aborigines...and became rulers."
    • Attributed at [2]
  • In 1882, Dayananda Saraswati, founder of the Arya Samaj, protested: In the face of these Vedic authorities how can sensible people believe in the imaginary tales of the foreigners . . . no Sanskrit book or history records that the Aryas came here from Iran, and defeating the inhabitants of the country in battles, drove them away and proclaimed themselves the rulers of the country. How can then the writings of foreigners be worth believing in the teeth of this testimony? (266)
    • quoted from Bryant, E. F. (2001). The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture : the Indo-Aryan migration debate. Oxford University Press. chapter 2

Quotes about Dayananda

  • He made a positive contribution when he pointed out that India had inherited a spirituality and a culture which were not only indigenous but also intrinsically superior to the imported creeds and cultures. He encouraged and enabled his people to reawaken to their own inner sources of strength, and hold their heads high in the face of foreign invaders. He was the first to use the terms swadeshî and swarãjya.
    At the same time, the Maharshi restored the Veda to its rightful place as the permanent and profound centre of Indian spirituality, culture and social philosophy. His people had lost consciousness of this centre when they had started drawing a sharp line between nishreyasa (highest good) and abhyudaya (worldly welfare), between here and hereafter, between spirituality and science. They had become dwarfed in mind and emaciated in body because, to start with, they had separated these two from their unity in the Spirit.
    He did something more. He raised an accusing finger against the heavy weight of empty rituals and outmoded social traditions which were smothering India’s indigenous society. ... The Maharshi appealed to his people to throw away all this dead wood, and start breathing again in the unpolluted air of that spirituality and science for which India had been famous in ages past.
  • It was years later when I read Sri Aurobindo's Bankim, Tilak, Dayananda that I bowed, in repentance and renewed reverence, before that fearless lion of a man who tried his best to rescue and revive the Vedic vision among the Hindus. A true understanding and appreciation of the crucial cultural role which the Arya Samaj played at a critical juncture in our national life dawned on me simultaneously.
    • S.R. Goel, How I became a Hindu
  • A man of spirit has passed away from India. Pandit Dayananda Saraswati is gone, the irrepressible, energetic reformer, whose mighty voice and passionate eloquence for the last few years raised thousands of people in India from, lethargic, indifference and stupor into active patriotism is no more.
  • Dayananda Sarasvati, seeking to return to the social and religious life of the Vedas, used the Vedic corpus as the blueprint of his vision of Indian society. But he argued that the Vedas are the source of all knowledge including modern science, a view with which Max Mueller disagreed. He underlined the linguistic and racial purity of the Aryans and the organisation which he founded, the Arya Samaj, was described by its followers as 'the society of the Aryan race'. The Aryas were the upper castes and the untouchables were excluded.

Sri Aurobindo's Bankim, Tilak, Dayananda

Sri Aurobindo's Bankim, Tilak, Dayananda [3]
  • AMONG the great company of remarkable figures that will appear to the eye of posterity at the head of the Indian Renascence, one stands out by himself with peculiar and solitary distinctness, one unique in his type as he is unique in his work. It is as if one were to walk for a long time amid a range of hills rising to a greater or lesser altitude, but all with sweeping contours, green-clad, flattering the eye even in their most bold and striking elevation. But amidst them all, one hill stands apart, piled up in sheer strength, a mass of bare and puissant granite, with verdure on its summit, a solitary pine jutting out into the blue, a great cascade of pure, vigorous and fertilising water gushing out from its strength as a very fountain of life and health to the valley. Such is the impression created on my mind by Dayananda.
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Modern Hindu writers 19th century to date
Religious writers Mirra AlfassaAnirvanAurobindoChinmoyEknath EaswaranNisargadatta MaharajRamana MaharshiMaharishi Mahesh YogiNarayana GuruSister NiveditaSrila PrabhupadaChinmayananda SaraswatiDayananda SaraswatiSivanandaRavi ShankarShraddhanandVivekanandaYogananda
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