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About Swami Dayananda Saraswati

Focus: GS I: History

Why in News?

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on 11th February addressed a programme on the 200th birth anniversary of Swami Dayananda Saraswati organized at the birthplace of Swami Dayananda, Tankara in Morbi, Gujarat, via a video message.

About Dayanand Saraswati:

  • Swami Dayanand Saraswati was a philosopher, social leader and founder of the Arya Samaj, a reform movement of Vedic dharma.
  • In 1875, he established the Arya Samaj in Bombay with ten principles based purely on God, soul, and nature.
  • The organisation brought about immense changes in the religious perceptions of Indians. Swami Dayanand Saraswati was the first to give the call for Swaraj as “India for Indian” in 1876.
  • He preached ‘Universalism’, rejecting any specific caste.
  •  His work had a significant impact on the education system, and he is often considered one of the visionaries of modern India.
  • To realize his vision, the Dayanand Anglo Vedic (DAV) schools came into existence in 1886. The first DAV School was established in Lahore with Mahatma Hansarjas as the headmaster.
  • One of his most influential works is the book Satyarth Prakash, which contributed to the Indian independence movement. His followers included Sri Aurobindo and S. Radhakrishnan.

February 2024