Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj, is known as one of India’s greatest social reformers, philosophers and freedom fighter. He was born on the 10th day of Falgun month in Krishna Paksha in the year 1824. This year, the day falls on March 8. The day is being celebrated as Dayanand Saraswati birth anniversary. He has been an inspiration for the society. The social reformer is known for promoting gender equality and the right to education. He also advocated the principles of karma and rebirths, but detested superstitious beliefs. He is also known as ‘Makers of Modern India’.
Dayanand Saraswati’s Early life:
Dayanand Saraswati was born on the Dashami Tithi of Phalguna Krishna Paksha in Tankara, near Morbi in Gujarat. He was earlier named Mool Shankar Tiwari. He was named Mool because he was born during Mool Nakshatra. His parents were a devotee of Lord Shiva and hence, he was brought up in a strict religious environment. He was engaged at the age of 20, but later he felt that marriage was not meant for him. Therefore, so he ran away to seek spirituality.
He spent 25 years wandering from place to place. He used to lived an ascetic life and devoted himself to spirituality. Later, he met Swami Virajanand Dandeesha and became his disciple.
Dayanand Saraswati felt that Sanatan Dharma had strayed from its roots over the centuries and the customs that were being followed were against the four Vedas. He believed that these Vedas should be the base of all practices. He was against idol worship, animal sacrifice, child marriage and pilgrimages. So, he started preaching his own thoughts and gained a large following across India.
He later worked for gender equality as well as rights for women in society. He also worked for children education. His call for Swaraj (self-rule) is believed to be an inspiration for India’s freedom fighters. He went on to establish the Arya Samaj on April 10, 1875, to promote the values of a life based on the Vedas.