Key Points

Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati

Swami Dayanand is one of the most renowned saints of India. He is the founder of a sect called Arya Samaj. The followers of Arya Samaj or Maharishi Dayanand are called Arya Samajis. The Arya Samajis consider the Vedas (Rig Ved, Sam Ved, Yajur Ved and Atharav Ved) to be the utmost scriptures which are indeed the most sacred of the Hindu Scriptures and at the time these Scriptures were written, there was no religion. So in essence these scriptures are not really specific to any particular religion or sect but are pertinent to the whole mankind.

All the Vedas were originally written in Sanskrit language which is the oldest language in the world. Swami Dayanand in his lifetime translated one of these Vedas namely the Yajur Ved and did part translation of the Sam Ved. Swami Dayanand also wrote another book called Satyarth Prakash which is actually a compilation of all the teachings and personal views expressed by Swami Dayanand. It is a highly regarded book amongst all the Arya Samajis and also among other devotee souls.

Swami Dayanand laid a great deal of stress on the teachings mentioned in the Vedas and asked his followers to adopt the vedic teachings as the way of life. Undoubtedly Swami Dayanand can be regarded as the only saint who kept the Vedas alive and his followers continued the legacy forward by following his footsteps.

Until now Swami Dayanand has been held in very high esteem but lately truth has been coming out which has exposed the dark side of Swami Dayanand. A deeper look in to the book "Satyarth Prakash" has revealed many issues which are not in accordance with the contemporary way of life and understanding, and rather are opposite to the Vedas and moral values. The views expressed by Swami Dayanand in his book are now proving counter productive and tarnishing the image of the Swami.

The concepts mentioned by Swami Dayanand in the book Satyarth Prakash are opposite to those described in the Vedas. To name a few the most striking among these are listed below.

In Satyarth Prakash Swami Dayanand says that God cannot forgive your sins where as Vedas very clearly describe that God can forgive even the most heinous sins. Then Swami Ji says that God is formless, whereas Vedas say that God is in form. Swami Ji also says that there is habitation on the sun and people living there also read Vedas which everyone knows is untrue.

Worst of all is the chapter four (Chautha Samullas) of the book Satyarth Prakash which crosses the height of immorality. A very vivid description has been given in this chapter about the concept of marriage, re-marriage, infidelity and extra-marital sex. Swami ji also expresses his views against the re-marriage of a widow and describes in detail about the fulfilment of sexual needs for this category. To cut the long story short, "it is disgusting". It is the worst example of teachings of immorality given by a saint which is available in print. It is a disgrace to follow these teachings and any literate soul would definitely want to tread away from this path.

Moreover in one of the chapters the authority of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Prophet Mohammed has been questioned, and unacceptable comments have been made about them by Swami Dayanand which can be a cause of social unrest.

Furthermore various biographies of Swami Dayanand reveal that he was addicted to Cannabis (Bhaang) and also used to smoke tobacco. These are considered social evils in India and going by the teachings of God (from various religious scriptures), consumption of any intoxicants be it alcohol, cannabis or tobacco etc is an obstacle in the way of worship and achievement of salvation. What sort of teachings would a Saint impart to his followers who himself practices these sorts of social evils?

It seems that the Arya Samajis who still want to carry the legacy of Swami Dayanand forward are oblivious to these references in the book Satyarth Prakash as any noble soul would definitely not want to be associated with this sort of immoral behaviour let alone follow it. In this day and age not many would like to follow the teachings mentioned in the chapter four (chautha samullas) of Satyarth Prakash.

It is about time to revisit these scriptures and make an informed decision about what should be carried forward and what should be left behind.