Swami Dayanand Saraswati ji was a great thinker of modern India, contemplative of society, founder of Arya-Samaj, he always considered the Vedas to be supreme. He founded Arya Samaj in Mumbai for the promotion of Vedas. He was a great thinker and ascetic. One of the key sentences said by him was “return to the Vedas”.
Dayanand Saraswati ji was born in the month of February in Tankara in 1824 in Kathiawar region (Dist. Rajkot), Gujarat near Morbi (Morvi princely state of Mumbai). His mother’s name was Yashodabai and his father’s name was Karshanji Lalji Tiwari. His father was a tax-collector as well as a wealthy, affluent and powerful person from the Brahmin family. The real name of Dayanand Saraswati was Moolshankar. His life was very luxurious in the beginning. Then he started studying Sanskrit, Vedas, Shastras and other religious books to become a Pandit.
Although many incidents happened in his life, but one incident awakened many questions in his mind about the traditionally believed beliefs of Hinduism and God. At the age of adolescence, on the day of the festival or occasion of Shivratri, Dayanand Saraswati along with his family stayed in the temple for awakening. During the awakening, his entire family fell asleep but he kept awake, he felt that Lord Shiva would come and eat the prasad. But at the same time his attention shifted to the rats eating the prasad. Seeing this, they were astonished and started thinking that what will the Lord who cannot take care of His offerings protect the personality or humanity? He argued with his father about this fact and said that we should not worship such a compulsive God.
After some time his uncle and his younger sister died due to a disease called cholera. Seeing his death like this, he started thinking about life and death very seriously and started asking questions and answers related to them. Seeing him like this, his parents got very worried. The behavior of Dayanand Saraswati ji remained the same. Then his parents decided to marry him at puberty, a common practice in those days. But Dayanand Saraswati ji decided that there was no place for marriage in his life and in 1846 he left the house in search of truth.
In the year 1895, on the day of Shivratri in the month of Falgun, there was a big change in the life of child Moolshankar, due to which his name was written in the pages of history. A new feeling arose in him that day and he left the house. He had to face many obstacles in the journey and during the journey he came to Guru Virjanand. There he studied Veda-Vedanga, Patanjali-Yogasutra and Panini grammar.
Guru Virjanand told Dayanand Saraswati ji in his dakshina that by exposing this knowledge and winning, always keeping human benevolent desire neutral, inculcating truthful conduct, spreading knowledge among human beings. To propagate Vedas by eradicating ignorance and to spread the light of Vedic religion everywhere. He said that if you do this then this will be your Gurudakshina.
He blessed Dayanand Saraswati ji and said that may God make your efforts victorious. In the end, he told them that there is condemnation of God and the sages in the humanized texts, not in the sage texts. Vedas are proof. Do not leave this criterion out of hand.
After attaining enlightenment, he traveled to many religious places. On the occasion of Kumbh in Haridwar, he considered ‘Pakhand Khandini Pataka’ and he opposed or debated the meaningless practices of ancient India. Then he came in contact with Babu Keshav Chandra Sen and Devendra Nath Thakur living in Calcutta and here he started wearing full clothes and speaking and writing in Hindi.
In 1932, Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati founded Arya Samaj in Girgaum, Mumbai. He said that the principles and basis of Arya Samaj are for the welfare of all beings. The main aim of this society is to do good to the world, that is, to make physical, spiritual and social progress.