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Swami Dayanand Saraswati

Last Updated : 16 Jun, 2023
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Swami Dayananda Saraswati was the creator of the Arya Samaj and one of the architects of modern India. He became a brilliant Vedic scholar after receiving early instruction from his family. In search of enlightenment and truth, he gave up his worldly existence and moved from one section of India to another.

He intended to build a modern social, religious, economic, and administrative order in India from an indigenous standpoint. Swami Dayananda Saraswati was not just an Indian religious leader, but he also had a profound impact on Indian society. He spoke out against idolatry and the futile emphasis on hollow rites and rituals, as well as man-made rules prohibiting women from reading the Vedas. Despite the fact that he was never personally engaged in politics, his insights inspired a number of political figures throughout India’s independence movement. The fundamental message of Dayananda Saraswati was for Hindus to return to their religion’s foundations – the Vedas. He believed that by doing so, Hindus would be able to alleviate the country’s depressing religious, cultural, economic, and political situations during that era.

Swami Dayanand Saraswati

Swami Dayanand Saraswati

Social Reforms of Swami Dayananda Saraswati

  • Dayananda Saraswati founded the Arya Samaj in Bombay on April 7, 1875. It was a Hindu reform movement that meant “noble society.” The Hindu Samaj’s goal was to shift the Hindu religion away from false notions. The Samaj’s motto was “Krinvanto Vishvam Aryam,” which meant “Make this world honorable.” The Arya Samaj’s main goal is to do good in the world, which includes promoting everyone’s bodily, spiritual, and social well-being. The Arya Samaj attempted to not only spiritually reorganize the Indian mentality, but also to eliminate numerous social difficulties. Widow remarriage and women’s education were two of the most important. In the 1880s, the Samaj started efforts to help widows remarry. Maharishi Dayananda also emphasized the need for female education and spoke out against child marriage. He declared that an educated man needs an educated wife for society as a whole.
  • Maharishi Dayananda founded the Shuddhi Movement to reintroduce Hinduism to those who had freely or involuntarily converted to other religions such as Islam or Christianity. Those who wanted to return to Hinduism were given Shuddhi or purification, and the Samaj did a good job of penetrating the various strata of society and bringing the depressed classes back into Hinduism. Dayananda Saraswati is said to be completely opposed to all non-Vedic doctrines. As a result, the Arya Samaj categorically opposed idolatry, animal sacrifices, syncretic religion, holy places, temple offerings, casteism, and underage marriage, claiming that none of these were sanctioned by the Vedas. It aspired to create a unified church founded on the Vedas’ legitimacy. The Shuddhi process of reconverting Hindus who had converted to Islam was followed by the Sangathan movement, which sought to unite Hindus.
  • He was against the caste system and the Brahmins’ social dominance. He also opposed the Brahmins’ authority over Vedic literature and argued for the human right to learn the Vedas, irrespective of age, religion, or race. Untouchability was also something Dayananda denounced. He reinterpreted the Varna system described in the Veda. It was created for societal occupational purposes. According to the theories of guna, karma, and swabhava, society was separated into separate varnas such as Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Sudras, each with their own set of responsibilities such as worship, country protection, commerce, and service to the other three castes. This job title was interchangeable. He stressed the political need for this societal separation.
  • He campaigned against gender inequality and tried to improve women’s rights. He was a staunch opponent of child marriages, the ‘Purdah’ system, and the practice of ‘Sati,’ among other things. He demonstrated that women and men should have equal rights by citing Vedic principles. Members of the Arya Samaj engaged in intercaste weddings and interdining. He emphasized the importance of women throughout the Vedic period. As a result, he campaigned for equal rights for men and women. According to him, an uneducated woman is a liability to her husband, children, and the entire family. He also argued for women’s property rights. He placed a strong emphasis on women’s education and established reading programs in DAV schools and colleges. He was against child marriage and advocated for legislation to end the practice. He likewise denounced polygamy and polyandry. His initiatives boosted the morale of women and aided in their advancement.
  • Dayananda emphasized Vedic education, which was centered on morality, in order to restore India’s glory. Dayananda pushed for equality of treatment in educational institutions. The character development of students was to be emphasized, with a focus on moral-based education. He also sought out good, honorable teachers who were experts in his field.  According to Dayananda, education should emphasize self-control and character development.
  • Swami Dayananda’s reforms offered a new shape and credo to Indian nationalism. India has its own great history of offering to everybody.  He also realized that without independence, any broad project of social and economic restoration would be impossible to implement. In pre-independence India, the Arya Samaj was instrumental in bringing about socio-religious transformations. Dayananda was a conservative and religious campaigner who maintained that Hinduism was superior to all other religions, yet he was also one of the architects of modern India.

FAQs on Dayananda Saraswati

Q 1. Why is Swami Dayanand Saraswati a well-known identity?


Dayanand Saraswati is India’s finest philosopher, leader, and social and religious reformer. Additionally, he made a concerted effort to abolish behaviors that differed from Vedic principles, such as idolatry, ritualism, polytheism, animal sacrifice, child marriage, sati, casteism, etc. Swami Dayanand had a significant role in the development of modern India. Many well-known liberation fighters as well as the Free India Constitution were influenced by his teachings.

Q 2. Emphasize Swami Dayanand’s religious beliefs and contributions.


Dayanand Saraswati made attempts in the sphere of religion to address the problems that had come into Hinduism over time.  He coined the phrase “Back to the Vedas” while adhering to true Vedic heritage. He thought that God had inspired the Vedas. Along with considering the Vedas to be divinely inspired wisdom, he believed that Vedic mantra interpretation must be done logically and in light of empirical data. He said that the Vedic language is ancient.

Q 3. Describe Swami Dayananda Saraswati’s contributions to the social reform movement. 


Dayananda Saraswati was the founder of the Arya Samaj.The primary work of the Arya Samaj was social and religious reform. Its main goal was to re-establish the Vedic religion in a refined form while eradicating the societal ills that had developed through time. Arya Samaj promoted social harmony and equality while fighting for social reform. The abolition of societal issues like polygamy, child marriage, the veil system, and the dowry system was a goal. It made an effort to make widows’ lives better.

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