What is Arya Samaj?
Arya Samaj is global phenomenon that attracts the young and old alike, sometimes from other religions, for its simple, logical and contemporary thinking on God, spirituality and values of life.
Arya Samaj was founded on the 10th of April 1875 at Bombay, India, by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati. The purpose was to move the Hindu Dharma away from all the fictitious beliefs, and go back to the teachings of Vedas. Arya Samaj rejects all forms of ritualistic superstition such as idolatry, ancestor worship, pilgrimage and animal sacrifice, as well as all forms of social oppression such as the caste system, untouchability and child labor.
It proclaims equal entitlement under the law between men and women, strives to reduce poverty and to protect the weak and the disadvantaged, denounces the consumption of meat as well as the use of intoxicants and recreational drugs, and promotes healthy community, family and private life in tune with the cycles of nature.
The Arya Samaj stresses the universal and comprehensive nature of Vedic Knowledge and it's capacity to rejuvenate and redeem a troubled and wearied humanity. This capacity rests above all else in that it's emphasis is upon the correct understanding and worship of the one true God, who is the Supreme personification of Existence, Intelligence and Bliss.
Ten Principles of Arya Samaj
1. God is the primary source of all true knowledge and all that is known by its means
2. God is Omnipresent, Formless, Almighty, Just Merciful, Blissful, Unborn, Infinite, Beginnningless, Unchangeable, Support of All, Lord of All Pervading, Omniscient, Fearless, Eternal, Holy and Creator of the Universe. To Him alone worship is due
3. Vedas are the scriptures of all true knowledge. It is the paramount duty of all Aryas to read them, teach them, recite them and hear them being read.
4. All persons should always be ready to accept the truth and renounce untruth
5. All acts ought to be performed in the conformity to Dharma i.e after consideration of right and wrong
6. The prime objective of Arya of Samaj is to do good to the world
i.e. To ameliorate physical, spiritual and social conditions of all men
7. All ought to be treated with love, justice, righteousness and due regard to their merits.
8. Ignorance ought to be dispelled and knowledge disseminated.
9. No person should remain content with his own well-being but he should his well-being in the well-being of others
10: In all matters affecting the well-being of the society the individual should subordinate his personal liking's. In matters affecting him alone he should enjoy the freedom of action
Swami Dayanand Saraswati
Swami Dayanand Saraswati, one of the greatest leaders ever to emerge from India, founded the Arya Samaj in 1875.
Dayanand's mission was not to start or set up any new religion but to ask humankind for Universal brotherhood as spelt out in the Vedas.
Throughout his known adult life, Swami's main message was 'Back to the Vedas'. By this, Swami Dayanand meant that Hindus should stop practising beliefs such as idol worship, caste, polytheism, pantheism, untouchability,child marriages, forced widowhood and many other practices which he felt were wrong. He wanted Hindus to go back to the roots of their relgion, the Vedas.