What is the Arya Samaj?
On April 10th, 1875, the organisation called "Arya Samaj" was formally registered in Bombay (Mumbai), India. Arya Samaj, as the name signifies, is a Samaj (Organisation) of Aryas (people who are noble). Further clarified, the Arya Samaj is a Society of Noble People, who follow the Veda (the Word of God handed down to mankind in the begining) and try to behave in accordance with the teachings of the Veda.
The Arya Samaj was founded by Maharishi Swami Dayananda Saraswati, a sanyasin (renouncer) who believed in the infallible authority of the Vedas. He advocated the doctrine of karma and reincarnation, and emphasised the ideals of brahmacharya (chastity) and sanyasa (renunciation). The motto of the Arya Samaj taken from the Vedas is "Krinvanto Vishwam Aaryam" (Rig Veda 9.63.5) - Make all men Aarya (noble and cultured)." A similar echo from the Atharva Veda 2.13.4 states "Krinvantu vishwe deva". Another text quotes: "Aano Bradrh: Vishvam Aaryam" which means "Let noble thoughts come from all quarters." Hence, by being a part of a Noble Society (Arya Samaj), you enjoin with a commitment to becoming an Aarya (Noble Person), who gathers in religious assemblies to propagate the teachings of the Vedas so that you can ennoble (make noble) those who aren't noble - Making the Universe Noble.
Swami Dayananda rejected all non-Vedic beliefs altogether. Hence the Arya Samaj unequivocally condemns idolatry, animal sacrifices, ancestor worship, priestcraft, the caste system, the sati system for widows, inequality of women, untouchability and child marriages, on the grounds that all these lacked Vedic sanction. It aims to be a universal organisation based on the authority of the Vedas. The Arya Samaj has set up schools and missionary organisations, extending its activities outside India. It now has branches around the world.
Is the Arya Samaj a Religion?
The Arya Samaj is NOT a Religion. This society, was formed, not as a new religion, but as a coming together of noble minded people who believe in Vaidik Satya Sanatana Dharma (commonly called "Hinduism"). As was said by Maharishi Swami Dayanand: "I have not come to preach a new dogma or religion, nor to establish a new religious order, nor to be proclaimed a new messiah or pontiff. I have only brought before the people, the light of Vedic Wisdom which has been hidden during the centuries of India's thraldom."
The Principles of the Arya Samaj (Aarya Samaaj Ke Niyam)
1-Sab satya vidyaa aur jo padaartha vidyaa se jaane jaate hain un sab kaa aadimool parameshwar hai.
God is the primary cause of all Spiritual and Physical Sciences and of everything known through their means.
2-Eeshwar sachchidaananda-swaroop, niraakaar, sarvashaktimaan, nyaayakaaree, dayaalu, ajanmaa, ananta, nirvikaar, anaadi, anupama, sarvaadhaara, sarveshwara, sarva-vyaapak, sarvaantaryaamee, ajar, amar, abhaya, nitya, pavitra aur srishtikarttaa hai. Usi kee upaasanaa karnee yogya hai.
God is Existent, Intelligent and Blissful. He is Formless, Beginningless, Incomparable, the Support and Lord of all, Omniscient, Imperishable, Immortal, Fearless, Eternal, Holy, and the Creator of the Universe. To Him alone worship is due.
3-Veda sab satya vidyaaon kaa pustak hai. Veda kaa parhnaa parhaanaa aur sunna sunaanaa sab aaryon ka param dharma hai.
The Vedas are the scriptures of all true knowledge. It is the duty of all Aryas to read them, hear them being read and recite them to others.
4-Satya grahan karne aur asatya ke choorne mein sarvadaa udyat rahnaa chaahiye.
One should always be prepared to accept truth and reject untruth.
5-Sab kaam dharmanusaar arthaat satya aur asatya ko vichaar karke karne chahiyein.
All action should be performed in conformity with Dharma (righteousness), that is, after due consideration of the right and wrong.
6-Sansaar kaa upkaar karnaa is samaaj kaa mukhya uddeshya hai arthaat shareerik, aatmik aur samaajik unnati karna.
To do good to the whole world is the main objective of the Arya Samaj, that is, to improve the physical, spiritual and social well-being of all mankind.
7-Sab se preetipoorvak dharmanusaar, yathaayogya varttanaa chaahiye.
All people should be treated with love, fairness and due regard for their merit.
8-Avidyaa ka naash aur vidyaa kee vriddhi karnee chaahiye.
One should always promote knowledge and dispel ignorance.
9-Pratyek ko apnee hi unnati se santushta na rahnaa chaahiye, kintu sab kee unatti mein apni unnati samjhnee chaahiye.
One should not only be content with one's own welfare, but should look for it in the welfare of others also.
10-Sab manushyon ko samaajik sarva-hit-kaaree niyam paalne mein paratantra rahna chaahiye aur pratyek bitakaaree niyam mein sab swatantratra rahein.
One should be bound in following altruistic, social rules, while all should be free in following the rules of individual welfare.
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