SATYARTH PRAKASH – A CATALYST OF VEDIC RENAISSANCE
SATYARTH PRAKASH A CATALYST OF VEDIC RENAISSANCE
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
France and Flanders of 1914. The First World War between Germany, Turkey and nations under their influence were on one side; England, France, their allies and colonies were in the opposite camp. Indeed the result was known to both the belligerent camps even before the battles were fought and lost by the German soldiers and their friendly nations.
SATYARTH PRAKASH OR THE LIGHT OF TRUTH, a magnum opus of Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, that had made godmen, false prophets, magicians masquerading as Mahants of many a centre of religion run for their money made a debut in the battle fields of France and Flanders among the Indian soldiers who hailed from the North India.
The book brought Renaissance in the life of our rural oriented family. Learning Vedic Thought was the new craze. The outward changes were brought about and the whole family, including women folk, were overjoyed in being consulted by men folk while decisions of far reaching importance were being made. The prefix “Munshi”before the
THE BOOK THAT WAS
Not many men and women are aware of the fact that Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati wrote the book with the same name twice. His enemies in the realm of religion went out of their way to ensure that what came out of the printing press was not the same thing as what had been fed to the machines.
1875 – an important year indeed in the history of the Arya Samaj. That year the Arya Samaj was founded at Kakadwadi in Bombay, now Mumbai. The same year the First Edition of the Satyarth Prakash was published and lapped by the common man. Despite the printer’s devil, the book came as a welcome relief to Hindu man and women who were under attack from the Christian padre and the Muslim mullah. Preachers of the
The First Edition of the Satyarth Prakash written in 1874 but published in 1875 contained grave errors. The 13th chapter dealing with the Christianity and the 14th chapter dealing with the anomalies of Islam were left out of the Satyarth Prakash by the printers. Some
Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati was a bold man. He did not want to let the erroneous edition remain in the market for sale. He recalled all of them. He withdrew the Edition from the booksellers in toto to be revised and published afresh. The Swami did that before his sad demise in 1883. He himself corrected all the mistakes but the corrected
Thus the mischief mongers had limited access to the First Edition and the extent of the
THE PRESENT EDITION
Taking the second edition of the Satyarth Prakash as it is, one finds that the order of chapters and their contents have been left undisturbed. The spelling mistakes have been, by and large, attended to.
There are no glaring mistakes and the Satyarth Prakash, Fifth Edition, is acceptable to the Aryan word. The chapters criticizing Christianity and Islam have been made an indivisible part of the book.When Swami Dayanand Saraswati included some material, good or bad, who are we to delete the same. In the eye of a good Arya Samajist, an attempt in that direction will indeed be an exercise in futility. It must be abandoned forthwith.
DEFENDING THE BOOK
•Since 1883, the book in question has been coming under attack off and on. On the one hand the Muslim diehard and on the other hand filing court cases to ban the book in perpetuity has borne no result for them. Attempts to launch a series of violent episodes against the bookseller, M/S Rajpal and Sons came to a naught. A horse may be brought to water but it cannot be forced to drink it. The advocates of other religions have filed legal cases against the publishers and promoters of the English edition of the Satyarth Prakash. One is glad to note that the riff-raffs who did this to gain cheap publicity have failed miserably.Now there is no case pending against the Arya Samaj or the Satyarth Prakash in any court of law.
ATTACK IS BEST FORM OF DEFENCE
Before the advent of the Arya Samaj and the aggressive spirit inculcated into the Aryas through the reading, research and meditation on the principles of Defence enunciated in the sixth chapter of the Satyarth Prakash that puts forth Raj Dharm for both Raja and Praja,an average Hindu was always on the defensive and bore the verbal attack of followers of other religions rather meekly. This emboldened them beyond imagination and a shieldless Hindu cowered. However, the battle situation underwent a dramatic change with the publication of the Satyarth Prakash First Edition in 1875 followed by
The Arya Samaj, emboldened by the teachings of the Satyarth Prakash and personal example set by Maharishi Swami Dayanand Saraswati launched the Shuddhi movement and welcomed converts from other faiths with open arms. The recorded history bears witness to the fact that the writer of the Satyarth Prakash, Dayanand Saraswati Swami had motivated two Muslim men in Dehra Dun and Lucknow to convert to the Vedic Dharm which they did. Indeed in later years it was Shraddhanand Sanyasi, founder of the Gurukul Kangri, who brought back to the Vedic Dharma thousands of Muslim Malkana Rajputs and changed the scenario of religious conversations completely. The Aryas led the remaining Hindu community to develop a bold approach to life and launch attacks on
The Hindus in general, led by the Arya Samajists, could now walk erect holding their heads high. And, pray, why not? All human beings have a right to live with honour and pay back the attacker in the same coins It is quite understandable that the new bold attitude to living life by votaries of the Vedic Dharma gave a jolt to the non-Hindus. I shall dismiss the complaints of non-Hindus by saying that the Thought and Action generated by the writings of Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati in the Satyarth Prakash were the need of the hour. The magnum opus of the Aryas gave them and the rest of the Hindu samaj a place of honour under the firmament. They learnt how to be physically fit,mentally alert and spiritually robust to face any adverse situation, repulse any attack and assimilate any men and women of other faiths into the Vedic Dharma.
I have no reason to complain if the non-Hindus launched court cases galore against the Satyarth Prakash. They thought that if the source of moral strength of the Hindus was eliminated legally, their new-found freedom of Dharma would die a pre-mature death. How mistaken they were who seek sustenance from Heaven Four and Heaven Seven, that is Christians and Muslims respectively, because the make-believe world does not preserve, protect and defend the humanity living in the real world of today. Some pacifists among the Hindus are of the opinion that we should live and let live. Fine. But how far removed they are from the hard realities of the 21st century The leaders of the Muslim community in India, especially in Kerala have launched a movement called
Obviousy at the cost of the Hindu community. Therefore, the Aryas who read the Satyarth Prakash and follow the advice of the Rishivar in preserving, protecting and defending the Vedic Dharm believers from numerous attacks in all types of sweetened schemes must now become Pro-Active. Let us not wait for the proslytising priests to go into remote hamlets, villages, tribal habitats and then launch a counter offensive to ward off their nefarious schemes. It is the duty of Dayanand’s disciples to remain alert all the time and not let a situation arise where we lose our brethren and sisters to the flock of Christ.
Likewise, it is our religious obligation to freely give away copies of the Satyarth Prakash to people who cannot afford to buy themselves. Some copies of the Satyarth Prakash in English or Hindi or any other relevant language may be given away to students graduating from colleges. Even if ten per cent graduates read the Satyarth Prakash, our aim will be achieved. Let us make a beginning in this regard sometime somewhere. Let that sometime be NOW. If we make a beginning now, we will reach the destination and achieve our aim sooner than later. Indeed, Maharishi
Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM