WHAT IS TRUTH ASKED DAYANAND SARASWATI
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
I stood facing the Kailash Parvat in Tibet two decades ago. The solid black granite Shiv ling style natural massive rock jutting out in the midst of yellow sand hillocks impressed me. The pilgrims of many nationalities on a religious mission to meet the real Shiva by going round the Kailash Parvat in almost three days was a test of faith. I failed the test notwithstanding my completion of the Parikrama of the holy hill of gigantic dimension. Shiv Ji never blessed me with his benign darshan nor did I realize His presence in the heart of my hearts.
When I confessed the truth of non-realisation of the great spirit to my fellow travelers they instantly dubbed me a sinner. Had they realised the presence of Almighty Shiv Ji themselves? Their silence was deafening. They did not wish to tell a lie and yet they had no moral courage to tell the truth.
The holiest of holy places in the concept of the Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, German explorers and the rest of holy men and women did not have the abode of Mahadev, the Almighty as narrated in various scriptures. Had my journey of many weeks from New Delhi to Kailash Parvat produced no tangible results? No, not exactly so. I did succeed in recording enough material on my handy tape recorder to produce and broadcast later radio features in Hindi in five parts for the Akashvani or All India Radio. They had commissioned me and I did not fail them.
Nevertheless the nagging doubt about Kailash Parvat being the abode of Lord Shiva remained in my mind the same way as it was in the mind of boy Moolshankar when he sat in the Shiv temple in Tankara on the Mahashivratri at the age of fourteen. He too had entertained the genuine doubt about the Shiv ling in the temple being a replica of Ishwar. His doubt was summarily dismiseed by his snoozing father that the real Siva resided on the Kailash Parvat. Eight years later the teenager left his parental home to look around the real Shiva. He roamed from place to place for fourteen years and realized his dream of finding the Truth when he knocked at the door of Dandi Swamy Virjanand at Mathura. In the interim period of his great quest of Truth, Moolshankar had entered the Sanyas Ashram as Dayanand Saraswati.
Now the Shishya Dayanand had found the real Guru in Swami Virjanand and the Guru had found the real disciple who would undertake a mission none had dared to accept heretofore. It was VED PRACHAR. The Guru taught Ashtadhyayi and transformed his pupil as an inspired human being who would always be on a quest of the Truth and would never stop asking until he had found what he was looking for.
The Guru-Shishya relationship continued for a little over two and a half years until the Pragya Chakshu Dandi Swami Virjanand chose to send Dayanand Saraswati on a unique mission of demolishing Untruth, eradicating superstitions and establishing the Vedic way of life. Dayanand Saraswati set out on the Truth seeking mission and did not look back.
MULTI MEDIA PRACHAR
Dayanand Saraswati took to writing, public speaking, engaging in intellectual public discourses and demolishing the Untruth through Shastrarth- relying on scriptures for the search of Truth and finding the final answer in the Infallible Vedas.
Swami Dayanand Saraswati was a great seeker of Truth and had no hesitation in correcting himself if and when he perceived that he had gone wrong. Of course, his decisions on the core issues were irrevocable. Let us take a few examples of his revocable decisions. He founded four Sanskrit Pathshalas with great aplomb. However, when he found that the teachers and taught were following the old wrong path of learning and worshipping the false gods, Swami Dayanand Saraswati did not hesitate even for a moment before ordering their closer and disbandment. When he found that the scribes had not followed his dictations in the right spirit while he was producing his master treatise, Satyarth Prakash(1874 edition), the Rishi had no hesitation in acknowledging that his fundamental faith had been misrepresented and he recalled that edition from circulation. He sat in the Navlakha Mahal at Udaipur, diligently corrected the glaring errors and brought out the second edition of the Satyarth Prakash in 1883.
Fortunately for the Arya Samaj, founded in 1875 in Mumbai, the second edition was given the final touches by the Rishivar himself before he breathed his last on 30 October 1883 at Ajmer under tragic circumstances.
When it came to belief in the existence of One Ishwar who was Nirakar, the Rishi was always firm and pursued the principle of Truth given in the Vedic Samhita with single minded devotion. This decision of his was irrevocable, come what may. No threat or inducement could move him from his rock-like stand on the subject of One Nirakar Ishwar and the infallibility of the Vedas.
Maharana of Mewar, Sajjan Singh Ji once made the mistake of offering Swami Dayanand the post of Mahant of Ek Lingji mandir to which the Mewar rajya was dedicated, the Swami declined the offer. He even chided the Maharana in these words: Maharana, your principality is a small one and I can run across it in one breath but if I disobey the diktat of the Almighty where would I find a shelter because He controls the entire universe.
NATIONALISM IS DHARMA
Swami Dayanand was a great nationalist. Nationalism was a part and parcel of his faith. He believed in self rule and was never happy under the British suzerainty. He minced no words while eulogizing independence in his treatise, Satyarth Prakash. Never mind how benevolent the foreign rule is; Swarajya or self-rule would be better any day under any circumstances. Mind you, Rishivar expressed the revolutionary thought when the British rule in India was at its zenith. Fearlessness in the pursuit of Truth was the hallmark of Swami Dayanand Saraswati.
SWADHARM, SWABHASHA, SWASANSKRITI are indeed the three immoveable and unshakable pillars of Rashtra Dharm or Nationalism. One must follow the Vedic Dharm, must read, write and speak Sanskrit or Hindi and follow the culture as handed down from generation to generation. Swadharme Nidhanam Shreyah – it is indeed virtuous to die doing one’s duty and not deviating from the path of Truth. As far as own language is concerned, it was Swami Dayanand Saraswati who prescribed for the Arya Samaj to transact all correspondence in Hindi, have discourses, pravachans in Hindi. The Swami led the Aryas from the front. His own mother tongue was Gujarati, his stupendous studies were in Sanskrit but he chose to write his major books like Satyarth Prakash, Rigvedadi Bhashya Bhumika and Sanskar Vidhi in Hindi. He impressed on all Aryas to write to the Hunter Commission on language selection for official work that it should be Hindi alone. As far as the Sanskriti is concerned, no one was a better advocate for inculcating it than the founder of the Arya Samaj himself.
Sadly the false protagonists of the malignant Hinduism had excluded women folk from all religious activities. The important half of the Hindu society was bereft of the Vedic knowledge as they were forbidden to enter the realm of the Vedas. Stree Shudrau Nadhiyatamit Shruteh – so said the illiterate Brahmins and thus weakened their own followers. Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati reversed this thought process and cited many examples wherein the learned women had fully participated in the religious discourses. How could they do so without studying the Vedas, asked the Swamy. Womenfolk are indeed grateful to Swami Dayanand Saraswati for providing them the right to Vedic education and entering the social life on the same plane as the men folk.
TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH
The Arya Samaj made its existence felt in the Punjab when in June 1877, in the presence of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, it was founded as a socio-religious organization in the garden of Dr Rahim Khan in Lahore. The 28 Niyams originally formed in Mumbai in 1875 were chiseled and in Lahore the number stood at Ten. They are in vogue till today.
Five Niyams or principles out of ten lay an emphasis on the TRUTH. This brings out the main theme of this essay that Swami Dayanand was relentless in his pursuit of Truth. Not only he himself pursued the path of Truth but he enjoined on all Aryas to follow suit. It would be an ideal situation where all Aryas not only follow the principle of Truth but also impress upon the new comers, the new generation to do likewise. It is rather unfortunate that the Arya Samaj suffers from dissent and division because many Anaryas or Dasyu have surreptitiously enrolled themselves as members without having any faith in the Vedas or the Ten Principles of the Arya Samaj. Consequently, there are legal disputes where the Dasyu leave no stone unturned in capturing power and the immoveable assets of the Arya Samaj. It is deplorable indeed.
In his Will and last Testament Swami Dayanand Saraswati had advised Aryas not to rush to courts of law to resolve disputes, if any. He had counseled that the Aryas must settle the disputes in the Arya Samaj itself. Unfortunately, the false Aryas believing in false gods are defiant of the Sweekar Patra or Will of our own Rishivar.
SANGATHAN is the need of the hour. It is the pious duty of all Aryas to desist from capturing seats of power for property and work unitedly with brother Aryas for the Prachar of the Vedic Dharm. As Swami Dayanand Saraswati had carried out the wish and will of Dandi Swami Virjanand, it is incumbent upon all Aryas to obey the wish and will of Swami Dayanand Saraswati and carry on with the mission of preaching and practicing the VEDIC DHARM.
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