Demise of Dayanand Saraswati A Major Puzzle
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Maharishi Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the great Aadhyatmic Guru, a socio-religious reformer and founder of the Arya Samaj, an emancipator of the women folk and the downtrodden had breathed his last on Tuesday, 30th October 1883 at Ajmer at the age of 59 years, after a prolonged illness of one month and one day. It was the Diwali evening when the Sun of Aryan firmament had set for ever. His sad demise had brought in a silent revolution of Ideas in the young and old alike all over the known world. It changed the direction of social Thought and brought in a rare amalgamation of diverse people and fused them into an Aryan Nation.
The Magnum Opus of the Rishivar, Satyarth Prakash, published in 1875 had created waves and encouraged positive thinking in all and sundry. Two other books of his, Sanskar Vidhi and Rigvedadi Bhashya Bhumika were well received by the thinking classes as well as the lettered toiling masses. Swami Dayanand’s Ved Bhashya in both Hindi and Sanskrit had opened the treasure of Vedas for the common man irrespective of caste, creed, gender or region. It had brought a Vedic Renaissance that opened minds, eyes and ears of masses and classes both. The common man across the seven seas hailed him as a liberator of women and the have-not sections of social order.
THE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH
Maharishi Dayanand never compromised on the principle of Truth, come what may. No show or use of force, threat or inducement could coerce him to forsake the Vedic Principles. It was his unflinching faith and trust in the Almighty Ishwar that sustained him through thick and thin. Of course, while the number of his Shishyas and followers grew by leaps and bounds, those who were opposed to the Truth, the Vedas, liberation of women folk and eradication of social ills like prostitution, forsaking of own Dharma and adoption of Western culture also ganged up to derail the Train of Truth.
Swami Dayanand had launched a brilliant scheme of influencing the ruling Maharajas of Rajasthan with his interpretation of the Vedas and enroll them as crusaders of the Vedic Dharm. His success was fabulous. Among the devoted disciples were Maharana Sajjan Singh Ji of Mewar and Sir Nahar Singh Verma, ruler of the principality of Shahpura in Rajputana. They learnt Sanskrit and Manusmriti at the feet of Rishivar. Maharana of Mewar had even changed the education system of his kingdom and introduced a Veda-oriented syllabus as advised by Dayanand Saraswati.
Maharishi Dayanand was not used to sitting on his laurels. He was keen on breaking new grounds and remove the ills created by darkness of superstitions and let the Vedic sun dispel darkness in all fields of socio-religious evils. Jodhpur was an area that needed attention of a Yogi like Dayanand. So, much against the advice and imploration of devotees and disciples including the reformed royalty, Swami Dayanand Saraswati resolved to go to Jodhpur at the invitation of Sir Pratap Singh Ji, a brother of the ruler, Maharaja Jaswant Singh Ji and another influential prince, Rao Raja Tej Singh Ji.
The summer of 1883 saw the great Swami visit Udaipur, Shahpura, Ajmer on way to Jodhpur. He detrained at Pali since it was the railhead for the vast desert kingdom. Indeed there was a lavish reception for Swami Dayanand at Pali and he travelled in style thereon for almost two days by road. The arrangement for Swami Dayanand’s stay was made in the lush green garden guest house of Faizullah Khan, an influential courtier of His Highness. Rao Raja Tej Singh was personally present to receive Rishivar on behalf of Maharaja Jaswant Singh Ji, the ruling prince. A newly bought cow was also positioned there to meet Dayanand Saraswati’s requirement of milk. Sir Pratap Singh Ji and Rao Raja Tej Singh Ji made it a point to have religious interaction with the Maharishi as often as feasible.
REFORMING HIS HIGHNESS
However, it was only on the 17th day of Rishivar’s arrival that Maharaja of Jodhpur could find time to come over to Swamiji’s place of stay to call on him and have a short religious interaction. Swami Dayanand was invited by His Highness to visit the Palace to give the benefit of his erudition to the Maharajah. The arrangement worked quite smoothly until Swami Dayanand saw a courtesan, Nanhi Jan comforting His Highness in the audience room of the palace. On seeing Swami Dayanand’s arrival at that juncture that Maharaja was so flustered that he ordered palanquin bearers to whisk Nanhi Jan away. In a state of nervousness the Maharajah also lent his shoulder support to the palanquin that the great ascetic frowned at and chastised the ruler. Rishivar’s words were:
“ A ruling Kshatriya is like a tiger and only a tigress deserves to be his consort and not a bitch.”
The Maharaja promised to make amends. But Nanhi Jan vowed to avenge this insult sooner than later. She entered into a conspiracy with Faizullah Khan who was simmering with anger as Islam had been analysed threadbare by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati and he nourished his anger to the point of hatching a conspiracy to do a short shrift of the great reformer. Some other sanatani Hindus were unhappy too because Rishivar propounded Vedic Dharm in which idol worship had no place at all. Courtesan Nanhi Jan stoked the fire of conspiracy that was hatched to eliminate the rising Sun of Vedic Dharm. They bought the services of one Jagannath who worked as the cook cum valet for Swami ji. As Sir Nahar Singh Verma, ruler of Shahpura emphasized in his lecture at Mathura while celebrating the birth centenary of Swami Dayanand Saraswati that he had personally deputed Jagannath for the job as he enjoyed the reputation of being a man of honesty and integrity and the said Jagannath could never have poisoned our Rishivar.
Gratification and greed for gold proved to be the Achilles Heel of the said Jagannath when, at the behest of high ranking conspirators, he mixed a deadly poison into Swamiji’s bedtime milk on 29th September 1883. A sound sleeper like the Rishi, it was a nightmare since he had vomiting and loose motions many times that night. Owing to resultant weakness, he missed his morning walk too the following morning.
When Sir Pratap Singh came to know of it, he deputed the state doctor, Ali Mardan Khan to diagnose the cause of sudden illness and treat the effect. He proved to be completely ineffective. Swami Ji’s condition kept on deteriorating under Ali Mardan Khan’s treatment and medication. It is surmised that not only medication was wrong but the doses were far in excess of requirement. Swamiji had ulcers all over the body and in the mouth consequent to overdose of medicine. Swami Jagdeeshwaranand, an Arya Sanyasi wrote in his book “ Devarishi Dayanand Charit” that Dr Ali Mardan Khan used to inject a slow poison to render Maharishi Dayanand ineffective both physically and mentally. The high ranking conspirators induced the said villain-doctor to advise quick removal of the bed ridden Sanyasi from Jodhpur so that there is no enquiry into their diabolical acts and omissions. The doctor said that the Swami needed a change of climate and impressed on the State administration to move him to a hill station.
The general condition of Swami Dayanand Saraswati had deteriorated to such an extent that he was unable to walk and talk. He just lay on bed in a semi conscious state. The doctor again made a wrong decision, perhaps with an ulterior motive at the behest of his co-religionists, and Swamiji was made to travel on the difficult route via Pali to Mount Abu. Although the Jodhpur hierarchy, His Highness downwards, was there to see Swami off, it was a mere lip service. It was in their interest not to let Rishivar die in Jodhpur lest there was a politico-legal case to investigate it in depth. If Swami Dayanand was out of sight, he would be out of mind, so thought the perpetrators of that criminal conspiracy. There was a medico-legal case that cried for remedial action but who would bell the cat?
At Mount Abu, a devotee of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Dr Lakshman Das saw him by chance and lamented the wrong diagnosis and worse treatment. He did his best to retrieve the situation but could do little at that stage. He was under orders of transfer to Ajmer and the Surgeon of the area, a former Colonel of the Army promised to take medical care of Swamiji but could not keep his word. Consequently Swami Ji was moved to Ajmer under great discomfort but for a better treatment. Dr Lakshman Das requested Dr Newman, Civil Surgeon of Ajmer to medically examine Dev Dayanand. It was too late in the day, he surmised.
On 30 the October 1883, the physical and medical condition of Swami Dayanand Saraswati deteriorated to such an extent that everyone knew the end was near. Swami Dayanand Saraswati was calm and composed. With blisters all over the body and ulcers in the mouth and in the digestive system, an ordinary person would have succumbed to death long ago. Rishivar, however, bore it with divine calm. In the evening he recited Ved mantras, sang a bhajan, asked men around in the Bhinoy Kothi to have all doors and windows opened. He lay down again, pulled the breath in and released it with a gush. The soul thus left the body. A glorious life was cut short so devilishly and no authority has reopened the medico-legal case till today.
Isn’t it the sacred duty of Aryas to carry out extensive research into the sad demise of the great Guru and arrive at a logical conclusion? Many eminent doctors are there in the Arya Samaj fold but perhaps no one rekindled the fire required to reopen an old medico-legal case. It should be done now, may be by the Paropkarini Sabha of Ajmer or the Sarvadeshik Arya pratinidhi Sabha of Delhi provided they have the time and inclination to do so. Until then the puzzle of demise of Dayanand Saraswati remains unresolved!
Mobile: 9811173590. Landline: 0120 – 2454622.