Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
2. Do you mean VEDAS are some books?
3. What are these 4 VEDA Samhitas?
4. What are mantras? How are they different from Shlokas of Sanskrit?
5. What is the purpose of so much emphasis on pronunciation?
6. What was the need for VEDAS?
7. How were the VEDAS revealed?
8. How did the Rishis understand the language of VEDAS?
9. Why were these 4 Rishis chosen for accepting the VEDAS?
10. But initially only Adam and Eve came. Now you talk of 4 Rishis?
11. Are the VEDAS available today? How do we know they are authentic? Even Bible
and Quran are not proven to be completely authentic.
12. How can a layman understand VEDAS? Should we read translation available?
13. VEDAS were good for beginning of civlization. But why we need them today?
14. What do the 4 Vedas contain?
15. Why do VEDAS contain worship of so many Gods?
16. Then what about the 33 crore Gods of Hinduism?
17. If I am a good person, but do not study VEDAS, what is the loss?
18. Why do VEDAS focus on Yajnas and animal sacrifice?
19. How can you claim VEDAS to be revealed scriptures? Why not Bible and Quran etc?
20. Why did God deny VEDAS to Shudras and Women?
21. Do VEDAS also talk of practical science and technology?
22. What is Vedic concept of God and Soul?
23. Do VEDAS permit alcohol or Soma Ras?
24. Why do VEDAS contain hatred against Dasyus and Anarya – the natives of India?
25. Are Shudras not Anarya? Why are they called Daas or slaves then?
26. What about idol worship?
27. Why do VEDAS permit polygamy?
28. Why did Hindus practice polygamy then?
29. Will learning Vedic mantras lead me to ultimate bliss?
30. Why do not everyone embrace VEDAS when everything is so logical?
31. I have another question. What do I do?
32. I want to formally embrace VEDIC way of life? Is there a ritual like in Islam and Christianity?
Question: What is meant by the word VEDA?
The meaning of the word ‘VEDA’ is knowledge. It is derived from the root ‘vid’ which means ‘to know’. By VEDA we imply the eternal knowledge of the Omnipresent and Omniscient God which is provided to humans at beginning of human creation.
Question: Do you mean VEDAS are some books?
VEDAS represent the eternal knowledge. But if you convert them into auditory senses, they represents certain sounds. When you convert them into visual sense, they represent certain mantras that can be compiled in form of books.
As an analogy, when a person has to be represented through hearing, his voice is his representation. And if he has to be represented in a 2D image, his photograph is an accurate representation. Same is the case of VEDAS. They are the eternal knowledge and if we have to represent them as per the senses that humans can perceive, they turn into 4 Ved Samhitas.
Question: What are these 4 VEDA Samhitas?
These are compilation of mantras divided into 4 parts namely Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda.
Question: What are mantras? How are they different from Shlokas of Sanskrit?
The Hymns or stanzas of VEDAS are called Mantras. The hymns of other Sanskrit texts are Shlokas. The Mantras are unchangeable not only in content but even pronunciation.
Thus while common persons may speak VEDIC Mantras without specific focus on pronunciation, each mantra has a specific method of pronunciation for each syllable in it. These are normally indicated by certain lines and symbols over and under Vedic Mantras.
Question: What is the purpose of so much emphasis on pronunciation?
1. This has helped preserve VEDAS in exactly the same form as they first came.
2. The meaning of the Mantra changes as per change in pronunciation. This is like, what we do in real life also. The same words said in two different tones may mean completely opposite.
3. All VEDIC Mantras have several meanings. Further, the depth of meaning for each Mantra is also virtually infinite. To a beginner, certain meaning of a Mantra would be more obvious. But if she focuses on pronunciation pattern as well, further depths and news insights are revealed.
Question: What was the need for VEDAS?
God has provided us all a capability to analyze and reach truth=bliss. However the same is blurred by ignorance. Please read the FAQ on Theory of Karma for more on this.
Thus, typically, it is impossible for humans to learn everything without being taught. We all are trained since birth for a significant period of time, and only then are we able to use our analytical faculties to learn more. And even then, most of the learning we do is through training. Analytical ability only acts as a tool to make it more efficient.
Similarly, it would have been impossible for humans to make so much of progress without any training support. Even a simple faculty like language, which forms the foundation of human civilization is impossible to learn without training.
The supporters of early-man theory are still at a loss to explain the emergence of language and the fact that language of earlier times were much more complex than those known today.
Thus VEDAS were provided as an operating manual to live in this world. It contains the seed knowledge for all fields and sufficient material to start the process of civilization. Without this, human civilization would have been impossible.
Question: How were the VEDAS revealed?
Tradition says that the VEDAS were first revealed in heart of 4 Rishis or seers during inception of the civilization. These were having the best traits as per previous Karma or actions, and most eligible to understand the expain this knowledge. The knowledge of VEDAS revealed from them in a manner similar to way inspiration for doing noble things emerge in hearts of noble men.
Traditions say that Agni received Rig Veda, Vayu – Yajur Veda, Aditya – Sama Veda and Angira – Atharva Veda. Then these 4 Rishis trained other people on basis of these Vedas.
The scholars among these other people contemplated on specific mantras of Vedas and were called Rishis because they researched into meanings of these Mantras which were useful for entire humanity then. Civilization and knowledge flourished henceforth.
Question: How did the Rishis understand the language of VEDAS?
The VEDAS were first revealed to the Rishis as complete package – meaning as well as mantras and their pronunciation. These appear different to us because of our limited knowledge.
But in state of perfection, language, knowledge and pronunciation no more remain different but become one and same.
A simile would be when the child utters ‘Maa’ to call its mother. The language, meaning and pronunciation of ‘Ma’ all together mean the same ‘Mother’ along with all the emotions it implies.
Similarly, when mind is complete devoid of all negative traits and fluctuations, and focused on God, the language, pronunciation and meaning of God’s knowledge all are felt as one integrated package. The 4 Rishis who were inspired with VEDAS had such exalted state.
Now from the knowledge and pronunciation, they developed the first rules of the language through which they trained others.
Thus language also has its origin in the VEDAS?
Question: Why were these 4 Rishis chosen for accepting the VEDAS?
Refer to Concept of God and Theory of Karma. Creation and destruction continue in beginning-less and unending cycles. Thus whenever a new creation happens, the souls who are best equipped to accept and propagate this knowledge are chosen to be among the first humans in the civilization.
Question: But initially only Adam and Eve came. Now you talk of 4 Rishis?
Adam-Eve theory is a good story for entertainment of children. That has no rational basis except showing fear of Hell and lure of Heaven.
As per Vedic belief, right from initiation of creation of the universe up to inception of humans, changes happened gradually as per definite laws of Ishwar. Scientists have discovered many of these aspects recently. And when creation was over, humans emerged not as a couple, but in multiple.
The first humans are supposed to have emerged as youths and neither children nor old ones. No intermediate species between humans and next-intelligent species are found in any form. So evolution of humans from apes or ape-likes is ruled out. Even the current theories of ‘apes are our ancestors’ are too vague and inconclusive, and full of big unexplainable gaps.
The alternative model is that multiple humans emerged from earth, with different genetic makeup, without sexual reproduction. Modern science also does ot rule out possibility of this happening. These young humans had basic knowledge of survival just as animals have. And then 4 among them got the knowledge and trained others.
Because they had different genetic makeup, they could then devise rules of inter-marrying through something similar to Gotra system which is prevalent even till today. This ensures that marriage between close relatives do not happen and hence prevent genetic disorders. VEDAS have specific mantras to prohibit such marriages.
Question: Are the VEDAS available today? How do we know they are authentic? Even Bible and Quran are not proven to be completely authentic.
The 4 VEDAS are available to us exactly in same way, as it was presented first. The God, who devised the universe to help us reach ultimate bliss and support us in all ways possible, ensured that VEDAS are never lost from humanity.
The mechanism was through memorizing 10 different ways of reciting VEDIC mantras in different permutations. They are called ‘Paatha Vidhi’. Thus different words of the mantra would be spoken in different orders. The different Paatha of VEDAS were memorized by different humans. They then taught these Paatha Vidhi to next generation. Whenever a doubt would come, that would be sorted out by checking out the different Paatha pronuciations. This way it was ensured that not even a syllable could be altered. Thus, if you even change a high pitch to low pitch, that would be caught.
Later, these VEDAS were written down. But oral traditions continued and still remain existent in India. And while Northern India was under a lot of turmoil in history due to invasions, South India was relatively peaceful. And hence the tradition continued uninterrupted.
No other book had such a rigorous way of protection. And hence no other book in world can claim such authenticity.
Even the skeptic Western indologists who explored VEDAS to propagate Christianity, could not help admitting this to be a great wonder of human civilization. Max Muller was one such researcher who commented thus.
Today, the 4 VEDAS are available as print format.
Question: How can a layman understand VEDAS? Should we read translation available?
To read VEDAS, one needs to master the language of VEDAS – Sanskrit. In its absence, one can study the translations. However study of translations without a framework would be of little help. Further the translations by western scholars are to be rejected outrightly.
To understand VEDAS, not only language is necessary, one needs to also master certain other subjects. But even more important is an analytical bent of mind and a Yogic approach. What is meant by Yogic approach is mastery over senses and mind.
Since the concepts of VEDAS are very subtle, a disturbed mind or a mind indulged in petty issues and enjoyments of the world can make neither head or tail out of it.
This is same as we would say that it is useless for an uneducated drunkard to try to read Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.
Thus, simultaneous practice of mind discipline and an analytical attitude are necessary to start exploring the VEDAS.
Beyond that, availability of an expert teacher is extremely useful. But in absence of that as well, one can start with study of Satyarth Prakash (LIght of Truth) and Introduction to Vedas by Swami Dayanand Saraswati to understand the basic framework. In today’s context, they would be very critical to start exploration of VEDAS.
However, as said earlier, these too should be read with a Yogic and analytical bent of mind. This is not very difficult or esoteric. It simply means shutting oneself off from distractions and studying with open-minded focus – the way we study any serious subject.
Question: VEDAS were good for beginning of civlization. But why we need them today?
Definitely, VEDAS were indispensable during beginning of human civilization. All the great ideals that we all believe in today, and good aspects of all the cultures, all have source in Vedas. But unfortunately, we lost track of the source in this long journey. Thus we often get distracted and get ourselves in trouble.
VEDAS serve as essential guide to do this course-correction. in absence of VEDAS, we have divided ourselves into so many cults, religions, groups, castes, races etc and keep fighting. In name of progress, we have ruined the environment. We try to adjust objectivity with irrationality and keep failing miserably.
On one hand, we would agree that we should reject wrong and false. But we still agree to propagation of smoking which is proven injurious for smoker, others and environment. Modern Science is still fighting with Spiritualism because it assumes that God is what Bible or Quran tell us. And we try to squeeze a middle path which is impossible.
A typical human is confused over what this life is and what is its direction. it fears death but has no solution. In confusion, it keeps wasting time and escaping from this fear through nonsense activities..and then dies.
VEDAS have solutions to these problems and provide tips on making our individual, social and global life more blissful.
Today we need VEDAS for same reason that a doctor refers back to medical text books throughout his life.
Question: What do the 4 Vedas contain?
Rig Vedas focuses on knowledge of all material and spiritual objects. Yajur Veda deals mainly with recommended actions for humans. Sama Veda deals with devotion and contemplation and Atharva Veda contains applications deriving essence from all three Vedas and their themes (knowledge, action and contemplation)
Question: Why do VEDAS contain worship of so many Gods?
This is a popular myth without any basis. VEDAS unequivocally declare that there is only one God – Ishwar and He is unparalleled.
It calls this Omnipotent God through various adjectives. People without an unbiased Yogic disposition took these names as that of different Gods.
But several mantras of VEDAS clarify this and state that He is One and Only one. For example Rig Veda 6.45.13, Atharva Veda 2.21, Rig Veda, 1.164.46, Rig Veda 10.114.5, Rig Veda 10.82.3 etc
Question: Then what about the 33 crore Gods of Hinduism?
The exact term is 33 Koti Devata which people translate into 33 crore Gods.
Now let us understand that Koti also means ‘type’. And in VEDAS, 33 Devatas are indeed referred but comprehensively summarized in Shatpath Brahman, which is a commentary on VEDAS.
Now Devata does not mean Ishwar or Omnipotent God. It originates from root ‘Divu’ and refers to anything that benefits us. It has same origin as that of word ‘Daan’ which means charity. There are several other meanings of ‘Divu’ like conquer, pursuit, brilliancy, praise, knowledge, motion etc.
In the parlance of 33 Koti Devata, they refer to 33 non-living objects which benefit us namely: 8 Vasus – Fire, Earth, Air, Sky, Super-Terrestrial Space, Sun, Moon, Stars, Ten Life Forces, Soul, and 12 Months.
Further VEDAS proclaim in 10.121 that Ishwar/God provides us with all Devatas
Question: If I am a good person, but do not study VEDAS, what is the loss?
If you are a good person, you will achieve higher levels of Bliss as per your Karma/Actions/Thoughts. But there would be a ceiling due to limited knowledge. Because higher bliss demands further knowledge.
This is similar to study of medicines. One can explore a lot about health science through her own discovery and analysis. But to master further, she will need to study the medical text books and do the necessary laboratory work.
Often we assume that spiritual knowledge is simple and can be obtained by self. We assume that only knowledge of various skills is what requires external training. This is a misconception. While seeds for all kinds of knowledge is there within us, we require more specialized training for those knowledge that have more serious implications and cover so many fields.
The same knowledge becomes simpler with expert guidance.
Question: Why do VEDAS focus on Yajnas and animal sacrifice?
VEDAS believe in non-violence and prohibit all forms of animal killing for esoteric purpose. It all prohibits killing of animals for food and appeals for compassion for all living beings. You can review “No Beef in Vedas” article to know more about it. It is available in this site at http://agniveer.com/vedas/no-beef-in-vedas/
Yajna has three meanings – Respect for God and good people, Good company and Charitable Acts that benefit all. Thus in VEDAS, Yajna has a very comprehensive meaning.
The normal Yajna we associate with the word Yajna is called Agnihotra and is a routine to purify environment and minds of pollution. It has its own medical and spiritual benefits. But it has nothing to do with animal sacrifice. Nor Yajna in VEDAS has to be taken in this restrictive sense.
Question: How can you claim VEDAS to be revealed scriptures? Why not Bible and Quran etc?
VEDAS are not revealed in the sense we understand. There is nothing magical about its emergence. Its a permanent eternal knowledge that got manifested in same natural manner as creation happened. What makes VEDAS different from BIble and Quran are:
1. It appeared at origin of creation and not intermittently. Thus the knowledge is same for all humans since then. But knowledge of Bible and Quran came much later, and hence those who were born before they came were at major loss.
2. If God has to revise His own message, it means God is imperfect. Thus accepting any later day message as God’s is insult to God.
3. There is no science in Quran or Bible which Vedas do not cover.
4. Nothing in VEDAS is opposed to Science and Reason. It does not talk of miracles which only happen in stories but do not happen in real world.
5. VEDAS cover all branches of knowledge. It is 3 times the size of Quran and covers all possible fields in seed form.
6. It does not contain history, geography or stories.
7. The VEDAS are applicable to all human beings in all geographies. The message is quite generic in nature. It also does not differentiate between believers and non-believers and curse non-believers to eternal Hell.
Question: Why did God deny VEDAS to Shudras and Women?
This is another baseless allegation on VEDAS. On contrary, VEDAS emphasize women education more than even men because women are first teachers of next generation. VEDAS clearly proclaim that no one should be denied of knowledge of Ishwar/God. Thus women have full rights to study Vedas.
Shudra does not refer to birth-based caste. It is a term to define uneducated person. Thus someone uneducated will automatically not have access to VEDAS. But one can attain education and learn VEDAS and he or she shall no more be a Shudra.
And regardless of one’s parentage, anyone can study and teach VEDAS based on his or her merits.
VEDAS refute birth-based discrimination of any kind.
Question: Do VEDAS also talk of practical science and technology?
Yes. Vedas provide details on building ships and airplanes. They talk of basics of mathematics and decimal system. They refer to gravity and electricity.
However VEDAS do not get into those details which can be explored by humans themselves. Instead, VEDAS would proclaim humans to explore it further.
Thus, VEDAS do not spoon-feed because ultimate bliss demands efforts. But they give sufficient directions to ensure one is not misled. And that applies for all fields – physical, social, mental sciences.
Question: What is Vedic concept of God and Soul?
Refer to FAQ on Concept of God.
In brief, VEDAS consider God, Soul and Matter/Energy duo to be eternal.
Question: Do VEDAS permit alcohol or Soma Ras?
Soma Ras is not alcohol. It refers to exalted state of motivation. The kind of motivation that legendary people and freedom-fighters have.
In later era, people started calling alcohol Soma because from perspective of normal people, these exalted people appear insane or intoxicated with their passions.
On contrary, VEDAS completely discourage use of substance which numb senses or interferes with purity and clarity of thoughts. Refer Rig Veda 8.2.12 and Atharva veda 6.7.1
Question: Why do VEDAS contain hatred against Dasyus and Anarya – the natives of India?
This is another crazy theory prevalent. We shall devote a thorough article to explode this myth.
When VEDAS are first texts of mankind, and no one has ever been able to trace its origin, there is no question of there being any natives when VEDAS first came!
The word Arya in VEDAS mean a civilized person. Anarya is opposite of Arya and means a criminal. Dasyu means looters.
Thus, if I ask, why does modern society have hatred against criminals and looters, what would you say?
VEDAS clearly define that criminals and looters should be dealt with iron hand.
In a VEDIC society, even someone not believing in VEDAS is allowed to live freely. Unlike Bible and Quran, there is no discrimination on this basis.
But criminals and nuisance creators are to be punished like in modern times.
Question: Are Shudras not Anarya? Why are they called Daas or slaves then?
No, Shudra refers to one who did not complete education. Shudra can be in any family. Daas is another term for Anarya or criminals.
It was much later that owing to breakdown of VEDIC education, the 4 professions which were based on qualifications turned into birth-based systems. And then the uneducated ones had to suffer. Then Daas and Shudra became equivalent.
This is like current politics. Noe only children of politicians can become politicians. Others have a no-entry there. After few years, if this trend does not stop, we may have family background come up as an eligibility criteria. It is already so unofficially!
Question: What about idol worship?
VEDAS condemn practice of restricting God in idol. That is neither true nor respectful to God. It instead explains a method of mind-control and skills enhancement to worship God. This leads to improved physical, mental and spiritual health and hence the devotee is able to put better efforts.
Question: Why do VEDAS permit polygamy?
VEDAS, perhaps, are the only texts in world that clearly discourage Polygamy. It is so convinced of monogamy that all mantras relating to marriage are in dual voice. It further has several mantras that discourage polygamy.
Question: Why did Hindus practice polygamy then?
Hindus have done several things against recommendations of VEDAS. And that is why they suffered so many upsets. VEDAS do not ban anything with fear of Hell. Instead they spell out their recommendations. This is like books on Medicine. They will explain effect of smoking on lungs. A wise man would understand from that. But a fool would still smoke. VEDAS are not targeted towards fools.
Society has on various times deviated from VEDIC teachings and has suffered loss in that aspect. For example Dashrath took 4 wives, or Pandavas played gambling. But neither is an example of VEDIC practice and both suffered setbacks for their stupidities.
Question: Will learning Vedic mantras lead me to ultimate bliss?
Simply mugging up mantras would be a waste of time. VEDAS are a workbook. You need to practice the meaning in Knowledge, Action and Contemplation. Further, each mantra has deeper and deeper layers of meanings. This exploration is a life long but extremely enjoyable process. You need to submerge completely to get benefits and fun! Like in learning any sports or skills. Shortcuts are waste of time.
Often many people mug up mantras, standard speeches and dialogues and pose as experts. They may gain popularity, but are wasting their times. And making their future progress even more difficult due to layers of false ego that they have accumulated.
Question: Why do not everyone embrace VEDAS when everything is so logical?
For exactly the same reasons that people find difficult to quit smoking even when they know that it is damaging. Past tendencies, false egos and lack of Will make it difficult.
Today, based on in which society we were born, or who influenced us first with charisma, who insulted us, we decide whether we are Hindu, Muslim, Atheist, Christian, Buddhist etc. Very few people are able to rise above these uncontrolled parameters and do an objective analysis and embrace truth. And this courage to embrace truth and reject false is first step to achieving Truth=Vedas=Bliss.
As I said, there is no scope for blind faith in VEDAS. Even those who believe in VEDAS without any reason or thorough analysis, merely due to above mentioned reasons, are simply wasting their times.
For true truth-warriors, nothing is more fun than embracing VEDAS.
Question: I have another question. What do I do?
1. You can read Introduction to Vedas and Light of Truth by Dayanand Saraswasti and answer many more doubts.
2. You can visit http://satyavidya.org
3. You can post it on Vistor FAQ section at http://agniveer.com/faq/
4. You can share a comment here.
5. You can mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Question: I want to formally embrace VEDIC way of life? Is there a ritual like in Islam and Christianity?
Rituals serve the purpose of self-discipline and installing a reference point to focus the mind. For truly Yogic, there is no need for any ritual.
Curtesy by Agniveer
Friday, December 18, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Bankim babu wrote Vande Mataram in one sitting in his native village, Naihati, just a few miles away from the metropolis, Calcutta..It was Akshay Naomi which fell on a Sunday on 7 November 1875 and Bankim babu, a Deputy Collector of the British Raj was relaxing in his ancestral home. His mind and heart were in turmoil. The English masters were forcing their own national anthem, God Save the Queen, down the throat of all Indians. Bankim babu felt the divine inspiration and words came pouring out of his heart and on to his pen. An immortal song, Vande Mataram, stood composed. It was seven years later that Vande Mataram was incorporated in the famous novel of the author, Anand Math, dealing with the history of the Sanyasi uprising in Dacca, North Bengal and other places from 1763 to 1780. The Dharm Yudh was against the foreign domination. The English and their collaborators were targeted. The saints uprising has inspired the youth of Bengal ever since. Indeed, it was a never fading source of inspiration for the patriots all over Bharat
No less a person than Gurudev Ravindra Nath Tagore lent his voice to Vande Mataram when he sang it in the session of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta in 1896. It was a stirring moment, although the tempo was rather slow compared to that of the rendering of Vande Mataram by Lata Mangeshkar in the movie, Anand Math. Nevertheless, Vande Mataram had come out of the rural landscape to play its all important role on the national stage. Bengal loved the song and the rest of India was not far behind. Vande Mataram was sung in many tunes, in many languages by many men and women voluntarily. North, South, East and West of India were equally involved.
1905 was the high noon of the national fervour that Vande Mataram generated. Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy, passed a decree dividing Bengal into two parts, east and west. The British are at their best when they play the game called, Divide and Rule. However, it was rather unfortunate for the rulers that the Bang Bhang united India as a whole. Men and women of all faiths walked the streets of towns and talukas of Bengal singing Vande Mataram with religious fervour. It was a sight to be seen to be believed. The decree of Curzon was rescinded. But the British were back to their game of dividing the united people. They made some elements believe that singing Vande Mataram was a sign of Hindu domination. Their trick worked. The bogey of religion took its toll. The Muslim League was born. No one was happier than the British masters.
The Indian National Congress, at its Varanasi session , adopted Vande Mataram as the national song on 7th September 1905. The cohesive spirit that the song generated could not be lost sight of by the national leaders. The momentous decision was taken unanimously a century ago. Since then the national song is sung at all sessions not only of the Congress but also the Bhartiya Janata Party and some others. It is sung in the closing session of the parliament too. Truly national in word and deed.
Vande Mataram has all along been a song of patriotism and unification. Gandhi and Jinnah sang it together on the Congress platform till the latter quit the Congress as he was a non-believer in the principle of Swaraj. Of course, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Shri Purshottam Das Tandon, born rivals, were in the forefront in singing Vande Mataram at the beginning of the session everywhere. Shri Rafi Ahmad Kidwai , out and out a nationalist, never had a second thought about singing Vande Mataram. Nevertheless, the divisive forces were working overtime at the behest of their British masters to upset the applecart. How sad, the mischief mongers had their way. The rest is history. Is history repeating itsef ? Time alone will tell.
Singing Vande Mataram the Indian people had waged the war of Independence non-violently. The song was all along the National Anthem to the rank and file of freedom fighters. A committee comprising Nehru, Azad, Subhash Bose and Narendra Dev had said that the first two stanzas of the song had no reference to any religion and should be our anthem. It came as a rude shock when the controversial decision to make Jana Gana Mana the national anthem was announced on 24 January 1950. However, the words of Dr Rajendra Prasad, President of the Constituent Assembly, came as a soothing balm. He said, “…the song Vande Mataram , which has played a historic part in the struggle for Indian freedom, shall be honoured equally with Jana Gana mana and shall have equal status with it.”
Taking a look at the English translation of Vande Mataram, done by Shree Aurobindo, one may safely surmise that the storm in a tea cup brewing at the behest of separatists will blow away and patriotism will prevail. The stanzas of the song are given below :
Mother, I bow to Thee !
Rich with thy hurrying streams
Bright with orchard gleams.
Cool with thy winds of delight
Green fields waving Mother of might,
Glory of moonlight dreams,
Over thy branches and lordly streams,
Clad in thy blossoming trees,
Mother, giver of ease
Laughing low and sweet!
Mother I kiss thy feet,
Speaker sweet and low!
Mother, to thee I bow
Indeed the original song in Bangala with a rich dose of Sanskrit words is soul stirring. Although the British government in India had banned the national song Vande Mataram, it surfaced and resurfaced. The British failed in suppressing the spirit of independence. The Indians won their freedom. Let us now all sing in unison the song of the People,
By Brig Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The incidents in the life, therefore, of this stainless saint are not without special significance to every lover of Sanskrit literature and arya- dharma. The life has its own grand lessons to teach and unique ideals to present. Again, the romantic carrier of that sannyasin is surrounded by a halo of sanctity, unparalleled in the annals of this country. His work is of far reaching consequences. The seeds of activity sown by him in the heart of dayanand were and are bound to develop themselves into mighty trees yielding delicious fruits to be eaten probably by people coming generations after. Today we see only the plants at this stage of transition their growth necessarily seems to be slow. But plants of slow growth live long, because they take deep roots. The life of this first planter, we repeat, though simple and to all intents and purposes uneventful, is yet interesting enough and deserves a critical study.
EARLY LIFE FULL OF PATHOS
In the land of the five rivers, on the banks of the river beas is situated a village Gangapur by name where to one Narayan Dutt was born in the vikrama samat 1854 a lad who in after years held the key to the scientific of the Vedas and passed it on to a zealous disciple of his. Shri Narayan Dutt was a Saraswata Brahmin and with a view to make his son a great Sanskrit pundit taught him in due course that devavani. In spite of the tender affection bestowed by the parents on the lad and their attempts to make his life a happy one, a sea of troubles seemed to rise before him. What with the evil effect of a dire malady and what with the sad bereavement his cup of miseries was full to the brim. Small knows not how to revere age or sex and that fell disease attacked this lad when he had just attained his fifth and deprived him of his eyesight for ever. Misfortune never comes single, and before he completed his twelfth year his parents died, naturally leaving the orphan to the tender mercies of the survivors. The blind boy would ask his uncle and aunt for bread and receive stone.
He being oppressed by thirst would beg for water and down flowed a torrent of abusive and filthy words from the hard hearts of those guardians. Probably it was the intention of this happy couple to lay in the heart of the nephew the foundations of those virtues which are essential for the would be reformer. Undoubtedly it was here that the renowned ascetic first learned to be patient, persevering and industrious. But at that particular of time his life cup became extremely bitter. His home, if ever could be called so, was presided over by an uncle who surpassed hiranyakasaypa in cruelty. Perhaps he did not stand in need of one as he himself by dint of valour was to become a simha one day of men and save his dharma and literature.
FOREST – LIFE
The twelfth year of his life arrived, but his miseries however, knew, no bounds. The boy being then driven to despair hit upon the plan of running away from the cage in which misfortunes had imprisoned him. One happy day he flew away from it and began to roam about in dense jungles living on roots and fruits and at times brooding over the significance of the gayatri mantra. Forest life did not terrorize him, and why should it? He was a young yogi and knew no fear. Even in that think forest, the hands of the almighty was there to protect him and through him his country’s sacred literature. In the land of shankracharya and kumarilabbhatta, neither dire destitution nor the ire of wild beasts could bring about the ruin of this savior of the Vedas. This forest life he led for about three long years and then with a consolation and courage unknown to an atheist, this devotee proceeded to hirishikesha in the sylvan retreats of which he practiced regular tapasya- penance- for three more years. Then he proceeded to haridwar where Swami Poornanada Saraswati initiated him in the sannyasa ashrama and gave him the happy name of Virajanand Saraswati. Here it was that he studied siddhanta kaumudi- a treatise on Sanskrit grammar. Kankhal was the next village visited by him.
Then in Benaras he studied darshan (philosophy) .apart from studying Sanskrit he also started lectures to students who came to him for learning. The combined duties of the teacher and the taught render concentration of attention on one particular subject extremely difficult but with virajanand the case was quite difficult. The blind sage had a powerful memory to retain anything that was read out of him and was highly endowed with the capacity to communicate knowledge to others. At Gaya he studied Vedanta for a pretty long time.
FROM PALACE TO FOREST
To a genuine Yogi wealth has no attraction whatsoever. To him residence either in a palace or a forest makes no difference at all. To those who live below the smoke and stir of this dim spot, which man call earth and who with low-thoughted care, confined and pestered in this finfold. Strive to keep up a frail and feverish being; the joys of a palace are fascinating and the horrors of a forest life are terrorizing. But to those who like Swami Virajanand take a vow of poverty and are bent upon keeping up to any word they utter the pleasure of the world can be no temptation.
Once Swami Virajanand was standing in the waters of the Ganges and repeating some Sanskrit verses in praise of god in a loud voice. Maharaja of Alwar Vinay Singh heard him. Sanskrit mantras captivated raja so much that he approached him with a request to accompany to alwar as a guest. The blind monk replied “thou art a king and a bhogee. I am a beggar and a yogi. These two opposites cannot live in harmony” .at the urgent and earnest request of raja swami virajanand agreed to accompany him if raja vinay singh would agree to study Sanskrit three hours a day , failing which he would leave raja immediately. Raja was always punctual at his study but one day he absented himself without taking prior permission.
The choleric tutor was all wrath, the raja was unable to pacify him and instantaneously virajanand leaving all his books and money there left the hospitable palace and resumed his peregrinations.
It was in year 1893 of vikrama era that he proceeded to Mathura and having hired a building opened a Sanskrit school in which he started teaching Sanskrit grammar. At that time a debate took place between him and a well known Sanskrit pundit name Krishna Shastree on grammar. It was to be decided whether a sutra of Panini, ajadyukti was a genitive tatpurusha compound or a locative tatpurusha compound. Swami Virajanand held that it was a genitive tatpurusha. It is also said that Swami Virajanand was made to suffer defeat and all possible fraudulent means were adopted to achieve that end. However one thing was certain that swami ji lost all faith in commentaries of Sanskrit grammar published by selfish men and began gradually to devote his attention to the study of Panini astadhyayi.
Swami Virajanand in Mathura found the key to understand the hidden treasures in Vedas. According to him study of Panini Astadhyayi was so essential that for a correct scientific interpretation of the Vedas .without a systemic study of Shadangas – Shiksha, Kalpa, Vyakarana, Nirukta, Nighantu and Jyotisha Vedic interpretation is impossible. Once he infuse the spirit of the study of Rishi Kritagranthas , the clouds of mysticism and element worship hanging on the Vedas were all dispelled. Only it needed a Dayanand to imbibe this spirit and create a might revolution in the world of religions. The blind, weak, ill monk Virajanand started waiting for the true disciple who could hold these keys to bust the cloud of ignorance over Vedas. The worthy guru whom physical disabilities incapacitated the understanding of any great work commands the earnest disciple to move heaven and earth to popularize the study of Vedas and no disciple has so faithfully carried out the mandate of his guru as Dayanand.
Swami Dayanand who was wandering for years in search of truth found the keys to Vedas while studying under swami virajanand. His thirst for truth was satisfied only in class
THE BEAUTIES OF THE VEDIC DHARMA
The key to the scientific interpretation of the Vedas was lost and the credit of having found it out belongs to Swami Virajanand. Having come in possession of that key Dayanand unlocked the hidden treasures for the benefit of mankind. It was this patriot- sage who preached that the religion of the Vedas was not and is not one of the worship of stocks and stones but of monotheism pure and simple. He studied the other smrities and shastras and came to the right conclusion that both as a system of theology or sociology vedism were grand and sublime. The most scientific division of the four varnas- Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Sudra. Of the four ashrams – Brahmcharya, Grihastha, Vanaprasta, Sannyasa and of sixteen sanskaras and five yajnas struck Dayanand as most sublime and worthy of revival. But all this he could not possible have done if there were no Swami Virajanand. So we emphatically declare that the credit of showing the beauties of the Vedic dharma is in a large measure due to Swami Virajanand. The study of classical Sanskrit conducted on scientific lines is as it was the Rosetta- stone which enables mankind to decipher the Vedic hieroglyphics, the discovery of which fell to the happy lot of the otherwise unhappy Swami Virajanand
SWAMI VIRAJANAND, THE MAN
Swami Virajanand was a man of indomitable courage and fiery enthusiasm. His love for the Vedic literature was only equaled by his earnest desire to serve his country and religion. By patience and perseverance alone he overcame mountains of difficulties. His plain living and high thinking entitle him to be called as a rishi. His solicitude for the welfare of the pupils who sat at his feet to drink deep the fountains of immortal Sanskrit lore was the outcome of the love he bore to education without which he thought no human being can claim to that title. A perusal of the voluminous commentaries of the Vedas of swami dayanand will convince any one of the greats service which he and his guru have rendered to the cause of Sanskrit and Vedism. A genuine yogi, a profound scholar, a true devotee and an inveterate for of sham and a real descendant of the mighty seers of yore he shook off the mortal coil in the year 1925 of the vikrama era and entered those religions of bliss from the “bourn of which no traveler is said to return.” As long as we have any love for Sanskrit and the Vedas, we cannot afford to forget the yeoman service swami virajanand rendered to the cause of Hindu nationality.
Collected by Dr. Vivek Arya
Monday, November 23, 2009
of Rishi Dayananda for his ancient Aryan church. The dying glance of the Rishi
had miraculously transformed the mettle which was there in the young intrepid
scholar. Had not death cut short his scholastic career so early, the Arya Samaj
and through it the whole world of religious and metaphysical though may have
been considerably enriched by his erudite philosophic contributions, of which
the few dissertations and brief discourse he could, in the midst of his manifold
activities, find time to write, gave sure promise.
An unmistakable vein of sincere love of truth for which no sacrifice of personal
glory and earthly possession and comfort was too great, runs through them all.
This marks Gurudatta out as a genuine philosopher, whose craving for spiritual
light was not simply intellectual, it was the innermost call of his disconsolate
He it was who recognized in the last glance of Rishi Dayananda the soul of a
seer, anxious to save a money-mad world from the dismal abyss of gross
materialism, to guide it away by the help of the eternal light of the Veda to
the empyrean heights of Spiritual Bliss. In that departing glance he read a
message, a command to take up the challenge which the asuri demonical, forces of
Mammon were throwing out to the ancient diava, divine, culture of the Rishis.
The young boy of nineteen took the challenge up, and coming of a warlike race
fought to the last on the side of truth and righteousness. His was the death of
a hero who, like another young boy whom Muse glorifies as having died on the
station of his duty in another sphere.
Pandit Gurudatta was the last male child of Lala Radhakishen Sardana of Multan,
whose ancestors had distinguished themselves in the field both, of letters and
arms. He was born on 26th April 1864.
His grandfather was the ambassador of Nawab of Bahawalpur in the court of the
Amir of Kabul. From him he inherited an aptitude from Persian which by a little
training in the primary classes gave him a working mastery of that language so
that he could in his boyhood dip into the deepest waters of the Persian
literature. He conceived a fondness for Samskrita too in his schooldays. And the
first book that after his study of the Samskrita Priimer fell into the young
boy's hands was the Rig Vedadi Bhashya Bhumika of Swami Dayananda.
He forthwith approached the authorities of Arya Samaj at Multan and challenged
then to either make arrangements for his study of the Ashtadhyayi and the Vedas
or accept that the scriptures for which they claimed infallibility were only
trash. The alternatives proposed appear to us to be an index to his sinner
nature. In his heart of hearts he was convinced of the intellectual and
spiritual worth of the Vedas, an introduction to which by the Rishi of the time
he had already read.
It was his impatience, and irresistible zeal to read more which prompted him to
the blasphemous insinuation that the Vedas could, if the were not taught him, be
regarded as trash. The Multan Arya Samaj engaged a Pandit who found it beyond
his learning and pedagogic capacity to satisfy the little Vidyarthi.
The Vidyarthi solved his own puzzles of Grammar and the Vedas, and though the
arrangement made by the Samaj was not satisfactory, he did not regard the Vedas
as trash. In 1881 he martriculated. It was this year that he got himself
registered in the Arya Samaj as member. In 1883 he undergraduated. He had in the
interim founded a Free Debating Club, where profound philosophical questions
used to be discussed.
Gurudatta was snow passing through that period of his life when the mind of a
young man is yet in a fluid state. The college days of mental and spiritual
intractability. The supreme authority to a college-boy is his own virgin
opinion. In those days, if ever, liberty of thought holds an absolute way over
The age of greatest impressionability is also the age of greatest
intractability. Everyday and every hour new opinions are borrowed. Every new
thought however has during the regime its suzerainty absolute. Pandit
Gurudatta's progress in grasping and assimilating ideas and facts was
tremendously rapid. Somehow he acquired the notoriety of being an atheist.
Those who had the occasion to live close to him bear witness to a strong skeptic
disposition in him, which to them was a mark of an intensely inquisitive frame
of mind. Gurudatta, even when some thought he was an atheist, continued a
staunch Arya Samajist. And when the news was received of Rishi Dayananda's
illness at Ajmer, the Arya Samaj at Lahore deputed Lala Kivan Das and Gurudatta
to go and tend him.
The resources of the Arya Samaja appear to have been very poor at the time so
that the choice for an errand of such importance and responsibility could fall
on a lad of nineteen. To Gurudatta the occasion afforded an opportunity of his
first and last darshana of his beloved Rishi. He saw the Rishi Dying. Not a word
passed between the Master and his devotee, but Gurudatta's whole nature had in
the meantime silently taken a turn.
When he returned to Lahore, he was evidently a changed man. His former
frivolity, his impatience, his skepticism had in an instant left him. The zeal
was there, but now it was wedded to seriousness. Somehow the feeling had dawned
on Gurudatta that the Rishi had by his last glance let his mantle drop on his
shoulders. To others the privileges of succession, to Gurudutta were passed the
obligations of the Rishis mission.
In 1885 he graduated and in 1886 he passed his M.A. His subject was Physical
Science. The position secured by him in the pass list remains yet a record in
the University which no succeeding candidate has yet surpassed. In the meantime
Gurudatta had been touring the Punjab attending anniversaries of Arya Samajis.
He had been busy reading the scriptures and books on philosophy and religion
both eastern and western.
For two years he was acting Professor at the Government College where his deep
erudition and pedagogic capability met with high and well-merited appreciation.
The movement to found a college in memory of Rishi Dayananda had, since the
death of the Sage, been launched by the guiding spirits of the Arya Samaj.
Gurudatta threw himself heart and soul into the campaign to collect funds for
that, to him a sacred institution. The speeches he delivered on behalf of the
cause were recognized as wonderful specimens of erudition and oratory. The
D.A.V. College of Pandit Gurudatta's dream was an institution where Brahmacharya
would be the dominant factor in life of the students and ancient Shastras the
primary study in the curriculum of the academy. He was yet living when under the
influence of the University the D.A.V. college was given its present shape and
He expressed strong dissatisfaction with his disagreement with its then
conductors as regards there educational policy. In the short period of six years
after he had seen the Rishi he had acquired marvelous master of sacred books of
Samskrita. A treatise by him entitled "The Terminology of the Vedas" was
included in the course of Samskrita for the degree examination at Oxford.
His translation of a few of the Upanishads, when after his death copies of it
were sent to America on the occasion of the Parliament of Religions held in
Chicago in 1896, won such appreciation that an American edition of it was
published by an American publisher, of his own accord.
Gurudatta spoke for hours in Samskrita, which feat won him the title `Pandit'
which sticks still to his name. He in his humility styled himself Vidyarthi,
while those who heard him styled him Pandit. This was true Brahmni spirit which
marked Gurudatta throughout his career. To his Ashtadhyayi class came some old
men, among them an E.A.C who had taken leave for the sole object of reading
Grammar with Gurudatta. A young man of only twenty-six, attracting pupils of all
ages, and making such stir among the populace recalled scenes from the hoary
history of Bharata Varasha of the time of Janaka and Yajanvalkya.
The strain on the nerves of Gurudatta had been great. He had tried to compress
within three years what normally should have taken a life-time to accomplish. He
had amassed a great deal of learning, so that in his time he well-nigh became an
authority on the true meaning of scriptures. But his ceaseless assiduity had
cost him his health.
During his school days Gurudatta had been fond of physical exercise: His
physique was strong, but his mental labor had of late been great, so that in
1889 he fell victim to consumption, and finding it impossible even then to rest,
succumbed to the dire disease in March 1890. he was advised by doctors to take
meat, which would uphold him in his weakness. But the smiling answer of the
"Will meat make me immortal? Will it make me death-proof ever after? If not, why
for a chance of saving one's own life bring about certain death of another?
During the night in which Pt. Gurudatta died Ish-Upanishad had at his request
been repeated recited to him. His references to incidents in Rishi Dayananda's
life had always formed a pathetic portion of his speeches. People had therefore
urged him to write a biography of the Swami, which the Pandit had gladly
consented to do so. When the Pandit was on the point of death somebody asked
where his manuscript of the biography was. The Pandit characteristically
"I have been trying conscientiously to record the life-account of my Rishi not
on paper, not in ink, but in my own day-to-day life. It was my ambition to live
Dayananda. My body, alas! Has failed me. I lay it down, gladly in the hope that
the next vehicle will be more in conformity with the aspirations of the soul."
To us a thread appears to run through the variegated phases of Gurudatta's life.
He was a heroic soul, passionately zealous, impatiently inquisitive,
conscientious and inordinately sincere and true. He believed in the Vedas and
yet in his zeal to be able to read more of them declared his readiness to
denounce them as trash.
He believed in God and yet in his zeal to understand His nature more thoroughly
he argued His existence with himself and others and thus appeared as if he were
an atheist. He was born for a mission, and when the last glance of the Rishi had
pointed the path to him, he had, as it were, almost doubled his age, and become
grave and thoughtful like a man of fifty.
The inability to at once take the place of the Rishi was to him intolerable. He
wanted instantly to shake off his physical and mental limitations and at once
become a sage. The ambition was great, but in it there was not vestige of
self-conceit. He was trying everyday of his life to become Dayananda. To that
end he learnt Yoga exercises, and when even these could not bridge the mental
and spiritual distance between him and his goal he willingly laid down his life.
His was the glory of a martyr to his own tyranny.
The day of his death was honored by local colleges and courts being closed for a
holiday. The world of letters mourned his loss as the loss of a literary
prodigy. The Punjab University was conscious that it has lost its only scholar
whose earliest productions has met with recognition at the hands of those who
were competent to judge, both in and outside the country.
Of the Arya Samaj he was the one hope. The spirit that inspired him has, however
lived. It will forever continue inspiring young hearts. O that he had taken
better care of his body!
Submitted by Anand Bakshi
Collected by Dr Vivek Arya
The Rishivar who wrote his commentary on the Vedas in Hindi, common man's language, said that the Vedas themselves give the right to ONE AND ALL to read the Ved Mantras and meditate. The Vedas, thereafter, became popular all over the country and later the world too.
The Gurukul was founded by Swami Shraddhanand, a disciple of Swami Dayanand and it has done a yeoman's service in the field of education. It has blossomed into a Deemed University and organises intellectual seminars and literary conferences on all issues and topics that serve the cause of education and ameliorate the living conditions of Man leading the humanity to health and happiness.
The delegates who had come from various universities of India were well looked after. They were well billeted, dined and were given food for thought too. The Ved sammelan was held from 20th November to 22nd November 09 on the premises of the Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar, India. It was a treat to the mind of man.
At the inauguration ceremony the chief guest was Swami Ramdev Maharaj. His august personality and his style of lecture impressed one and all. He was present at the Havan too at the yajnashala and made a short speech there also to bless the intelligentsia and common folks alike. Swami Ramdev Maharaj had invited all the delegates to his Ashram, the PATANJALI YOGPEETH, the campus hosts and boasts of a university too. The great Yoga Rishi regaled them with interesting anecdotes and Vedic tales. The Swami hosted a sumptuous vegetarian dinner and in the Vedic tradition gave a good DAKSHINA to one and all. The celebrites on the dais were honoured with a shawl each and literature on the Bharat Swabhiman Abhiyan and Vyavastha Parivartan was given too. It may be said that it was a unique experience of the Vedic delegates to have seen and heard Swami Ramdev Maharaj from close quarters. Indeed it was an experience of a lifetime, so said many delegates, both men and women.
Swami Satya Mitranand Saraswati was another guest of honour at the inaugural ceremony and his speech was a stirring one. He gave a clarion call to all Indians to rally round the OM DHWAJ to work for the betterment of Bharat Mata and root out corruption and terrorism plaguing the country at present.
The credit for making the Ved Sammelan a grand success goes to Professor Mahavir Ji, Head of the Sanskrit Department, Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyaya and also Acharya of the Vishwavidyalaya, Prof Ved Prakash Shastri whose brainchild the Vishwa Ved sammelan was. Professor Swatantra Kumar, Kulpati of the Gurukul was the guiding hand and the leading light who made it a point to be everywhere where a major activity was going on. Of course, organising such a big event needed a team work and a good team of dedicated soldier-scholars was there working selflessly day and night. The dividing line between departments and faculties was obliterated as the Veda is the guiding light of one and all. Prof Rajendra Kumar of the Engineering Department, Dr Roop kishore of the Veda department or Dr Purohit of the Physics department, not forgetting Harish Gururani, baby of the Sanskrit department and now a Ph.D. himself – they all worked for the Veda sammelan as if they all belonged to the Veda department. Prof Mahavir who doubled as the compere at every function thanked them all and had all selfless team mates honoured at the Samapan Samaroh which was an in-house function.
The three -day Veda sammelan attracted scholars from France, America and some other countries too. Most of them said that they were non-resident Indians and had felt deeply attached to the Vedic dharm as propounded by Mahrishi Dayanand Saraswati. A feedback was taken by the organisors informally and it was found that there was no lacuna worth reporting. Among the delegates were Dr Pratibha Shukla and Dr Aruna Shukla, the former from Hariyana and the latter from the Punjab, who gave similar comments about their experiences and praised the sammelan for letting delegates have an interaction with saints and seers mentioned heretofore and scholars like Swami Govind Giri and a celebrity like Acharya Balkrishna ji, Vice-Chancellor of the Patanjali Yogpeeth Vishwavidyalaya, Maharishi Dayanand gram. Some media persons did go round tlaking to delegates freely about their trails and tribulations during the international Vedic conference but they drew a blank. Both the print and the electronic media had a word of praise for the good work done. Indeed the Hindi press was as supportive as ever and published many photographs and short interviews of non-celebrites too.
The soul of Swami Shraddhanand Ji, wherever and in whatever form it may be, will feel elated that the Veda prachar that he advocated through the Gurukulas from the Lahore days, is being successfully carried on by his favourite Gurukul Kangri that has blossomed into a deemed university where every department is committed to teaching the Vedic Thought enunciated by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati.
On a successful completion of the three-day Vishwa Ved Sammelan, there was not even a single soul who would not say that the Gurukul Kangri gave him the Vedic knowledge and spiritual light and delight in three days what he had aspired for all his life. Indeed it was a delightful Vedic interaction and a gainful experience of a lifetime.
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Sunday, November 22, 2009
One who wishes to go to the rescue of the exploited and the downtrodden men and women needs moral courage to fight against the religious, social and financial vested interests who are well dug in. Right from Day One of the Reformation movement launched by a 14 year old teenager called Mool Shankar to the time of his transformation as a Sanyasi renamed Dayanand Saraswati to the time he breathed his last, his indomitable spirit kept on fighting against tyranny – religious, social and political. He minced no words in chastising the high and mighty for their wrong-doings, Adharma and did so publicly. Dayanand Saraswati had the moral courage to launch a frontal attack on the king and the clergy alike so that the common man could breathe easy. He paid for this with his life but was eulogized by men and women of all walks of life except the vested interests who looted the country to line up their own pockets. Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati became the first Martyr of the Arya Samaj but he was not alone.
Pundit Lekh Ram , who had met and interviewed Swami Dayanand Saraswati just once in life, followed suit.He is the dedicated vedic missionary who travelled far and wide to collect and collate original evidence about the life and times of the founder of the Arya Samaj to write a biography also converted people to the fold of the Vedic Dharma.He was committed to fulfil the aspirations of Arya Samajists that the good word of the Vedas should be carried to every home and hearth. With a missionary zeal he travelled far and wide. As the story goes , while travelling on an express train to reach the destination to save some families from converting to Islam and adopt the Vedic Dharm instead, he was told that the train did not halt at the railway station that served his destination. Undeterred, he jumped off the running train at the station concerned and proceeded to fulfil his mission. Unbelievable but true. Further he had an ongoing war of words with the Mirza of Ahmedias at Kadiyan and he always carried the day. Stung by spiritual and literary defeats at the hands of Pundit lekh Ram, the Mirza plotted his cold blooded murder. It was indeed a sad day for the Arya Samaj when a stalwart who boldly challenged those who were advocating Islamic hocus pocus.
Swami Shraddhanand Saraswati sounded the trumpet of SHUDDHI to reconvert those Hindu families who had been forcibly converted to Islam by the Mughals and he was a success in his noble and novel mission.Of course, this movement to bring home brethren who had gone astray was over and above the revolution that he brought about in education by founding the Gurukul Kangri at Haridwar. Both the acts were products of moral courage coupled with courage of conviction. For his foray into the realm of Macaulay’s English education, he was commended by Ramsay Mcdonald for taking a concrete step to counter Macaulay. However, the Swami cannot be dubbed as anti-Muslim or anti-British. He is the only Arya Sanyasi so far to have been invited by the Muslims to the Jama Masjid of Delhi to make a speech to unite the nation against the foreign rule. However, some misguided Muslims hatched a conspiracy to eliminate him because he was a Vedic missionary and tolerated no nonsense in carrying the torch of Vedas forward. He found a place in the galaxy of martyrs of the Arya Samaj and we are proud of him.
DEFENDING FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
Mahashay Rajpal of Lahore was a champion defender of the right of expression. He was a writer and a publisher. Above all he was an ardent Arya Samajist who had learnt his primer in courage and freedom of expression from no less a person than Pundit Lekh Ram himself. Brought up in the Arya Samaj tradition where Vedic missionaries were tempered with the principle “Counter Attack is the best form of Defence”, Mahashay Rajpal could not sit idle when Fascist-Islamists made and published derogatory remarks against Yogeshwar Shri Krishna and Swami Dayanand Saraswati. Rajpal Ji had the moral courage to publish a book of facts about the Prophet of Islam entitled “Rangila Rasool” The book comprised nothing but bare facts borne by history. The then government prosecuted Rajpal Ji. He bore the brunt but did not divulge name of the writer. He had the courage to own up its publication as it was the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Although the lower court convicted him but the Punjab High Court,Lahore acquitted him with honour. His conviction in defending the right of expression and exercising the freedom of publication were vindicated. However,history repeated itself when bigots made attempt after attempt to kill the bold publisher,Rajpal Ji and eventually succeeded. Shaheed Rajpal Ji joined his co-religionists in the roll of honour and continues to be a beacon of inspiring light for succeeding generations.
MARTYRS IN UNIFORM
The Dayanand Anglo- Vedic School founded in 1886 to carry on the mission of Swami Dayanand Saraswati is a living lineage of courage and sacrifice for the cause of the country. In the twentieth century, 1999 to be precise, Pakistan attacked kargil in Jammu and Kashmir.It was done surreptitiously. An Army patrol detailed to find facts was ambushed but fought bravely. None survived. It was a saga pf chivalry and the patrol was led by Capt Saurabh Kalia,an ex-student of a DAV School in Himachal Pradesh. The spirit of patriotism was instilled in him by the DAV school and his father said so. Another story of epic gallantary was that of Lieutenant Manoj Pande, a scion of an Arya Samajist family of Lucknow. He led his jawans gallantly, dislodged Pakistan soldiers from the post in Khalubar and remained alive until the national Tricolour did not replace the Pakistan flag at the post. The Government of India honoured his chivalry with the award of the highest gallantary award for showing exemplary courage in the face of the enemy, PARAM VIR CHAKRA. His last rites were performed as per the Sanskar Vidhi written by Swami Dayanand Saraswati.
The continual addition of stars to the galaxy of Arya Samaj martyrs goes to prove that the spirit of Liberty and moral courage to defend the Vedic Dharma and vanquish Adharma is alive and shining.
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant, VSM
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Self-proclaimed sanyasi Agnivesh has been formally challenged by Paropkarini Sabha for his alleged support to homosexuality. Following is the extract of communication sent to him on 30 August, 2009.
We would like to invite you and your panel of Vedic scholars for an
open house Shastrath in front of broader Arya/Hindu public on
'Homosexuality and Vedas' on behalf of Paropkarini Sabha.
I am sure you must have heard the name of Swami Dayanand Saraswati,
the legendary reformer who is also regarded as grandfather of modern
India. Paropkarini Sabha is an intellectual body constituted as per
will of Swami Dayanand. We hear that you consider him as your role
You have been publicly supporting the cause of homosexuality. Since
you claim to be a sanyasi having sole allegiance to Vedas, we like be
keen to debate on sanction of homosexuality as per Vedas and
literature of Swami Dayanand Saraswati.
The debate would be organized in open house with our panel of scholars
in Vedas, Science and Medicines so that the truth can be ascertained.
We firmly believe that the views circulated by you in this regard is
completely misleading and detrimental to Vedas and glory of Swami
Dayanand Saraswati. Hence we would like both parties to come to the
truth through the process of Shastrath - 'logical debate to understand
truth'. Please note that Shastrath was the favorite tool of Swami
Dayanand Saraswati to reach to truth.
If you are able to prove that Vedas/ Swami Dayanand Saraswati sanction
homosexuality, we would be eager to give you the complete mantle of
Paropkarini Sabha and quit. However if you are unable to provide Vedic
sanction of homosexuality, you would publicly apologize, retract your
statements from media, and follow the Prayashchit Vidhan as laid down
by Vedas and Vedic texts.
We keenly await your response so that the event can be organized at
the earliest. We hope to get a response within next couple of days.
on behalf of
Paropkarini Sabha, Ajmer
Islamic Research Foundation (IRF)
We would like to invite Dr Zakir Naik and his panel of scholars in IRF for an open house discussion on following topics:
a. Comparison of Quran and Vedas
b. Prophet Muhammad and Cow Slaughter in Vedas
c. Science and Human Rights in Quran
d. Paradise and Hell in Quran
This would be based on the material that IRF literature and 'publicity mechanisms' contain.
Kindly note that Paropkarini Sabha is the apex intellectual body of Arya Samaj.
We would invite this discussion to happen in open house with our panel of scholars in Vedas, Islam and Science so that the truth can be ascertained. We firmly believe that the material circulated by IRF in these regard is misleading and hence would like both parties to come to the truth through the process of Shastrath - 'logical debate to understand truth'.
Please advise on next steps on this so that the event can be organized at the earliest. The event would be organized as per convenience of IRF.
on behalf of
Paropkarini Sabha, Ajmer
We request those having admiration for Dr Naik or any links with IRF to help expedite the process.
Sri RC Qureshi, his secretary has promised to revert back with next steps at the earliest.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Long years ago I had traveled through the highest plateau of the world – Tibet. In the western Tibet I stood face to face with the black granite mountain jutting out from the yellowish background of sandstone hillocks. This Mount Kailash is the mythical abode of Lord Shiva and his divine consort Parvati. Unfortunately I did not see any movement or presence of Lord Shiva or Goddess Parvati on the Kailash Parvat. Possibly, they do not live there because SHIVA is the Vedic name of the Almighty and is in no way related to any individual god. Of course, many fellow travelers went ecstatic, as they said: ``we saw the Almighty – Shiva.’’ Indeed, theirs was a make believe world. Some psychologists call a phenomenon like this, hallucination of sorts. Fortunately for me, I did not suffer from a state of mind like that of the fellow travelers. I made up my mind in Tibet to go to Tankara and see for myself what the teenager Moolshankar had seen in the19th century India. Tibet to Tankara was a long haul. Nevertheless, I made it. I wanted to know how the adolescent Moolshankar was transformed into Swami Dayanand Saraswati sitting in that temple on the Mahashivratri night. Let us see it for ourselves.As I said a moment ago, Swami Dayanand Saraswati was born in Tankara, in Rajkot district of Kathiawar, now called Saurashtra in India, in 1824. He was named Moolshankar. The young precocious boy memorized the text of Yajurved and impressed teachers and taught alike. He was always keen to ask questions and find answers to many a jigsaw puzzle. The 13-year-old Moolshankar was exhorted by his father, Karsan ji to observe complete fast on the Mahashivratri and sit in the Shiv temple in the village and pray the whole night. An obedient son that he was, he did so. In the temple, just before midnight, when other devotees including his father had fallen asleep a small rat ascended the Shiv Linga and started eating all edibles kept there as an offering. The rat’s friends followed suit. Devotees were in deep slumber. But not young Moolshankar, who was fired by an ardent desire and his father’s exhortations to have a darshan of Lord Shiva at midnight.Obviously, he was in for a great shock to see the Shiv Linga being desecrated by lowly mice and the idol bearing the insult helplessly. Moolshankar woke up his father and apprised him of his nagging doubt about the idol being the Almighty. The father chided the son for his untimely and irrelevant inquisitiveness. The young body returned to his house where his mother served him a sumptuous meal to break the daylong fast. Young Moolshankar had made up his mind to go in quest of the real almighty, God as described in the Vedas. He talked to all knowledgeable persons around. Not much came out of it. However, the foundations of a great spiritual movement, later, known as the Arya Samaj had indeed been laid. Of course, the formal formation had to wait till 1875. The great quest had begun. The young lad left his parental home at the age of 22 when pressed to get married and abandon his spiritual quest. He carried a new name, Shuddha Chaitanya. Later he met a sanyasi Swami Poornanand Saraswati, a great Vedic scholar who initiated the young seeker of truth into the Sanyas Ashram. Thus was born an ascetic, Swami Dayanand Saraswati.We may recall some major and minor anecdotes of his life that go to show that he placed great reliance on the social unity of the masses. His aim was to unite the entire mankind into one religion – the Vedic Dharam. Swami Dayanand Sarswati advised all Arya Samajists to run their show in a democratic manner. On staurday, April 10th, 1875 when the 1st arya samaj was founded at Kakarwadi, Mumbai in India, the great swami was requested by the congregation to assume the presidentship but the Swami declined. He chose to be just a simple member. Swami Dayanand Saraswati pleaded for equality of human beings, both men and women, as propounded in the Vedas. He was against creating human idols or icons. Indeed he was nipping the problem of human worship in the bud.Swami Dayanand Saraswati was dead against entering into litigation to solve problems of social nature. He made a mention of it in his will twice; first at Meerut and later again in 1883 in Udaipur, Rajasthan. He advised all Aryas to sort out their personal and social as well as religious problems among themselves. Social solidarity should be achieved at all levels, said the Swami. He backed those Aryas against whom followers of other religions had filed legal cases just to harass them. Under his advice, monetary and legal support was given to writers, speakers and preachers of the Vedic Dharma to raise their morale high. The Swami succeeded immensely.Learning, speaking and writing in the Hindi language was Swami Dayanand Saraswati’s hobby. He saw Hindi as a common link language among all Indians, irrespective of their faith. The Swami was himself a Gujarati and as an adolescent spoke his mother tongue only. Of course, he had studied Sanskrit and wrote in Sanskrit extensively. But he promoted Hindi as a language of unity. All his treatises are written in the common man’s language. This indeed was a turning point in the linguistic history of India. Other national leaders followed suit later. The movement for Hindi had its effect among the Indians in foreign countries too. Hindi books are read by them and Hindi classes are organized in the Arya Samaj in foreign lands too. The Swami never wanted to be known as the founder of a mere sect that would cut away his followers from the vast society of the Hindus. He stressed that the ancient Vedic Dharma did not divide the society among sects and sub sects. He took pains to avoid the pitfalls that the Brahmos of Bengal could not avoid and separated themselves from the general social fabric. Swami Dayanand Saraswati’s efforts have paid rich dividends and the Arya Samajists have joined all movements for the unity and solidarity of the Indians in general and Hindus in particular. Let us take a look at his travels to preach and propagate the Vedic Dharma. Multan (now in Pakistan) in the north to Pune in the Deccan; Rajkot in the west to Kolkata in the east form the large canvass that he painted in the Vedic colours. Of course, there were many cities, towns in various other provinces in the British India and the princely India where he had hoisted the flag of Aum and given discourses to men and women who flocked to hear him in large numbers. The Swami started wearing long coat and Dhotis instead of only a loin cloth so that ladies did not fight shy of coming to his lectures to learn of the Ved Mantras. Indeed, he was never dogmatic. Many a time he traveled in great discomfort risking his life and limb but was determined to carry on with his mission. Of course, the Punjab became the citadel of the Arya Samaj after he founded his institution in 1877 in Lahore (now in Pakistan).It was in Lahore that the 10 principles of the Arya Samaj were enshrined and continue to guide the Arya Samaj till today. A turning point once again in the socio political history of India. In 1877 in Delhi many religious, cultural and political stalwarts had assembled. All the major ruling princes of India had come to attend the Delhi Durbar. Swami Dayanand Saraswati took advantage of this opportunity to bring about a unity of principles for conduct of righteousness among the followers of all major religions of the world. He invited Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, a Muslim scholar and later founder of the Aligarh Muslim University, Reverend Father Scott of the Protestant Christian Church, prominent Brahmos of Bengal and stalwarts among Sanatani Hindus to sit together and iron out all differences that led to divisions in society. It was indeed a lofty ideal. His efforts made a good beginning. The Swami started with a bang but unfortunately the entire effort ended with a whimper. The people did not agree on the entity called God and how human beings should draw inspiration from him. Further, the non Hindus were not prepared to accept the Vedas as divine revelation. The plan fell apart. Let us now travel to Rajputana, the present day Rajasthan. It was here that Swami Dayanand Saraswati met with a measure of success in reforming the princes. His Highness Maharana Sajjan Singhji, the ruling prince of the state of Mewar became Swami’s devoted disciple. The maharana studied Sanskrit and Manusmiriti at the feet of the Rishi. He reformed the education system and brought it in tune with the Vedic Standards. The ruler performed daily havan in his palace. Indeed, it was going great guns for the Arya Samaj in Mewar. His Highness Sir Nahar Singh Varma of Shahpura went a step forward. He even accepted the Presidentship of the Parop karini Sabha to carry forward the mission of the Swami. However, it was in Jodhpur that a conspiracy was hatched by the forces enemical to the propagation of pristine Vedic Dharma to poison the Swami. They got him. After suffering from the after effects of that deadly poison for a month and a day the great Rishi of modern India breathed his last on October 30, 1883 at Ajmer.It was the evening of Diwali and indeed a turning point. The Swami let his soul leave his body and in the worldly sense the lamp of his life was extinguished but in the spiritual sense he lighted millions of lamps to lead men and women from darkness unto light.
BY BRIGADIER CHITRANJAN SAWANT, VSM