Friday, November 27, 2009


Vande Mataram had indeed worked like a Ved mantra. This is what the author and poet, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya had prophesied in answer to the criticism that the words used in the song were too difficult to pronounce. He said to his critics “I may not live to see its popularity, but this song will be sung by every Indian like a Ved mantra”. How true his words were. The history of the Indian freedom struggle bears a testimony to it. Vande Mataram has spontaneity and emotional appeal to arouse patriotism even in a slavish heart. The song has the capability to transcend barriers of caste, creed, region and religion. It was sung with gusto by patriotic Indians throughout the length and breadth of Bharat. When the song was sung , with the fading notes of the last stanza, the emotionally surcharged crowd of men and women would raise the slogan : Bharat Mata Ki Jai. The sound and the echo shook the mighty British Empire to its foundation.

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,
Mother free.

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


Arya Samaj Pathanamthitta is organising a three days free 'Veda Swadhyaya Sibiram' at Pathanamthitta (Kerala) from 25 - 27 Dec 2009. Classes on various vedic literatures, shodasha kriyas, training to perform agnihothram, explain the meaning and way of recitation of various veda manthras used for agnihothram etc. are included in the syllabus of this sibiram. Learned Arya scholars will be participating in this sibiram and will give guidance to Arya Missionaries. All are co-ordially invited for attending this sibiram and enrich vedic wisdom. For more information and registration please contact Secretary, Arya Samaj Pathanamthitta with bio-data or by email at the earliest. Due to lack of resources we can accommodate only a limited volunteers for this sibiram.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Swami Virajanand Saraswati was one of the greatest devotees of all times. His whole life was one of incessant toil and struggle against the adverse currents of misfortunes so common in this topsy-turvy world of ours. Without a Virajanand there could have been no Dayanand and without a Dayanand there could have been no revival of Vedic dharma which is so essential for our individual or national salvation. In this country mighty currents of thoughts of the merciful Buddha, of the scholarly Shanker, of the devout Chaitanya flow, but there are, beside these, beautiful fountains erected by the piety of Tukaram or Ramdasa, by the fervor of Nanak and Kabir, by the zeal of a Ramakrishna or a Virajanand to which a wary traveler can repair and drink deep to his entire spiritual consolidation. But here we reach these fountains, we are to tread on the paths of karma and jnana- action and wisdom- and one such path is chalked our for us by the untiring genius of Swami Virajanand. As far as the work of the resuscitation of the study of classical Sanskrit is cornered. Virajanand’s contribution has been undeniably great; and if ever the history of Hindu Protestantism comes to be written, prominence will have to be given, whether we will it or not, to swami dayanand. But when we think of dayanand we cannot but think of Swami Virajanand, his great and worthy guru. When the news of the demise of Virajanand reached Dayanand, he took a deep sigh and exclaimed “alas! Bharatvarsha! Holy Aryavarta, today the glorious sun of Vedic grammar has set.”! How the fierce rays of that sun pierced through darkness and laid open all the hidden treasures of Veda- vidya can only be realized by those men who have wiped the dust of prejudice from their eyes.

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.


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.


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.


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 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 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


"Pandit Gurudatta Vidyarthi is recognized to have been the greatest achievement
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
man's mentality.

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
Vidyarthi was:-

"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


There was a time in India, not long ago, when women were not permitted by the Hindu priests to read Vedas, the most ancient scriptures in the library of MAN. Indeed it was heartening to see that at the Gurukul Kangri University, Haridwar, at the Vedic Conference, out of 1500 research papers presented and read, more than half were those of women. Indeed a marvellous show it was. The credit for this socio-religious revolution goes to Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati who opened the doors to the Vedas to the entire mankind, irrespective of caste, creed, region or religion.

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


The Arya Samaj has indeed liberated the masses from the clutches of many a class of vested interests. The protectors of common man had become predators. Be it the clergy or the captain, they were all out to look after their own welfare and thus prospered at the cost of ordinary men and women who were just helpless. Women, who formed fifty percent or so of the numerical strength of the social order were denied their fundamental rights of thought, expression, education and self dignity. The right to know the Vedas and benefit from them was denied not only to the backward and depressed classes of men but to the entire female population, irrespective of the religious or the social class they belonged to. Ime was ripe for a social and religious renaissance awaiting the right leadership that would be bold, courageous and ever ready to make the supreme sacrifice to uphold the Dharma.
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.
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.
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