Vishwa Prakash: Life and Teachings of Swami Dayanand on the Nature of Hinduism

January 1, 1935

God makes no distinctions of class, race or colour. Distinctions are the outcome of ungodly people. God’s creation is not a monopoly—the sun, air, water, is for every one of the race and so is the divine revelation.

[…] There is a Vedic Text;-- “As I have been given the word (the Vedas) which is the word of salvation for all making—Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, Shudras, women, servants even the lowest of the low, so should you all do i.e. teach and preach the Veda.”

But the Brahmans, who were the custodians of the Vedas, forbade its recital before a Shudra or women. There was a dark period in the history of Hinduism, when molten lead was filled in the sockets of ears, if any Shudra even heard the Vedic hymns...

But swami ji has made the Vedas a public property. They can be purchased in a few rupees and even the disciples drawn from the lowest strata of the society sing the hymns.

Doors of Hinduism Opened

For ten centuries, Hinduism was a prey to foreign religions. Mohammedans came and conquered this country. Later they began their conversion work. By threats of life or baits of officialdom they succeeded in converting more than a quarter of the Hindu population. When English came to this country they brought Christian missionaries in their lap. These Christian missionaries were educated people and they had a sufficient backing from their countries. They obtained very little success amongst the educated classes, so they shifted their energies to the people of lower strata of society. Untouchables and hill tribes were converted to their faith.

But what for Hinduism? Hinduism was not a proselytizing religion. It could easily lose its own men, but no one could be brought back into its fold. Swami Dayanand saw that this was the weakest point of Hinduism. A society, however large it may be, will surely be extinct from the face of the earth, if it allows its people to go away, but do not allow others to come in. So he opened the portals wide, he began the conversion work which was taken up by his disciples and today it is settled fact that Hinduism has become a proselytizing religion. Thus Swami Dayanand infused life into the dead body. The stupor of long is vanished, and it has began to guard what was his.

Arya Samaj Founded at Bombay

On the 10th April 1875, the Samaj was established at Bombay and the following rules were formulated -

16. In the schools of the Samajas persons of each sex shall be received and instructed in the true knowledge contained in the philosophy of the Vedas and the works of the ancient sages—Arsha-grantha.

18. As it is the Vedas only which teach doctrines which can bear the test of logical examination and scientific demonstration and they alone which are propounded by the founders of Arya Samaj therefore it is required that every member shall follow out so far at least as lies in his power the religious practices contained in these and these only. No tenets of other so called religions which conflict therewith shall be deemed as of any authority whatever.

19. The Samaja shall embrace every opportunity of sending forth in all directions upon lecturing tours such of its members as are qualified to instruct in the Vedic philosophy and deserving of confidence.

[…] Swami wanted to propagate the religion of the Vedas. And what sort of that religion that is, “I believe in a religion based on universal and all embracing principles which have always been accepted as true by mankind, and will continue to command the allegiance of mankind, in the ages to come. Hence it is that the religion in question is called the primeval eternal religion, which means that it is above the hostility of all human creeds whatsoever. Whatever is believed in by those who are steeped in ignorance or have been led astray by sectaries is not worthy of being accepted by the wise. That faith alone is really true and worthy of acceptance which is followed by Aptas, i.e. those who are true in word, deed and thought, promote public good and are impartial and learned; but all that is discarded by such men must be considered as unworthy of belief and false.”