What is Arya Samaj?
Arya Samaj is a spiritual way of living with a universal message of peace and happiness. Its ethos is captured in its ten guiding principles based on Vedic teachings that point to a better living. Arya Samaj is a global phenomenon that attracts the young and old alike, sometimes from other religions, for its simple, logical and contemporary thinking on God, spirituality and values of life. It finds resonance with educated, middle-class professionals as it revolts against the horrors of organised religion. Arya Samaj promotes true Indian culture and national spirit; instilling feelings of pride and patriotism for country.
Arya Samaj was founded on April 7th, 1875 at Bombay, India, by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati. The purpose was to move the Hindu Dharma away from all the fictitious beliefs, and go back to the teachings of Vedas. Arya Samaj rejects all forms of ritualistic superstition such as idolatry, ancestor worship, pilgrimage and animal sacrifice, as well as all forms of social oppression such as the caste system, untouchability and child labor.
This was in response to the negatives of organised religion and its emphasis on rituals. Swami Dayanand enlightened the masses against idol worship, superstition, irrational behaviour as ordained by temple priests and other vested interests. He propagated universal brotherhood based on Vedic teachings in their true essence.
It proclaims equal entitlement under the law between men and women, strives to reduce poverty and to protect the weak and the disadvantaged, denounces the consumption of meat as well as the use of intoxicants and recreational drugs, and promotes healthy community, family and private life in tune with the cycles of nature. The Arya Samaj stresses the universal and comprehensive nature of Vedic Knowledge and it’s capacity to rejuvenate and redeem a troubled and wearied humanity. This capacity rests above all else in it’s emphasis upon the correct understanding and worship of the one true God, who is the Supreme personification of Existence, Intelligence and Bliss.
The goal of the Arya Samaj has always been, “Krinvanto Vishvam Aryam – Make This World Noble “