Arya Samaj

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    Post by DreamzUnlimited on Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:27 pm

    Arya Samaj (Sanskrit ārya samāja आर्य समाज "Noble Society") is a Hindu reform movement founded in India by Swami Dayananda in 1875. He was a sannyasi (renouncer) who believed in the infallible authority of the Vedas. Dayananda advocated the doctrine of karma and reincarnation, and emphasized the ideals of brahmacharya (chastity) and sanyasa (renunciation). There are approximately 3-4 million followers of Arya Samaj worldwide.

    Vedic schools
    Between 1869 and 1873, Swami Dayanand, a native of the Princely State of Gujarat, made his first earnest attempt at affecting a substantial and lasting reform in his native India. This attempt took the form of the establishment of several so-called "Vedic Schools" which, in contradistinction to other public schools at the time, put a marked emphasis on attempting to impart Vedic values, culture and religion to its students. The first was established at Farrukhabad in 1869 and reported 50 students as being enrolled in its first year. This initial success led to the founding of four additional schools in rapid succession at Mirzapur (1870), Kasganj (1870), Chhalesar (1870) and Varanasi (1873).

    The Vedic Schools represented the first practical application of Swami Dayanand’s vision of religious and social reform. They enjoyed a mixed reception. On the one hand, students were not allowed to perform traditional murtipuja at the school, and were instead expected to perform sandhya (a form of meditative prayer using mantras from the Vedas) and participate in agnihotra twice daily. Also, disciplinary action was swift and not infrequently severe. On the other hand, all meals, lodging, clothing and books were given to the students free of charge, and the study of Sanskrit was opened to non-Brahmins. The most noteworthy feature of the Schools was that only those texts which accepted the authority of the Vedas were to be taught. This, in the opinion of Swami Dayanand, was critical for the spiritual and social regeneration of Vedic culture in India.

    Arya Samaj's teachings are in lines with the Sikh religion. Many Sikhs were influenced by Arya Samaj. For example, Indian freedom fighter Sardar Bhagat Singh was earlier a follower of Arya Samaj along with his grandfather, Sardar Ajit Singh.

    The ten principles of the Arya Samaj
    1.God is the source of strength.
    2.God is just.
    3.The Vedas are the scriptures of knowledge. It is the duty of all Aryas to read them, teach them to others.
    4.One should accept truth and seek knowledge.
    5.All acts should be performed in accordance with Dharma, after deliberating what is right and wrong.
    6.The primary object of Arya Samaj is to do good to the world, by promoting physical, spiritual and social good of everyone
    7.Our conduct towards all should be guided by care, justice.
    8.We should dispel ignorance and promote knowledge, science.
    9.One should see one’s own greatest welfare as residing in the welfare of others.
    10.One should regard oneself under restriction to follow the rules of society. A disciplined individual is free in a democratic society.

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    Post by Princessa on Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:52 am

    Thank you for sharing this information.

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