Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati and His views - Anand Nath ji Aughar sri Rajesh Nath ji Aghori Prathik
Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati (1824-1883) was an Indian philosopher and social reformer who founded the Arya Samaj, a Hindu reform movement that sought to restore the ancient Vedic values of India. He emphasized the importance of Vedic scripture, the Vedas, and rejected many of the later Hindu scriptures and practices that he believed had strayed from the original teachings. Maharishi Dayananda also advocated for social and religious reforms, including the abolition of the caste system and the promotion of education for all. His teachings had a significant impact on Indian society and continue to influence many Hindus today.
Maharshi Dayanand based his teachings on the Vedas which can be summarised as follows: There are three entities which are eternal:
1. The Supreme Lord or Paramatma,
2. The individual souls or Jivatmas, which are vast in number but not infinite,
3. Prakriti or Nature.
Prakṛti or Nature, which is the material cause of the Creation, is eternal and is characterised by Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, which tend to be in equilibrium. In every cycle of creation, the Conscious Supreme Lord will disturb its equilibrium and makes it useful for the creation of the World and its forces and manufacture the bodies required by the individual souls.
After a specific long time called the day of the Brahma (Brahma means great, lengthy etc...), the creation would be dissolved and the Nature would be restored back to its equilibrium. After a period called the Night of Brahma, which is equal to the length of the day of the Brahma, the Creation would set forth again.
This cycle of creation and dissolution has neither beginning nor end, hence the characteristic of the eternal. Jiva or Jivatma or Individual eternal Soul or Self, are many who are different from one another yet have similar characteristics and can reach the 'same level' of Happiness in the state of Moksha or Liberation (explained below in another paragraph).
They are not made out of Natural particles and are bodiless, beyond all genders and all other characteristics as seen in the World, but they acquire bodies made out of Nature and it is known as taking 'birth'.
These souls are subtler than Nature itself but take birth through the body as per the creative principles set by the Supreme Lord based on their past karma, and they put effort to improve themselves. By realising oneself, Nature, and the Supreme Lord, individual souls are liberated. But this realisation depends on their efforts and knowledge.
They keep coming to the World, use Nature, obtain the fruits of their actions and appear taking myriads of lives of different animals (It is not a one-way direction but those who have attained higher intellectual bodies can also go back to lower forms based on their Karma or actions), they redo their actions and are completely free to choose their actions, learn and relearn, attain Liberation.
After the extensive long duration of Moksha or Liberation, would come back again into the World. Since this period of Moksha or Liberation is extremely long, it appears as though they never return or they never take birth again, by the other beings who are still in the World. Since they are eternal and capable of working, these characteristics cannot be destroyed.
They are timeless, and eternal but are not Omniscient and hence cannot be the pervaders of entire Space. The Supreme Lord who is One without second like him, whose name is Om, is the efficient cause of the Universe. Lord's Chief characteristics are - Sat, Chit and Ananda i.e., "It exists", "Has Supreme Consciousness" and is "eternally Blissful". The Lord and his characteristics are the same.
The Supreme Lord is ever present everywhere, whose characteristics are beyond Nature or Prakriti, and pervades all the individual souls and Nature. It is not characteristic of the Supreme Lord to take birth or incarnate.
He is ever pure i.e., unmixed by the characteristics of Nature and the individual souls. The Supreme Lord is bodiless, infinite, hence has no form and hence cannot be worshipped through idols but can only be reached by any being through Yogic Samadhi as advocated in the Vedas which is summarised in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
Since the Lord is bodiless and hence beyond all genders, the Vedas address him as Father, Mother, Friend, Cause of the Worlds, the maker etc... He is the subtlest entity which is subtler than Nature, Pervading and Filling the entire existence and Space. It is due to his subtlety that he could take hold of Nature to create the Worlds and he proposes no difficulty for the motion of the Worlds in Space.
Hence he is called Paramatman, which means 'Ultimate Pervader". There exists neither who is equal to him nor completely opposed to him. The idea of Satans, Ghosts, Demons etc... are foreign to the Vedas.
He said the names Agni, Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Prajapati, Paramatma, Vishva, Vayu, etc... are the different characteristics of Supreme Lord and the meaning of each of the names should be obtained by Dhatupatha or Root (linguistics). And these names do not refer to any Puranic deities which are in practice.
Also, certain names may also refer to the worldy elements which should be distinguished from their contexts. It is Maharshi Dayanand's mark of intellect that he could very easily reconcile the notion of Saguna and Nirguna charactertistics of the Supreme Lord.
Saguna, he says, refers to characteristics of the Lord such as Pervasiveness, Omnipotency, Bliss, ultimate consciousness etc... And, Nirguna, he says, refers to those characteristics which do not characterise the Lord, example: of the Nature and the individual souls such as different states of existence, taking birth, etc... are not that of the Lord. Until his time, everybody understood 'Saguna' as 'With Form and body, Incarnation" and 'Nirguna' as 'Without form and body' states of the Lord.
On Moksha or State of Liberation: Moksha does not refer to any characteristic place but it is the state of individual souls who have achieved Liberation.
The Jivas or individual souls are characterised by four different states of existence which are:
1. Jagrat (Wakefulness),
2. Swapna (Dreamy state),
3. Sushupti (Deep Sleep) and
It is in the fourth Turiya state, the individual souls exist without contact with the Nature but are conscious of their own selves, other individual souls and the Supreme Lord (or eternal Truth). This state of Moksha or Turiya is not seen in the World hence incomparable but can only be realised. In this state they are free of every tinge of Nature and possess their own minds and experience bliss, the pleasure of their freedom and the like, which are incomparable with any form of pleasure of the world.
They are bodiless in that state and can attain any form of pleasure by their own will without requiring any external agent such as, for example they can perform the function of ears by their ownself without requiring material ears etc. In that state they are capable fulfilling of all their wishes, can go anywhere they want right then and there, can witness the creation, maintenance and dissolution of the Worlds, they also come in contact with other individuals who are liberated.
But even in that state, the world-creative powers remain with the Supreme Lord. In Moksha, the individual souls are remain distinct from one another and from the Supreme Lord. And, by means of their own capability and with the Supreme Lord as their means, they enjoy the bliss.
After the period of Moksha, they pass on to this World again, in support of which, he quotes Veda mantras and Mundakopanishad verses, in his book Satyarth Prakash and Rigvedaadi Bhashya Bhumika: Again, it is the mark of Maharshi Dayanand's wit that he reconciles the notion of Unending or Eternal Moksha.
He says, the 'Eternal Moksha' or 'Ananta Moksha', refers to the 'permanency of pleasures of Moksha' unlike the momentary pleasures of the World, and does not necessarily mean the individual souls will remain in Moksha permanently.
He clarifies it by saying that the individual souls are permanent and hence their characteristics also, and it is 'illogical' to consider that individual soul would get trapped in one of the moments of the beginningless time, and escape the World for eternity by using the finite time period of his lives in different creature forms.
Even if the illogical is accepted then also it means even before he got trapped in Creation, he was in Moksha and hence his Moksha period may fail at times is the conclusion which is contradictory to the assumption that the Moksha is for an infinite period of time.
Hence, the Vedic teaching that individual souls should come back after liberation should be considered valid. In different point of view, he clarifies the same idea by saying that all actions whatever, done for a finite time period cannot yield infinite result or fruit-of-actions, and after the period of Moksha, the jivas or individual should would not have the capability to enjoy the bliss of Moksha further.
These, he said, are according to the Vedas and Upanishads and quotes verses from the Vedas. Social Causes: He opposed Caste system, Sati practice, idol worships, child marriage, etc. which are against the spirit of the Vedas and advocated that all evils of society should be thoroughly investigated and should be removed.
The Varnashrama is based on Education and Profession and in his book Satyarth Prakash, he quotes passages from Manusmriti, Grihya Sutras and Vedas which support his claims. He advocated the notion of Rashtra and One Government throughout the World, also known as Chakradhipatya.
He severely criticized practices which he considered to be superstitions, including sorcery, and astrology, which were prevalent in India at the time. Below are several quotes from his book, Sathyarth Prakash:
"They should also counsel then against all things that lead to superstition, and are opposed to true religion and science, so that they may never give credence to such imaginary things as ghosts (Bhuts) and spirits (Preta)."
— Satyarth Prakash
"All alchemists, magicians, sorcerers, wizards, spiritists, etc. are cheats and all their practices should be looked upon as nothing but downright fraud. Young people should be well counselled against all these frauds, in their very childhood, so that they may not suffer through being duped by any unprincipled person." — Satyarth Prakash
On Astrology, he wrote,
when these ignorant people go to an astrologer and say " O Sir! What is wrong with this person'? He replies "The sun and other stars are maleficent to him. If you were to perform a propitiatory ceremony or have magic formulas chanted, or prayers said, or specific acts of charity done, he will recover. Otherwise, I should not be surprised, even if he were to lose his life after a long period of suffering."
Inquirer – Well, Mr. Astrologer, you know, the sun and other stars are but inanimate things like this earth of ours. They can do nothing but give light, heat, etc. Do you take them for conscious being possessed of human passions, of pleasure and anger, that when offended, bring on pain and misery, and when propitiated, bestow happiness on human beings?
Astrologer – Is it not through the influence of stars, then, that some people are rich and others poor, some are rulers, whilst others are their subjects?
Inq. – No, it is all the result of their deeds….good or bad.
Ast. – Is the Science of stars untrue then?
Inq. – No, that part of it which comprises Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, etc., and which goes by the name of Astronomy is true; but the other part that treats of the influence of stars on human beings and their actions and goes by the name of Astrology is all false.
— Chapter 2.2 Satyarth Prakash
He makes a clear distinction between Jyotisha Shaastra and astrology, calling astrology a fraud.
"Thereafter, they should thoroughly study the Jyotisha Shaastra – which includes Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Geography, Geology, and Astronomy in two years. They should also have practical training in these Sciences, learn the proper handling of instruments, master their mechanism, and know how to use them. But they should regard Astrology – which treats of the influence of stars and constellation on the destinies of man, of auspiciousness and inauspiciousness of time, of horoscopes, etc. – as a fraud, and never learn or teach any books on this subject.
— Under "The scheme of studies" Page 73 of the English Version of Satyarth Prakash
He considered the prevalent religions to have either immoral stories, or badly practised, or some of them have sufficiently moved away from the Vedas. In his book Satyarth Prakash, Maharshi Dayanand has analysed critically the current forms of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.
[Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati's views on Islam were largely critical. He believed that Islam was a religion of conquest and that its founder, Prophet Muhammad, was a military leader who used force to spread the faith. Maharishi Dayananda also criticized many of the Islamic practices, such as the use of Arabic in prayer and the practice of animal sacrifice. He believed that Hinduism was the true religion and that it had been corrupted by outside influences, including Islam. However, it is important to note that these views were expressed in the context of his broader goal of promoting Vedic values and reforming Hindu society, and should be understood within that context.]
He viewed Islam to be waging wars and immorality. He doubted that Islam had anything to do with God, and questioned why a God would hate every non-believer, allow the slaughter of animals, and command Muhammad to slaughter innocent people.
He further described Muhammad as "imposter", and one who held out "a bait to men and women, in the name of God, to compass his own selfish needs". He regarded Quran as "Not the Word of God. It is a human work. Hence it cannot be believed in".
His analysis of the Bible was based on an attempt to compare it with scientific evidence, morality, and other properties. His analysis claimed that the Bible contains many stories and precepts that are immoral, praising cruelty, deceit and that encourage sin. One commentary notes many alleged discrepancies and fallacies of logic in the Bible e.g. that God fearing Adam eating the fruit of life and becoming his equal displays jealousy. His critique attempts to show logical fallacies in the Bible, and throughout he asserts that the events depicted in the Bible portray God as a man rather than an omniscient, omnipotent or complete being.
He opposed the perpetual virginity of Mary, adding that such doctrines are simply against the nature of law, and that God would never break his own law because God is omniscient and infallible.
He regarded Guru Nanak as a "rogue", who was quite ignorant about Vedas, Sanskrit, and Shashtra, and otherwise, Nanak wouldn't be mistaken with words. He further said that followers of Sikhism are to be blamed for making up stories that Nanak possessed miraculous powers and met Gods. He criticized Guru Gobind Singh and other Gurus, saying they "invented fictitious stories", although he also recognized Gobind Singh to be "indeed a very brave man."
He regarded Jainism as "a most dreadful religion", writing that Jains were intolerant and hostile towards the non-Jains.
Dayanand described Buddhism as "anti-vedic" and "atheistic." He noted that the type of "salvation" Buddhism prescribes, is attainable even to dogs and donkeys. He further criticized the Buddhist cosmology which says that the earth was not created.
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