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Encyclopedia > Arya Samaj

Arya Samaj (Aryan Society or Society of Nobles) is a Hindu reform movement in India that was founded by Swami Dayananda in 1875. He was a sannyasin (renouncer) who believed in the infallible authority of the Vedas. Dayananda advocated the doctrine of karma and reincarnation, and emphasised the ideals of brahmacharya (chastity) and sanyasa (renunciation). A Hindu is an adherent of Hinduism, the predominant religious, philosophical and cultural systems of Bharat (India) and Nepal. ... A reform movement is a kind of social movement that aims to make gradual change, or change in certain aspects of the society rather than rapid or fundamental changes. ... Swami Dayananda Saraswati (स्‍वामी दयानन्‍द सरस्‍वती) (1824 - 1883) is an important Hindu religious scholar born in Gujarat, India. ... 1875 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Sanyasa (pronounced sanyaas) symbolises the conception of the mystic life in Hinduism where a person is now integrated into the spiritual world after wholly giving up material life. ... Infallibility is the ability to be free from error (obtain certainty). ... ... The Vedas (Sanskrit:- वेद), refers to collectively a corpus of old Indo Aryan religious literature that are considered to be revealed knowledge in Hinduism. ... Karma or Karm(Sanskrit: कर्म from the root kri, to do, meaning deed) or Kamma (Pali: meaning action, effect, destiny) is a term in several eastern religions that comprises the entire cycle of cause and effect. ... Past Lives redirects here. ... Brahmacharya is a Sanskrit word. ... Chastity is a pure state of the human body and mind -- especially pursued for religious or other ethical reasons, as by virtuous sexual abstience in the Judeo-christian usually referred to in modern speech. ... Sanyasa symbolizes the conception of the mystic life in Hinduism where a person is now integrated into the spiritual world after wholly giving up material life. ...


The doctrines of the Samaj are summed up in Ten Principles:

  1. God is the primary cause of all true science and of all that can be known through it.
  2. God is Existent, Intelligent and Blissful. He is Formless, Almighty, Just, Merciful, Unborn, Infinite, Unchallengeable, Beginningless, Incomparable, the Support and Lord of all, Omniscient, Imperishable, Immortal, Fearless, Eternal, Holy and the Maker of the universe. To Him alone worship is due.
  3. The Vedas are scriptures of true knowledge. It is the duty of all Aryas to read them, hear them being read and recite them to others.
  4. All persons should be ready to accept the truth and give up untruth.
  5. All action should be performed in conformity with Dharma, that is, after due consideration of the right and wrong.
  6. The primary aim of the Arya Samaj is to do good for all, that is, promote physical, spiritual and social well-being.
  7. All people should be treated with love, fairness and due regard for their merit.
  8. One should aim at dispelling ignorance and promoting knowledge.
  9. One should not only be content with one's own welfare, but should look for it in the welfare for others also.
  10. One should regard oneself under restriction to follow altruistic rulings of society, while all should be free in following the rules of individual welfare.

Dayananda claimed to be rejecting all non-Vedic beliefs altogether. Hence the Arya Samaj unequivocally condemned iconolatry, animal sacrifices, ancestor worship, pilgrimages, priestcraft, offerings made in temples, the caste system, untouchability and child marriages, on the grounds that all these lacked Vedic sanction. It aimed to be a universal church based on the authority of the Vedas. Dayananda stated that he wanted ‘to make the whole world Aryan’. That is, he wanted to develop a missionary Hinduism based on the universality of the Vedas. God is the Supreme Being believed to exist in monotheistic religions as the creator of the Universe. ... This article contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... Dharma (sanskrit, roughly law or way) is the way of the higher Truths. ... Iconolatry : (Greek eikon denoting simply a picture and latreia to adore or worship. ... Sacrifice is the practice of offering food, or the lives of animals or people to the gods, as an act of propitiation or worship. ... Ancestor worship, also ancestor veneration, is a religious practice based on the belief that ones ancestors possess supernatural powers. ... Pilgrim at Mecca A pilgrimage is a term primarily used in religion and spirituality of a long journey or search of great moral significance. ... Roman Catholic priest LCDR Allen R. Kuss (USN) aboard USS Enterprise A priest or priestess is a holy man or woman who takes an officiating role in worship of any religion, with the distinguishing characteristic of offering sacrifices. ... The word temple has different meanings in the fields of architecture, religion, geography, anatomy, and education. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... In South Asias caste system, an untouchable, dalit, or achuta is a person outside of the four castes, and considered below them. ... Child marriage is a practice in which the parents of a small child (even infants) arrange a future marriage with another childs parents. ... In comparative religion, a universalist religion is one that holds itself true for all people; it thus allows all to join, regardless of ethnicity. ... A missionary is a propagator of religion, often an evangelist or other representative of a religious community who works among those outside of that community. ...

To this end the Arya Samaj set up schools and missionary organisations, extending its activities outside India. It now has branches around the world. It has a disproportional amount of adherents among people of Indian ancestry in Suriname and the Netherlands, in comparison with India.

See also

Aryasamaj.org website at http://www.aryasamaj.org

  Results from FactBites:
Arya Samaj - LoveToKnow 1911 (587 words)
ARYA SAMAJ, a Hindu religious association with reforming tendencies, which was founded by a Guzerati Brahman named Dayanand Saraswati.
The Arya Samaj is not an eclectic system like the Brahma Samaj, which strives to find the common basis underlying all the great religions, and its narrower scope and corresponding intensity of conviction have won it a greater strength.
The age of admission to the Samaj is eighteen, and members are expected to contribute to its funds at least 1% of their income.
Arya Samaj ("society of honourable ones") (695 words)
Aryas believe that the Vedas, especially the hymns of the Rg Veda, are the basis of all religious truth.
Before this the Brahmo Samaj had tried to woo Dayananda to its cause as had the Theosophical Society, which was even to recognise their own Society as a branch of Arya Samaj.
The influence of the Arya Samaj was mainly in north-west India.
  More results at FactBites »



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