To understand the true meaning of this book you must apply the
The four subsidiary means of reasoning:
- Listening or reading most attentively with a calm mind to the lectures of a learned man, and more so if the subjects are a divine Science, because it is the most abstruse and the subtlest of all the sciences.
- Thinking over what one has heard or read in retirement, and in removing doubts if there be any by questioning the speaker. Questions may sometimes be asked even in the middle of a discourse if the speaker and the audience think proper.
- Rationalizing is the next step.
When all doubts are cleared after hearing or reading a discourse and
thinking over it, let the enquirer enter into the superior condition and
see for himself by the help of yoga (self-realization through meditation)
whether it is the same as he had heard and reasoned out or not.
- The result is the correct
knowledge of the nature, properties and characteristics of the desired
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Munshi Kanhaiya Lal Alakhdhari, Reis, Ludhiana, Pandit Manphul, Reis, Lahore, and Munshi Harsukh Rai, Proprietor, the Koh-i-Noor paper of Lahore, had come in contact with Swami Dayanand on the occassion of the Imperial Darbar and, struck by his extraordinary attainments, his passionate love of truth, and his patriotism, had expressed a hope that he would visit the Panjab also. Accordingly, as soon as the fair at Chandapur was over, Swami Dayanand, accompanied by Munshi Kanhaiya Lal Alakhdhari, the bold and fearless denunciator of every form of hypocrisy prevalent in Indian Society, whose invaluable writings have been and are still studied by thousands of hsi countrymen, left for Ludhiana, which he reached on 31st March 1877. heput up outside the city in a garden, and the hospitable Munshi saw he wanted nothing.
The news of the Swami’s arrival at Ludhiana brought forth many enquirers, the Missionaries especially, who had frequent conversations with him. The local Christian paper, the Nur Afshan (March 1877), had the following lines about him:-
”Pandit Dayanand Saraswati Swami, who is a famous Vedic Scholar of India, and goes form place to place preaching, arrived here during the present week. He gives updesh daily at the house of Lala Jat Mal, the Treasurer, and from his lectures it appears that he wants to reform the present usages and customs of the Hindu community. He would have them worship and adore the one only God, and leave off all other kinds of worship. Yes, it is his wish that they should believe in the one only Creator, should give up, one and all, idol-worship, and follow civilized customs only, even as their ancestors of old were in the habit of doing. We are confident that his updesh will do considerable good to theHindus.” And Englishman, becomes his admirer.
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During his stay at Ludhiana, the Swami had interviews with Mr. Carr-Stehphen, Judicial Assistant Commissioner. This gentleman was an English man of liberal views, and a great admirer of the Swami. He was so delighted by the Swami’s conversation, that he became a subscriber to the Veda Bhashya, and when the Swami was leaving Ludhiana, presented him with some money in an envelope as a contribution towards the expenses of the publication.
PAGE 145 Saving two from converting to Christianity.
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It is worthy to note that the Swami’s presence at Ludhiana was instrumental in saving two men from falling into the hands of the Christians. One of these was a Gaur Brahman (Pandit Ram Saran) of Alwar. He had the misfortune, while proceeding towards Delhi some six months back, of being set upon by robbers and stripped of the little he possessed. Almost naked he reached Delhi. Here he happened to hear Rev. Newton preaching. The Padri reading a shaloka from the Durgapath, the Brahman immediately interrupted him with the remark: “ You are reading the verse incorrectly.” The Padri, his preaching over, beckoned the man to approach, and learning his history, gave him two rupees to provide himself with clothes.
The simple man was thankful, and easily prevailed upon to accompany the Missionary to Ludhiana, where, he was assured, he should have suitable employment. He was appointed a teacher in the Girl’s school to teach the children Nagri on Rs. 5 amonth. Being constantly thrown in the company of the Padris – Rev. Mr. Wherry, Rev. Mr. Newton, Rev. Mr. Rudulph, etc. he had come to hate his own religion, and to discover a partiality for that of the Christians.
The crisis was approaching. He had agreed to be baptized, and the date fro the ceremony had already been fixed, when, lo! A reformer from among his own community, a person of commanding personality and strong in truth, lighted upon h9im, and his delusion was at an end. Bidding farewell to the Padris, he went his way. Refuting a Westerner’s ridicule of Shri Krishna
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Dr. Wherry and others, in their conversations and debates with the Swami, sought to uphold Shri Krishna to the ridicule and contempt of those present, but the Swami pointed out to them the loftiness and purity of the great teacher’s character by quoting from the Mahabharata and other Arsha Granths, observing at the saem time that the Puranas were spurious productions and not to be relied upon. The Swami further made clear to them that neither Christ or Krishna nor any other great man was an incarnation of the Deity. AT LAHORE
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Swami Dayanand left Ludhianan on 19th April, 1877, reaching Lahore the same day, Pandit Mnaphool, Mir Munshi, Government, Punjab, and Munshi Harsukh Rai, received him at the station, and drove him straight to Rattan Chand’s garden, where the Swami had to put up. Enquirers flocked to him from all sides, the general curiosity having been sharpened and intensified by the false rumor which interested people had se afloat, namely, that the new-comer was a hireling of the Christians, and that he professed to be a Hindu, in order to be in a position to deceive the Hindus all the more successfully. He was, it was given out, secretly helped with money from England, and a stated sum was paid to him monthly, in recognition of his services. The
fact, the mischief-mongers said, was evident from his bitter opposition to idol-worship, shradhs, incarnation, tirthas, and so forth. Such a rumor could have no weight with the educated and enlightened, but he ignorant priest-ridden classes could not but have some faith in it, and accordingly they swarmed round Swami Dayanand, asking questions and getting answers, to be finally undeceived by his true exposition of the Shastric teaching.
Pandit Manphool had withdrawn himself from the Swami’s company, disappointed, it is said, at the failure of a certain scheme of his, which, he had thought, he would be able to carry through by the Swami’s help. The Swami would, doubtless, have accorded him all the assistance in his power, but the Pandit would not avail himself of it, as it was dangerous to do so, the reformer, according to him, being unorthodox in his views, and not safe to be associated with, - considering that state of Hindu society. But the Pandit was not missed, other influential gentlemen, especially members of the Brahmo Samaj, came forward with their help and made satisfactory arrangements for the Swami’s lectures.
The first of the series were delivered on April 25 and 27, respectively, in the Baoli Sahib in the center of the city, and both were on the “Vedas”. The rush being tremendous, the police was in attendance. The lectures made the orthodox wild with rage, but the educated community saw in these everything to appreciate. The KOH-I-NOOR’S REPORT on his DISCUSSION on the VEDAS
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The Koh-I-Noor (28th April, 1877) had the following note about the Swami and his work at Lahore:-
”The famous Vedic Scholar, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, who, visiting Ludhiana, arrived at Lahore on 19th April, and put up in Diwan Rattan Chand’s garden, delivered, in deference to the wishes of enquirers after truth, Brahmo gentlemen and others, a lecture on the ‘Vedas and the Vedic Dharma’ in the Baoli Sahib, on the evening of25th, from 6 to 8 P.M. Some five hundred men must have been present to hear the lecture. At the outset, the erudite Swami explained, according to the rules of Vyakarana, the etymology and literal meaning of the words, ‘Veda’, ‘shruti’, ‘mantra’, etc.,’ adding that the Vedas, like the material atoms of the universe, were eternal.
”Whenever a creation took place, he said, the Vedas also became manifest, and when the universe was dissolved into its primary atoms, the disappeared into the Supreme, like unto the germ of a plant disappearing into its seed. The omniscient God, with view to making us wise and enlightened, had revealed the Vedas to the minds (of the primeval sages) Agni, Aditya, Vayu, and Angira, and through these sages to the world. The Vedas being eternal and acknowledge as such by all, it was, on the strength of irrefutable arguments, clear that in the beginning of creation there was only the Vedic religion prevalent in the world, and that the faiths now prevalent owed their existence to this Primeval Religion. On the eternal Vedas - the origin of all sciences.
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There were 1,127 shakhas of the Vedas, and these were full of numerous sciences. There was no science and art of which the germs or rudiments were not to be found in the Vedas. The facts of the earth’s revolution round the sun and the law of gravitation, for instance, were spoken of in the Vedas. The mantras of the Vedas left no doubt on the point, although the
ignorant had misinterpreted these. In the reign of Raja Bhoj, who live only fourteen hundred years ago, there were balloons which could travel at the rate of 55 miles an hour, and by means of which large numbers, of men, with their families, could transport themselves through space, from one country to another. And during his time a pankha was invented which, once wound, would keep moving for a whole month. The Vedic knowledge was three-fold in its character – that relating to upasna, that relating to gyan, and that bearing on karmakand. Karmakand meant a human activity or energy in action of all kinds; upasna, communion with, and contemplation of the Supreme – adoration and worship of God, - glorification of His attributes; while gyan signified intellectual and scientific enlightenment and perception. But even as activity or energy had a three-fold aspects (i.e., had to do with upasna, gyan and karma), even so gyan had a three-fold aspect. Whatever action or deed was the result of the guidance of a chastened and enlightened intellect (gyan) the same was dharma and the reverse for that adharma. The word dharma was also a syonym of nyaya or justice, the one being inclusive of the other.
”The four Vedas contained about twenty thousand richas, which were popularly thought to represent particular devatas, but which, in point of fact, were only associated with the names of devas, the wise and erudite sages (who saw into the meaning of the mantras). In ancient times these devas or wise men were worshipped, - that is, were made much of, for when the Shastras says that women should be worshipped, the meaning clearly is, that they should be honored and made much of, Vishvakarman was an individual of the noble type, the originator and founder of industry and art, and not incorporeal god. Jaimini and other Rishis had given the summary of the Vedic Teaching in the Smritis and Shastras. If anyone of the audience was desirous of realizing the nature of karmakand more comprehensively, he should go through the 12 Chapters of Jaimini’s treatise on the subject.
”Yajna meant yagya performed in accordance with the injunctions of the Vedas, and the yajna and the ‘Homa’ used to be performed, both morning and evening, to purge the air of hateful and disease-producing germs, and for the bringing down and purification of rain and water. Having mixed a ratti of musk, a masha of saffron and other fragrant substances of various kinds in a seer of clarified butter, every man and woman, in these days, would throw twelve ahutis into the fire, the quantity thus offered being thought sufficient to purify air and water, rendered foul by the offensive smells thrown out by human beings during the day and night. And the injurious and disgusting gases generated by the droppings and urine of beasts, and the deposits and urine of miscellaneous classes of men, - for the destruction of these a big havan was performed forth-nightly, on amava and poornamashi, and the fragrance diffused by these havens purified the harmful vapors containing the gases. And, further, havans were performed on a grand scale, six-monthly and annually, to cope with and destroy the bad gases in general. The festivals of Holi and Dewali, so called in these days, were but names for these periodical havens. And these ceremonies had existed from times immemorial, and it was due to the performance
of these diseases and epidemics, which afflict India in these days, were wholly unknown in times of yore. The performance of such an similar rites meant the exercise of human activity and energy, and it was the pleasure of the Supreme that such exercise should always continue, for it was a fulfillment of the Soul’s mission on earth.
”And the general impression that the study of the Vedas was prohibited to all by the Brahmans, - this impression owed its existence to the selfishness of the ignorant. Whosoever would know the real truth, should refer to the real truth, should refer to the second mantra of the 26th Chapter of the Yajur Veda. The substance of the mantra might be stated as follows:- (God, speaking to entire mankind, says
YATHEMAAM VAACHAM KALYAANEEMAAVADAANI. It was really sad that nobody studied the Vedas for himself, but followed others, like sheep following sheep. When the blind led the blind, both the parties must fall into the pit. Selfishness was reigning supreme in the country.
’Just as I proclaim the truth to you, even so should ye proclaim it to all persons, - to the Brahmans, the Kshatriyas, the Vaishyas, the Shudras and that to those that are utterly below the Shudras.’
”The so called leaders (the Brahmans), instead of doing good to those upon whose wealth they throve, wished them only evil. Not understanding the true meaning and purport of the Vedas, they gave out as ‘Vedic’ what they chose. Release from the clutches of such individuals could be had only by a dissemination of the knowledge of the Vedas.
“It was due to the absence of this knowledge in the land that some ignorant people, not understanding the allegorical language of the Scriptures, had described the allegories as stories in the pages of the ‘Puranas’. As for instance, the story of the co-habitation of the Moon with the wife of Gautam Rishi, the running of Brahma after his own daughter with a carnal purpose. ‘I end my to-day’s lecture here,’ said the Swami in conclusion, ‘What more I have to say, I shall say in this very place on Friday.’ The Akhbar-I’-Am (an orthodox paper) reports on more sciences of the Vedas.
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The Akhabar-I-Am (an orthodox paper, by the by) said in its issue of 2nd may, 1877:-
”For more than a week Swami Dayanand has been at Lahore. This personage wears the Faqir’s garb and toes teaching, from city to city that the four Vedas are the word of God, containing int hem all the sciences of the universe. There is nothing (not fact or truth or principle) which according to him, is not to be found in these Books. The ancient people of India , he says, were well versed in every science and accomplished in every art. They knew how to run railways, and understood the mysteries of the telegraph. They were aware of the existence of America. They had carried to perfection medicine, political science and logic. Many of their books, however, got lost, and disunion reduced them to the (miserable) state in which we now find them. The Vedas, he maintains, do not at all speak of idol-worship of sun, moon , fire, air, etc., allowed in them those who think otherwise are laboring under a great mistake. The Swami is writing a commentary on the Vedas. Many portions of the
book have already been published. He believes that the religion which is taught in the Vedas, is the only true religion.
”We, too heard three or four lectures of the Swami. The fact is, that the Swami is a man of genius, and we know of none in India at the present time who possesses his grasp of the Vedas. We cannot, however, say that the interpretation he gives of the Veda Mantras is the only correct one, for other great teachers have also commented upon the Vedas. The Swami’s interpretation differs from theirs. The Swami is at one with the educated young men of India of these days in holding that caste is nothing. According to him he is a Brahman, who does the acts of one. If a Brahman neglects his duties, he is worse than a Shudra, and the word ‘Shudra’ means nothing more than ignorant person.
”The aversion towards promiscuous eating, which is manifested by the people now-a-days and which has existed in this country for some time, is unjustifiable in his opinion. There is nothing in the Vedas which lends countenance to this assertion. It is advisable to marry widows, or at least it is not objectionable, if they are married. Little boys and girls should not be married. The promulgation of these enlightened views had made the Brahmans enemies of the Swami. But he does not care for their hostility at all. He is in earnest and absorbed in his works as ever. Those who are real well-wishers of this country and wish from their heart that it should prosper, owe it to themselves to help the Swami to the utmost of their power.”
The two lectures in the Baoli Sahib had evidently taxed the patience of the ignorant and selfish element in the Brahman community too far, and, fearing a disturbance, it was resolved by the admirers of the Swami that the Baoli should be left alone in future and the should address the public next in the Brahmo Mandir, Anarkali. This was accordingly done, and the next lecture and another after it were delivered in the Mandir in question. The Brahmo Samaj.
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The lectures were on the “Revealed character of the Vedas” and the “Transmigration of Souls”. In these the Divine origin of the Vedas was fearlessly upheld and thoroughly proved and the arguments put forward in support of the doctrine of the transmigration of souls were unanswerable. The Brahmo Samaj does not believe in a Revelation, nor has it's faith in the doctrine of the transmigration of the souls and it would, under the circumstances, be perfectly natural on its part to desire that some building, other than the Brahmo Mandir, should be made available for the Swami’s speeches and discourses. At the same time, the orthodox, smarting under the rebuke administered to them, and the exposure to which they were subjected, pressed round Lala Bhagwan Das, son of Diwan Rattan Chand, with the request, given expression to in grieved and indignant tones, that he would turn the atheistic Sanyasi out of his garden. “The man condemns idol-worship and runs down your and our deities, and as such, no true believer should, in the slightest degree, be helpful to him.’ Lala Bhagan Das judged discretion the better part of valor and forthwith notified the Swami that his house was to be vacated without delay. There was no other alternative but to comply, and the
Swami’s well-wishers waited upon Dr. Rahim Khan for the loan of his kothi, situated in the Anarkali. The doctor was duly informed for whom the kothi was wanted and to what use it would be put, but he was a large-hearted gentleman and cheerfully acceded to the wishes of the Deputation. And the Swami removed to the Doctor’s kothi, an it was found to be sufficiently spacious and commodious to allow of lectures being delivered there also. The Koh-i-Noor reports again
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The Koh-i-Noor, speaking of these lectures, said, in it's issue of 5th May, 1877:-
”Swami Dayanand Saraswati is still in Lahore, and residing in Dr. Rahim Khan’s kothi, situated in Anarkali. He now and then addresses the public on the Vedic Dharma, when he feels an inclination to do so. These lectures of his have split the city people into two parties. One of these believes that that what the Swami teaches is right and useful, the other looks at his preaching as unorthodox and false, and hence inimical to the interests of religion. The first party is composed of young men who have received Western education, and of those who are in Government employ; the other of men of the old type and old ways of thinking, advanced in years. We are not in a position to say what the result of all this will be. We notice, however, that the party in sympathy with the Swami is gaining strength, and the other one faring in just the opposite way. Whatever is going on here, is very much the same as was described in some past week.” The Biradar-i-Hind reports on the Swami’ visit.
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The Biradar-i-Hind, a monthly journal, edited by Pandit Shive Narain Agnihotri, a prominent member of the Brahmo Samaj, contained, in its number fro June, 1877, the following in connection with the Swami’s work at Lahore:-
”Starting from Ludhiana on 19th April, 1877, Pandit Dayanand Saraswati reached Lahore the evening of the same day, and took up his quarters in the garden belonging to the late Ratan Chand Sarhiwala. The people here had already been waiting for his arrival. When they heard of the arrival of the Pandit Sahib, they streamed forth from their houses to see him. The Brahmos were particularly delighted at his coming, for they had specially exerted themselves to induce him to come here. For four days the people continued to gather around the Pandit in the very garden (where he put up). After the expiration of the period it was thought advisable that the Pandit (the principal object of whose life is to preach and to teach the people) should address the public in a suitable place within the city. At a general meeting held to consider this proposal, the conclusion was arrived at that the Baoli Sahib, being situated in the heart of the town and being, at the same time, a spacious and commodious building, was specially suited for the Pandit’s lectures. In conformity with the decision of the meeting, printed notices were issued, and on the date appointed, the Pandit delivered a lecture on the ‘Vedas’ (in the building in question). People had come together in large numbers to hear lecture, but inasmuch as the Pandit is a dead enemy of idol-worship (wishing to exterminate it altogether) men of the old school, - Brahmans, who, for a living, are largely dependent on idolatry, and who had, long before the lecture came off, assumed
an attitude of hostility towards the Pandit, made a terrific noise, and otherwise behaved most shamefully on the occasion of the lecture. But for the presence of the police in attendance, there was every chance of disturbance taking place. But one took place, and the Swami once more addressed the public in the very same building. However after the two lectures in question, it was resolved that, inasmuch as there was apprehension of a disturbance in the Baoli Sahib, and inasmuch as there was a great deal of noise there, the Swami should henceforward lecture in the Brahmo Mandir. Accordingly the Pandit delivered two lectures in the Brahmo Samaj, perfect order, as might be expected, prevailing there on each occasion, and the people hearing the updesh with patience and attention.
“In the meantime, however, the gentleman, in whose garden the Pandit had to put up, and who had, of his own free-will invited him to take up his quarters there, yielding to prejudice and wholly regardless of the fact that he was a Reis, desired the Pandit to vacate his house. Well, there was not dearth secured for his residence another building, better and far larger than the first, and the Swami vacating the Reis’s house, removed into the new kothi. This new kothi belongs to Dr. Rahim Khan, Khan Bahadur, whose courtesy and large-heartedness may be gauge and judged from the fact that, though a Muhammadan by faith, he most cheerfully made over his house to the Pandit the moment the people asked him for the loan of it. This act of generosity on the part of the Khan Sahib was such that the well-wishers of the Pandit would ever consider themselves beholden to him for the same. The house was so big and possessed such a spacious compound, that it was thought that it was suitable not only for his residence but for his lectures also. This being the case, his lectures commenced to be given in the kothi instead of in the Brahmo Mandir, ever since his leaving his old lodgings.
”On reaching here the Swami commenced speaking against idol-worship so strongly that the Brahman community in particular, and the other people in general, came to be in a state of excitement. When the Brahmans saw that many of their ‘sheep’ had left them and many were daily leaving them, they could contain themselves no longer. Recognizing the necessity, they convened a meeting, which was attended by the best-known and select Pandits of the town. These Pandits summoned Pandit Bhanu Datta, Acharya, Sat Sabha, Punjab, to the meeting also, and inasmuch as the Pandit was an acharya of a Sabha whose chief object was, admittedly and in effect, to proclaim to the people the worship of the one formless, and inasmuch as he himself had helped the educated community to entertain about him the impressions that he did not look upon idolatry as anything commendable, and further inasmuch as he was frequently seen with the Swami when the latter arrives at Lahore, the Pandits, with one voice, declared to his face that they thought he too was of the religion of Dayanand Saraswati. Now sooner were these words uttered than Pandit Bhanu Datta, in trepidation and alarm, replied that he was at a loss to understand how such a thing could be
predicted of him. ‘My faith,’ he added, ‘is the same as yours and, if you desire to say anything against the Swami, my services are your disposal.’ Hearing his answer the Pandits were pleased, and Pandit Bhanu Datta was appointed ‘Secretary of the Sabha organized by them.
”When the people came to hear that Pandit Bhanu Data had joined a Sabha whose object was to uphold idol-worship and to prove the same from the Vedas, they, the educated portion of them especially, who were fully acquainted with his religious views, were extremely surprised. We, in particular, were not only surprised to hear the news but very much grieved also, for the Pandit was friendly-disposed towards us in a remarkable degree. Whenever we had occasion to converse with him on idol-worship, he never supported idol-worship. Indeed, only a few days ago, he told us that Pandit Dayanand Sarawati wanted him to remain with him and to assist him in this national work by becoming a missionary and giving updesh to the people; but,’ said the Pandit, ‘I am so very much attached to my family and household that although Swami Dayanand is willing to provide amply for my family, and although I myself like the work proposed very much, I have not sufficient moral courage to close the with the Swami’s offer and to work with him in the furtherance of his mission.’
”Our readers will see from this that Pandit Bhanu Datta joined the idolatrous Pandits and became the Secretary of their Sabha through motives of ‘policy’. Indeed, he went so far as to stop seeing the Swami from the day he joined the Pandits, and to issue a notice under his signature that a certain Pandit would, on behalf of his Sabha, deliver a lecture in ‘idol-worship’ and prove that the Vedas allowed the adoration of idols. In addition to this lecture, the Pandit himself, in the meantime, delivered two lectures, in which he explained the nature and character of the gods, and actually supported idol-worship. So far we have spoken of the Lahore Pandits and of the opposition of the Pandit Sabha. As to what are the views of Swami Dayanand, what the nature of the reform which he wishes to bring about by his updesh in different places, how far his teaching produces its effect on the minds of the educated youth, to what extent the principles of the Brahmo Samaj are in conformity with his religious ideas, wherein they differ and why, what is the measure of success which the noble efforts of the Swami have already achieved, and what success they are likely to achieve in future; - on these points we shall speak in a future issue:”
And in fulfillment of the promise made in the foregoing article, Pandit Shive Narain Agnihotri, wrote in his journal (1st July, 1877):-
”The views of Swami dayanand are catholic and mostly in accordance with the advance ideas of the present day. His mind appears to be capable of vast improvement, and hence it is that although he is conversant with no literature other than that embodied in the Sanskrit language, he has yet, by the help of this literature, and by mixing enlightened and educated gentle-
men, liberalized his ideas and made them clear in such an eminent degree that, rising far above the level of bigoted and narrow-minded contemporary Pandits, he has developed into a model of a truly learned and enlightened Pandit, his views are ahead of those of the general mass of English educated people of our country. This man, to all outward appearance, seems to be an enthusiastic advocate of national reform, and an enthusiastic lover of his nation, although it is utterly impossible for us to declare at present how for this enthusiasm is free from the alloy of selfishness. For it is only time and experience that can furnish conclusive evidence on this head one away or the other. For all this, his personality, as far as we can judge of him at the present time, holds out great hopes of progress and reform in the country. As a religious reformer, this man is an inveterate foes of idol-worship. Really, contemplating him side by side with those who are at present body undermining the foundations of idolatry, it would not be improper to set him down as the greatest iconoclast of the age. On child marriage and education of women.
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”Viewed in his capacity as a helper of the Brahmo Samaj, in pushing forward the interests of the of the religious crusade undertaken by that body, whose fundamental principle of belief requires that idol-worship in all its phases should be uprooted and the worship of the one only true God should be spread in the world, the man has so much of the angel in him that it is impossible to over praise him. It is not only religious upheaval which this man is desirous of bringing about: he has also in view the reformation of the evil customs and usages such as child-marriage, etc. which are prevailing in the land. He is, above all, an advocate of female education and emancipation, believing that so long as the Indian woman remains ignorant and does not obtain freedom from domestic thralldom, the hope of seeing India make an appreciable progress will never be realized. To be brief, the destruction of ignorance and prejudice from among the nation, the diffusion of knowledge, the creation of national union, and evolving, out of this union, an all-embracing civilization, which will make the Indian Community a model community, is thee first and final aim of this man.” Excerpt from the Koh-i-Noor
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The following excerpt from the Koh-i-Noor, 16th June, 1877, describes the effect on the public mind of the Swami’s utterances at Lahore:-
”The truthful words of the Swami have turned the hearts of numbers from idol-worship. Many have packed up their idols to be put away and never to be thought of again, many having gone to the Ravi quietly have consigned them to the waters, while many others, more daring than the rest and wholly indifferent to the threats of the Biradari, have flung them hero-like into the streets. The result of these herculean efforts of the Swami had been of the highest advantage not only to his followers but to the other party also. A body of young men, educated and imbued with new ideas and impatient of restraint, has given their whole-hearted allegiance to the Swami, and such has been the effect of his
preaching that during the current week, a man,* taking up his Chauki of idols, threw it into the bazaar.”
Swami Dayanand had hardly been little more than two months in Lahore, when the enlightened community of the town came to recognize the absolute necessity of establishing an Arya Samaj in their midst. Strange that over a dozen years, updesh in the N.W.P. should have failed to produce in these Provinces the result which a couple of months’ stay in the Punjab was sufficient to bring about! No doubt, the educated people of Bombay had been prompt in perceiving an organization which should, on systematic lines, work for the good of mission; but in the vigor and intensity of feeling, - the earnestness with which the Punjab took up the Swami’s work, in the comprehensive realization of the stupendous significance of the Samajic propaganda, and in the prevision of its far-reaching and enduring consequences, for which the Punjabis distinguished themselves, our good brethren of Bombay were far from bring up to the mark. And they were not to blame. Dealing with Sikhism in the Punjab
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The conditions under which they lived were different from those which prevailed in the Punjab, and they had not the traditions which the Punjab had cherished for the last three hundred years. They still were hemmed in by a conservatism whose power had long been broken in the land of the Five waters. The pure and sublime theism of Guru Nanak and his successors, and the liberal social code which they had promulgated in their writings and utterances, had but little affected Southern India, and, under the circumstances, it as too much to expect that they would rise quite up the height of the Punjabis in their appreciation and grasp of the high character of the doctrines (several of them at least) offered for their acceptance, doctrines which, before they came to reiterated by the Ten Gurus in the troublous times of the Muslim Rule, had, we must remember, been elaborated in this very region by the ancient sages in the light of the Revelation. Arya Samaj and its ten principles.
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As to why the Arya Samaj came to assert its distinctive being in spite of the theistic bodies like the Sat Sabha and the Brahmo Samaj already in existence, the reason is to be sought in their recognizing and teaching truth only in part. At the same time, it must mot be lost sight of that one of these bodies had, in the lapse of years, degenerated into an eclectic System of Faith which sought for strength and nourishment in the dogmas of an alien creed, and such a System of Faith was bound to give way before an indigenous Faith of an all-embracing character, philosophical and scientific, in the highest degree. The self will prefer its own to what is foreign or but partially its own, and this was the reason why Brahmo Samajists and the Sat Sabhaists, as well as numerous other educated gentlemen, whom these bodies had wholly or partially failed to satisfy, and who were drifting into materialism, gathered under the banner of the Arya Samaj. They saw Dayanand one who was their own, one who offered them once more the legacy left to them by their ancestors.
*The reference is perhaps to the late lamented Lala Balak Ram, a well-known influential Khatri of Lahore.
It will be remembered that the principles of the Arya Samaj proclaimed at the Bombay were a collection of principles and bylaws mixed up. It was evident that they needed a thorough revision before they could be adopted. This was pointed out to Swami Dayanand, and he, in conjunction with the late Lala Sain Das, Lala Mul Raj, M.A., District Judge, Lala Jiwan Das, and few other gentlemen, remodeled and recast them, separating the niyams from the upniyams (by-laws), and at the inaugural weekly meeting of the Arya Samaj, which tool place on 24th June, 1877, at the kothi of Dr. Rahim Khan, had them duly announced. These principles and by-laws were recognized and adopted by the Bombay Samaj, as well as by all the after-coming Arya Samajes, in the whatever part of the country they came to be established, and they remain in force in all Samajes down to the present time. These principles were:-
We may be sure that it was no tame affair – that of the establishment of the Arya Samaj at Lahore. We have reliable information that the excitement and enthusiasm created and evoked by the function were at their highest pitch.
- ~ “The primordial Root – the Eternal Unseen Sustainer – of all true knowledge, and of objects made known by true knowledge, and of objects made known by true knowledge – aye of all these – is the Supreme God.
- ~ “God is All-Truth, All-Knowledge, All-Beatitude. He is Formless, Almighty, Just, Benevolent, Unborn, Endless and Infinite, Unchangeable, Beginningless, Incomparable, Fearless, Eternal, Holy and Maker of the universe. To him alone is worship due.
- ~ “The Veda is the Scripture of true knowledge. It is the paramount Duty of every Arya to learn and teach the Veda, to hear and preach it.
- ~ “We should ever be ‘ready to accept Truth, and to renounce Untruth.
- ~ “All acts should be done in accordance with Dharma, after a thorough investigation of Right and wrong.
- ~ “The prime object of the Arya amaj – Vedic church – is to do good to the world, that is to promote the Physical, Spiritual and Social good of every sentient being.
- ~ “Our conduct towards all should be guided by Love, Righteousness and Justice.
- ~ “We should destroy avidya – Nescience – and promote vidya – Science, spiritual and physical.
- ~ No person should be content with promoting his own good only; on the contrary, he should look for his good in the good of all.
- ~ “All men should abide by the laws of Society calculated to promote the well-being of all; but everybody is free in regard to the laws affecting his individual well-being.”
The following is the list of office-holders and members elected at the preliminary meeting:-
A gentleman writing to the Koh-i-Noor gave expression,in a letter, to the following sentiments regarding the Arya Samaj – sentiments which echo the innermost ideas and feelings of the advanced section of Lahore community of the time. Aryavarta until the Muslim invasion.
- Lala Mul Raj, M.A., Prem Chand Rai Chand Scholar (at present member, the Anarkali Samaj, Lahore) President.
- Lala Sri Ram, M.A., Headmaster, Normal School Lahore, Vice-President (since dead).
- Lala Sain Das, Translator, Government Gazette, Punjab Secretary (since dead).
- Lal Jiwan Das, Translator, Finanacial Commissioner’s Office, Punjab (at present an Office-bearer of the Vachhowali Samaj, Lahore) – Secretary.
- Babu Sarda Parsad Bhattacharya, Secretary. (The gentleman has ceased to take interest in the Arya Samaj.
- Lala Bishen Lall M.A. Joint Secretary. (Probably member of no Samaj at present)
- Lala Kundan Lal, Treasurer. (Member of no Samaj at present).
- Lala Ballabh Das, Librarian (since dead).
- Pandit Amar Nath, Translator, Chief Court, Member. (Has ceased to be a member of an Samaj.)
- Dr. Bhagat Ram Sahni, Member. (Has ceased to be member of any Samaj.)
- Dr. Khazan Chand, Member. (At present member of the Gujrat Samaj.)
- Lala Madan Singh, B.A., Member (At present member of the Amballa Samaj.)
- Lala Mungoo Mal, Member. (At present a member of the Lahore Arya Samaj, Anarkali.)
- Lala Hans Raj Shani, Member. (At present Secretary, Arya Samaj, Rawalpindi.)
- Lala Dwarka Das, M.
A. Member. (At present President, Arya Samaj, Anarkali.)
- Lala Gobind Sahai, Member. (At present member, Lahore Arya Samaj, Anarkali.)
- Dr. Sada Nand, Member.
- Lala Ishwar Das, B.A., Member (deceased).
- Bhai Nihal Singh, Member (ditto).
- Lala Balak Ram, Member. (ditto)
- Lala Ram Sahai, Member.(At present member, Arya Samaj, Lahore, Anarkali.
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The letter ran as follows:-
”The updesh which Swami Dayanand has been giving during the last two or three months moved the hearts of the people so
strongly and roused the national sympathies so far that they established and Arya Samaj on 26th June, 1877. The Samaj has very nearly three hundred members at present, and it is progressing day by day. The real object of the Samaj is to revive and spread the old Arya Dharma – Vedic Teaching – and to give an impetus to the study of Sanskrit Literature. With this object in view, the Samaj has established a School fro imparting instruction in Sanskrit and for the study of the Vedas. It is, at present, attended by one hundred men. The establishment of the Samaj is mainly due to the arrival of Swamiji here.
”History bears witness to the fact that during 2,500 years after Swami Shankracharya, no leader or Vedic Scholar or Rishi (except Swami Dayanand) has appeared to show the right way.” “Is this not an occasion for us to congratulate ourselves upon, that the Swami is doing so much for our good and guidance? Brethren! Ye who profess allegiance to the Arya Dharma, why don’t ye awake from your sleep of forgetfulness now? Praised be the Lord! – the Saschchidanand, who, out of His infinite mercy revealed the Vedas to mankind, and most praiseworthy were the Arya people who adopted and follow the Vedic Religion. They were strong in their armor of knowledge and affluent in virtue, and lvied and treated each other as a brother lives with a treats a brother.
”This is fully evidenced by the fact that no foreign nation, from the dawn of creation to the time of Rao Pathaura, could invade Aryavarta””But bethren, from the time when the Arya nation made progress in ‘disunion’, the state of Aryavarta underwent a change. Form that time commenced the invasions of Mahmood of Ghazni and others, till at last Shahab-ud-din Gauri became master of the land. The result of our disunion was, that our sacred Veda and our Arya Faith and works were utterly lost to us. And instruction in the Veda disappeared utterly that we could not light upon traces of it, even if we set about finding them with a lamp in hand.
”However, thanks are due to that merciful God who, taking pity on our miserable condition, gave us Swami Dayanand, filling his mind with a noble ambition, which urged him to uproot creature-worship and belief in the marvelous, and to establish, in their place, the worship of one God and a love of the Vedic Teaching. We are deeply beholden to the Swami who, after under going untold suffering and studying the Vedas, chose to consecrate his life to the work of leading us to the right path. If the entire country were to appreciate the efforts he is making for us, there van be no doubt that a single day would suffice to drive away poverty and ignorance from among us, and to bring back the Vedic Dharma and Vedic karma and the worship of the true One, which once our seers and sages followed and practiced. But, alas! There are people who not only make not effort to extricate themselves from the pit of ignorance in which they are fallen, but dissuade others in like circumstances form doing so.
”My advice to you is ‘Follow your true Dhama and worship your true Creator, and exhort your brethren to com to the right. You are your own masters, and hence choose for yourself. Brethren, in my opinion, disunion should be exterminated root and branch at once, and all should follow the teaching of the Veda only. Whatever the Veda
teaches, by following that alone can we save ourselves and in no other way.” Although the inaugural meeting of the Samaj was held in Dr. Rahim Khan’s khoti, it was felt that the place was not exactly the place for the purpose. Hence, the second meeting was held in the premises of the Sat Sabha, but a scathing criticism on the Puranic teaching so upset the authorities of the Sabha that they refused to lend their building for another meeting. A building in the Anarkali was, consequently, rented, which long remained in the possession of the Samaj.
On the 29th July, 1877, a library was opened in connection with the Samaj, the late Lala Sain Das, than whom the Samaj has bee no greater patriot or thinker, giving a donation of two hundred rupees, a sum which far exceeded his means, considering his salary at the time was no more than Rs. 130 a month.
Some interesting facts and anecdotes.
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- As the reader is aware, the Swami would not let women come into his presence. The ladies of Lahore, however, accustomed to a different order of things, and wholly failing to appreciate the Swami’s attitude towards members of their sex, thronged to the Swami’s lodging in numbers and insisted upon having an updesh. Unwilling to disappoint them, he had separate accommodation provide for their benefit, and in his lecture strongly emphasized the fact that it was improper for women to take part in the meetings of men, adding; “Women generally go to the Sadhus and Faqirs for children and for the acquisition of wealth. But the Sadhus and Faqirs, who promise such things to women are great scoundrels. It is meet that women should have their own Sabhas or hear updesh from their husbands, who, according to the Shastras, being their gurus, should be alone served and waited upon by them. They should never go to the Faqirs, either for offspring or for wealth.” And he also said: “the men who permit their women to go anywhere and everywhere, and have no control over them, are worthless.”
- One day Pandit Shiv Narain Agnihotri asserted that the Sama Veda contained the story of owls. The Swami, taking up the Book, quietly handed it over to the Pandit, and asked him to find the story for him. The Pandit kept turning over the leaves for some time, but finally returned the book, observing that he could not find the story!
- One day Babu Sarda Parsad Bhattacharya proposed, in a public meeting, with the full occurrence of the other Arya members present, that the title of “Patron of the Samaj” be conferred upon the Swami. When the proposal had been thoroughly approved by the meeting, the Swami smiles and observed:
”The word ‘patron’ is suggestive of ‘gurudom’, my mission is to weaken and break up sects which recognize ‘gurudom’, and not to found a new sect and become a guru myself. If my head is turned by the title tomorrow, or if my successor becomes proud and haughty by reason thereof, you will be confronted with a great evil, and this evil will be the same as the new creeds have been confronted
with! Hence, the proposal that has been made, should never be repeated in the future.” The Babu still insisting that the Swami should at least accept the title of parama shaik (supreme helper), and latter answered:
”If you call me parama Sahaik, by what name will you call the almighty Paramatma? This anecdote contains lessons of the highest value for the Arya Samaj, and may Heaven help us never to lose sight of these. Slavery and thralldom of the worst kind ever follows in the train of ‘gurudom’, it utterly enfeebles men morally and intellectually and spiritually, and of what use is a community that is undone in so many ways?
- Once Pandit Manphool said to the Swami: “If you give up refuting and denouncing idol-worship, the people would cease to be angry with you and what is more, the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir will also be pleased with you!” The Swami answered:
”Shall I strive to please the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, or shall I strive to carry out the mandates of Ishwara - the Sovereign of sovereigns – embodied in the Vedas?” This reply was conclusive for the Pandit, and it is said he never saw the Swami after this.
- While putting up in the kothi of Nawab Nawaszish Ali Khan, the Swami one day delivered a lecture on Islam. While the lecture was going on, the Nawab walking about at a distance, listening to it, a person approached the Swami and said: “Maharaj! None will lend you his house to step in, neither Hindus nor Muahmmadans nor Christians. Now that the Nawab Sahib has kindly placed his kothi at your disposal, you would run down Islam even in his house!” The reply of the Swami was,
”I cannot barter my religion for the luxury of staying in comfortable lodgings. In declaring the truth I fear no one, though the declaration might cause me trouble and inconvenience.”
- During his stay a Lahore, Swami Dayanand had interviews with Colonel Holroyde, Director, Public Instruction, Punjab, and one with Sir Charles Egerton, Lieutenant-Governor, also. In the course of conversation with His Honor, the Swami observed that:
”I could not understand how Englishmen, with all their boasted civilization, could believe in such a book as the Bible” His Honor begged to be excused from making a reply, as (said he) he was not prepared to talk on religious subjects with the Reformer. The Swami, of course, did his duty.
- During the days when prachar-work was being pushed on in the garden belonging to Nawab Ali Raza Khan, near the Masti Gate, a Padri and his lady visited the Swami. A conversation ensued, during which the Rev. gentleman said: “What proof have you that the Aryas were originally wealthy and in the enjoyment of comfort, and degenerated and fell in to poverty afterwards?” In reply the Swami observed that the annals of ancient Aryavarta bore witness to the truth of his assertion, and that the Rev. gentleman, being conversant with history, could verify the fact for himself. As to the cause of the fall of the ancient Aryas, it was their great wealth that brought them down.
“I have been’, said the Swami, “an early riser from my childhood. In the beginning PAGE 160
I saw that Englishmen would get up early in the morning, and, taking their children with them, would go out for a walk. The excess of wealth, however, has made them indolent since. They are seen stretched on their beds in their Bungalows till the sun is up, and I cannot but perceive that, like the old Aryas, the days of your fall is also coming.”
- Dr. Hooper came one day to hear the Swami’s lecture at Dr. Rahim Khan’s house. On the termination of the lecture, the missionary put the Swami a question in Sanskrit. On the termination of the lecture. The audience who were about to disperse, retained their seats. The Swami requested the Doctor to come forward and take a chair. The latter replied that it did not become him to sit on a chair in the presence of such a man as the Swami, for the Swami was the “sun of knowledge.” The question which he (the Doctor) wanted to ask, he had come to ask in the capacity of ajigyasu (enquirer), and not in the spirit of one who would discuss and argue. Having said this, the Doctor remarked that since the Vedas spoke of Ashvamedha and Gomedha Yajnas, it was evident that in the Vedic period, the people were in the habit of offering sacrifices of horses and cows. What had the Swami to say about it? The Swami’s answer, in substance, was:
”All these stories have been invented by the Vamamargis. The Vedas nowhere speak of doing Yajna by sacrificing kine and horses. Ashvamedha, according to the Shatapatha Brahmana, Nirukta and so on means the just and impartial treatment of his subjects by a king; while Gomedha means the cleaning of grain, the purifying of the five senses, the mind, and so forth.”The second question which the Rev. gentlemen asked was: “What have the Vedas to say on Caste?” the reply was that caste-distinction, according to the Vedas, rested on worth and merit. Upon this, the Missionary asked: “If I be a possessor of noble qualities and virtues, can I become a Brahman?” The Swami answered: “Most certainly. If your worth and actions are such as to entitle you to claim the position of a Brahman, you can become one.”
- One day a Padri hearing his criticism on the mantra - Hiranyagarbha, etc. remarked that the ancient Aryas knew nothing about God, adding that the spiritual upheaval of the word was due to the Bible. “Wherever,” the Bible has been carried, the people there had become civilized, and the teachings of the Bible influence an area of land over which the sun never sets.”
The Swami replied that it was not due to the Bible that the results of which the Missionary spoke had been achieved, but to the teaching of the Veda which the Western people practically followed. The non-recognition of early marriage, observing of brahmacharya, love of knowledge, monogamy, traveling of distant countries, patriotism, etc. (inculcated in the Vedas) had made the Western people what they were. The people of India had made the Western people what they were. The people of India had come to mistake for the Vedic religion a totally different faith which was worthless, and had ceased following the behests of the Vedas. But the Europeans, though not acquainted with the Vedas, yet followedPAGE 161
their commandments. This was the reason why the Indians were going down, and the Europeans ‘going up.’
- The Swami was in Lahore when the anniversary-festival of Brahmo Samaj came round. The Swami was invited. He went in company with a large number of Arya gentlemen after the proceedings of the weekly meeting of the Arya samaj wer over. When the Swami entered the Brahmo Mandir, Pandit Raghu Nath Gupta, pracharak of the Brahmo Samaj of India, who was at the time conducting the Service, descende from the pulpit and falling at the Swami’s feet, embrace him and said: “In reality the Brahmo Samaj and the Arya Samaj are one.” The Swami replied:
”Although there is a difference between the Samajees at present, the day will come when the two will become one.”
- The upaniyams (by-laws) of the Arya Samaj were passed on 6th November, 1877. the Swami happening to be present in the Samaj at the time, the members requested him to give his opinion on some points. The Swami replied that he had no right to do it, as he was not a member of the Antrang Sabha. And he never gave his opinion till, for special reasons, he had been elected a member of the Executive Body!
- The body that had suffered most by the establishment of the Arya Samaj was the Brahmo Samaj. Its ranks were considerably thinned, and, in their annoyance, the remaining members of the Samaj called upon their brethren of Calcutta to help them. The Calcutta Brahmo Samaj sent the Lahoris a number of mantras with their interpretation, claiming to prove that the Vedas were not revealed. The Lahoris lost no time in holding a public meeting and asking the Swami to explain the mantras. The Swami accepted the challenge. As the Brahmo gentlemen were ignorant of Sanskrit, they constituted Pandit Bhanu Datta their representative. The Pandit read out the mantras, with their interpretation. Before rising to reply, the Swami asked the Pandit if he too, who unlike the Brahmos, knew Sanskrit, thought the interpretation to be right. The Pandit replied in the negative, adding that the objections which the Brahmo gentlemen had brought forward, had no weight in his opinion. The answer sent the audience into roars of laughter, and it ws a ‘stunner’ for the Brahmos. As Brahmo gentleman then undertook to repeat the objections, and after he had done speaking, the Swami got up and explained how the words, Ganga and Yamuna, were not proper names, but the names of two arteries, paling a conspicuous part in Yoga to convince his hearers thoroughly, he read the chapter from the beginning, explaining each mantra and proving conclusively that the chapter dealt with the Science of Yoga, and not with the so-called rivers, Ganga, Yamuna, etc.
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Lahore was, for several months, the head-quarters of the Swami, and during months he would be frequently away from the station to the neighboring towns and cities in the interests of prachar. He visited Amritsar twice during 1877, and again on 15th May, 1878, staying up to 11th July, 1878. During his first visit h put up in the kothi near the Ram Bagh Gate of the town, being the guest of the late Sardar Dayal Singh of Majithia, who had hired the kothi in question at a rent of Rs. 40 a month. The interested priesthood had not been sparing in their efforts to give currency, at Amritsar, to the false and ridiculous rumors which their kith and kin had been so assiduous in spreading at Lahore. But the charm of novelty had worn away and, believing the idle reports set afloat by the advocates of idol-worship as nothing better than old women’s tales, the people came pouring daily to the reformer and listened, with the deepest attention, to all he had to say to them.
His exposure of the Puranas and his lectures on other subjects displayed a vastness and depth of learning and a power of reasoning which absolutely surprised and fascinated his hearers, and made many of them set him down as an “incarnation” of the Deity Idol-worship became an object of hatred to the intelligent and thoughtful, and the scenes enacted at Lahore were repeated, the idols and images being handled unceremoniously and either put away in lumber-rooms or ‘shied’ into the thoroughfares. A month’s preaching was sufficient to establish an Arya Samaj, with about fifty Members, Babu Ghanya Lal, Pleader, being elected President, and Bawa Narian Singh, Pleader, Secretary. The exact date of the establishment of the Samaj was 12th August 1877.
The champions of idolatry did all they could to persuade the famous Pandit Ram Datta of Amritsar to hold a shastrarth with the Swami, but a clear refusal was the reply. The Pandit frankly acknowledged that he had not studied the Vedas, nor had the ability to enter into a contest with a man of the stamp of Dayanand. Pandit Tulsi Ram, another well-known and able Pandit was also approached, he too begged to be excused from acceding to the wishes of his admirers. Indeed, the Pandit meeting the Swami one day, in the bazaar, prevailed upon him to accompany
him to his house, where, on arriving, he extended to him a most cordial welcome and treated him with the greatest respect.
On visiting Amritsar the second time, the Swami has notices circulated, challenging the orthodox Pandits accepted the challenge, and several days were spent in settling the conditions of the proposed shastrarth should take place in the tawela of Sardar Bhagwan Singh, and, long before the hour fixed for the commencement of the discussion, the place was full to over-flowing, there being over five thousand persons present. The Swami waited and waited, but no Pandit put in an appearance, and at last thinking it advisable to spend the time for some purpose, he rose to address the meetingl.
He had not, however, proceeded far in his lecture, when Babu Mohan Lal, Pleader, coming into the meeting, announced that he was a messenger from the Pandits and that they desired to come into the meeting. “They should be welcome,” was the reply, and the Pandits came, surrounded by a pageant indulging in loud shouts of triumph (Jai! jai!). One might expect that the shastrarth would begin without further delay; but no, the paper embodying the conditions of the shastrarth was again taken in hand by Pandit Chandra Bhan, and heated discussion as to the merits of the conditions ensued. While the time was being uselessly wasted, some bad characters, hiding themselves behind the multitude, took to shying stones and pieces of bricks at the “unorthodox.”
One of these came directly towards the Swami, but as he was seated surrounded by several gentlemen standing, the progress of the missile was intercepted, and it failed to do him any injury. Being unable to throw the stones with precision, it was natural that the miscreants should often hit those they did not intend to, and the result of this was that the entire assembly was transformed into a disorderly mob. Many were seen covered with blood, and a fray seemed imminent. Such a contingency was wholly undesirable, and the friends of peace, taking in the situation, exerted themselves as they had perhaps seldom exerted themselves before, and the apprehended disturbance was prevented.
Ever mindful of his mission, even in the midst of trials and suffering, the Swami had a fresh challenge went to Babu Mohan Lal for a shastrarth, but the Babu replied that he was the representative of the Pandits only for a few hours of the of the previous day and that he had nothing to do with them now. “They are,” he added “wrangling and disputing among themselves, and nothing appears to farther from their intentions than to hold a shastrarth.” The Swami waited for twenty days more for a more satisfactory answer on behalf of the Pandits, but it was waiting in vain. At last, he saw no other alternative than to have al the circumstances connected with the promised but enventually-shirked shastrarth printed and published for the information of the general public.
Mr. Perkins was the Commissioner of Amritsar during these days, and, either of his won free will or in the interests of state policy and under instructions from the higher authorities, he expressed a wish to see the Swam. The interview duly came off, and a
conversation ensued. Among other things, the Commissioner, who was a thorough Christian, and who, on retirement from service took up preaching work, observed that the Hindu Religion was a like a ‘weak, untwisted cotton thread,’ read to snap in two at the slightest pressure and on the slightest tension.
The Swami replied that the fact as otherwise, that the Vedic Religion (misnamed Hindu religion) was strong as iron, yea even stronger than that. There is reason to believe that before the interview came to an end, the Commissioner was fairly convinced that the mission of the Swami was perfectly harmless, and that it was not, in the remotest degree, of a character to justify the reckless manner which the orthodox chose to behave while expressing their disapproval of it.
At Amritsar too individuals were not wanting who, not understanding the Swami, often made him requests which he could never grant. One gentleman besought him not to be so hard on ‘idol-worship,’ and, of course, the request had to be refused. Another wanted him to become his son’s guru, and begged him to give the young fellow the guru-mantra. The Swami expressed his inability to comply with this request also, adding,
”Let your son and yourself repeat the the Gayatri Mantra, for there is no greater mantra than that. You may become a member of the Samaj and learn how to do it.”Lala Murli Dhar, Drawing Master, at present President of the Gurdaspur Samaj, and certainly one of the noblest men belonging to the Arya ranks, was also among those who wanted, the Swami to become the their guru. In this instance too, the Swami’s reply was fully characteristic of him, and the Lala was told to accept the ‘Paramata as his guru and to repeat and recite His guru-mantra only – the Savitri!
Amritsar had long been a center of the Missionary activity, and it might be presumed that the Padris would no mind risking a discussion with the Swami specially as the Swami was yet new to the Punjab and the Padris did not know (as Mr. Foreman and others came to know later) what sort of man they had to deal with. They put forward Pandit Kharak Singh, but judge of the surprise of his supporters when, instead of arguing against the Swami, he commenced assenting to every proposition and admitting the force of every argument which the Swami laid down and advanced!
Seeing how matters stood, the Missionaries wired to Dr. A.M. Bannerjee of Calcutta, but he final answer from that erudite gentleman was, that he could not obey the mandate. Of course, under the circumstances, no discussion could be held! AT GURDASPUR
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In response to an invitation from Dr. Bihari Lal, Assitant Surgeon, Lala Hans Raj Sahini and Dr. Bhagat Ram Sahini, Swami Dayanand left Amritsar for Gurdaspur, by a mail-cart, on 8th August, 1877, and on reaching his destination was received by the gentry of the station, who had advanced a mile for
the purpose, with cordiality and respect. The Swami put up in the Doctor’s kothi, situated on the road-side in the open air, and delivered here a number of lectures on “Idol-worship,” the “Existence of God.” “Transmigration of Souls,” Shradhs and other kindred subjects. There was the usual opposition, and the Pandits of the place made a shift to look bold and brave. Indeed Pandit Lakshmi Dhar and Pandit Daulat Ram of Dinanagar, obeying the mandate of Mian Hari Singh, Extra Assistant Commissioner, and Mian Sher Singh, Assistant District Superindent of Police, also an idol-worshipper, actually came to Gurdaspur to hold a shastrarth with the Swami, and the discussion commenced.
But before much had been said on the either side, the two Mians, taking offence at the Swami’s remark, flew into a passion and began indulging in unparliamentary language. Dr. Bihari Lal too lost his temper, hot words were exchanged, and the meeting broke up. The Swami’s updesh had, however, done its work, and an Arya Samaj was established at Gurdaspur on 24th August, 1877, with the following gentleman as Office-holders and Members:- Munshi Suraj Saran, Munsif, President; Diwan Kishen Das, Secretary; Dr. Bihari Lal (Munsif) Lala Ghanay Lal )Shukar). Lala Kaka Mal, Lal Ram Saran Das (Pleader), Bawa Khazan Singh (Shukar), Dr. Bhagat Ram Sahini, Lala Hans Raj Sahini and Lala Gurcharan Das (Pleader), - Members. JULLUNDUR
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Returning to Amritsar on 26th August and staying there for about two weeks, the Swami left for Jullundur, on 13th September, 1877, where he stayed up to the 15th October, 1877. the first lecture here was delivered in the house of Sadar Suchet Singh, but the place proving insufficient for the large audience which the lecture attracted, the next came off in Sardar Bikram’s Singh’s house, where the Swami had put up. All the subsequent lectures also were delivered in this building, the gathering on each occasion fully justifying the change. Men of the old type, the Brahmans, in particular, behaved after their kind, denouncing the Swami as a heretic and warning all they came across to keep away from such a dangerous person!
One of the lectures delivered at Jullundur appears to have been delivered pre-eminently for the benefit of those who had provided the Swami with lodgings. The Swami learning that one of the Sardars was intimate with a woman of abandoned character and being justly displeased that a nobleman of the land should be so completely wanting in self-respect and disgrace himself so far, he fearlessly, and in the presence of the Sardars themselves, entered upon the apparently disagreeable tasks of exposing the short-sightedness and iniquity of those who, in disregard of the dictates of conjugal fidelity, wasted their money and manhood on prostitutes. His words were strong, but the needed to be uttered, for greater the evil, the stronger the remedy. Some persons, on the termination of the lecture, hinted to the Swami that the obligations of hospitality (it was hospitality, in certain measure) required that be should have refrained from taking to task and satirizing the
conduct of the Sardars in the pointed manner he had done. The Swami’s reply was:
”I have not come here to flatter or please or to intentionally offend anyone. To declare the truth is my mission, and this mission I am trying to fulfill. It is a matter of perfect indifference to me as to who is pleased with my utterances and who is not.” A discussion took place at Jullundur at 7 A.M., on 24th September, 1877, between Swami Dayanand and Moulvi Ahmad Hussain on “Miracles” and the “Transmigration of Souls,” in the presence of the Sardar. An account of the discussion was published in a pamphlet-form by Mirza Mwahid, Editor and Proprietor, the Wazir-i-Hind. The following lines are from the pamphlet : -“At the time appointed for the discussion, the Moulvi, accompanied by the high and low of the town, both Hindus and Mussalmans, arrived (at the place where the debate was to take place).The subjects were chosen for discussion were the doctrine of the “Transmigration of Souls’ and “Miracles,” the former, in deference to the wishes of the Moulvi Sahib, and the latter in deference to those of Swami Sahib…….It was announced by the Swami (before the discussion commenced) that on the termination of the conversation, no one was to indulge the conceit of considering himself victorious or defeated……The questions put and the anwers given by the parties (he said) should be taken down and manuscript, after it had been signed by Lala Mehar Chand and Munshi Muhammad Hussain Mahmud, should be published. On the termination of the discussion, however, the Moulvi did a thing which was unworthy of a man of learning… It was this, that the Moulvi, after the conversation was at an end, made for the gate of the Khankah (abbey) of Imam Nasur-ud-din, and treating his co-religionists to an exhortation savoring of self-praise, called upon them to spread his (imaginary) fame. The educated and respectable Muahmmadans, regarding this desire for fame as the outcome of childishness, retired from the scene of excitement, but not so the ignorant mob. These declared the Moulvi to have been victorious, and mounting him on a horse paraded him, to their hearts’ content, through the streets and lanes of the town, shouting out his praises and his triumphs.”
The account of the discussion contained in the pamphlet is authenticated, having been duly signed by Lala Mehar Chand and Munshi Muhammad Hussain.
As far as the discussion on “Miracles” is concerned, it is very ordinary, none of the arguments advance by the Moulvi in support of his contention being strong and worth consideration. The discussion on the doctrine of the “Transmigration of Souls,” however, is an interesting reading, but the objections of the Moulvi were almost all much the same as were subsequently raised by Rev. Scott in connection with the doctrine in his discussion with the Swami a Bereilly, we need not notice them here.
The Swami returned to Lahore without seeing an Arya Samaj established at Jullundur.*
*As might be expected, a Samaj was established here ere long, and ahs all along been in existence.
PAGE 167 AT FEROZEPUR
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The next station, which the Swami visited was the Ferozepur Cantonment. He left for the place in company with Lala Gobind Lal Kayastha, sent to bring him on 26th October, 1877, and put up in Lala Banwari Lal’s Kothi in the vicinity of the old Artillery Barracks, the new house which Lala Mathrua Das, Supervisor, subsequently the virtual founder of that noble institution – known as the Ferozepur Orphanage, had had specially built for the residence of the Swami, during the space of a few days, being regarded by the Swami as unfit for him to take up his abode in, in consequence of its being situated in the thick of the population. For eight days running the Swami lectured under the shamianas set up in front of Lala’s Mathura Das’s house, and the result of these was of a most desirable character. The Hindu Sabha which already existed in the Cantonment and of which Lala Mathura Das was the President, was, by the unanimous consent and approval of its enlightened and thoughtful members, changed into a “Arya Samaj.”
At Ferozepur also there was talk of a shastrarth coming off between the Swami and the champions of orthodoxy, but nothing came of it, none having the courage to come forward and hold a discussion with the dreaded Sanyasi. AT RAWALPINDI
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Returning from Ferozepur and making a halt of but a single day at Lahore, the Swami left for, and reached Rawalpindi on 8th November, 1877, and stayed there for about two months. The kothi of Seth Jamsetjee a had been selected for his residence, and in that he took up his quarters, and commenced a series of lectures. After he had delivered about twenty lectures, he was removed into Sardar Sujan Singh’s garden, where updesh was resumed. He would lecture for two days running, and rest on the third. An Arya Samaj came to be established in due course, Lala Ganesh Das, Contractor, being appointed President, and Bhagat Kishen Chand – Secretary. Some persons urged Sadhu Saptgiri to hold a shastrath with the Swami, but he refused to humor their wishes. The Samaj established in the presence of the Swami has been doing useful work ever since. AT JHELUM
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On his way back from Rawalpindi, the Swami broke his Journey at Jhelum, staying there for a forth-night and giving updesh regularly, which soon resulted in the establishment of an Arya Samaj in the station, Lala Latchman Pershad* (teacher), who had
*Lala Lachman Pershad latterly lapsed into Brahmoism. He now gives out that the Swami did not believe in the Divine origin of the Vedas and that he himself never acknowledged, in the presence of the Swami, that the Vedas were revealed. The Lala has certainly a very short memory, or is it that he intentionally forgets things? In a article he published in the Arya Darpan of Shahjahanpur (1880) he wrote as follows: “The four books – Rig, Yaju, Sama, Atharva, which are from God and embody true knowledge and sciences, and through which true gyan imparted to mankind, even these are called the ‘Vedas.”
been till now a Brahmo, being given the Presidentship, and Lala Jawala Perhad, at present Extra Assistant Conservative of Forests, the post of Secretary. AT GUJRAT
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Having done with Jhelum, Swami Dayanand arrived at Gujrat on 13th January, 1878, and stayed here over a fortnight. The people of the city, worked up by the priesthood, behaved savagely, showering stories and bricks on the Maharishi. In time a Pandit came, had a conversation with him, and then went his way, Swami’s remark on the hostility displayed by the ignorant populace was,
”that a day should come when truth must bear down all opposition, and, when the people should rain on the preachers of the Vedic Religion, flowers instead of stones! WAZIRABAD
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Starting from Gujrat on 2n February, 1878, the Swami arrived at Wazirabad. A Samaj had already been established there, and the President, the late Lala Labdha Ram, then an Apprentice Engineer and subsequently an Executive Engineer, and the Secretary, Lala Sukh Dyal, and other members of the Samaj gave a hearty welcome to the Swami, and according to the arrangements already made, conducted him to the Balai Kothi in Raja Faiqir-ulla’s garden to take up his abode there.
The Swami delivered five lectures in all here. A Shasrarth was held too, but some of the good men, instead of listening to the discussion with patience and attention, sought only, in pursuance of a premeditated plan no doubt, to create a disturbance. On the Swami’s asking the Pandit who was arguing with him to point out in the Vedas the mantra, the commentary on which he (the Pandit) had first repeated, and on the latter’s utterly failing to do it, a boy standing by commenced shouting ‘fie! Fie!’ The contemptuous exclamation was meant for the Swami, but before the rowdies could come up to them the Swami just flourished his club, and there was an instantaneous stampede towards some place of safety! But it would seem that the courage of the mob had not yet completely oozed out, for no sooner did they find that the Swami and the other Aryas had retired to the upper story, than they sent up a shower of stones.
The Swami’s Clerk, Bihari Babu, descending to remonstrate with them on the folly of their conduct, worst element among them, instead of respecting his person as that of a messenger, fell upon him in a body, and commenced thrashing him unmercifully. The Swami being informed of the matter rushed down the stairs to succor the man. The mere sight of him and his leonine shout were sufficient to strike terror into the hearts of the miscreants and they took to their heels. The Ayra Samajists thought of putting the breakers of the peace in court, but the soothing words of the Swami calmed them down, and the proposal was dropped.
PAGE 169 GUJRANWALA
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On Leaving Wazirabad (7th February, 1878), the Swami halted at Gujranwala, where he stayed for about twenty-seven or twenty-eight days. He put up there in the splendid buildings beneath which lie the ashes of the father of that great statesman and conqueror, the Lion of Punjab. A series of lectures was commenced. The local Padris – men of great learning and sense – declared their intention to hold a shastrarth with Swami. Nothing could be more welcome to the latter, and a shastrarth did come off in the Christian Church on 19th February, 1878, in presence of, among other influential gentlemen. Messrs. Walker and Hewson, Assistant Commissioners, Mr. Mohan Beru, Lala Gopal Das, Extra Assistant Commissioner, etc.
The subject for discussion was “The Eternity of the Soul.” Surrounded by a huge audience, the Swami replied to the objections of the Missionaries, and his replies were so sensible and convincing, has his own criticism on the fundamental doctrines of Christianity so unanswerable, that when the discussion for the day came to a close, the madhyast, Lala Gopal Dass, Extra Assistant Commissioner gave his decision in favor of the Swami. As the crush was tremendous it as thought advisable that the next days’ discussions should take place in some more commodious building, if possible, to no particular sect.
Subsequently, however the Padris saw it convenient to change their opinion (as well they might), and assembling the students of the Mission School in the Church Hall at 12 P.M. called upon the Swami and the Madhyasta to come over for the discussion. The answer from both the gentlemen was that this was no time for discussion, and that: in accordance with the previous understanding, it should be resumed at 4 P.M.. The Swami took occasion to further remind the Padris that the room available in the Church could not accommodate a large audience, and that the discussion was to take place in some other place. Far from being disappointed at the reply, the Missionaries received it in a spirit of satisfaction, for it enabled them to tell the people that the field was theirs, since the Swami had not obeyed their call!
Of course the intelligent portion of the Guranwala gentry was not to be taken in by such a move. They had carpets spread and other arrangements made for the resumption of the discussion in the open, and 4 P.M., when the people came, streaming along from all parts of the city to the place of the meeting, an invitation was sent to the Padris to attend. There was, however, no response, and after waiting for three-quarters of an hour, the Swami got up and delivered a lecture on the teachings of the Bible, thoroughly exposing the imperfect and ridiculous character of the same. An Arya Samaj was established with the following gentlemen as Office-bearers and Members:- Munshi Narain Kishen, President; Lala Pohlo Ram, Teacher, Secretary; Lala Atma Ram, Treasurer; Lala Mathura Das, Lala Daya Ram; Bhais Sant Singh and Hazara Singh, -members.
PAGE 170 AT MULTAN
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The Swami was yet at Gujranwala, when he received a letter from Dr. Jaswatn Rai, requesting him to come to Multan. Coming back to Lahore on 4th March, 1878, he stayed there for a week, and then left for Multan (12th March, 1878), where he passed some thirty-seven days. It being the days of Holi, and law and order being at a discount with the greater part of the population, and the rules of common morality being deliberately set at defiance, satisfactory arrangements for the lectures of the Swami could not be made in the city, and hence, at the request of some Parsi gentlemen, he delivered three lectures in the Cantonment on subjects like the “Yanopavit, Child-marriage,” etc. The Parsis behaved most hospitality and on the Swami’s returning to the city they presented him with one hundred rupees in cash and some choice ‘sweets.’ The worst of the Holi was by this time over, and the people being in a better and more reasonable frame of mind, , the Swami’s updesh commenced and he never let a day pass without addressing a public meeting.
The substance of these lectures, as of those delivered elsewhere, is embodied in the Satyarth Prakash. Some of them touched the enemies of truth and reform sorely, and though no Pandit came forward for a shastrarth, the Goswamis of the town one day mounted on their horses and ringing gongs suddenly appeared at the place where the lecture was going on. They set up an awful howl and indulged in sundry other demonstrations of hostility, but a sharp reprimand made them shut up and depart. Smarting under their discomfiture, they came again the following day, this time accompanied by their followers armed with clubs and knives, and shouting out Jai Gopal! Jai Gopal! This time their argument was unanswerable, for no one could say to what length the blind mob might proceed in its frenzy. The lecture was stopped and the meeting broke up.
The Multan Brahmo Samaj felt the Swami’s presence in their midst in a manner nothing much to congratulate themselves upon. Many of its members hearing the updesh of the Swami lost faith in Brahmoism, and felt a strong desire to become members of the Arya Samaj (established, 4th April, 1878). “We have all our questions answered, and our doubts removed by this Vedic Reformer,” said they one to another, “and why should we then delay accepting the religion he preaches?” Why indeed! But before they had time to take the step which their reason and conscience prompted them to take, they were confronted by those who, though they were unable to say anything weighty in defence of Brahmoism were for sticking where they were, and they said to the admirers of the Arya Samaj: “It will reflect discredit on you if you give up your old Faith in this manner. If another man should come tomorrow and convince us of the truth of his doctrines, shall we change our religion again?” a very good argument no doubt, the more so as it came from those whose motto is, “accept the truth where you find it,” but the argument, whatever its worth, served its purpose, and the Multan Arya Samaj had to begin its life only with seven members.
Some one in jest observed to the Swami: “You have got only seven members in all?” The Swami was adequate to the occasion and he wittingly answered:
”The Muhammadan Prophet had but his wife to help him at the outset, but only observe now, for all that, his religion had spread in the world! We have seven men to start with, and why need we be anxious?”Sardar Prem Singh was the President, Kishen Narain, the Secretary, of the Multan Samaj. The Samaj is still in existence, and doing useful work.
End of Section I
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"The man who resolves, to stick to the truth at
all costs, steadily rises in virtues. When his virtues raise his reputation
and prestige, he becomes all the more a devotee of truth. This devotion to
truth becomes an unerring source of power and greatness." Swami DayanandTranslation
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