The Arya Samaj was formally established in Bombay on April 10, 1875, by Swami Dayananda Saraswati (1824-1883).

Swamiji saw the degraded and debased condition of the Hindus. They were dominated by a few egoistic and power-driven individuals with hidden agendas. He wanted to unite all together to cast off the artificial and self-imposed bonds that tied them to their present position. Swami Dayanand then brought together a number of concerned members of the society to eliminate these ills prevalent within the Hindu Society in the 19th century. He was an adamant follower, exponent, and practitioner of the Vedas–the unadulterated Truth as handed down (Shruti) from Guru to disciple since the beginning of time.

Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati
Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati

Born: 12 February 1824, Tankara
Birth Name: Mul Shankar Tiwari/ Trivedi
Literary Works: Satyarth Parkash (1875)
Guru: Swami Virajanand Dandeesha
Assassinated: 30 October 1883, Ajmer
Parents: Shri Karshanji Lalji Tiwari, Smt. Yashodabai

Swami Dayanand Saraswati founded Arya Samaj on two basic tenets. These were

  • Infallible authority of the Vedas
  • Monotheism

He has explained these two principles in his book Satyartha Prakash that he published in 1874 from Allahabad.

The primary mission of the Arya Samaj is to eradicate Ignorance (Agyan), Indigence or Poverty (Abhav), and Injustice (Anayay) from this earth. This mission is enshrined in the ten Niyama’s or Principles. The four Vedas, Rig-Veda, Yajur Veda, Sam Veda, and Atharva Veda, are the Source of Guidance. Arya Samaj believes in One God, known by the name of “Om”, who is Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Omniscient, source of all Intelligence and Bliss, Merciful and Just. All the different names are but different aspects of the one universal God.

Promoters of Arya Samaj

Swami Virajanand

Swami Virajanand Dandeesha
Swami also known as the blind sage of Mathura was the celebrated teacher of Arya Samaj founder Dayanand Saraswati. He was a scholar and teacher of Sanskrit grammar and Vedic literature.

Swami Shraddhanand

Shri Shraddhanand
Also known as Mahatma Munshi Ram Vij, was an Indian Independence activist and an Arya Samaj sannyasi who propagated the teachings of Dayananda Saraswati.

Pandit Lekhram

Pandit Lekh Ram
Was the leader of the radical wing of the Arya Samaj, an Indian Hindu reform movement, who was active as an anti-Islamic writer and publicist. He is known particularly for his encounters with Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement, and as a subject of his death prophecy.

International Presence of Arya Samaj

Today, the movement has a presence in countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia,, Canada, Nepal, Thailand, Myanmar, The Netherlands, Guyana, Trinidad, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Malawi, Mauritius, Armenia etc.