Arya Samaj was founded on April 10th, 1875 at Bombay, India, by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati.

The purpose was to move the Hindu Dharma away from all the fictitious beliefs, and go back to the teachings of Vedas.

Arya Samaj is based on the basic teachings of Vedas. These teachings are summarized in 10 basic principles.

The goal of the Arya Samaj has always been, Krinvanto Vishvam Aryam – Make This World Noble.

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.

Arya Samaj does not discriminate for caste, color, creed or area. Arya Samaj considers all human as equal.

According to Vedic Dharma, God (AUM – pronounced as OM), the Soul (Purusha) and Nature (Prakriti) are the Three Eternal Entities, meaning that they have always existed and will forever continue to exist. Though later thinkers developed a number of varying metaphysical positions, the philosophy of the Vedas, the original Divine Revelation, clearly posits the beginningless existence of God, the Soul and Nature – an eternal truth that has come to be referred to as Traita or Traitavāda, meaning the ‘Wisdom of the Three’.

However, though God, the Soul and Nature are three distinct entities, they are at no time completely separate from one another. The relationship between God and Creation is that between the Pervader and that which is pervaded, respectively. God fills and pervades every corner of existence, including the eternal Soul of man.

The relationship between God and man, therefore, is more intimate than any other relationship an individual shall ever experience. Indeed, God knows all our thoughts and desires, our hopes and dreams, our fears and worries. He is our Eternal Father, our Highest Master, our True Friend, Teacher and Guide in one.

An Arya is any person who believes in and worships the one true God, who lives according to the teachings of the Vedas, who follows the dictates of Dharma, and who strives to spread the Light of Truth to all people. Being an Arya is a spiritual and moral condition of an individual, and is in no way determined by external factors such as race, gender, colour or nationality. An Arya is a person who is, above all else, devoted to Truth.

Aryas are enjoined to perform Five Duties on a daily basis. The performance of these Five Great Daily Duties (Pancha Mahāyajnas) ensures that the individual maintains a righteous relationship to all those he or she comes into contact with. These are:

Brahma Yajna: The contemplation of and communion with God (Sandhyā) twice daily, morning and evening.

Deva Yajna: The burning of Samagree (odoriferous, nutritive, sweet, curative, and similar other substances) with Ghee (clarified butter) in the sacred fire while reciting the appropriate Veda Mantras, also called Homa, or the Agnihotra.

Pitra Yajna: The ministering to the comfort of the elders, the wise and the learned, as well as serving the same individuals with love and faith. These duties are only carried out for the living individuals.

Balivaishva Yajna: The feeding and support of poor and destitute individuals, as well as that of domestic as well as the wild animals.

Atithi Yajna: The discharge of hospitality to guests, especially towards individuals who are wise and learned, whose time of arrival and departure is unknown.

Vedic Wisdom teaches that each individual goes through certain phases during the course of life, and that each of these phases should provide the opportunity to master the knowledge and skills required for making real progress toward the attainment of the Purushārthas. The systematic organisation of these phases, known as Āshrama, foresees three main segments in the life of man.

Brahmacharya or Student Life: This is the stage of life in which the child receives a solid education in Vedic Dharma, including the sciences and the arts. It entails living a celibate and simple life, free from the distractions of sensuality and materialism, hearing and studying the Vedas, and developing virtuous qualities such as discipline, purity in thought, word and deed, cleanliness, humility, etc.
Brahmacharya is the foundation of the noble life, for it imparts the knowledge of one‘s proper place and function in society and in God‘s creation, as well as training in skills one will make use of in all the subsequent stages of life.

Grihastha or Household Life: This is the stage of life in which the individual learns and practices a profession suited to their nature, i.e., their natural gifts and talents. It is also the stage in which a person usually gets married and starts a family, and entails the careful observance of prescribed duties and Yajnas or ritual sacrifices.
In many ways, Grihastha is the pillar of all the other phases of life, as Householders are the ones who support both children and the elderly on the one hand, as well as temples and priests on the other.

Vānaprastha or Retired Life: This is the stage of life in which the individual, having fulfilled his duties to his children and his community, withdraws from his professional role in society, making way for the next generation, and turns his attention inward, devoting himself more fully to the practice of yoga and the search for divine wisdom.
For most people, this stage represents the culmination of all their efforts. They have the freedom to spend the remainder of their days absorbed in the contemplation and worship of God and in altruistic actions. However, for Brāhmanas, there is one additional stage, which can be taken as an option.

Sanyāsa or Renounced Life: This is the stage of life in which the individual renounces all ties to worldly existence, focusing all his energy upon the propagation of Vedic Wisdom and the teaching of the same to others.
Brāhmanas may also go directly from Brahmacharya to Sanyāsa, as they are alone qualified through knowledge and piety to execute the duties of a true Sanyāsi, and as it is sometimes the case that they have little if anything left to learn from the stages of Grihastha and Vānaprastha.

The Purushārthas are the goals of earthly life. It is towards these ends that any noble society strives. They are four in number:

Dharma or Duty: This is the state in which one’s actions, serving the good of all, are in accordance with one’s own nature. Thus, to practice Dharma is to establish congruence and harmony between one’s inner and outer life.

Dharma is the fundament of the Purushārthas, for without it, none of the others can be attained with righteousness. And a good attained without righteousness is paramount to a positive evil.

Artha or Wealth: This is the attainment of wealth in any form (material or spiritual) through righteous means and the avoidance of goods gained through ignoble means.

Kāma or Enjoyment: This is the attainment of satisfaction of one’s noble and righteous desires and the pleasure derived thereof.

Moksha or Salvation: This is the attainment of freedom from the bonds of ignorance and its result, pain.

Just as Dharma is the foundation of the Purushārthas, so, too, is Moksha the pinnacle of the same. To attain Moksha is to reach life‘s ultimate goal, which goes beyond even the bounds of earthly life, and leads one into a state of unbroken communion (Upāsanā) with God.

It is important to note that Vedic Wisdom does not entail a life of mendicancy or severity. As long as one follows the dictates of Dharma, one is encouraged to enjoy the good things of this earthly life. God, in His Infinite Wisdom, has seen it fit to grant us the ability to experience great happiness and pleasure while on this earth, and we are encouraged to seek it out through righteous means.