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Sage who dispelled ignorance

india Updated: Feb 08, 2010 00:02 IST
Bhartendu Sood
Bhartendu Sood
Hindustan Times
Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati

“Dispel ignorance and spread knowledge.” That was the call given by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, a sage, social reformer, thinker and erudite scholar of Vedas.

Swami Dayanand, whose birth anniversary falls today, had launched a relentless crusade against against beliefs which were opposed to Vedic teachings and were primarily responsible for India’s decantation. This created many enemies, and repeated attacks were done on his life .

It was the fifth time when he was poisoned. Though, Dayanand had come to realise that his end was near, he was at peace with himself and did not betray any feeling of anguish or agony.

He did not anoint any successor because he did not want that any sect started in his name and people start worshipping him. A true yogi, he had the power to time his death. On Diwali day, he gave up his mortal body.

His devotees assembled at different places.

Knowing that the Maharishi’s mission was to remove ignorance, superstitious beliefs and other social evils, a decision was taken to establish schools in all parts of the country to impart education by upholding the values and teachings of the Vedas.

While Lala Lajpat Rai, Lala Hans Raj and Guru Datt Vidyarthi planted the seeds of Dayanand Anglo Vedic( DAV) institutions, others like Swami Shardhand initiated work for setting up of Gurukuls and Arya schools, both for girls and boys.

Today, there are about 2000 DAV and Arya institutions in the country where millions of boys and girls are taking education with a tinge of Vedic values. This is a true tribute to this selfless Sanyasi about whom Rishi Aurbindo had said, “I see many great men sitting on various mountains of the Himalyas, but the mountain on which Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati is sitting is the highest.”

A befitting tribute to a man who led the Indian renaissance!