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Religious Revolution
and 19th Century Hindu Renaissance
by Saurav Basu Bookmark and Share
 
A Critical Examination of Swami Dayananda's Contribution

An individualist consumed by a passion for action, principled yet pragmatic; a man with great inner depth yet totally involved in the present and always working for a better future; a mind receptive to the rapidly changing world around him but never passively submitting to its pressures; a man consumed by the dream of a better life for all; a happiness not only religious but also social and economic.[1]

The Beginnings

swami dayananda saraswatiDayananda Saraswati; the iconic founder of the Vedic socio-religious organization ; the Arya Samaj was born at Tankari in 1824; in the state of Kathiawar in modern day Gujarat in a Brahmin family of moderate means. He was neither a prodigy; nor exuded traits of the personality he would metamorphose in the distant future; and the rebel in him which would against all odds, break through the shackles of his conservative religious background remained dormant in the initial phase of his life.

However, it would be erroneous to dismiss the subliminal familial influences on young Dayandanda. His family like most Brahmins of Kathiarwar was Shaivite [the follower of Shiva] unlike the majority population which was Vaishava; devoted to Krishna and considered Srimad Bhagavatam their most sacrosanct scripture. Hence, it is not without reason that he remained one of the bitterest opponents of two of the most important Vaishnav sects holding sway in Gujarat; the Swaminarayans and the Vallabhacharyas. In contrast; in his early phase of life he remained sympathetic to Shaivism and its practices (including ritualistic animal sacrifices); and considered it more or less a much purified form of the original and true Vedic religion.

Great religious leaders are usually endowed with a maddening spiritual drive in the search for Moksha and Dayananda was no exception. He ran away from home once unsuccessfully to avoid marriage and imprisonment in the house of ignorance; his search was for a guru who would guide him on the road to moksha. Unfortunately for him; Dayananda's travails across the length and breadth of North India including its spiritual powerhouses were in vain. Although he briefly enrolled in the order of the Dandis; and flirted with Advaita Vedanta and Patanjali's Yoga destiny had decided differently; his efforts would consummate not into Neo-Vedanta but probably its variant antithesis.

Dayananda's progress was hardly spectacular; he was almost close to 30 and no closer to formulating either his ideas; nor the means to unleash them in the future. A chance meeting with the blind but brilliant Swami Virajnanda helped him master the complex Sanskrit grammar like the ashtyadhyayi. Dayananda as noted was not endowed with any naturally brilliance for the subject but his conscientiousness paid dividends as he rose to prominence as Virajnanda's best pupil. Virajnanda probably imbibed into Dayananda some of his lifelong goals; to usher in the mythical golden Vedic age; peace and prosperity on the people of Aryavrta; a reign of the true religion and abandonment of the pseudo doctrines embedded in the Puranas and post Vedic Indian religious literature including Buddhist and Jain Texts.

The Reformer

19th and 20th century India had seen a host of great religious personalities who coupled the dissemination of their respective spiritual doctrines and dogmas with various social reform messages which could be both positive and negative in the modern sense. Calcutta and Bombay led the way; and the burning issues involved the pathetic condition of widows, female education, widow remarriage acts, restraint in child marriages and espousal of vegetarianism. Personally, I do not see Dayananda's social messages as being radically different from those of his counterparts (all except one i.e. shuddhi) as has often been alleged by some of his overzealous championeers. (Also, one cannot ignore the testimony of Jordens that it was in Calcutta that he acquired a cauldron of new ideas; many of which he would integrate in his system with some suitable modifications).

Then what makes Dayananda different; is the fact that his social message was not an auxiliary to its religious or spiritual counterpart, [2] but equally important in itself. A true believer of the Vedic religion could not reconcile himself to a disharmonious familial order where women were not respected or girls were uneducated and harshly treated. Moksha could be attained only by following the highest of the moral codes. The moral code of a man even as great as Manu must ally with reason failing which it had to be discarded. To the allegation of some modern critics like Nirad C Chaudhari who claimed that Hindu ethics were immature; Dayananda's life is open testimony to the giant potential of the Hindu ethical framework.

Secondly, Dayananda has remained silent on his spiritual and yogic accomplishments. While it may be true that many seekers remained silent on their spiritual barometer; there is nothing to suggest from Dayananda's history that he ever had a glimpse of the infinite. If the hypothesis; that Dayananda was unenlightened (from a Vedantic point of view) is true then it is remarkable as to how he maintained a dogmatic belief in the infallibility of Vedas despite his disappointments. The disappointment was there in the now middle aged Dayananda but it did not consummate in disillusionment. Instead, he remained spurred on by some unknown force into shaping a modern Vedic theory purged of all Puranic and atheistic distortions.

It is unfortunate that most Indian history textbooks, especially those authored by Marxist historians have restricted Dayananda's social reform to his critique of Hindu idol worship. While it is true, that anti image worship was an unalterable part of his doctrine it is foolish to ignore his other contributions like his criticism of the sectarianism prevalent in Hinduism which prevented it from presenting a united face to its opponents, the movement for shuddhi or re-conversion of Hindu converts to Islam and Christianity; his support for niyoga as an alternative to widow remarriage; his special schools for educating girls and his sustained appeals to the rich, powerful and princely to establish welfare states.

The view of Romila Thapar [3] that Dayananda developed his allergy to image worship as a subconscious influence of Christianity is untenable for Dayananda hadn't come under any missionary influences in the initial phase of his life. Also Jordens informs us that Kathiawar was historically the land of the iconoclastic Jain sect; the Sthanakavasis who rejected image worship and who were probably the very first non idolatrous sectarians he ever came across.

The Rationalist

Dayananda is unique amongst Indian reformers for he was not one who constantly bound himself to one doctrine. He freely revised his own ideas and theories without much ado which baffled his friends and foes alike. His unhesitant attitude in admitting his own shortcoming, learning from his mistakes and borrowing concepts from other authorities and remolding them marks him singularly distinct from a host of other contemporary religious reformers. When discrepancies from his earlier work was pointed out to him; he used to reply that it was in part due to his ignorance and after deliberate consideration he had changed his mind and revised his views. His magnum opus; the Satyartha Prakash bears ample testimony to this fact.

The first edition had a strong Advaitic bias; its critique of Buddhism and Jainism was immature and it erroneously lumped all atheistic systems into one. His knowledge of Vedas was still rudimentary and contained merely 20 quotations from the Vedas. His philosophical doctrine is essentially that of bheda abheda and irreversible moksha.

While he pleaded education for all the four castes; he categorically rejected the idea of shudras and girls being initiated into reading of the Vedas. His vitriolic attacks on popular Hinduism and its paraphernalia like idol worship, pilgrimages, rituals formed the bulk of one chapter alone. While he saw no relationship between eating and dharma ; vegetarianism was advocated but not once did he suggest total abstinence from meat.

In contrast, the second edition of the Satyartha Prakash enunciates a sound and ingenious theological position of Traitavada; dismisses Advaita in his chapter on the Neovedantins; his chapters on Buddhism, Charvaka and Jains are now rationally analyzed; his repudiation of image worship stems from his invincible position that there is no Vedic / Shruti evidence to back it up; the new edition has hundreds of Vedic quotations; he wholeheartedly supports the entitlement of women and shudras for Vedic education; his dependence on Manu is markedly diminished; and there is an appeal for total abstinence from meat. Even his criticism of popular Hinduism has been markedly toned down from its predecessor. [4]

The Radical

Dayananda's radicalism can briefly be classified under four categories

A. Theological
B. Social and Moral
C. Political and Historical
D. Methodological (with respect to preaching and propaganda)

Dayananda consistently modified his theological positions with the vicissitudes of time ' he began as an advaitin and consummated into a unique traitavadin. Agents which influenced him were chiefly his own in-depth reading and self interpretation of the Vedas; his frequent discussion and debates with Prostestans, Theosophists and even Muslim clerics. Traitavada is the theory that there exists three eternal substances without beginning or end: God, the prakriti and the jivas. They are always co-existent and their nature, qualities and activity are equally eternal. [5]

Moksha is not perpetual and Dayananda rejected the assertion that a soul when disencumbered of karma comes to a halt in the lap of infinite bliss forever. Nothing lasts forever; and moksha is no exception. Since moksha to him was a change of condition affected by human action, its effects namely bondage and liberation must be necessarily of limited duration, and therefore limited in time. Thus, Dayananda did not ally or lend support to any of the six standard systems of Indian Philosophy. Instead, he concluded that all of them were a partial expression of the ultimate truth enshrined in the Vedas.

Dayananda seemed to walk a tightrope between the two extremes of moksha'..the one of glorified earth (or a sensuous heaven) as in most Abrahamic faiths or the other extreme in the divinization of man as in the Hindu Vedanta. His preamble was that man is not a free agent; in essence he is not divine so it is a folly to conclude that he will ever realize divinity.

Hinduism is a revelatory religion but it pays minimum detail to the source of revelation. The Samhitas have remained essentially as closed subjects; and the Vaishnav sects have never hesitated to place the Srimad Bhagavatam at par with the Vedic Samhitas in being the revealed truth. Dayananda was clearly influenced by the Protestants and he was convinced by them that god reveals himself in a book. But the swami went even further and claimed that the Vedas were the repository of the totality of truth, both theological and scientific. Thus, he took an ancient Hindu tradition and gave it a new direction all of his own.
 
Socially, he was the giant reformer of the Doab. His ideas which included cleansing Hinduism of the superstitions and myths that it had acquired through the ages; establish Vedic pathshalas for both boys and girls; and his anti ritualism which might seem run of the mill today were sufficiently radical 150 years ago.

But he did not stop at that. The plight of the widows was too moving for him; and he had to return to the Vedas to find a solution. The Vedas had a solitary one of Niyoga and Dayananda was hampered by his doctrine of Vedic infallibility in affirming with the Vedas. However, since Niyoga was unacceptable in the modern times; Dayananda accepted widow remarriage for it was a minor evil compared to the pathetic plight widows were subjected to.

Arguably, Dayananda's greatest contribution to the Hindu Social system was the shuddhi movement. It was a process to reintegrate Hindu converts who desired to be restored to their former religion. Hindus had themselves forgotten that the ancient Brahmana texts and even the late Devala and Atri Samhita contained adequate provisions for re-conversion back to Hinduism of those who had been forcibly converted out of the Hindu fold. The Atri Samhita 9th century A.D notably also made similar provisions for women who had either been defiled by their abductors or rendered pregnant by men other than their husbands. The Shuddhi movement launched in the Punjab was on its inception primarily a check on the proselytizing Christian missionaries but in the years to come it would become an active tool for re-conversion from Islam. [6]

A common critique of Hindu dharma is that it rests very little emphasis on right ethics. Its moral ambivalence is not befitting for a major religion. Others in its defense have argued that morality is taken as an obvious fact of life; for truth is the highest morality and rest all is a derivate from it. Secondary morals need not be overstated if the primary fundamental moral value of truth is adhered to. However, popular Hinduism allows penances (for wrong moral action) that are based on certain petty ritualistic rigmaroles instead of concentrating on corrective moral action to uphold dharma [7] But Dayananda would put an end to the question mark over Hindu ethics for once and all!

Dayananda's conception of man evolved from the Advaitic conception of [Jiva = Brahman] into one radically different; the deepest essence of man was not a passive spectator but active and cosmic. Even in moksha; there was no inertia or inactivity but activity and freedom; both of which could result in relapse into the former state. Thus, Dayananda arrived at unheralded concept in Hindu eschatology. His salvation had to be achieved completely by his own works and by nothing else; moral action guided by reason was the one and only power effective in the process of salvation. Dayananda ruthless eliminated all other short cuts and paths to moksha; the easy rides; the instantaneous transformation that Hinduism had devised over the centuries. Dayananda said yes to free will; yes to activity and flayed the path of nivritti, even among sanyasins (those who had renounced the world) [8]

It is best to let Jordens sum up this unique contribution of Dayananda; 'No other Hindu theologian had elevated man's moral action to such a rank in the scale of human endeavour, far above the powers of ritualism, the raptures of mysticism or the wondrous effectiveness of devotion love'.This conception of man is no doubt Dayananda's greatest theoretical achievement and his main contribution to Hindu speculation'.

Dayananda was not a believer in a theocratic state; but he proposed an aristocratic regime; one that allows only the most able to lead the administration. He reinterpreted the verses in the Manu Smriti which divinized the king and considered them only an allegory for the traits a king should possess.

Dayananda can also said to be the first champion of an indigenous Aryan origin theory. He repudiated the Aryan Invasion theory although the means by which he arrived at such a conclusion are completely illogical. Nevertheless; his interpretation of the Vedas being universal in outlook; not bound to parochialism or sectarianism; transcending historical timelines was refreshing and a bold rejoinder to the Eurocentric indologists who attempted to construct history from myth. [9]

The means of propaganda adopted by Dayananda included public debates; public lectures; distribution of pamphlets and sale of his literature; chiefly the Satyartha Prakasha. The use of public lectures and literature had been suggested to him by members of the Brahmo Samaj in Calcutta. The use of pamphlets was an ingenious method for dissemination of ideas. Despite his powers of oratory and logical skills he had limited success in debating and even that was restricted to orthodox Hindu pundits on image worship. The missionaries and Islamic maulvis were able to hold their own against him on most occasions.

The Pragmatist

Despite his revulsion for many features of popular Hinduism; Dayananda in his later years clearly felt the need for a comprehensive and united Hindu front to tackle the threat of Christian Missionaries and Islamic fundamentalists. In 1878 he stressed the need for unity and friendship among all Hindus for the sake of well being of the whole country. He was a radical but he was also willing to compromise on certain issues. To instantiate, although he himself didn't believe in any food taboos he maintained them in the public sphere for in their absence they would be cut off from Hindu society and lose the chance of influencing its masses.

Similarly; he adopted the cause of cow protection to unite the sectarian Hindu outfits to come under one platform and struggle for a common cause. It is noteworthy that Dayananda pertinently advocated the cause for cow protection (gau raksha) not on the orthodox premise of cow being vestige to 84,000 divinities or cow as mother but due to its economic utility. A dead cow could feed only a dozen but a living cow could feed a thousand. Also, the dung of the cow was a valuable source of manure. His reasons for cow protection clearly rested on economic, ecological and probably political criterion; but not on theological or emotive ones. That the economic argument was foremost in his mind is evident from the fact that he takes great pains to show that go-medha, the sacrifice of kine, refers most of the time to bulls, whose economic value is less than that of cows. And when the texts unmistakably refer to a female animal, then a barren cow is meant.

Other instances of his pragmatism include his adoption of sanyas to run away from home; his prompt closure of his failing schools and his study under the blind Virajnanda to learn grammar.

However, it would be a grave mistake to conclude that Dayananda had any elements of opportunism in him. Dayananda sincerely subscribed to his ontological view in the infallibility of the Vedas, and them being the source of all knowledge as an axiomatic truth. The claim of the opponents of the Arya Samaj that the Swami admitted to one, Bholanath Sarabhai that he didn't himself believe in the infallibility of the Vedas, but held on to them for the sake of tactics; they being the rallying points of all Hindus according to Jordens lacks any convincing proof. Dayananda accepted the Vedas as his rock of firm foundation, he took it for the guiding view of his life and he regarded it as the work of eternal truth.

The Vedic Commentator

Although virtually all the six systems of Hindu philosophy pay lip service to the Vedas [especially the samhitas] as being the repository of the greatest spiritual and metaphysical truths; yet in practice the samhita portion [especially the rig Veda] have been viewed only as closed manuscripts; commentaries or bhasyas on them have been very few and far between. Sayana had written the last great bhasya on the Rig Veda in the 13th century. But interest in the Vedas revived in the 19th century due to the pioneering work of the German Indologists like Max Muller and Griffith. [10]

Dayananda wrote his bhasya chiefly out of the old national albeit dormant instinct in Vedic superiority; a move to counter the misconceptions of these current orientalist commentaries which he claimed were inferior to his work, since the latter was based on original commentators like Yaska. Also a bhasya would allow the Arya Samaj members to have a definite and reliable reference for all their literary queries on Vedic interpretation. Dayananda briefly concluded that the Vedas literally contained all the wisdom of god; and hence was universal in nature. He repudiated the idea of Vedas carrying any historical references since the Vedas to him antedated all history. His second, assumption was Vedas proclaiming a pure monotheism [11] unlike the popular view of modern indologists (then and now) that the Vedas proclaimed a henotheistic mode of devotion.

Dayananda had a rudimentary knowledge of science and technology but this didn't stop him from asserting that the Vedas contained all scientific truth in them. Also, he reasoned that there was nothing in the Vedas which could remotely offend morality.

Although, Dayananda's bhasya spanning thousand of pages is not taken seriously in Vedic studies and considered outdated; the fact remains relatively unknown that it did win the approval of few of his later contemporaries whose works are considered at least intellectually far superior to his. For instance, Sri Aurobindo, arguably the most original thinker of modern India concludes 'in the matter of Vedic interpretation I am convinced that whatever may be the final complete interpretation, Dayananda will be honored as the first discoverer of the right clues'.He has found the keys of the doors that time had closed and rent asunder the seals of the imprisoned foundations' [12]

Last but not the least; the bhasya constitutes the very first effort and a massive one at that in bringing the Vedas out of the sanctuary of Brahmanical dominance into the open and make them accessible to all Hindus; irrespective of caste and creed. Jordens believes this to be the strongest argument in him being called 'The Luther of India'

The Hindu Nationalist

Dayananda is one of the chief figures of Indian nationalism who began as career as a British loyalist. In fact, the first edition of the Satyartha Prakasha carries a tract describing the merits of the British rule which unlike that of the decadent, intolerant Mughals was rational and scientific in its scope and expression. When Dayananda had to face the ire of the orthodox Hindus who resented his literal iconoclasm; he had famously remarked that 'If you expel the English, then, no later than tomorrow, you and I and everyone who rises against idol-worship, will have our throats cut like mere sheep'.

Yet, in a remarkable transformation; Dayananda emerged as one of the paramount figures of North Indian Hindu Nationalism in Modern India. Some of his conceptualizations like a mythical golden age of the Aryans where Vedic wisdom ruled the length and breadth of not only India, but the world; where people of all classes lived in happiness and comfort; where women were respected and educated universally; where crime, poverty and adultery were unknown remain till date some core ideas of the ultra-orthodox elements of Hindu Nationalism. [13] The origin of this tendency in Dayananda had a multifocal origin, one of whose epicenters must have been in Punjab where he was repeatedly confronted with the missionaries. He criticized the Christians in his second Satyartha Prakasha [and to an ordinary 19th century India; Christian and British were synonymous] as being usurpers who descended on the property of foreigners. They were so biased that when a black man is killed by a white man, they acquit the murderers in court. Since their God enjoins animal sacrifices 'why should they not fill their belly with beef' They have taken delight in war; for war is their guru mantra. Dayananda's criticism of Christ for declaring war on humanity, in declaring his mission to make war between brother and brother, mother and son is denounced in the most unapologetic terms. While all this may seem to be a harsh judgment; the Swami was only paying back the missionaries in the same coin who had used even more extravagant arguments in their attacks on Hinduism. [14]

Dayananda attempts to unite Hindus cutting across sectarian and caste lines is another feature of his ingenious attempt in constructing the idea of Hindu nationalism. We have already noted how Dayananda had considerably toned down his attack on popular Hinduism; his tolerance for food taboos and certain other dogmas for which he cared little are an outcome of the same for he realized that dissent would lead to a forced divorce from the Hindu community which would mean inability to further influence the ignorant Hindu masses. The protect cow movement was also more of an attempt to unite Hindus under the garb of an issue to which all had a natural sympathetic and emotive attitude. He had regretted deeply; the divide in the Hindu community which had prevented them from exerting sufficient pressure in compelling the government to enact a cow protection act.

Dayananda's Hindu nationalism was essentially rationalistic; it was not a blind espousal of all things hoary and of yore but instead an attempt to seize a vital thing out of the past and throw it into the stream of modern life, for it is the most important means of renovation and new-creation. He knew too well that the Hindu religion was the lifeblood of the nation; it was unquestionably its very identity.

Views and Visions

Dayananda was an extrovert; a fiery determined man who had only a singular passion in the rise of a great Arya nation. His spirituality was practical and betrayed no signs of that unfortunate tendency of ascetic voyeurism. A spontaneous power and decisiveness is stamped everywhere on his work. As Sri Aurobindo writes 'what an act of grandiose intellectual courage to lay upon this scripture (Veda) defaced by ignorant comment and oblivion of its spirit, degraded by misunderstanding to the level of an ancient document of barbarism and to perceive in its real worth as a scripture which conceals in itself the deep and energetic spirit of the forefathers who made this country and nation.'

He was a man of principle; and he refused to compromise on them howsoever great the peril. Neither threats of loss of influence, of ostracism, of the demise of friendship, even of danger to his life, nor promises of wealth, success in reform work could dislodge the Swami from his stand. However, it is also true that he lacked in him the ability to appreciate any shades of grey; to him all things were defined in black or white.

While his rationalism paved the way for initiating several reforms; this radical rationalism also failed him as a theologian to decipher the crucial relationship between myth and symbol. His totalitarian rejection of the Bhagavatam, Puranas and Brahmanas is a mistake, a limitation, the nadir of his genius. Even if his claim of infallibility of the Vedas tends to seem exaggerated there is no reason to dismiss his belief in Vedas being repository of scientific truths. Sri Aurobindo reminds us that great facts of science were not unknown to ancient civilizations, and while it would be premature to affirm Dayananda's contentions there is still nothing fantastic in Dayananda's idea'.He would even add his own conviction that Veda contains other truths of a science that modern world doesn't at all possess, and in that case Dayananda had rather understated than overstated the depth and range of the Vedic wisdom.

Dayananda final shortcoming can be said to be his inability to lay down a lasting legacy for the future. The Arya Samaj couldn't revivify itself through the vicissitudes of time; it has lost its potency as a reforming organization by being rooted in time; it has failed to take note and learn from its founder who constantly adapted, harnessed, and remoulded, if not modified his ideas with time.

Nevertheless, Dayananda will go down in Indian History as the most significant and radical reformer of modern India. His humanism, courage, intellect and vision will remain an epic tale for centuries to come.

March 2, 2008

References

1. Dayananda Saraswati: His Life and Ideas by JTF Jordens, Oxford University Press, 1997
2. For instance, Swami Vivekananda's message of social reform only supplemented his primary spiritual message for the masses in Vedanta as the universal religion of humanity and not only tolerance but acceptance of all religions being an output of the universal truth. He had clearly displayed his frustration at times when a surplus of social reform questions especially those involving widow remarriages were put to him [A nation's greatness is not determined by the number of husbands a woman can have]
3. In Romila Thapar's essay 'Syndicated Hinduism' See my response in 'Sins against Hinduism'
4. Refer Chapter V and XI in JTF Jorden's 'Dayananda Saraswati: His Life and Ideas'. For a more detailed treatment of this topic J Jordens 'Dayananda Saraswati and Vedanta: a comparison of the first and second editions of the Satyarth Prakash'; The Indian Economic and Social History Review, 9(1972), pp.367-79.
5. The Swami was clearly influenced by Samkhya and Nyaya ideas. Traitavada is different from Dvaita in that it rejects perpetual salvation; the jiva is not predestined to his nature but is inherently free and pure and its fate is determined by the karma it accrues; prakriti is not a finite dependent on the infinite absolute noncausal being.
6. In April 1926; Swami Shraddhanand reconverted a Muslim woman and her children on their request. Apostasy is technically intolerable in Islam and Swami Shraddhanand was killed by an Islamic fanatic for his audacity.
7. The best examination of this ritual centric morality in my view is that of Saral Jhingran in her 'Aspects of Hindu Morality'; Motilal Banarasidass.
8. In the Bhagavad Geeta; Krishna answers Arjuna's query; 'both the paths [action and inaction] lead to the same goal but the way of the works is preferable'
9. Ananda C Coomaraswamy in his 'A new approach to the Vedas' also proposes a similar scheme in reinterpreting the Vedic Samhitas as being Anti-historical.
10. Muller and Griffith both, have unfortunately been subjected to caustic criticism by certain modern right wing authors. The testimony of Swami Vivekananda in lauding Max Muller as 'Sayana reincarnated' isn't to be ignored. The shortcomings of these commentaries need to be viewed sympathetically as genuine misconceptions (as are those of Sayana); and not as deliberate distortions of a racist mindset.
11. There is nothing ingenious in the idea for the Vedas themselves proclaim Ekam sat, vipara bahuda vadanti' -> 'The truth is one, the sages call it with different names' [RV Xth mandalam]. A C Bose in his 'Call of the Vedas' confirms that one deity is identified with another or different deities with one deity, while all deities are identified with one divine entity in the neuter gender as Ekam, Tat Sat (that Reality) For more; refer my article 'The Theism of the Vedas'
12. Vedic Magazine, 1916. Also published separately as a booklet titled Swami Dayananda.
13. Marxist and leftist intellectuals attempt to colour the diverse and multifaceted Hindu Nationalist movement into this ultraorthodox mode. Such an attitude, we consider lamentable and a result of uncritical appreciation of the Hindu Nationalist ideas and ideals.
14. Swami Vivekananda had bitterly exclaimed that even if all the mud in the bottom of the Indian Ocean was flung in the faces of these missionaries; it would still be insufficient to undo the damage their calumny had caused to the image of Hindus and Hinduism across the world.

Further Reading

1. Dayananda Saraswati: His Life and Ideas by JTF Jordens
2. Satyartha Prakasha by Dayananda Saraswati
3. History of the Freedom Movement Volume 1 and 2 by R C Majumdar
4. Modern Religious Movements in India, J Farquhar
 

2-Mar-2008
More by :  Saurav Basu
 
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Article Comment not bad
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10/01/2012
 
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