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Gurus & Saints of India

Swami Dayanand Saraswati

Swami Dayanand Saraswati

The founder of the Arya Samaj. The great sage who sought to restore to Hinduism its natural radiance and wisdom. A fearless reformer. He saved the man who poisoned him - so boundless was his goodness

This happened about 150 years ago. Saurashtra of the present Gujarat State consisted of several small states. Among them was Morvi. Tankara was a town in this state. There lived a wealthy Brahmin, Karshanji Lalji Tiwari by name; he was also the tahsildar of Tankara. The ruler of Morvi had granted him a small troop of horses (cavalry) both for protection and as a mark of honour. 

Karshanji was a good and just man. He was generous in his dealings. He had faith in religious practices that had come down from times immemorial. His wife, Amrithbai, was a beautiful and Virtuous woman. She was like a mother his go to all the villagers. In 1824, a son was born to the couple. They named' him Moolashankar.According to the custom of the place, he was also called Dayaram. This child was to become famous as Maharshi Dayananda.

When he attained the age of five, Moolashankar's education started. At the age of eight, his Upanayana Samskara (being invested with the holy thread) was performed. The boy used to perform religious rites like 'Sandhyavandana’ with devotion. He had a very good memory. By the time he was fourteen he had learnt by heart the Yajurveda, the scriptures and the upanishads.

Karshanji wished that his son should follow in his footsteps by becoming a devotee of Shiva. He, therefore, used to describe the greatness of Shiva every now and then. He would advise the boy to worship Lord Shiva and only then eat something on days of festivals.

Moolashankar had an uncle whom he loved very much. His uncle himself was a simple man of great learning with a religious bent of mind. He influenced the boy deeply. Moolashankar had a sharp intellect and an extraordinary memory and so his uncle thought some day his nephew would become a great man.

       

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