Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti:
Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti is celebrated every year to mark the birth anniversary of the Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati.
- This year, the day was celebrated on 26th February.
- As per the traditional Hindu calendar, Dayanand Saraswati was born on the Dashami Tithi of Phalguna Krishna Paksha.
- Swami Dayanand Saraswati was born on 12th February 1824 in Tankara, Gujarat in a Brahmin family. His parents, Lalji Tiwari and Yashodhabai were orthodox Brahmin.
- He was earlier named Mool Shankar Tiwari as he was born during Mool Nakshatra.
- He wandered as an ascetic for fifteen years (1845-60) in search of truth.
- Dayananda’s views were published in his famous work, Satyarth Prakash (The True Exposition).
- He was an Indian philosopher, social leader and founder of the Arya Samaj.
- Arya Samaj is a reform movement of Vedic dharma and he was the first to give the call for Swaraj as “India for Indian” in 1876.
- He was a self-taught man and a great leader of India leaving a significant impact on Indian society. During his life, he made a prominent name for himself and was known among a wide array of Prices and the public.
- The first Arya Samaj unit was formally set up by him at Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1875 and later the headquarters of the Samaj were established at Lahore.
- His vision of India included a classless and casteless society, a united India (religiously, socially and nationally), and an India free from foreign rule, with Aryan religion being the common religion of all.
- He took inspiration from the Vedas and considered them to be ‘India’s Rock of Ages’, the infallible and the true original seed of Hinduism. He gave the slogan “Back to the Vedas”.
- He subscribed to the Vedic notion of chaturvarna system in which a person was not born in any caste but was identified as a brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya or shudra according to the occupation the person followed.
- He introduced a complete overhaul of the education system and is often considered as one of the visionaries of modern India.
- The DAV (Dayanand Anglo Vedic) schools came into existence in 1886 to realize the vision of Swami Dayanand Saraswati.
- The first DAV School was established at Lahore with Mahatma Hansarj as the headmaster.
- It has worked to further female education and intercaste marriage, has built missions, orphanages, and homes for widows, has established a network of schools and colleges, and has undertaken famine relief and medical work.