Swami Dayanand – His nationalistic message
Dr Vivek Arya
Among the great company of remarkable figures at the head of the indian renaissance one stands out by himself with the peculier and solitary distinctness, one unique in his type as he is unique in his work. It is as if one were to walk for a long time amid a range of hills rising to a greater or lesses altitude, but all with sweeping contours, green- clad , flattering eye even in their most bold and striking elevation.But amidst them all, one hill stands apart, piled up in sheer strength, a mass of bare and puissant granite, with verdure on its summit, solitary pine jutting out into the blue, a great cascade of pure vigreous and fertilizing water gushing out from its strength as a very fountain of life and health to the valley. Such is the impression created on my mind by DAYANAND
(AUROBINDO GHOSH- BANKIM TILAK and DAYANAND p-39)
Possesed of sharp intellect, rational thinking, and a vision far ahead of his time, SWAMI DAYANAND ceaselessly worked for religious reformation, social reconstruction, cultural regeneration and political emancipation of our country. He transfused into her morbid body his own formidable energy, his certainity , his lion’s blood and thus came to share with other great sons of india, the coveted title of the maker of modern india.
Beside work of social reform DAYANAND gave serious thought to three major problems faced by countrymen namely illitracy, economic poverty and political dependence.
To eradicate illitracy he envisaged free and compulsary education for all. There should be a state legislation , he said , to the effect that nobody should keep his sons and daughters away from school, also the state should own the responsibility of educating its citizenry without any discrimination between the rich and the poor. (Satyartha Prakash)
His understanding of the problem of poverty was still sharper. India had never suffered such a calamity before, DAYANAND observed.Known as the golden chersonese in the old annals, flowing with milk and honey, this land was truely speaking, the peoverbial philosophers stone, by a mere touch of which the base metals of the foreigners used to turn into gold.But ignorance and illitracy, slavery and selfishness,inaction and indolence on the part of its people had turned the land of plenty into land of abject poverty and suffering. And he beleived , that ‘This ancient land of the aryas would go on siffering in the present manner so long as its people did not give up superstitions and backward notions, inaction and laziness’. He also laid stress on going in for science and technology and swadeshi products. (Satyartha Prakash)
His arousing of political consciousness and national awareness among the people was also very formidable. He beleived that nation could not build its edifice on a foreign foundation.He therefore gave a clarion call to his countrymen to go back to the vedas, and to lay foundation on them.He posed searching questions to his countrymen. Why do you feel inferior to others? What is it makes you ashamed of calling yourself indians? Why have you parted with your national pride and prestige? Why cannot you walk with heads erect and high? In the whole world there is no country like aryavrata, he thundered. He told countryman to look at their past which was so great and glorious.The indians were the sole overlords of the whole world. There were their dependent rulers in other counteries. Now european seem to be cultered and educated to you. you praise their cultural acheivemnts, but as a nation they are nowhere compared to us. Culturally we are far superior a nation. We were
Sometimes world teachers, he observed ,’All education that has spread in the world sprang originally from india. Then it went to egypt, from there to greece, from greece to turkey and then to europe. From europe it went to america and other countries’.
He quoted the authorities of the foreigners to convince his people of the correctness of his stand. Jacoiet, a french scholar , he said, had written in his book the bible in india ‘India is the fountain head of all knowledge and all righteousness. All knowledge and all religions have sprung from here’. He (jacoiet) prays in his book , said DAYANAND, ‘ O GOD make my country as advanced in knowledge as india was in olden days. But now misfortune has overshadowed the descendants of the worldteachers and world rulers and they are down trodden under the heels of foreigners.
DAYANAND was possibly not the first author of the swadeshi movements in india, but he was certainly its first forceful advocate in modern times. (History of freedom movement in india , vol 1 p. 351 dr r.c. majumdar)
DAYANAND did not hesitated to praise britishers to promote patriotism in our countryman.He writes in satyarth prakash ‘Look at the europeans they have come into this country for a little more than a hundred years, yet they wear coarse cloth made in their own country. They allow into their offices and court only english shoes and no indian shoes. This one point is sufficient in their behaviour to show how patriotic they are- they respect the shoes made in their country more than they respect the men of other countries. These european have not forsaken the ways of their country. These qualities and deeds have contributed to their advancement’.
DAYANAND made a forceful plea for political independence of the country.
The swarajya was always the best thing. a foreign government could not be beneficial even when it was free from religious bias, race prejudice and was just and sympathetic.
In a religious grab, the great statesman gave an open message of an all out revolt against british raj.
In the sixth chapter of his magnum opus, satyarth prakash he advocated to form our own government for that was GOD’s dispensation as:
Let no man abide by the law laid down by men ignorant of the vedas.
A man should use all his influence and power to destroy a sovergien who does not happen to be acquinted with the intricacies of the vedas.
A king should have seven or eight good, righteous and intelligent ministers born in Swadesh and Swarajya who are well conversant with the vedas.
His other book of prayers, aryabhivinaya following quotations show political message of freedom :
O effulgent GOD and mighty donor.. May i acquire gold and other precious metals, diamonds and other valuable stones, imperial sovereign sway, the knowledge of sciences.
O GOD, LORD of infinite activity…Fulfil our desires in this life by granting us good faculties of speech, good cattle, good means of conveyance, etc., And the right of political sovereignty.
O sovereign ruler of all kings… Make for us easily accessible imperial sovereign sway, and immense wealth. may our riches and our kingdom ever increase by thy grace.
O chastiser of the wicked, living according to thy commandments , we may be thy grace , enjoy the benefits of sovereign imperial sway.
O GOD , infinite fountain of divine erudition, by they grace may we attain true and useful education as the result of our efforts to acquire learning and may be the most learned in the whole world. May we by our mutual, brotherly love, have great strength and prowess, enjoy sovereign imperial sway without any interference from anything untoward.
O LORD of my life , dear to me as my very life, father and protector of my life, life of my life, bestower of sovereign imperial sway, thou art the LORD of my life and my all. I have none but thee for my succourer. oh overlord of kings, just as thy kingdom is truthful, just and unaccessible, so may our kingdom also by firmly established in truth by thy might.
O most merciful and great GOD… We may live and move happily in thy great kingdom, the world- ourselves enjoying, by thy grace, sovereign imperial sway and the highest bliss in thee and be ever devoted to thee.
O almighty GOD… They children we are, vouchsafe us the highest bliss. Grant us the happiness of sovereign imperial sway as long as we live in this world
O supreme being , greatest king among all rulers, stimulate us with appropriate courage, fortitude, moral goodness, courtesy, prowess, strength of body and mind and such other virtues that we may be independent and enjoy sovereign imperial sway.May no foreigners come to our country to rule over us, and may we never lose our political independence and become enslaved to foreigners.
O LORD graciously bestow uppon us abundance of riches consisting of good and useful knowledge , diligence and other virtues, elephants, horses, cows and other cattle and animals, gold, silver, and other metals, diamonds and other precious stones, independence in our own country, freedom to visit other countries and efficiency to manage our own countrys political administration, men and women of excellance for our offspring, relatives, friends, dependents, servants and neighbours so that we may never suffer for lack of anything
Only by his grace can we expect to have a good life.. For a hundred years , devoting our time to useful and righteous pursuits, without demanding ourselves by the loss of spritual, moral , economical and pilotical freedom.
May our leaders and guides be learned in the vedic lores, our king cappable of dealing justice with equity and a wise ruler, our militia composed of brave warriors, may these two act in complete harmony and be favourable to the welfare of the subjects.
In the light of above discussion it is clear that DAYANAND was not only a social and religious reformer but he was also a political leader gifted with great forseight.
Sir JADUNATH SARKAR, the doyen of indian historians is indeed right when he says in his assessment of the man that he was a true statesman who could set the forces at work which will go on influencing the lives and thought of unborn generations (DAYANAND commentration volume p. 42)
Few people considers DAYANAND’s thoughts as radical ones. Herbert risley remarks’ Dayanand knew that the flame of patriotic enthisiasm will not readily arise from the cold grey ashes of philosophic compromise and that before hindusim can inspire an active sentiment of nationality it will have to undergo a good deal of stiffening and consolidation’ clears doubts from everyones mind.(The people of India p. 280)