Why read Satyarth Prakash


Satyarth Prakash is magnus opus work of Swami Dayanand which had saved lakhs of hindus from conversion to islam and christianity.

Every hindu must read this book.

Contributed by Aryaveer

Our Motherland is the landof Vedas. Veritably this is a landof Gold. From the time of Ikshvaku to that Pandu of Mahabharatha fame Vedic Dharma guided the lives and activities of the people of Bharath. There was a peace, plenty and contenment everywhere. King Aswapathi proclaimed before the learned Brahmins who had come to discuss Brahm-vidya that there was thief, no miser, no drunkard, no man without fire of worship, none without knowledge of truth, none who was a debauch, and no women of unchaste character[ Chandogya upanishad:5.11.5]

In this even changing world nothing can maintain itself in a high state. After a period of higher development in Science, art and philosophy a period of decreptitude and decay always follows. Nearly 1000 years before Mahabharatha war the seeds of degeneration began to be sown. Gradually these seeds began to grow till in the fulness of time their fruits dropped a curtain on the great civilization of Bharath in the shape of epic Mahabharath war. In that war not only veteran Soldiers but also learned Brahmins got killed.

After this Great War learned Brahmins ceased to exist and their places were taken up by selfish people who began to play loose and fast game with the Vedic texts in order to subserve their petty ends. Animals and even men began to be sacrificed in the Yagnas to propitiate false Gods and Godesses. People fell into a deep ditch of ignorance and indolence. This state of affairs continued for a very long time which was eventually protested by Gautam Bhuddha and Mahavir. They sang the song of Ahimsa and became responsible for founding of Faiths called Buddhism and Jainism in Bharath after their death. These Faiths were atheist in content and nature and thus Bharath was caught in the grip of atheism.

Hence, in order to drive away atheism Acharya Shankar came on the scene He was dazzlingly brilliant and demolished the Buddhist tenets by sheer logic in the Shastrathras [Religious debates] held with Buddhist Scholars and as a consequence Buddhism suffered terrible set back. He preached Advaitha but soon his theory of Advaith got corrupted in the form theory of Illusion called Mayavad.  In order to remove these false theories on God and Soul Acharya Madhava rose in the South and he propounded the theory of dualism. This was followed by Acharya Ramanuja who propounded a theory which was called Vishistadwaitha. Thus number of new and newer faiths started taking roots. These men were followed by reformers like Nanak, Kabir, and Basaveshwar etc. These men propounded Bhakthi cult. It should be noted that from Acharya Shankar onwards the faiths that were founded  had no Veda content and they were all  Unvedic cults eventhough these men of great understanding held Vedas  high in their deliberations.

With the result of multicity of faiths often opposed to each other, the Unity of people suffered greatly. With disunity ruling the roost, Bharath atlast fell before the mighty force of Islam and became a slave country. In the middle of 19th Century the English who had originally come as traders to Bharath, snatched the political power and became rulers of the country. The country was thrown to serfdom again.

19th century is an important milestone in the history of our country. The 1857 war of independence failed and the British Govt took over the reins of power directly hitheto wielded by theEast India company. The British who were Christians besides wielding political power had their own agenda of Christainisng the Bharath. It is at this of point of time attempts were made to undemine the the Culture and Dharma of India. Christian Missonaries descended onIndia with their own imagined stories of rights and wrongs of Hindu Dharma and attempted to rescue poor Indians to Christian heaven. They tasted success in some parts ofIndia because of peculiar Socio- economic conditions prevailing there. In order to lay firmly the feeling of  Sanathana Dharma as  being  inferior vis-à-vis Christianity  Lord Macaulay introduced  modern English education which successuflly created men brown in color but english in tastes and manners.

It is not that British had a runaway success in their attempt to proselytize India. Reform movements rose which sought to remove certain bad religious and social practices among the Hindus which checkmated the drive of Missonaries.  Brahma samaj in Bengal, Satyashodak samaj and Prarthana samaj in Maharastra were cases in point. But these reform movements although lofty in their aims and objectives had some inherent defects. In that they were carried away by the greatness of Bible and stood away from Vedas which is the loftiest and earliest treatise on Dharma for all times and ages. Because of their rejection of Vedas [which Hindus held sacred and as a word of God] the movemnts failed to reach the masses. Now these bodies are almost defucnt. But the one movement which was started in 19th century to restoreIndia’s past pride and glory with Vedas as the guide was Aryasamaj founded by Swami Dayananda saraswathi [1824-1883] This Vedic movement heralded a new chapter in strengtheningIndia and iniated steps for self Rule which culminated when the country became Independent in 1947.

Swami Dayanand was tutored by Virajananda who was an eyeless Sanyasi. Although blind, he was considered master Grammerian of his times. Dayanand learnt Veda, grammer etc, under his guidance for 3 years and while bidding adieu after the training was over Swami  Virajanand extracted a promise from Dayananda  that the latter  would devote the rest of his of life for the propogation of Vedas only.

A brief history of  Sathyartha Prakash

In purusuance of his word given to his master Dayanand started giving lectures on Vedas and while so doing he mercilessly condemned many  unvedic practices like, Idolatry, Caste system,  ceremonies for the dead etc. His speeches attracted both common and elite alike. His mother tongue was Gujarathi but spoke mostly in Sanskrit and he switched over to Hindi as a medium of communication on the advice of Babu Keshavachandra sen who was then the leader of Brahma samaj while visitingCalcutta1872-73. His first speech in Hindi was in Kashi in1874. His book “Satyartha Prakash” [Light on Truth] was therefore written in Hindi to reach masses.

It is said that next to Ramcharith Manas Satyartha prakash is the most popular book in Hindi language. One commentator has observed that Satyarth Prakash has made both Scholars and commoners think seriously just as the way Das capital written by Karl Marx has done in Global context. In fact Satyarth Prakash was not the first work of Swami Dayanand. He wrote Sandhya in 1863, Bhagavat Khandan in 1866 and Advaithmath Kandan in 1870. It is said by the Hindi Scholars that Satyarth prakash was the trend setter in Hindi prose. People often say that Satyarth Prakash is a Bible for Aryasamajists. This is wrong. Aryasamajists have only Vedas as the final authority and none else. If Sathyarth Prakash is found to be not helpful to Vedas then it becomes subsidiary authority for them. However, Sathyartha Prakash is fully Vedic.

Sathyartha Prakash was written as per the request made by Raja Jayakrishna das who was an ardent admirer of Swami Dayanand. He was a District collector of Varanasiin those days. Rajaji insisted that Dayanand compile his ideas in book form so that those who had no priviliege of listening to Dayanand could derive benefits. In order to help Dayanand to accomplish his task he provided the facility of a writer by name Chandrasekhara Shastry who was a Maharastrian Brahmin. Swami Dayanand therefore dictated and Sastry wrote down. This way the work started on 12th June 1874 and got concluded on September 1874[ Approx three and half months] In other words the first issue of   Sathyartha Prakash was not written by Swami Dayanand but contained his dictations. The first publisher of Sathyartha Prakash was Raja Jayakrishna Das. He got it published in 1874 in Varanasi. Since Swami Dayanand was away on tour he could not see even the proof. Taking advantage of his absence, certain passages which were opposed to Dayanand’s thinking were got inserted fradulently. For ex, conducting Sharaddah, taking bath during eclipses Meat eating etc.  Further, since, Raja Jayakrishna Das was an employee of British and also remained a friend of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan [who was a founder of AligarhMuslimUniversity] he lacked the courage to publish the last two chapters which were critical of Christianity and Islam. Hence the first issue of Sathyartha Prakash contained only 12 chapters. When the conflicting passages were brought to notice of Swami Dayanand he promptly clarified the issues. Hence, for these reasons, the 2nd publication of Sathyartha Prakash is alone considered as authentic.

However, the first edition of Sathyartha Prakash is significant in more than one way. This contained the valuable views of Swamiji on Economics which for strange reasons were not included in the second edition. In the first edition of Sathyartha Prakash Swami Dayanand has adversely commented on tax being levied on Salt, commented on steep increase in stamp duty and the difficulties being experianced by the forest dwellers that collect forest wood. After 56 years of Sathyartha Prakash being published Mahatma Gandhi led successful Salt sathyagraha in 1930. The observations made by Dayanand are still relevant as the price of Salt is spiralling making the life of a common man still difficult.

In the second edition Swamy Dayanand removed all portions that opposed to his thinking and got 13th and 14th chapters included. Besides this he also got included his Statement of Beliefs. Swamy Dayanand revised the Second Edition in 1882 atUdaipur and this was given to printing but the work was over only 1884 by which time he was no more. It was therefore published after his death. In Sathyartha Prakash there are 377 book references and out of which authority has been quoted in 290 cases. 1542 Mantras have been quoted and the authority in full has quoted in 1882 times. Swami Dayanand believed 3000 books as authentic. The task involved in writing such a book in those days considering even in present times with all facilities of Library is really stupendous. Karl Marx sitting inLondon took 34 years to write the monumental book Das Capital which shookEurope. Similaly Dayanand by writing the Sathyartha Prakash shook the cultural, social and economic thinking ofIndia.  Sathyartha Prakash indicates the depth of Swami’s learning and memory power.

Our country is really blessed one.  Like Vedas, Upanishads, Ramayan and Mahabharatha, Geetha, Sathyartha Prakash also had this land for its birth.  Sathyartha Prakash is like the proverbial Nandini cow. It provides as much of Milk of knowledge as desired.  It is the condensed knowledge of Veda and Vedic culture. The greatness of Sathyartha Prakash lies in the fact that it makes the reader to think independently and enhances his scope of Knowledge. As one reader puts it, “Sathyartha Prakash is a Gayathri Mantra among the Mantras. It is six darshans among Darshans. It is Upanishad among Ten Upanishads.  It is Manava Dharma Shastra among Dharma Shastras”

Sathyartha Prakash has two parts. The first half has 10 chapters. The second half has 4 chapters. The first half is exposition in nature. The second half is chiefly condemnatory in nature. The chapters are called Samullahs meaning causing happiness by shedding Light.

Normally, a book would be having  one introduction in which the author seeks to explain the object of writing the book.Viewing accodringly it surprises the reader that the  Sathyartha Prakash  has four introductions before the beginning of 11th ,12th 13th and 14th chapters  besides the main introduction at the start of the Book. This has been followed by Statement of Beliefs which is acceptable to the author. It is always better to read the introduction and other introductions first before attempting to read the book as they enable the reader to understand the book better. The common refrain in all these introductions is that the author makes a passionate appeal to accept the truth and reject falsehood.

In the Globle context, there are only four widely read books. They are Koran, Bible, Geetha and Sathyartha Prakash. But if you take into the account the time factor into consideration, Koran, Bible, have taken hundreds of years to reach their present state of popularity. Geetha is around 5000 yrs old as it is associated withMahabharatha. Thanks to incessant efforts made by the Geetha press, Gorakpur, it has attained some measure of popularity. But Sathyartha Prakash in a brief period of 135 years has peaked in popularity amidst heavy odds and sacrifices and it could be said therefore that in terms of popularity it ranks number one.

The significance of  Sathyartha Prakash

“This is not a book! It could instil martial spirit in any cold blooded Hindu” observed Veer Savarkar while making a speech during the Satyagraha launched for lifting the unjust ban imposed by the Muslim league Govt in Sindh [Pakistan]. The statement is  really pregnant with meaning.  Sathyartha Prakash has Vedas and other true Scriptures as its basis and its object is to enunciate the principles contained in these truthful Scriptures.

The exposition of principles apart   Sathyartha Prakash makes a scathing attack on all unvedic principles the intensity of which could be never come across in any other book. This is its greaness. The reason being the conformists who wrote books  lacked the  guts but Dayananda was a fire ball known for his non conformist approach.                  

High lights of the book.

The book is noted for its intense patriotism and   rejection of foreign rule. This is first book which stressed the advantages of Self-Rule. No wonder, Lokamanya Tilak called Dayanand as the first person who spelt the word “Swarajya”.  It should be noted that while Dayanand called upon the people to fight for Swarajaya in 1874 it is almost 50 years later Congress called for Poorna Swaraj.

The first book which upheld the rights of women and Shudras to study Vedas duly supported with Vedic Mantras.

First book to denounce sacrifice of animals in yagnas and never compromised even a bit in this context.

The other Acharyas allowed the meat eating for ruling class [Kshatriyas].But Dayanand never allowed meat eating even for Kshatriyas but called upon them to rule with courage and defend the country with all vigour and valor.

Arya is not a name of Caste or race. But it is a term used to denote nobility. First book which exposed the fallacy of Aryan expedition againstIndia.

The first book which exposed and condemned the black magic, spirits, and hoax called Astrology, hocus-pocus, employing fradulent methods aimed at satisfying the planets etc. The book has been an eye opener for those who strive to bring the scientic temper to the masses then and now. The book has done a remarkable job in educating the massses on the advantages of cherishing Scientif temper.

Renunciation {called Vairagya} is neither practical proposition nor to be encouraged. It should not be aim or object of life either. Every man thru the medium of four purusharthas should strive for happiness, for the acquisition of wealth, and be charitable. He must strive to attain the Supreme Bliss called Moksha. The first book which glorified the household order [Grihasthashrama] as it is supported the rest of Ashrams.

The book exposes the evils of Idolatry, Superstition called Sharadda[ a ceremony observed for the dead] Pilgrimages, and the evil practices obtaining in the so called holy places, birth based Caste system, and other innumerable practices that go with in the name of  the puranic religon. The first book which upheld the Vedic Varnashrama Dharma based on Guna- Karma –Swabhava.as opposed to inhuman birth based Caste system.The first book which condmned the inertia, effemenism, all promoted by puranas. The first attempt to condemn the theory of Incarnation of God by wrong understanding of Bhagvadgeetha with tell tale examples. It provided an alternative Vedic system under which the country could become strong and valorous which would defeat/frustate any enemy under all circumstances.

Lord Ram is a Maryada Purushothama. Men like Lord Krishna never did even one wrong in their entire lives. First book whih shot down stories of Krishnabeing depicted as Radha vallabha etc.

Other features  

1. Gives a terrible blow at the bottom of polytheism

2. Induces self-introspection among Educationists.

3 Exposes hoax called Astrology

4 Gives a lethal blow to superstitions.

5 An alchemy that turns atheist to theist.

6. A manifesto that shapes the personality.

7. A yardstick that distinguishes who is a real sanyasi and fake sanyasi

8 Vedic expositions ofNation-Statepolity and the art of real governance.

9 Provides  scientific explanation to the origin of universe and explain natural laws.

10 A realistic explanation of the true nature and functions ofVarnasystem.

11 A pure water which washes clean of obscene meanings given to Vedic mantras.

12 A bold declaration on  gender equality.

13 A logical analysis of issues like Meat eating, Untouchability etc,

14 Mirroring the vested self interests of Casteist forces.

15 Rationalism that rattles our barren Vedantists.

16 A truthful exposition of secrets of inhuman faiths and sects.

17 Truths of Koran, Bible, and Puranic texts unmasked.

20 A hand guide to seekers of truth and genuine revolution

21 A feast to seekers of Truth who do critical analysis.

Naturally when this book was brought out an era of scientific enquiry began unfolding itself. The Hindu Society started asserting itself after centuries of serfdom and weakness. The other Faiths stood baffled. It enabled Hindu to regain his radiance and put up the fight where required. The Shuddi and Sanghatan started by Swami rattled the leaders of Semitic faiths, while Hindus rejoiced. Attempts were made to see the Book was banned in Pre-independent India by the communal and obsurantist forces at  Peshavar -1892,  Allahabad-1902, Patiyala-1909,  United Provinces—1910, Hyderabad Sindh—1943-44. In independent India Bhopal-1980, Jammu &Kashmir In 1986 appeals were made atHyderabadandCalcuttato ban the Sathyartha Prakash and the Courts were moved accordingly. Even last year two communal and misguided Muslims moved theDelhicourt to get the Sathyartha Prakash banned. But all these moves were got frustrated and the opponents were disappointed as Courts did not  entertain their pleas and  the Muslim league Govt at Hyderabad Sindh had to withdraw the proscribing order in the wake of  Satyagraha launched by Aryasamaj.

As on today Sathyartha Prakash has been translated into 23 languages and even Braille copy is also made available for the benefit of blind. It is estimated that around 400 books either in favor or in opposition of Sathyartha Prakash has been printed. As Sathyartha Prakash is getting read by more and more, the opponents would bite the dust eventually.  Seth J.D Birla a doyen among industrialists have therefore remarked that while Sathyartha Prakash reflects the true Arya sanathana Dharma, it also removes the superstitions and fruauds associated with religions. It makes the reader to be more rational. The welfare of man is kept in view while writing the book. It has no hatred against anybody. If Christians and Muslims study the 13th and 14th chapters dispassionately they would understand the essence of Dharma.

The relevance of  Sathyartha Prakash

This book acts like the famed Sudarshan Chakra for the defence of Aryan Dharma and Culture.

The 14 chapters are veritable 14 Bullets for the total annihilation religions which thrive on falsewood and deceit.

It is a path finder for those who intend to know the intricacies of Dharma.

Nectar for those seeking Moksha or bliss.

An encyclopedia of Dharma.

A true guide for Administrators.

A directory of Vedic principles.

It lays bare the hollow teachings about the Creation of the world.

It has changed the life of hundreds of men after reading.

Many objectionable portions found in the books of religions were expunged after this book was published.

A dullard becomes a Scholar.

Atheist becomes theist.

The weak becomes strong.

The arrogant becomes proud.

A traitor becomes a patriot.

The meat eater becomes vegetarian.

The slayer of Cow becomes its protector.

The  absurd becomes logical

The lover of English becomes the lover of Bharath.

The prodigal son becomes a faithful son.

The seeds of thinking start growing in the otherwise barren head.

The slogans in favor of other countries become louder in favor of India.

These are not empty rhetorics. There are hundreds of live examples as proof.

                        Read Sathyartha Prakash and popularise it to the best of your capacity.

Sathyartha Prakash (Kannada) edited by Pt Upendra Bhupala

Vishwa Dharma Kosh by Dr. Bhavanilal Bharateeya.

Sathyartha Prakash ka Parichay by Sri Dayaram poddar.

A tract on Sanathana Vedic  Dharma by Karam Narain Kapoor

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Posted on October 16, 2011, in Philosophy, Swami Dayanand. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I just wanna know (& the Question is a out of context Question too!)

    Is Shanti Parv of Mahabharata is believed to be one among its original part ??

  2. ramayan, mahabharta and manu smriti these texts were adulterated by some wicked persons in middle ages.the criteria to accept what and reject what is based on what ever is in accordance with the vedas is acceptable and what ever opposite to the philosophy of the vedas is to be rejected.

    dr vivek arya

  3. A geat exposition of the works of swami dayanada;

  4. great book. each muslim should read it

  5. i wanna bebgali pdf. Please help me. Thanks in advance who will help me…

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