Showing posts with label Arya Samaj. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arya Samaj. Show all posts

Hinduism And Hindu Theology - What Is The Arya Samaj?

Arya Samaj is a Hindu organization. Swami Dayanand Saraswati founded a reformist Hindu organization in 1875. 

The Arya Samaj arose at a period of profound social, economic, and theological upheaval, the latter of which was exacerbated by Christian missionary preaching, and served as a genuine Hindu reaction to these shifts. 

  • Traditional Hindus saw this group as a real religious danger for a long time. 
  • Swami Dayanand's basic premise was that the Vedas, the ancient texts, were the sole source of ultimate religious authority. 

Child marriages, sati, image worship, the caste system, and a prohibition on widow remarriage were among the "social ills" afflicting nineteenth-century Hinduism. 

  • He said that since these practices were not mentioned in the Veda, they were corrupt and illegitimate, and that the Arya Samaj fought tirelessly to eradicate them. 

Unlike the Brahmo Samaj, an earlier reformist group, the Arya Samaj's beliefs were not influenced by Christianity. 

  • The Arya Samaj was a militantly anti-Christian organization that addressed many of the issues highlighted by Christian reformers. 
  • It was also opposed to modern Hinduism's "corruption." 

Despite the Aryas' claims that they were merely returning to the Veda, the ultimate goal was to create a type of Hindu religious life that was more suitable with "modern" circumstances, not to recapture a long-gone period. 

  • Image worship was replaced by a fire sacrifice based on Vedic rites by the Aryas. 
  • The Arya Samaj was also known for sponsoring the shuddhi (purification) ritual, which allowed Hindus who had joined other religious groups to be welcomed back into the Hindu community. 
  • Dayanand and his followers were adamant in their support for such changes, seeing themselves as cultivating Hinduism's future leadership. 
  • To do this, the Arya Samaj placed a great emphasis on education, and one of its most enduring accomplishments has been the establishment of schools and universities for its women and men. 

Although the Arya Samaj was extremely contentious for the first sixty years of its existence, by the late 1930s, its revolutionary energy had subsided; now, the Aryas are a sectarian community that has been absorbed into wider Hindu culture. 

Refer to - Kenneth W. Jones, Arya Dharm, 1976; Daniel Gold, “Organized Hinduisms: From Vedic Truth to Hindu Nation,” in Martin Marty and R. Scott Appleby (eds. ), Fundamentalisms Observed, 1991; and Kenneth W. Jones, “The Arya Samaj in British India, 1875–1947,” in Robert D. Baird (ed. ), Religion in Modern India, 1998.

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