Answer :

Swami Dayanand Saraswati was a reformer, who led social reform through his Arya Samaj.

a) Swami Dayanand was born in a Brahmin family of Gujarat, in 1824. He was christened Moolshankar by his parents.


b) He was disillusioned with idol worship at a young age, and left his house at 21 to become a disciple of Swami Virzanandji of Mathura. His guru advised him to “live and teach Vedas”. Accordingly, he started giving public lectures since 1864.


c) He adopted the use of Hindi as the national language, and the sole medium in which he composed his work. With an aim to cleanse the society of social evils, he wrote the book ‘Satyarthaprakash’ in 1874, and started the Arya Samaj in 1875.


d) The main principles of Arya Samaj were the central teachings of Swami Dayanand’s life –emphasis on truth, destruction of evil education, opposition of idol worship, encouraging female education, having good and harmonious behaviour etc.


e) Swamiji firmly believed in removing social evils from the society. Foremost among them were untouchability, girl-infanticide, veil tradition, idol worship, superstitious and orthodox beliefs and child marriage.


f) He also called for equality for women, stating that Vedas believed that men and women were equal. Most notably, he is known to encourage female education and widow remarriage through Arya Samaj.


g) Swamiji also contributed to the Indian Freedom Movement. He was the first person to use the word SWARAJ, and also called for the boycott of foreign goods.


h) Arya Samaj also made contribution to education by opening several schools, colleges and other educational institutions in rural and backward areas.


i) Swami spent a life of preaching, and breathed his last 1883, in Ajmer, Rajasthan.


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