PM reiterates the significance of Swami Dayananda Saraswati’s teachings in fostering unity

NEW DELHI, Feb 11: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today addressed a programme on the 200th birth anniversary of Swami Dayananda Saraswati organized at the birthplace of Swami Dayananda, Tankara in Morbi, Gujarat, via a video message.

In his address, Modi conveyed his delight at the Arya Samaj organizing the event to honour Swami’s contributions and to bring his teachings to the masses. Reflecting on his participation in last year’s inauguration of the festival, he remarked, “When the contributions of such a great soul are so exceptional, it is natural for the festivities associated with them to be extensive.”

“I am confident that this event will serve as an effective medium to acquaint our new generation with the life of Maharshi Dayananda,” added Modi, emphasizing the importance of passing down the legacy of such remarkable personalities.

The PM noted that Swami Dayanand was born in Gujarat and was active in Haryana. The Prime Minister highlighted his connection with both regions and acknowledged the profound influence of Swami Dayananda on his life, stating “his teachings have shaped my perspective, and his legacy remains an integral part of my journey.” He extended his greetings to millions of followers both in India and abroad on the occasion of Swami’s birth anniversary.

Reflecting on the transformative impact of Swami Dayananda’s teachings, Modi remarked: “There are moments in history that alter the course of the future. Two hundred years ago, Swami Dayananda’s birth was one such unprecedented moment.” He highlighted Swami’s role in awakening India from the shackles of ignorance and superstition, leading a movement to rediscover the essence of Vedic knowledge. “In times when our traditions and spirituality were fading, Swami Dayananda called upon us to ‘Back to Vedas’,” noted the PM, underscoring Swami’s efforts to provide scholarly commentaries on the Vedas and rational interpretations. He emphasized Swami’s fearless critique of societal norms and his elucidation of the true essence of Indian philosophy, which reignited self-confidence within society.

The PM reiterated the significance of Swami Dayananda’s teachings in fostering unity and instilling a sense of pride in India’s ancient heritage.

He said: “Our social evils were used as a means by the British government to portray us as inferior. Some justified British rule by referencing social changes. Swami Dayananda’s advent dealt a severe blow to these conspiracies.” The PM emphasized: “A series of revolutionaries such as Lala Lajpat Rai, Ram Prasad Bismil, and Swami Shraddhanand emerged, influenced by Arya Samaj. Therefore, Dayananda was not just a Vedic sage but also a national sage.”

The Prime Minister noted that the 200th anniversary has come in the initial years of the Amrit Kaal, while recalling the vision of Swami Dayananda of a bright future for the nation. “The faith that Swamiji had about India, we will have to convert that faith into our self-confidence in Amrit Kaal. Swami Dayanand was an advocate and guide of modernity,” he added.

Acknowledging the extensive network of Arya Samaj institutions across the globe, Modi stated: “With over 2,500 schools, colleges, and universities, and more than 400 gurukuls educating students, Arya Samaj is a vibrant testament to modernity and guidance.” He urged the community to take up the responsibility of nation-building initiatives with renewed vigour in the 21st century. Calling DAV institutions ‘a living memory of Swamiji’, the PM assured their continued empowerment.

The Prime Minister mentioned National Education Policy taking the vision of Swamiji forward. He asked the students and institutions of Arya Samaj to contribute to Vocal for Local, Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Mission Life, water conservation, Swachh Bharat, Sports, and fitness. He also emphasized first-time voters to understand their responsibilities.

Referring to the upcoming 150th anniversary of the founding of Arya Samaj, Modi encouraged everyone to seize this momentous occasion as an opportunity for collective progress and remembrance.

Praising Swami Dayananda’s advocacy for women's rights, Modi celebrated the recent Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, stating “Through honest endeavours and new policies, the nation is advancing its daughters.” He emphasized the significance of connecting people through these social initiatives as a true homage to Maharshi Dayananda. (PIB)