Swami Dayanand was a great social and religious reformer of modern India. He raised his voice against the prevailing social mal-practices and religious superstitions. He was perhaps the first Indian who waged a war against untouchability, illiteracy, superstitions, western domination and economic exploitation. He gave a call "Back to the Vedas."
Swami Dayanand established the Arya Samaj to carry on his work. He authored several books •on Vedas, Vedic religion and Vedic culture. Satyartha Prakasa remains his best presentation.
"An Introduction to Satyartha Prakasa" is a faithful abridged presentation of the monumental work of Swami Dayanand. It is necessary for the upcoming generation to know what Swami Dayanand's Arya Samaj stand for and what is the relevance of his message in modem times. It may not be possible for all to study the book in original. This small book gives an idea of the same along with other relevant information about Arya Samaj. The message of Swami Dayanand need to be properly understood and his useful work to be carried on.
Dr. Suraj Narain Sharma had been born, brought up and educated in Delhi. After obtaining his post-graduate degree in Economics from Delhi University and doing his Bachelor of Education Course, Dr. Sharma joined the Education Department of Delhi Government in 1948 as a post-graduate teacher. He served the Department for 36 years in various capacities and retired as Deputy Director of Education in 1984.
After retirement, Dr. Sharma studied Pali and Sanskrit at Delhi University. He obtained his first Ph.D degree in -Buddhist Social and Moral Education". Then Dr. Sharma joined the Central Institute of Education, Department of Education, University of Delhi and perused his studies in Indian Culture. His studies culminated in his second Ph.D thesis on "Indian Concept of Man and His Development" in 2001. At present, Dr. Sharma is studying Indian Religions and their relevance in modern times.
Dr. Sharma has written several books on education and religion. He has specialised in "Value Education" and is working on a -Practical Course in Value Education for a Pluralistic Society".
Hindu religion as it is practised today is very different in many ways from the religion of Vedic India. But it still retains the basic frame of that religion. It pledges its faith in the Vedas and it traces its lineage to the Vedas. This is true inspite of the many glaring contradictions which are so conspicuous between the Vedic religion as described in the Vedas and the Hindu religion which is practised today. This is natural for a religion which has a continuous history of thousands of years. The main current of the religious thought flows on while many streams stray away into new lands and continue to get sustenance from the main source.
However, it is very necessary to know the original source, understand it, appreciate its implications in present times and make suitable adjustments in personal life and social customs and traditions keeping in view the happiness of the individual and welfare of the society. The original source of all forms of Hindu religion is the Vedas. It is, therefore, essential to go to the Vedas and have an idea of the eternal truths which the Vedas contain and the secret of eternal freshness which the Vedas still provide to the enigmatic Hindu religion.
Vedas deal with the eternal entities namely God, Soul and Prakrti along with their attributes. Vedas unravel their secrets through the knowledge contained in the eternal laws which the Rsis observed and codified during the manifestations and operations of these laws. The central point of the Vedas is man and his happiness during his interactions (a) with God and His manifestations, (b) with himself and other men, individually and in groups of men and (c) with Prakrti and its manifestations. Vedas describe how man can be at peace with his conscience, with his empirical self, with other men, with other living beings including plant life, with nature around him and with cosmic nature enveloping this planet-earth. Vedas also present a scheme
and plan for man's life and a plan of social institutions with healthy customs and traditions so that man can lead his life in a spirit of dedication and love while enjoying the grace of God, love and respect of his fellow men and the limitless bounties of nature. Thus the Vedas present a path which leads man to happiness and contentment and also to liberation and emancipation.
Unfortunately, the Mahabharata war ruined the human society not only politically, socially and economically but also culturally and spiritually. The whole race of the brave, the learned and the creamy layer of the society was wiped out within eighteen days in that terrible war and a vacuum was created in all fields of social, cultural and spiritual life. With that was also lost the true knowledge of the Vedas. Fortunately, somehow the 'WORD' was preserved for posterity. But unfortunately the symbolic language of the Vedas became a babble. Subsequently, hesitant attempts had frequently been made with so many misinterpretations leading to wrong social practices and irreligious beliefs.
Swami Dayanand Saraswati was the first in our age to realise the damage done to our culture and religion during this long period. He tried his best to find the key to the knowledge of the Vedas. Fortunately, he succeeded to a great extent in catching the spirit of the Vedas, realise their intrinsic worth and presenting them to the Hindu society and the world to recapture the lost treasures. He presented his conclusions in his book "Satyartha-Prakasa" which is really the dawn of truth and revelation of true knowledge as preserved in the Vedas.
There is need for the young generation to know the message of the Vedas as presented by Swami Dayanand Saraswati in Satyartha-Prakasa. A shorter and simpler version of Satyartha-Prakasa could help the young generation to have a glimpse of the Vedic Religion as presented by its greatest exponent Swami Dayanand Saraswati. "An Introduction to Satyartha-Prakasa" is an attempt in that direction. There is no claim to any originality.
This is just a faithful and simple presentation of the main ideas of Satyartha-Prakasa relevant and useful to us even to-day. Apart from the chapter-wise summary of Satyartha-Prakasa, some information about the life, works, mission of Swami Dayanand and Arya Samaj have been included to provide relevant background information. It is hoped that the book will be found useful by the upcoming generation to know the spirit of Vedic religion.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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