Cosmopolitan Outlook.—The Principles of the Arya Samaj have been pronounced on all hands to be cosmopolitan –i.e., they are equally applicable to all hands and peoples of all ages, past, present and future. They may be adopted by a society that has for its aim the upliftment of humanity. They are neither too broad to be definite nor even too narrow to be non-sectarian. They affirm certain positive things and aims, and refute certain doctrines which all right-thinking persons will unanimously affirm to be false. They have in them the certainty of dogmas, and the rationality of universal truisms. Their author, the founder of the Arya Samaj, has in the very framing of them, given proof of the intuitional wisdom, the comprehensive vision of a seer.
Individual and Social Duties—These rules emphasise virtues both individual and social, and thus pave the way for the progress both of men individually and of man in the collective sense. By making their personal convictions definite and trying to raise in accordance with them their practical morals, as indicated in the first five principles, men of all climes are exhorted to rise individually. By adopting a broad-minded attitude towards humanity, i.e., by indentifying themselves with the whole family of human and, where possible, animate beings, and by seeking to elevate themselves. The progress sought to be achieved is at the same time physical, spiritual, and social. The merging of the little self in the broader self of the society is laid repeated and ample stress on, but a distinct line is drawn between where the voice of the individual ego should have greater weight and where altruistic motives should prevail.
An Index to the Mission—Rishi Dayananda has a knack never to beat about h bush. He nowhere minces matters. He is clear-sighted, concise and direct. This is the principal beauty of his sayings and writings. He never makes two and two five. The principles of the Arya Samaj he founded are an index to his whole outlook on life and duty. They contain, as in an epitome, the whole viewpoint of the movement he addressed his great soul to the solution o almost all problems that concern humanity. These problems he tackled according to his own lights and the light bequeathed to him in the sacred literature of the Aryans by Rishis that preceded him. The Principles of the Arya Samaj were intended to form the first introduction o a novice to his whole mission. In these, therefore, he does not bother himself with creedal and philosophical niceties but is content to place before the initiated the broad horizon of his philosophical teachings and the vast perspective of philanthropic action which awaits the endeavour of the Arya working both singly and in cooperation with his fellow-workers. The direct import of the principles is simple. Indirectly they point to other, i.e. more detailed, teachings also. We shall, where necessary, refer to these teachings by the way, so that the reader, while conscious of their express significance, may not miss their inner import. Our main aim will however, be to expound the express sense of the Rishi’s words.
We call these principles the ‘Ten Commandments’ of Arya samaj, not to institute any comparison between them and the commandments of Moses, but because we feel their place in the creed of the Arya Samaj is the same as that of the original tablets of the Jewish prophet, which the Jewish and the Christian creeds own to be the pith of the pith of their teachings. This the age of scientific preciseness and comprehensive versatility; and the principles of the Arya Samaj possess both these attributes in an unprecedentedly ample degree.
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