Tag Archives: Dayanand Saraswati

‘मैं और मेरा आचार्य दयानन्द’ -मनमोहन कुमार आर्य, देहरादून।

देश व संसार में अनेक मत-मतान्तर हैं फिर हमें उनमें से ही किसी एक मत को चुन कर उसका अनुयायी बन जाना चाहिये था। यह वाक्य कहने व सुनने में तो अच्छा लगता है परन्तु यह एक प्रकार से सार्थक न होकर निरर्थक है। हमें व प्रत्येक मनुष्य को यह ज्ञान मिलना आवश्यक है कि वह कौन है, कहां से आया है, मरने पर कहां जाता है, किन कारणों से उसे अपने माता-पिता से जन्म मिला, किसी धनिक के यहां जन्म क्यों नहीं हुआ, धनिक का निर्धन के यहां क्यों नहीं हुआ, किसने इस संसार को बनाया है और कौन इसका धारण, पोषण व संचालन करता है? संसार को बनाने वाली वह सत्ता कहां है, दिखाई क्यों नहीं देती, उसका नाम क्या है? क्या किसी ने कभी उसको देखा है? हम स्वयं अपनी मर्जी से पैदा नहीं हुए हैं, जिसने हमें उत्पन्न किया है, उसका हमें जन्म देने का उद्देश्य क्या था व है? ऐसे अनेकानेक प्रश्नों के सही समाधानकारण उत्तर जहां से प्राप्त हों जिनसे जीवन का उद्देश्य जानकर उसकी प्राप्ति के सरल समुचित साधनों का ज्ञान मिलता है, मनुष्य को उसी धर्म का धारण पालन करना चाहिये। ऐसा न करके मनुष्य अपने जीवन का सदुपयोग नहीं करता और हो सकता है व होता है, वह सुदीर्घ काल, सैकड़ों, हजारों व लाखों वर्ष तक नाना प्रकार के दुःखों व निम्न से निम्न योनियों में जन्म लेकर दुःखों से आक्रान्त रहे।

हमने अपने मित्रों की प्रेरणा से पौराणिक परिवार में जन्म लेने पर भी आर्यसमाज के सत्संगों में भाग लेना आरम्भ किया और उसके साहित्य मुख्यतः सत्यार्थ प्रकाश, पंच-महायज्ञविधि आदि का अध्ययन किया। वैदिक विद्वानों व सच्चे महात्माओं के प्रवचनों को सुनकर व साहित्य को पढ़कर हमारे उपर्युक्त सभी प्रश्नों वच भ्रमों का समाधान हो गया जो अन्यथा नहीं हो सकता था। अतः हमारा कर्तव्य बनता था कि हमें जो सत्य ज्ञान मिला है, उससे हम अपने मित्रों व अन्यों को भी लाभान्वित करें। अतः इस कर्तव्य भावना से अधिकारी विद्वान न होने पर भी हमने अपना स्वाध्याय जारी रखा और लेखन के द्वारा अनेकानेक विभिन्न विषयों पर, जो जो हमें सत्य प्रतीत हुआ, उसे लोगों तक पहुंचाने का प्रयास किया। आज हम अपने बारे में यह कह सकते हैं कि हम स्वयं से परिचित हैं। मैं कौन हूं, क्या हूं, कहां से आया हूं, कहां-कहां जा सकता हूं, मेरे जीवन का उद्देश्य क्या है, उसकी प्राप्ति के साधन क्या हैं, यह संसार किससे बना और कौन इसे चला रहा है? ऐसे सभी प्रश्नों का उत्तर मिला जिसका पूर्ण श्रेय मेरे आचार्य महर्षि दयानन्द सरस्वती को है। संक्षेप में हम इन सभी प्रश्नों के उत्तर इस संक्षिप्त लेख में देने का प्रयास करते हैं।

मैं जीवात्मा हूं जो कि एक चेतन तत्व है। चेतन होने के कारण ही मुझे सुख व दुःख की अनुभूति होती है। मैं एकदेशी हूं अर्थात् व्यापक नहीं हूं। शास्त्रों ने जीवात्मा का परिमाण बताया है। यह अत्यन्त सूक्ष्म है। एक शास्त्रकार ने कहा है कि हमारे सिर के बाल का अग्रभाग लें, फिर उसके 100 टूकड़े करें, फिर इन सौ में से एक टुकडें के भी सौ टुकड़े करें, इसका एक टुकड़ा अर्थात् सिर के बाल के अग्रभाग का दस सहस्रवां टुकड़ा जीवात्मा के लगभग बराबर व उससे भी सूक्ष्म होगा। यह बात विचार, चिन्तन व गवेषणा से सत्य सिद्ध होती है। मैं अर्थात् जीवात्मा अनादि, नित्य, अजर, अमर, अविनाशी सत्यासत्य का जानने वाला होता है परन्तु अविद्यादि कुछ दोषों से सत्य को छोड़ असत्य में झुक जाता है। ज्ञान कर्म जीवात्मा के दो लक्षण कहे जा सकते हैं। सृष्टिकाल में सभी जीवात्माओं को उनके पूर्व कर्मानुसार जन्म भोग प्राप्त होते हैं। इस जन्म में हमें जो माता-पिता, संबंधीं व अन्य परिस्थितियां, सुख-दुःख आदि मिले हैं वह अधिकांशतः पूर्व जन्मों के कर्मों के फलों जिसे प्रारब्ध कहते हैं व इस जन्म के क्रियमाण कर्मों के कारण प्राप्त हुए  हैं। हमें जन्म, सुख-दुःख रूपी भोगों को देने वाली, वस्तुतः एक सत्ता ईश्वर है। ईश्वर ही सृष्टि को बनाने व धारण-पोषण अर्थात् संचालित करने वाली सत्ता है। ईश्वर परम धार्मिक है। वह सत्य, दया व करूणा से सराबोर है। उसके गुण, कर्म, स्वभाव सर्वदा समान रहते हैं, उनमें विपरीतता कभी नहीं आती। संसार में ईश्वर से इतर अत्यन्त सूक्ष्म मूल प्रकृति है, यह चेतन न होकर जड़ है।  यह प्रकृति ईश्वर व जीव की ही तरह अनादि, नित्य, अविनाशी है तथा अत्यन्त सूक्ष्म, सत्व-रज-तम गुणों वाली है। यइ ईश्वर के अधीन होती है। इसे सृष्टि का उपादान कारण कहते हैं। ईश्वर इस सृष्टि का निमित्त कारण है। इस प्रकृति को ही ईश्वर परिवर्तित कर वर्तमान सृष्टि अर्थात् नाना सूर्य, चन्द्र, ग्रह, उपग्रह, पृथिवी आदि का निर्माण सृष्टि काल के आरम्भ में करता है। इसी प्रकार के निर्माण वह इससे पूर्व के कल्पों में करता रहा है तथा इस कल्प के बाद के कल्पों में भी करेगा। यह सृष्टि 4 अरब 32 करोड़ वर्षों तक इसी प्रकार से विद्यमान रहती है। इस गणना का आरम्भ ईश्वर द्वारा सृष्टि का निर्माण करने के दिन से होता है। इसके बाद पुरानी हो जाने के कारण इसकी प्रलय अवस्था आती है जब यह छिन्न भिन्न होकर अपनी मूल अवस्था, जो सत्व, रज व तम गुणों वाली अत्यन्त सूक्ष्म होती है, में परिवर्तित हो जाती है। यह प्रलयावस्था भी 4 अरब 32 करोड़ वर्षों तक रहती है, जो कि ईश्वर की रात्रि कहलाती है तथा जिसके पूरा होने पर ईश्वर पुनः सृष्टि बनाता है और प्रलय से पूर्व की जीवात्माओं को उनके कर्मानुसार वा प्रारब्ध के अनुसार मनुष्य, पशु, पक्षी आदि के रूप में जन्म देता है।

 

ईश्वर के बारे में यह जानना भी उचित होगा कि ईश्वर सत्य, चित्त व आनन्द स्वरूप है। वह निराकार व सर्वव्यापक है। वह किसी एक स्थान, आसमान, समुद्र आदि में नहीं रहता अपितु सर्वव्यापक है। वह सर्वज्ञ अर्थात् सभी विषयों का पूर्ण ज्ञान रखता है और सर्वशक्तिमान है। वह न्यायकारी व दयालु भी है। वह सनातन, नित्य, अनादि, अनुत्पन्न, अजर, अमर, अभय, नित्य व पवित्र है। वह सर्वव्यापक व अतिसूक्ष्म होने के कारण सब जीवात्माओं के भीतर भी विद्यमान व प्रविष्ट है। अतः जीवात्मा का कर्तव्य है कि वह स्वयं व ईश्वर के सत्य स्वरूप को जाने। यह सत्य स्वरूप हमने सत्यार्थ प्रकाश आदि ग्रन्थों से ही जाना है। अन्य सभी ग्रन्थों व मत-मतान्तरों की पुस्तकों को पढ़ने से अनेक सन्देह उत्पन्न होते हैं जिनका वहां निवारण नहीं होता। सत्यार्थ प्रकाश में सभी बातें, मान्यतायें व सिद्धान्त महर्षि दयानन्द जी ने वेदों व वैदिक ग्रन्थों से लेकर मानवमात्र के हित व सुख के लिए सरल आर्यभाषा हिन्दी में वेद प्रमाण, युक्ति व प्रमाणों आदि सहित प्रस्तुत की हैं। यदि वह यह ग्रन्थ संस्कृत में लिखते तो फिर हम संस्कृत जानने के कारण उससे लाभान्वित हो पाते और तब हम अज्ञानी ही रहते और मतमतान्तरों का अपना कारोबार यथापूर्व चलता रहता। हमारा कर्तव्य है कि हम ईश्वर को जानकर उसकी उपासना करें। यद्यपि ईश्वर हमारी आत्मा में व्यापक है, अतः उपासना अर्थात् वह हमारे निकट तो सदा से है परन्तु उपासना में ईश्वर की स्तुति व प्रार्थना भी सम्मिलित है। यह स्तुति, प्रार्थना व उपासना ईश्वर के प्रति कृतज्ञता ज्ञापन ही है जैसे कि किसी से उपकृत होने पर हम धन्यवाद कहते हैं। उपासना करने से हमारे गुण-कर्म-स्वभाव सुधर कर ईश्वर के गुणों के अनुरूप यथासम्भव हो जाते हैं। ईश्वर ने हमारे लिये यह विशाल संसार बनाया, इसे चला रहा है, इसमें हमारे सुख के लिए नाना प्रकार की भोग सामग्री बनाई है और हमें मानव जन्म व माता-पिता-बन्धु-बान्धव-इष्टमित्र-आचार्य-ऋषि आदि प्रदान किये हैं। अतः कृतज्ञता ज्ञापन करना हमारा कर्तव्य है अन्यथा हम कृतघ्न होंगे। यदि हम किसी की कोई सहायता करते हैं तो हम भी चाहते हैं कि वह हमारे प्रति कृतज्ञता का भाव रखे। इस भावना की अभिव्यक्ति का नाम ही उपासना है जिसमें स्तुति व प्रार्थना भी सम्मिलित है। नियमित यथार्थ विधि से उपासना करने से ही ईश्वर का जीवात्मा में साक्षात्कार भी होता है। यह अतिरिक्त फल उपासना का होता है। ईश्वर साक्षात्कार की अवस्था के बाद जीवन मुक्ति का काल होता है जिसमें मनुष्य उपकार के कार्यों को करता हुआ कर्मों के बन्धन में नहीं फंसता और मृत्यु आने पर जन्म मरण से मुक्त होकर ब्रह्मलोक अर्थात् मोक्ष की प्राप्ति करके ईश्वर के सान्निध्य से आनन्द का भोग करता है। यही जीवन का अन्तिम लक्ष्य है जो सच्चे ईश्वर को जानकर उपासना करने से प्राप्त होता है। इस लक्ष्य की प्राप्ति के लिए ही हमारा जन्म हुआ है। सृष्टि के आरम्भ से सभी ऋषिमुनि विद्वान इस पथ पर चले हैं और हमें भी उनका अनुकरण अनुसरण करना है। इस पथ पर चलने के लिए महर्षि दयानन्द की शिक्षा है कि हमारे सभी कार्य व व्यवहार सत्य पर आधारित होने चाहिये। वह सत्याचार को ही मनुष्यों का यथार्थ व अनिवार्य धर्म बताते हैं। इसके विपरीत असत्य व दुष्टाचार ही अधर्म है।

 

ईश्वर, जीव व प्रकृति विषयक यह समस्त ज्ञान सृष्टि क्रम के अनुकूल व साध्य कोटि का है और वेदों व ऋषि मुनियों के जीवन व उनके सत्य उपदेशों से प्रमाणित है। इसके विपरीत ज्ञान व क्रियायें अज्ञान व मिथ्याचार हैं। यह ज्ञान मुझे मेरे आचार्य महर्षि दयानन्द सरस्वती से प्राप्त हुआ है। महर्षि दयानन्द का जन्म गुजराज के राजकेाट जिले के एक कस्बे टंकारा में पिता श्री कर्षनजी तिवारी के यहां 12 फरवरी, सन् 1825 को हुआ था। 14 वर्ष की आयु में शिवरात्रि के दिन उन्होंने पिता के कहने से कुल परम्परा के अनुसार शिवरात्रि का व्रत किया था। देर रात्रि शिवलिंग पर चूहों को उछलते-कूदते देखकर उन्हें मूर्तिपूजा की असारता व मिथ्या होने का ज्ञान हुआ था। कुछ काल बाद उनकी एक बहिन व चाचा की मृत्यु होने पर उन्हें वैराग्य हो गया था। 21 वर्ष तक उन्होंने माता-पिता के पास रहते हुए संस्कृत, यजुर्वेद व अन्य ग्रन्थों का अध्ययन किया था। 22 वर्ष की अवस्था में वह सच्चे ईश्वर व मुक्ति के उपायों की खोज व उनके पालन के लिये गृहत्याग कर देशभर में विद्वानों, साधु-सन्यासियों, योगियों के सम्पर्क में आये। मथुरा में प्रज्ञाचक्षु गुरू विरजानन्द से उन्होंने आर्ष संस्कृत व्याकरण अष्टाध्यायी-महाभाष्य-निरुक्त प़द्धति से अध्ययन कर सन् 1863 में गुरू की आज्ञा से संसार से धार्मिक व सामाजिक क्रान्ति सहित समग्र अज्ञान व अन्धकार दूर करने के लिये कार्य क्षेत्र में प्रविष्ट हुए। उन्होंने मौखिक प्रवचन, उपदेश, व्याख्यान, शास्त्रार्थ, शंका समाधान, ग्रन्था लेखन द्वारा देश भर में घूम घूम कर प्रचार किया। प्रचार के निमित्त ही उन्होंने सत्यार्थप्रकाश, ऋग्वेदादिभाष्यभूमिका, संस्कारविधि, आर्याभिविनय, ऋग्वेद-यजुर्वेद भाष्य संस्कृत व हिन्दी में, पंचमहायज्ञविधि, व्यवहारभानु, गोकरूणानिधि आदि अनेक ग्रन्थों का प्रकाशन किया। नवम्बर, 1869 में उन्होंने काशी के 30 से अधिक शीर्षस्थ सनातनी विद्वानों से मूर्तिपूजा पर शास्त्रार्थ कर उन्हें पराजित किया था। मूर्तिपूजा वेद सम्मत सिद्ध नहीं हो सकी थी न ही आज तक हो पायी है। उनके अनेक विरोधियों ने उन्हें जीवन में अनेक बार विष दिया। ऐसी ही विष देने की एक घटना जोधपुर में घटी। स्वामी जगदीश्वरानन्द सरस्वती के अनुसार इस षडयन्त्र में अंग्रेज सरकार भी सम्मिलित रही हो सकती है। इसके परिणाम स्वरूप 30 अक्तूबर, 1883 को दीपावली के दिन अजमेर में उनका देहावसान हो गया। उन्होंने जिस प्रकार से अपने प्राण त्यागे उससे लगता है कि यह कार्य उन्होंने शरीर के जीर्ण होने पर ईश्वर की प्रेरणा से स्वतः किया। स्वामी जी ने अज्ञान, अंधविश्वासों का खण्डन किया, सामाजिक विषमता को दूर किया, स्त्री व शूत्रों को वेदाध्ययन का अधिकार दिया, विधवाओं को पुनर्विवाह का अधिकार तथा समाज से सामाजिक विषमता और अस्पर्शयता को समाप्त किया। लोगों को ईश्वर व जीवात्मा का ज्ञान कराकर सच्ची ईश्वर भक्ति सिखाई और जीवन मुक्ति के लिए मृत्यु व मोक्ष के सत्य स्वरूप का प्रचार किया। देश की आजादी भी उनके प्रेरणाप्रद विचारों व आर्यसमाज के सदस्यों वा अनुयायियों के पुरूषार्थ की देन है।

 

 मेरे आचार्य दयानन्द मेरे ही नहीं अपितु सम्पूर्ण संसार के आचार्य हैं। उन्होंने अज्ञानान्धकार में डूबे विश्व को सत्य ज्ञान रूपी अमृत ओषधि का पान कराया और उसे मोक्ष मार्ग पर अग्रसर होने की प्रेरणा की। मैं अपने आचार्य का कोटि कोटि ऋणी हूं। संसार के सभी लोग भी उनके ऋणी हैं परन्तु अपनी अविद्या, अपने प्रयोजन की सिद्धि, हठ दुराग्रह आदि कारणों से उससे लाभ नहीं ले पा रहे हैं। संसार के प्रत्येक मनुष्य को महर्षि दयानन्द रचित साहित्य का अध्ययन कर, मतमतान्तरों अज्ञानी धर्मगुरूओं के चक्र में फंस कर, अपने जीवन को सफल करना चाहिये। ईश्वर सबको सदबुद्धि प्रदान करें। महर्षि दयानन्द को कोटिशः नमन।

मनमोहन कुमार आर्य

पताः 196 चुक्खूवाला-2

देहरादून-248001

फोनः09412985121

गूञ्जा संसार सारा, स्वामी तेरा जयकार – राजेन्द्र जिज्ञासु

गूञ्जा संसार सारा, स्वामी तेरा जयकार :- परोपकारी के मई पास के द्वितीय अङ्क में इस स्तभ में अमरीका से प्रकाशित बाइबल के नये संस्करण के कुछ अवतरण देकर महर्षि की विश्वव्यापी दिग्विजय की चर्चा की गई थी। कुछ लोग समाचार पत्रों में अपने प्रचार के लिए भ्रूण हत्या समेलन व पद्यात्रायें निकालते हैं। उनको सैद्धान्तिक दिग्विजय व वैचारिक क्रान्ति में कोई रूचि नहीं। आज उसी क्रम को आगे चलाते हैं। महर्षि ने अमैथुनी सृष्टि, आदि सृष्टि में अनेक युवा स्त्री पुरुषों की उत्पत्ति का जब सिद्धान्त संसार के सामने रखा तो ऋषि का उपहास उड़ाया गया। लोग आर्यों पर हँसते भी थे और इस नियम पर शास्त्रार्थ भी किया करते थे।

अभी कुछ सप्ताह पूर्व टी.वी. में एक मौलाना जी ने कहा था कि आदम हमारे पैगबर थे। आदम व हौआ माई से मानव जाति की उत्पत्ति हुई। अब पाठकों को यह ध्यान देना चाहिये कि अब तक बाइबल में यह पढ़ते आये थे, And God said, Let us make man in our own image.’’ अर्थात् परमात्मा ने कहा कि अपने सदृश मनुष्य को बनाते हैं। तब एक पुरुष (आदम) को बनाया गया। अब अमरीका से छपे बाइबल में हम पढ़ते हैं, “And god said, Let us make Human Beings in our likeness.’’ अर्थ अपने सदृश्य मनुष्यों का सृजन करते हैं। अब यहाँ अनेक स्त्री पुरुषों की उत्पत्ति की घोषणा हो रही है। फिर आगे अगली आयत में भी इस कथन को दोहराते हुए लिखा है,  ,  “ So God created human beings in his own image, in the image of god He created them.’’ यहाँ भी अनेक स्त्री पुरुषों को बनाने की पुष्टि की गई है। बाइबल में यह पाठ भेदवन्दनीय है। यह स्वागत योग्य है। आदि सृष्टि के ये मनुष्य भ्रमण करते थे। भाग दौड़ करते थे। फल अन्न सब वनस्पतियों का सेवन करते थे। ये सब कार्य शिशु नहीं जवान ही कर सकते हैं। नंगे-नंगे शिशुओं को लज्जा नहीं आती। लज्जा जवानों को आती है तब इन नंगे स्त्री पुरुषों ने वृक्षों की छाल से अपनी नग्नता को ढका।

आर्यों। पूरे विश्व में ऋषि की इस दिग्विजय का जोर शोर से प्रचार करो। पं. लेखराम, स्वामी दर्शनानन्द, पं. रामचन्द्र देहलवी के वंश के दिवंगत विद्वान् आज होते तो मैं एक-एक के चरण स्पर्श करके उन्हें बधाई देता। यह मूर्तिपूजक मण्डल, ऋषियों की विजय पताका फहराने वाले हमारे शास्त्रार्थ महारथियों की उपलधियाँ क्या जाने। यह स्वामी विवेकानन्द के अंग्रेजी भाषण का ही ढोल बजाना जानता है। सत्यार्थ प्रकाश हिन्दी में है । उसे यह क्या समझे?

पूना प्रवचन में स्वयं कथित अपना जीवन वृत्तान्त पन्द्रहवां व्याख्यान (4 अगस्त 1875)

हमसे बहुत से लोग पूछते हैं कि हम कैसे जानें कि आप ब्राह्मण हैं और कहते हैं कि आप अपने मित्रों तथा सम्बन्धियों की चिट्ठियाँ मगा दें या आपको जो पहचानता हो उसको बतलावें।

इसलिए मैं अपना कुछ वृत्तान्त कहता हूँ। दूसरे देशों की अपेक्षा गुजरात में कुछ मोह अधिक है, यदि मैं अपने पूर्व मित्रों तथा सम्बन्धियों को अपना पता दूं या पत्र—व्यवहार करूँ तो मेरे पीछे एक ऐसी व्याधि लग जावेगी, जिससे

कि मैं छूट चुका हूँ। इस भय से कि कहीं वह बला मेरे पीछे न लग जावे,पत्रादि मँगा देने की चेष्टा नहीं करता।

धारंगधरा नाम का एक राज्य गुजरात देश में है। इसकी सीमा पर एक मौरवी नगर है, वहाँ मेरा जन्म हुआ था। मैं औदीच्य ब्राह्मण हूँ । औदीच्य ब्राह्मण सामवेदी होते हैं, परन्तु मैंने बड़ी कठिनता से यजुर्वेद पढ़ा था। मेरे घर

में अच्छी जमींदारी है। इस समय मेरी अवस्था 50 वर्ष की होगी। आठवें वर्ष मेरे बाद एक बहन पैदा हुई थीं। मेरा एक चचेरा दादा था, वह मुझसे बहुत ही प्यार करता था। मेरे कुटुम्बियों के इस समय 15 घर होंगे। मुझको लड़कपन में ही रूद्राध्याय सिखलाकर शुक्ल यजुर्वेद का पढ़ाना आरम्भ कर दिया था।

मेरे पिता ने मुझको शिव की पूजा में लगा दिया। दशवें वर्ष से पार्थिव (मिट्टी के महादेव) की पूजा करने लग गया।

मुझे पिता ने शिवरात्रि का व्रत रखने को कहा था। परन्तु मैंने शिवरात्रि का व्रत न किया। तब शिवरात्रि की कथा मुझे सुनाई, वह कथा मेरे मन को बहुत मीठी लगी और मैंने उपवास रखने का पक्का निश्चय कर लिया। मेरी

माँ कहती थी कि उपवास मत कर, मैंने माता का कहना न मानकर उपवास किया। मेरे यहाँ नगर के बाहर एक बड़ा देवल है। वहाँ शिवरात्रि के दिन रात के समय बहुत लोग एकत्रित होते हैं और पूजा करते हैं । मेरे पिता, मैं और

बहुत मनुष्य इकट्ठे थे। पहिले पहर की पूजा कर ली, दूसरे पहर की पूजा भी हो गयी। अब बारह बज गये और धीरे—धीरे आलस्य के कारण लोग जहाँ के तहाँ झुकने लगे। मेरे पिता को भी निद्रा आ गई। इतने में पुजारी बाहर गया।

मैं इस भय से न सोया कि कहीं मेरा उपवास निष्फल न हो जाय। इतने में यह चमत्कार हुआ कि मन्दिर में बिल से चूहे बाहर निकले और महादेव की पिण्डी के चारों तरफ फिरने लगे। पिण्डी पर जो चावल चढ़ाये हुए थे, उन्हें ऊपर चढ़कर खाने भी लगे मैं जागता था, इसलिए यह सब कौतुक देख रहा था। इससे एक दिन पहले शिवरात्रि की कथा मैं सुन ही चुका था।

उसमें शिव के भयानक गणों, उसके पाशुपत अस्त्र, बैल की सवारी और उसके आश्चर्यमय सामर्थ्य के विषय में बहुत कुछ सुन चुका था। इसलिए चूहों के इस खेल को देखकर मेरी लड़कपन बुद्धि आश्चर्य में पड़ गई और मैंने सोचा कि

जो शिव अपने पाशुपत अस्त्र से बड़े —बड़े दैत्यों को मारता है, क्या वह ऐसे तुच्छ चूहों को भी अपने ऊपर से नहीं हटा सकता। इस प्रकार की बहुत—सी शंकायें मेरे मन में उठने लगीं।

मैंने पिताजी को जगाकर पूछा कि ये महादेव इस छोटे चूहे को नहीं हटा देते। पिताजी ने कहा कि तेरी बुद्धि बड़ी भ्रष्ट है, यह तो केवल देवता की मूर्त्ति है। तब मैंने निश्चय किया कि जब मैं इसी त्रिशूल धारी शिव को प्रत्यक्ष

देखूंगा, तब ही पूजा करूँगा, अन्यथा नहीं। ऐसा निश्चय करके मैं घर को गया, भूख लगी थी माता से खाने को माँगा। माता कहने लगी, ट्टमैं तुमसे पहले ही कहती थी कि तुझसे भूखा नहीं रहा जायेगा। तूने ही हट करके उपवास

किया।’’ माँ ने फिर मुझे खाना दिया और कहा कि दो दिन तो उनके अर्थात् पिताजी के पास मत जाना और न उनसे बोलना, नहीं तो मार खायेगा, खाना खाकर मैं सो गया। दूसरे दिन आठ बजे उठा, मैंने सारी कथा अपने चाचा से कह दी। मेरे चाचा ने बुद्धिमत्ता से मेरे पिता को समझा दिया कि इसको आगे विघा पढ़नी है, इसलिए व्रत उपवास आदि इससे कुछ न कराया करो।

इस समय मैं इनसे यजुर्वेद पढ़ता था और दूसरे एक पण्डित मुझे व्याकरण पढा़ते थे। सोलहवें या सत्रहवें वर्ष में यजुर्वेद समाप्त हुआ। इसके बाद मैं अपनी जमींदारी के गाँव में पढ़ने के लिए गया। वहाँ हमारे घर में एक दिन नाच होता था, उस समय मेरी छोटी बहन मरणासन्न थी। कण्ठ बन्द हो गया था। मैं वहाँ गया और उसके बिस्तरे के पास खड़ा हुआ। सबसे पहले मैंने मौत वहीं देखी। जब मेरी बहन मर गई , तो मुझे बड़ा भय हुआ। मेरे मन में यह विचार उत्पन्न हुआ कि सबको इसी प्रकार मरना है। सब लोग रोते थे, पर मेरी छाती भय से धड़क रही थी। इसलिय मेरी आँखों से एक आँसू भी नहीं गिरा। मेरी यह दशा देखकर पिता ने मुझको पाषाण हृदय कहा।

मेरी माता मुझे बहुत प्यार करती थी, किन्तु उसने भी ऐसा ही कहा। मुझे सोने के लिए कहते थे पर मुझे कभी अच्छी तरह नींद न आती थी, किन्तु मैं हर घड़ी चौंक— चौंक उठता था और मन में भांति— भांति के विचार उठते थे।

बहन के मरने के पश्चात् लोक रीति के अनुसार पाँच छः बार रोना होने पर भी जब मुझे रोना नहीं आया तो सब लोग मुझे धिक्कारने लगे। उन्नीसवें वर्ष में मुझसे अत्यन्त स्नेह रखने वाले मेरे चाचा को भी मृत्यु

ने आन दबाया। मरते समय उन्होंने मुझे पास बुलाया। लोग उनकी नाड़ी देखने लगे। मैं उनके पास बैठा था, मुझे देखकर उनके टप—टप आँसू गिरने लगे। मुझे भी उस समय बहुत रोना आया, मैंने रो—रो कर आँखें सुजा लीं। ऐसा रोना मुझे कभी नहीं आया। इस समय मुझे ऐसा मालूम होने लगा कि चाचा की तरह मैं भी मर जाऊँगा। ऐसा विश्वास हो जाने पर अपने मित्रों और पण्डितों से अमर होने का उपाय पूछने लगा। जब उन्होंने योगाभ्यास की ओर संकेत किया तो मेरे मन में यह सूझी कि घर छोड़कर चला जाऊँ । इस समय मेरी आयु 20 वर्ष की थी।

मेरी बढ़ी हुई उदासीनता देखकर पिता ने जमींदारी का काम करने को कहा, परन्तु मैंने न किया फिर पिता ने निश्चय किया कि मेरा विवाह कर दें ताकि मैं बिगड़ न जाऊँ। यह विचार घर में होने लगा, यह मालूम करके मैंने

दृढ़ निश्चय कर लिया कि विवाह कभी नहीं करूँगा। यह भेद मैंने एक मित्र से प्रकट किया तो उसने मना किया और विवाह करने के लिए जोर देने लगा। मेरा विचार घर छोड़कर चले जाने का था, पर किसी ने सलाह न दी। जो

कहते वे विवाह करने को ही कहते। एक महीने के भीतर विवाह करने की तैयारी हो गई। यह देखकर मैं एक दिन शौच के मिश (बहाने) से एक धोती साथ लेकर घर से निकल पड़ा और एक सिपाही द्वारा कहला भेजा कि एक

मित्र के घर गया हूँ। मैं एक पास के गाँव में गया। इधर घर में मेरी प्रतीक्षा दस बजे रात तक होती रही। इसी रात को चार घड़ी के तड़के मैं गाँव से निकलकर आगे चल दिया और अपने गाँव से दस कोस के अन्तर पर एक गाँव के हनुमान् के मन्दिर पर ठहरा। वहाँ से चलकर सायला योगी के पास गया, परन्तु वहाँ पर मुझे शान्ति नहीं मिली और लोगों से सुना कि लालाभक्त नामी एक योगी है। तब उनकी ओर चल पड़ा। मार्ग में एक वैरागी एक मूर्त्ति रखकर बैठा हुआ था। बात—चीत होने पर वह बोला कि अगुंली में सोने का छल्ला डालकर वैराग्य की सिद्धि कैसे होगी? मुझे इस प्रकार खिजाकर मेरे तीनों छल्ले मूर्त्ति के भेंट चढ़वा लिए। लालाभक्त के पास जाकर मैं योग—साधना करने लगा। रात को एक वृक्ष के ऊपर बैठ गया, तो वृक्ष के ऊपर घूघू बोलने लगा। उसकी आवाज सुनकर मुझे भूत का भय हुआ। मैं मठ के भीतर घुस गया। फिर वहाँ से अहमदाबाद के समीप कोट काँगड़ा नामी गाँव में आया,वहाँ बहुत से वैरागी रहते थे। एक कहीं की रानी वैरागी के फन्दे में आ गई थी। इस रानी ने मेरे साथ ठट्टा किया, परन्तु में जाल से छूट गया, इस स्थान पर मैं तीन महीने रहा था। यहाँ पर वैरागी मुझ पर हंसी उड़ाने लगे, इसलिए जो रेशमी किनारेदार धोती मैं पहनता था, वह मैंने फेंक दी। मेरे पास केवल 3 रुपये रह गये थे, इनसे सादी धोती खरीदकर पहन ली और तब से अपना ब्रह्मचारी नाम रख लिया।

उन्हीं दिनों मैंने सुना कि कार्तिक के महीने में सिद्धपुर के स्थान पर एक मेला होता है। यह सोचकर कि वहाँ शायद मुझे कोई योगी मिल जावे और अमर होने का मार्ग बता दे, मैंने सिद्धपुर को प्रस्थान किया। मार्ग में मुझे अपने

गाँव का आदमी मिला, उसने जाकर मेरे बाप को बतला दिया कि सिद्धपुर की ओर चला गया हूँ। मेरा पिता और घर के लोग बराबर मेरी खोज में ही थे। इस आदमी की जबानी सुनकर मेरे पिता चार सिपाहियों सहित सिद्धपुर को

आये। मैं एक मन्दिर में बैठा हुआ था। एकाएक मेरे पिता और चार सिपाहीमेरे सामने आकर खड़े हो गये। देखते ही मेरा कलेजा धड़कने लगा। इस भय से कि पिता मुझको मारेंगे, मैंने उठकर उनके पाँव पकड़ लिए। वे मुझ पर बहुत

ही क्रुद्ध हुए, मैंने उनसे कहा कि एक धूर्त बहकाकर मुझे यहाँ लाया हैं, मैं घर जाने को तैयार ही था कि आप आ गये। उन्होंने मेरा तूँबा तोड़ डाला और मेरी छाई फाड़ डाली और कुछ कपड़े मुझे दिए। मेरे पीछे दो सिपाही सदा

के लिए कर दिए। रात को जहाँ मैं सोता था एक सिपाही मेरे सिरहाने बैठा जागता रहता था। मैंने चाहा कि इस सिपाही को धोखा देकर निकल जाऊँ और इसलिए मैं यह जानने के लिए कि सिपाही रात को सोता है या नहीं, खुद भी जागता रहा। सिपाही को तो यह निश्चय हो जाये कि मैं सो रहा हूँ और इसलिए मैं नाक से खर्राटे भरने लगता था। इस प्रकार तीन रातें जागना पड़ा, चौथी रात सिपाही को नींद आ गई, तब एक लोटा हाथ में ले बाहर निकला।

यदि कोई देख पावे तो झट कह दूँगा कि शौच को जाता हूँ । वहाँ से निकलकर गाँव के बाहर एक बाग में चला गया। प्रातःकाल होते ही एक वृक्ष पर भूखा बैठा रहा। रात को जब अँधेरा हो गया, सात बजे नीचे उतरकर चल

दिया। अपने गाँव और घर के मनुष्यों से यह अन्तिम भेंट थी। इसके पश्चात् एक बार प्रयाग (इलाहाबाद) में मेरे गाँव के बहुत से लोग मुझको मिले, परन्तु मैंने उनको अपना पता नहीं दिया, तब से आज तक कोई नहीं मिला।

सिद्धपुर से बड़ोदे को आया, वहाँ से नर्मदा नदी के तट पर विचरने लगा इस समय नर्मदा के तट पर योगानन्द स्वामी रहते थे। यहाँ एक दक्षिणी ब्राह्मण कृष्ण शास्त्री भी रहते थे, इनके पास मैं कुछ—कुछ पढ़ता रहा।

तत्पश्चात् राजगुरु के पास वेदों को पढ़ा। 23 या 24 वर्ष की अवस्था में मुझे चाणूद कनाली में एक संन्यासी मिला। मुझे पढ़ने में बहुत ही अनुराग था और संन्यास आश्रम में पढ़ने का बहुत सुभीता होता है। इसलिए उसके उपदेश से

मैंने श्राद्ध आदि करके संन्यास ले लिया, तब से ही दयानन्द सरस्वती नाम धारण किया। मैंने दण्ड गुरु के पास धर दिया।

चाणूद में दो गोसाईं आये, जो राजयोग करते थे, मैं भी उनके साथ अहमदाबाद तक गया। वहाँ पर एक ब्रह्मचारी मिला। पर कुछ दिनों बाद मैंने  उसका साथ छोड़ दिया। वहाँ से मैं जाते—जाते हरिद्वार पहुँचा, वहांँ कुम्भ का

मेला था। वहाँ से हिमालय पहाड़ पर उस जगह पहुँचा जहाँं से अलकनन्दा नदी निकलती है। बर्फ बहुत पड़ी हुई थी और पानी भी बहुत ठण्डा था। वहाँ बर्फ लगने से पैर में कुछ तकलीफ हुई। हिमालय पर्वत पर पहँुंच कर यह विचार हुआ कि यहीं शरीर गला दूँ।

फिर मन में आया कि यथार्थ ज्ञान प्राप्त करने के बाद शरीर छोड़ना चाहिए। यह निश्चय करके मैं मथुरा में आया। वहाँ मुझे एक धर्मात्मा संन्यासी गुरु मिले। उनका नाम स्वामी विरजानन्द था, वे पहले अलवर में रहते थे। इस

समय उनकी अवस्था 81 वर्ष की हो चुकी थी। उन्हें अभी तक वेद—शास्त्र आदि आर्ष ग्रन्थों में बहुत रुचि थी। ये महात्मा दोनों आँखों से अँधे थे, और इनके पेट में शूल का रोग था। ये कौमुदी और शेखर आदि नवीन ग्रन्थों को

अच्छा नहीं समझते थे और भागवत आदि पुराणों का भी खण्डन करते थे। सब आर्ष ग्रन्थो के वे बड़े भक्त थे। उनसे भेंट होने पर उन्होंने कहा कि तीन वर्ष में व्याकरण आ जाता है। मैंने उनके पास पढ़ने का पक्का निश्चय कर लिया। मथुरा में एक भद्र पुरुष अमरलाल नामक थे, उन्होंने मेरे पढ़ने के समय में जो—जो उपकार मेरे साथ किए, मैं उनको भूल नहीं सकता। पुस्तकों और खाने—पीने का प्रबन्ध सब उन्होंने बड़ी उत्तमता से कर दिया। जिस दिन उन्हें कहीं बाहर जाना होता, तो वे पहिले मेरे लिए भोजन बनाकर और मुझे खिलाकर बाहर जाते थे। सौभाग्य से ये उदारचेता महाशय मुझे मिल गये थे।

विघा समाप्त होने पर मैं आगरे में दो वर्ष तक रहा, परन्तु पत्र व्यवहार के द्वारा या कभी—कभी स्वयं गुरुजी की सेवा में उपस्थित होकर अपने सन्देह निवृत्त कर लेता था। आगरे से मैं ग्वालियर को गया, वहाँ कुछ—कुछ वैष्णव मत का खण्डन आरम्भ किया, वहाँ से भी स्वामी जी को पत्रादि भेजा करता था। वहाँ माधवमत के एक आचार्य हनुमन्त नामी रहते थे। वे किरानी का स्वांग भर कर शास्त्रार्थ सुनने बैठा करते थे। एक—आध बार जब मेरे मुख से कोई अशुद्ध शब्द निकला, तो उन्होंने अशुद्धि पकड़ ली। मैंने कई बार उनसे पूछा कि आप कौन हैं, परन्तु उन्होंने यही उत्तर दिया कि मैं एक किरानी हूँ, सुनने—सुनाने से कुछ बोध प्राप्त हुआ है। एक दिन इस विषय में वार्त्तालाप हुआ कि वैष्णव लोग जो माथे पर खड़ी रेखा लगाते हैं, वह ठीक हैं या नहीं। मैंने कहा यदि खड़ी रेखा लगाने से स्वर्ग मिलता हो, तो सारा मुँह काला करने से स्वर्ग से भी कोई बड़ी पदवीं मिलती होगी। यह सुनकर उनको बड़ा क्रोध आया और वे उठ गये।

तब लोगों से पूछने पर मालूम हुआ कि यही उस मत के आचार्य हैं। ग्वालियर से मैं रियासत करौली को गया। वहाँ पर एक कबीर पन्थी मिला, उसने एक बार वीर के अर्थ कबीर किए थे और कहने लगा कि एक कबीर उपनिषद् भी है। वहाँ से फिर मैं जयपुर को गया, वहाँं हरिश्चन्द्र नामी एक बड़े विद्वान् पण्डित थे। वहाँ पहिले मैंने वैष्णव मत का खण्डन करके शैव मत स्थापित किया। जयपुर के महाराज सवाई रामसिंह भी शैवमत की दीक्षाले चुके थे। शैव मत के फैलने पर हजारों रूद्राक्ष की मालायें मैंने अपने हाथोंसे लोगों को पहनाईं। वहाँ शैवमत का इतना प्रचार हुआ कि हाथी घोड़ों के गलों में भी रूद्राक्ष की माला पहनाई गईं। जयपुर से मैं पुष्कर को गया, वहाँ से अजमेर आया। अजमेर पहुँचकर शैवमत का भी खण्डन करना आरम्भ किया। इसी बीच में जयपुर के महाराजा

लाटसाहब से मिलने के लिए आगरे जाने वाले थे। इस आशंका से कि कहीं वृन्दावन निवासी प्रसिद्ध रंगाचार्य से शास्त्रार्थ न हो जावे। राजा रामसिंह ने मुझे बुलाया और मैं भी जयपुर पहुँच गया, परन्तु वहाँ मालूम होने पर कि मैंने शैवमत का खण्डन आरम्भ कर दिया है राजा साहब अप्रसन्न हुए । इसलिए मैं भी जयपुर छोड़कर मथुरा में स्वामी जी के पास गया और शंका— समाधान किया। वहाँ से मैं फिर हरिद्वार को गया। वहाँ अपने मठ पर पाखण्ड मर्दन लिखकर झण्डा खड़ा किया। वहाँ वाद—विवाद बहुत सा हुआ फिर मेरे मन में यह विचार उत्पन्न हुआ कि सारे जगत् से विरूद्ध होकर भी गृहस्थों से बढ़कर पुस्तक आदि का जंजाल रखना ठीक नहीं है। इसलिए मैंने सब कुछ

छोड़कर केवल एक कौपीन (लंगोट) लगा लिया और मौन धारण किया। इस समय जो शरीर में राख लगाना शुरू किया था, वह गत वर्ष बम्बई में आकर छोड़ा। वहाँ तक लगाता रहा था। जब से रेल में बैठना पड़ा, तब से कपडे

पहनने लगा। जो मैंने मौन धारण किया था, वह बहुत दिन सध न सका, क्यों कि बहुत से लोग मुझें पहचानते थे । एक दिन मेरी कुटी के द्वार पर एक मनुष्य यह कहने लगा ट्टनिगमकल्पतरोर्गलितं फलम्’’ अर्थात् भागवत से बढ़कर और कुछ नहीं है, वेद भी भागवत से नीचे हैं।’’

तब मुझसे यह सहन न हो सका, तब मौन व्रत को छोड़कर मैंने भागवतका खण्डन प्रारम्भ किया। फिर यह सोचा कि ईश्वर की कृपा से जो कुछ थोड़ा बहुत ज्ञान अपने को हुआ है, वह सब लोगों पर प्रकट करना चाहिए। इस विचार को मन में रखकर मैं फरूखाबाद को गया, वहाँ से रामगढ़ को गया। रामगढ़ में शास्त्रार्थ शुरू किया। वहाँ पर जब दो चार पण्डित बोलते थे, तब मैं कोलाहल शब्द कहा करता था, इसलिए आज तक वहाँ के लोग मुझको

कोलाहल स्वामी कहा करते हैं। वहाँ पर चक्रांकितों के चेले दस आदमी मुझे मारने को आये थे, बड़ी कठिनता से उनसे बचा। वहाँ से फरूखाबाद होकर कानपुर आया कानपुर से प्रयाग गया। प्रयाग में भी मारने वाले आये थे। पर

एक माधवप्रसाद नामी धर्मात्मा पुरुष था, उसकी सहायता से बचा। यह गृहस्थ माधव प्रसाद ईसाई मत ग्रहण करने को तैयार था, उसने इन सब पण्डितों को नोटिश दे रखा था, कि यदि आप अपने आर्य धर्म में तीन महीने के भीतर

मेरा विश्वास न करा देंगे, तो मैं ईसाई धर्म को स्वीकार कर लूँगा मेरे आर्य धर्म पर निश्चय दिला देने से वह ईसाई नहीं हुआ। प्रयाग से मैं रामनगर को गया। वहाँ के राजा की इच्छानुसार काशी के पण्डितों से शास्त्रार्थ हुआ। इस

शास्त्रार्थ में यह विषय प्रविष्ट था कि वेदों में मूर्ति पूजा है या नहीं। मैंने यह सिद्ध करके दिखा दिया कि प्रतिमा शब्द तो वेदों में मिलता है परन्तु उसके अर्थ तौल नाप आदि के हैं। वह शास्त्रार्थ अलग छपकर प्रकाशित हुआ है,

जिसको सज्जन पुरुष अवलोकन करेंगे।

इतिहास शब्द से ब्राह्मण ग्रन्थ ही समझने चाहिए इस पर भी शास्त्रार्थ हुआ था। गत वर्ष के भाद्रपद मास में मैं काशी में था। आज तक चार बार काशी में जा चुका हूँ। जब—जब काशी में जाता हूँ तब—तब विज्ञापन देता हूँ कि यदि किसी को वेद में मूर्ति पूजा का प्रमाण मिला हो तो मेरे पास लेकर आवें परन्तु अब तक कोई भी प्रमाण नहीं निकाल सका।

इस प्रकार उत्तरीय भारत के समस्त प्रान्तों में मैंने भ्रमण किया है। दो वर्ष हुए कि कलकत्ता, लखनऊ, इलाहाबाद, कानपुर, जयपुर आदि नगरों में मैंने बहुत से लोगों को धर्मोपदेश दिया है। काशी फरूखाबाद आदि नगरों में चार पाठशालाएँ आर्ष— विघा पढ़ाने के लिए स्थापित की हैं। उनमें अध्यापकों की उच्छृंखलता से जैसा लाभ पहुँचना चाहिए था नहीं पहुँचा। गत वर्ष मुम्बई आया, यहाँ मैंने गुसांई महाराज के चरित्रों की बहुत कुछ छानबीन की। बम्बई में आर्य समाज स्थापित हो गया। बम्बई,अहमदाबाद, राजकोट आदि प्रान्तों में कुछ दिन धर्मोपदेश किया, अब तुम्हारे इस नगर में दो महीनों से आया हुआ हूँ।

यह मेरा पिछला इतिहास है, आर्य धर्म की उन्नति के लिए मुझ जैसे बहुत से उपदेशक आपके देश में होने चाहिए। ऐसा काम अकेला आदमी भली प्रकार नहीं कर सकता, फिर भी यह दृढ़ निश्चय कर लिया है कि अपनी बुद्धि  और शक्ति के अनुसार जो कुछ दीक्षा ली है उसे चलाऊँगा। अब अन्त में ईश्वर से प्रार्थना करता हूँ कि सर्वत्र आर्य समाज कायम होकर मूर्त्ति पूजादि दुराचार दूर हो जावें, वेद शास्त्रों का सच्चा अर्थ सबको समझ में आवे और उन्हीं के अनुसार लोगों का आचरण हो कर देश की उन्नति हो जावे। पूरी आशा है कि आप सज्जनों की सहायता से मेरी यह इच्छा पूर्ण होगी।

ओं शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः

 

The Autobiography of Swami Dayanand Saraswati

It was in a Brahmin family of the Oudichya caste in a town belonging to the Raja of Morwee,in the province of kathiawar,that in the year of Samvat,1881,(1924 A. D.) I,now known as Dayanand Saraswati,was born.If I have from the first refrained from giving the names of my father and of the town in which my family resides, it is because I have been prevented from doing so by my duty. Had any of my relatives heard again of me, they would have sought me out. And then, once more fau to face with them, it would have become incumbent upon me to follow them home. I would have to touch money serve them, and attend to their winhea . And thus the holy work of the Reform, to which I have wedded my whole life, would have irretrievably suffered through my forced withdrawal from it.

 

Education

 

I was hardly five years of age when I began to study the Devanagari characters, and my parents and all the elders commenced training me in the ways and practices of my caste and family; making me learn by rote the long series of religious hymns, mantras, stanzas and commentaries. I was eight when I was invested with the sared Brahminical cord (triple thread ) , and taught gayatri sandhya with its practices, as abo Yajur Veda Sanhita preceded by the study of the Rudradhyaya. As my family belonged to the Shiva sect, their greatest aim was to get me initiated into its religious my steries; and thus I was early taught to worship the uncouth piece of clay representing Shivs’s emblem,known as the Parthiwa Lingam.But as there is a good deal of fasting and various hardships connected with this worship, and on the other hand I had the habit of taking early meals, my mother, fearing for my health opposed my daily practicing of it. My father sternly insisted upon its necessity, and this question finally became a source

of everlasting quarrels between them. Meanwhile I studied the Sanskrit grammar, learned the Vedas by heart and accompanied my father to the shrines, temples, and places of Shiva worship. His conversation ran invariably upon one topic; the highest devotion and reverence must be paid to Shiva, his worship being the most divine of all religions .I went on thus till I had reached my fourteenth year, when having learned by heart the whole of the Yajur Veda Sanhita, parts of other Vedas, of the Shabda

Rupavali and the grammar,my studies were completed.

 

Vigil

 

As my father’s was a banking house and he held moreover the office-hereditary

in my family -of a Jamadar, we were far from being poor, and things, so far, had gone very pleasantly. Wherever there was a Shiva puran to be read and explained, there my father was sure to take me along with him; and finally, unmindful of my mother’s remonstrance’s ,he imperatively demanded that I should begin practicing Parthiwa Puja. When the great day of gloom and fasting-called  Shivaratree-had arrived, this day following on the 13th of Vadi of Magh. My father regardless of the protest that my

strength might fail, commanded me to fast, adding that I had to be initiated on that night, into the sacred legend, and participate in that night’s long vigil in the temple of Shiva. Accordingly, I followed him along with other young men, who accompanied their parents. This vigil is divided into four parts, called prahars, consisting of three hours each. Having completed my task, namely, having set up for the first two prahars till the hour of midnight, I remarked that the Pujaris, or temple disservants and some of the

lay devotees, after having left the inner temple, had fallen asleep outside. Having been taught for years that by sleeping on that particular night, the worshipper lost all the good effect of his devotion, I tried to  refrain from drowsiness by bathing my eyes now and then with cold water. But my father was less fortunate. Unable to resist fatigue, he was the first to fall asleep, leaving me to watch alone. Reflections on Idolatry Thoughts upon thoughts crowded upon me, and one question arose after the other in my disturbed mind. Is it possible,-I asked myself- that this semblance of man, the idol of a personal God that I see bestriding his bull before me, and who, according to all religious accounts, walks about, eats, sleep s and drinks; who can hold a trident in this hands, beat upon his dumroo(drum); and pronounce curses upon men,-is it possible that he can be the Mahadeva, the great Deity, the same that is invoked as the Lord of Kailash, the Supreme Being and the Divine hero of all the stories we read of him in his Purans (Scriptures)? Unable to resist such thoughts any longer, I awoke my father, abruptly asking him to enlighten me to tell me whether this hideous emblem of Shiva in the temple was identical with the Mahadeva(GreatGod) of the scriptures, or something else.”Why do you ask it?” said my father. “Because, I answered, “I feel it impossible to reconcile the idea of an Omnipotent, living God, with this idol, which allows the mice to run over its body, and thus suffers its image tobe polluted without the slightest protest.” Then my father tried to explain to me that this stone representation of the Mahadeva of Kailash, having been consecrated by the holy Brahmins , became, in consequence, the God himself, and is worshipped as such; adding that as Shiva cannot be perceived personalty in this KaliYug the age of mental darkness, – we hence have the idol in which the Mahadeva of Kailash is worshipped by his votaries ;this kind of worship is pleasing to the great Deity as much as if , instead of the emblem , he were there himself . But the explanation fell short of satisfying me . I could not , young as I was, help suspecting misinterpretation and sophistry in all this . Feeling fain with hunger and fatigue , I begged to be allowed to go home . My father consented to it , and sent me away with a

sepoy , only reiterating once more his command that I should not eat . But when, once at home , I had, told my mother of my hunger , she fed me with sweetmeats , and I fell into a profound sleep. In the morning , decision my father returned and learned that I had broken my fast , he felt very angry . the tried to impress me with the enormity of my sin; but do what he could , I could not bring myself to believe that idol and Mahadeva were one and the same God , and therefore , could not comprehend why I should be made to fast for and worship the former. I had, however, to conceal my lack of faith, and bring forward as an excuse for abstaining from regular worship my ordinary study which really left me little or rather no time for anything else. In this I was strongly supported by my mother, and even by my uncle, who pleaded my cause so well that my father had to yield at last and allow me to devote my whole attention to my studies. In consequence of this, I extended them to “Nighantu”, “Nirukta ” “Purvamimansa”” , and other shastras

, as well as to “karmakand” or the ritual

 

 

Renunciation .

 

There were besides myself in the family two younger sisters and two brother, the youngest of whom was born when I was already sixteen . On one memorable night , as we were attending a nauteh festival at the house of a friend , a servant was dispatched after us from home , with the terrible news that my sister , a girl of fourteen , had been just taken ill with a mortal disease . Notwithstanding every medical assistance, my poor siter expired within four ghatikas after we had returned . It was my first bereavement, and the shock my heart received was great . while friend and relatives were sobbing and lamenting around me , I stood like one petrified , and plunged in a profound reverie . It resulted in a series of long and sad meditions upon the instability of human life . ‘Not ‘one of the beings that ever lived in this world could escape the cold

hand of death -I thought : I , too , may be snatched away at any time and die . whither , then shall I turn for an expedient to alleviate this human misery ,connected with our death bed ; where shall I find the assurance of , and means of attaining muktee , the final bliss ? It was there and then , that I came to the determination that I must find it , cost whatever it may , and thus save myself from the untold miseries of the dying moment of an unbeliever . The ultimate result of such meditations was to make me violently break and for our with the mummeries of external mortification and penances and the more to appreciate the inward efforts of the soul. But I kept my determination secret, and allowed no one to fathom my innermost thoughts. I was just eighteen then. Soon after, an uncle a very learned man and full of divine qualities,-one who had shown for  the greatest tenderness, and whose favourite I had been from my birth, expired also; his death leaving me in a state of utter dejection. and with a still profounder conviction settled in my mind that three was nothing worth living for or caring for in a worldly life.

 

Obstacles

Although I had never allowed my parents to perceive what was the real state of my mind, yet I had been imprudent enough to confess to friends how repulsive seemed to me even the idea of a married life. This was reported to my parents, and they immediately determined that I should be betrothed at once and the marriage

solemnity performed as soon as I should be twenty.

Having discover their intention, I did my utmost to thwart their plans. I caused my friends to intercede on my behalf, and they pleaded my cause so earnestly wilk my father that he promised to postpone my betrothal till the end of that year. I then began entreating him to send me to Benares, where I might complete my knowledge of Sanskrit grammar, and study astronomy and physics, until I had attained a full proficiency in these difficult sciences. But this time it was my mother who violently opposed my wishes. She declared that I should not go to Benares, as whatever I might feel inclined to study, could be learned at home as well as abroad ; that I knew enough as it was, and had to be married anyhow before the coming year; as young people through an excess of learning were apt to become too liberal and free sometimes in their ideas. I had no better success in that matter with my father. I for on the contrary no sooner had reiterated the favor begged of him, and asked that

 

 

my betrothal should be postponed until I had returned from Benares a scholar, proficient in arts and sciences, that my mother declared that in such a case she would not consent even to wait till the end of the year, but would see that my marriage was celebrated immediately. Perceiving, at last, that my persistence only made things worse, I desisted, and declared my self satisfied with being allowed to pursue my studies at home, provided I was allowed to go to an old friend, a learned pandit, who resided about six miles from our town in a village belonging to our jamadaree.Thither then, with my parent’s sanction, I proceeded, and placing myself under his tuition, continued for some time quietly with my study. But while there, I was again forced into a confession of the insurmountable aversion I had for marriage. This went home again. I was summoned back at once, and found upon returning that everything had been prepared for my marriage ceremony. I had entered upon my twenty-first year, and

so had no more excuses to offer. I now fully realized that I would neither lae allowed to pursue my studies any longer nor would my parents ever make themselves consenting parties to my celibacy. It was when driven to the last extremity that I resolved to place an eternal barrier between myself and marriage.

 

Flight

 

On an evening of the year samvant 1903, without letting any one this time into my confidence, I secretly left my home, as I hoped for ever. passing the first night in the vicinity of a village about eight miles from my home, I arose three hours before dawn, and before night had again set in. I had walked over thirty miles, carefully avoiding the public thoroughfare, villages, and localities, in which I might have been recognized. These precautions proved useful to me, as on the tired day after i had absconded, I learned from a government officer that a large party of men, including many horsemen were diligently roving about in search of a young man from the town of-who had fled from his home. I hastened further on to meet with other adventures. A party of begging Brahmins had kindly relieved me of all the money I had with me, and made me part even with my gold and silver ornaments, rings, bracelets, and other jewels, on  the plea that the more I gave away in charities, the more my self-denial would benefit me in the after-life. Thus, having parted with all I had, I hastend on to the place of residence of a learned scholar, a man named LaLa Bhagat, of whom I had much heard on my way from wandering sanyasis and Bairagees (religious mendicants). He lived in the town of Sayals, where I met with a Brahmachari who advised me to join at once their holy order, which I did. Joining the holy Order After initiating me into his order and conferring upon me the name of shuddha chaitanya, he made me exchange my clothes for the dress worn by them-areddish-yellow garment. From thence and in this new attire, I proceeded to the small principality of Kouthakangda situated near Ahmedabad, where , to my misfortune, I met with a bairagi a resident of a village in the vicinity of my native

town, and who was well acquainted with my family. His astonishment was as great as my perplexity. Having naturally enquired how I came to be there, and in such an attire, and learned of my desire to travel and see the world, he ridiculed my dress and blamed me for leaving my home for such an object. In my embarrassments he succeeded in getting himself informed of my future intentions.

I told him of my desire to join in the Mella of kartik, which was to be held that year at Siddhpore, and that I was on my way to it. Having parted with him, i proceeded immediately to that place, and took my abode in the temple of Mahadeva at Neelkantha, where dandi Swami and other Brahmacharis, already resided. For a time, i enjoyed their society unmolested visiting a number of learned scholars and professors of divinity who had come to the mella, and associating with a number of holy men.

 

Severance of Family Tie

 

Meanwhile the Bairagi whom I had met at Kouthakangda, had proved treacherous. He had despatched a letter to my family, informing them of my intentions and pointing to my whereabouts. In consequence of this, my father had come down to Siddhpore with his Sepoys, traced me step by step in the mella, learning something of me wherever I had sat among the learned pandits, and finally, one fine morning appeared suddenly before me. His wrath was terrible to behold. He reproached me violently, accusing me of bringing an eternal disgrace upon his family. No sooner had I met his glance, though knowing well that there would be no use in trying to resist him, I suddenly made up my mind how to act. Falling at his feet with joined hands, I entreated him in supplicating

tones to appease his anger. J had left the home through bad advice, I said; I felt miserable, and was just on the point of returning home, when he had prividentially

arrived; and now was willing to follow him home again. Notwith standing such humility, in a fit of rage he tore my yellow robe into shred, snatched at my tumba, and, wresting it violently from my hand, flung it far away; pouring upon my head at the same time a volley of bitter reproaches and going so far as to call me a matricide. Regardless of my promises to follow him, he gave me in the charge of his Sepoys, commanding them to watch me night and day, and never leave me out of their sight, for a moment.

 

Conversion to Vedant

 

But my determination was as firm as his own. I was bent on my purpose and closely watched for my opportunity of escaping. I found it on the same night. It was three in the morning ,and the sepoy, whose turn it was to watch me, believing me asleep fell asleep in his turn, All was still; and so softly rising and taking along with me a tumba full of water, I crept out and must have run over a mile before my absence was noticed. On my way, it espied a large tree, whose branches were overhanging the roof of a pagoda; on it I eagerly climbed, and, hiding myself among its thick foliage upon the dome, awaited what fate had in store me. About 4in the morning, I heard and saw through the apertures of the down, the sepoys enquiring after me. and making a diligent search for me inside as well as outside the temple. I held my breath and remained motionless, until

finally believing they were on the wrong track, my pursuers reluctantly retired. Fearing a new encounter, I remained concealed on the dome the whole day, and it was not till darkness, had again set in that, alighting, I fled in an opposite direction. More than ever I avoided the public thoroughfares, asking my way of people as rarely as I courel, unit had again reached Ahmedabad, whence I at once proceeded to Baroda. There I settled for some time; and at chetan Math (temple) I held several discoureses with Brahmanand and a number of Bramanand charis and Sanyasis upon the Vedant philosophy. It was Brahmchris and other holy men who established to my entire satisfaction that Brahm, the Deity, was no other than my own Self-my Ego, I am Brahm, a portion of Brahm ; Jiv (Soul) and Brahm, the deity being one and the same. Formerly, while studying Vedanta, I had come to this opinion to a certain extent, but now the

Important problem was solved and I gained the certainty that I was Brahm. Study of Vedant At baorda learning from a benares woman that a meeting of the most learned

scholars was to be held at a certain locality, I repaired thither at once; visiting a personage known as Satchidanand Paramhansa, with whom I was permitted to

discuss upon various scientific and metaphysical subjects. From him I learned

also, that there were a number of great Sanyasis and brahamacharis who resided

at chanoda kanyali. In consequence of this, I repaired to that place of sanctity on the Banks of the Nerbuddah, and there at last met for the first time with real Dikshits, or initiated Yogis, and such Sanyasis as Chidashrama and several other brahmacharis. After some discussion, I was place under the tuition of one Parmanand, and for several months ,studied “Vedantsar,” “Arya Harimihir Totak” Vedant paribhasa,” and other philosophical treatises. During this time, as a Brahmchari I had to prepare my own which proved a great impediment to my studies. To get rid of it, I therefore concluded to enter if possible into the 4th Order of the Sanyasis. Fearing, more over, to be known

under my own name, on account of my family’s pride and well aware that once

received in this order I was safe, I begged of a Dekkani pandit a, friend of mine, to intercede on my behalf with a Deiksheet-the most learned among them, that i might be initiated into that order at once. He refused, however, point blank to initiate me, urging my extreme youth. But I did not despair. Several months later, two holy men, a Swami and a Brahmachari, came from the Dekan, and took up their abode in a solitary, ruined building in the midst of a jungle, near Chanoda and about two miles distant from us. profoundly versed in the Vedant philosophy, my friend the Dekkaniy pandit, went to visit them, taking me along with him. A metaphysical discussion following brought them to

recognize in each other Diksheet of a vast learning. They informed us that they

had arrived from “Shringeri Math,” the principal convent of Shankaracharya, in  the south, and were on their way to Dwarka. To one of them Parnanand Saraswati, I got my Dekkani friend to recommend me particularly, and state, at the same of time. the object I was so desirous to attain and my difficulties. He told him  that I was a young  Brahmachari, who was very desirous to pursue his study in  metaphysics unimpeded; that I was quit free from any vice or bad habits for which fact he vouchsafed; and that, therefore, he believed me worthy of being accepted in this highest probation ary degree and initiated me into the 4th order of the Sanyasis; adding that thus I might be materially helped to free myself from all worldly obligations, and proceed untrammeled in the course of my metaphysical studies. But this Swami also declined at first. I was too young, he said. Besides, he was himself a Maharashtra, and so he advised me to appeal to a Gujrati Swami. It was only when fervently urged on by my friend, who reminded him that dekkani sanyasis can initiate even gowdas, and that there could extst no such objection in my case as I had been already accepted, and was one of the five Dravids that he consented. And on the third day following he consecrated me into the order, delivering unto me a Dand and naming me Dayanand Saraswati. By the order of my initiater and my proper desire. I had to lay aside the emblematical bamboo- the Dand, renouncing it for a while as the ceremonial performances connected with it, would only interfere with unimpeded progress of my studies.

 

TRAVELS Pursuit of Yoga

After the ceremony of initiation was over they left us, and proceeded to Dwarka, For some time I lived at Chanoda Kanyali as a simple Sanyasi. But upon hearing that at Vyasashram there lived a Swami. whom they called Yoganand, a man thoroughly versed in Yoga, to him I addressed myself as an humble student, and began learning from him the theory as well as some of the practical modes of the science of Yoga (or Yoga Vidya ) When my preliminary tuition was completed, I proceeded to Chhinour, as on the outskirts of this town lived Krishna Shastree, under whose guidance I perfected myself in the Sanskrit grammar. and returned to Chanoda where I remained for some time longer.

Meeting there to Yogis-Jwalanand Pooree and Shivanand giree. I practiced Yoga with them also, and we all three held together many a dissertation upon the exalted science of Yoga; until finally, by their advice, a month after their departure, I went to meet them in the temple of Doodheshwar, near Ahmedabad at which place they had promised to me the final secret and modes of attaining Yoga Vidya. They kept their promise, and it is to them that I am indebted for the acquirement of the practical portion of that great science. Still later, it was divulged to me that there were many far higher and more learned Yogis than those I had hitherto met yet not the highest still – who resided on the peaks of the mountain of Aboo, in Rajputana. Thither then I travelled again, to visit such noted places of sanctity as the Alvada Bhawance and cthers; encountering, at last, those whom I so eagerly sought for, on the Peak of Bhawance Giree. And learning from them various other systems and modes of Yoga.It was in the year of Samvant 1911,that I first joined in the Kumbh Mella at Hardwar, where so

many sages and divine philosophers meet, often unperceived, together. So long as the Mella congregation of pilgrims lasted. I kept practicing that science in the solitude of the jungle of Chandee; and after the pilgrims had separated, I transferred myself to Rishikesh, where sometime in the company of good and pure Yogis and Sanyasis, oftener alone, I continued in the study and practice of yago visit to tehri After Passing a certain time in solitude, on the Rishikesh, a Brahmachari and two mountain ascetics joined me, and weall three went to Tehri. The place was full of ascetics and Raj(Royal)Pandits-so called on account of their great learning.One of them invited me to come and have dinner with him at his house. At the apointed hour he sent a man to conduct me safely to his place, and both the brahmachari and myself followed the messenger. But what was our dismay upon entering the house , to first see a brahmin

preparing and cutting meat, and then , proceeding further into the interior apartments

, to find a large company of pandits seated with a pyramid of flesh, rump-steaks, and dressed-up heads of animals before them! the master of the house cordially invited me in; but, with a few brief words-begging them to proceed with their good work and not to disturb themselves on my account, I left the house and returned to my own quarters . A few minutes later the beef eating pandit was at my side praying me to return , and trying to excuse himself by saying that it was on my account that the sumptuous viands had been prepared! I then firmly declared to him that it was all useless. They were carnivorous, fIesh-eating men. and myself a strict vegetarian, who felt sickened

at the very sight of meat. If he would insist upon providing me with food. He might do so by sending me a few provisions of grain and vegetables which my Brahmachari would prepare for me. This he promised to do, and then very much confused retired.

 

WamMarg or Indian Bacchanalianism

Staying at Tehri for some time, I inquired of the same Pandit about some books and learned treatises I wanted to get for my instruction; what books and manuscripts could be procured at the place. And where. He mentioned some works on Sanskrit grammar, classics, lexicography’s, books on astrology and the Tantras -or ritualistic. Finding that the latter were the only ones unknown to me. I asked him to procure the same for me. There upon the learned man brought to me several works upon this subject. But no sooner had I opened them an my eye fell upon such an amount of incredible obscenities

mistranslations, misinterpretations of text, and absurdity, that I felt Perfectly horrified. In this Ritual ,I found that incest was permitted with mothers, daughters, and sisters (of the shomerker’s cast); as well as among the pariash of the outcastes-and worship was performed in nude state. Spirituous liquors, fish and all kinds of animal food, and Moodra (exhibition of indecent images)were allowed, from brahmin down to Mang, and it was explicitly stated that all those five things of which the name cooences with the nasalm as for instance, Madya(in- toxic ting liquor) Meen (fish) Mands (flesh) Moodra, and Maithoon (coition) were so many means for reaching muktee (Salvation)

. By actually reading the whole contents of the Tantras I fully assured myself of the craft and viciousness of the authors of this disgusting literature which is regarded as Religious I left the place and wentto Shreenagar. Visit to Religious Places Taking up my quarters at a temple on Kedar Ghat, I used these Tantras as weapons against the local pandits, whenever there was an opportunity for discussion. While there, I became acquainted with a Sadhoo, named Ganga Giri, who by day never left his mountain where he resided in a jungle. Our acquaintance resulted in friendship as I soon learned how entirely worthy he was of respect. While together, we discussed Yoga and other sacred subjects, and through close questioning and answering became fully and mutsually satisfied that we were fit for each other. So attractive was his society for me, that  I stayed over two months with him, It was only at the expiration of this time, and when autumn was setting in that I, with my companions, the Brahmaphari and the two ascetics, left. Kedar Ghat for other Places. We visited Rudra Prayag and other cities, until we reached the shrine of Agasta Munee. Further to the north, there is a mountain peak known as the Shivapoorce (town of shiva) where I spent the four months of the cold season; when finally parting from the Brahmachari and the two ascetics, I proceeded back to Kedar, this time alone and unimpeded in my intentions, and reached Gupta kashee.

 

Search of Yogis (Clairvoyants)

I stayed but a few days there, and went thence to the Triyugee Narayan shrine, visiting on my way Gowree Koond tank and the cave of Bheemgoopha. Returning in a few days to Kedar, my favorite place of residnce, I there finally rested a number of ascetic Bramin worshippers -called pandas, and the devotees of the Temple of Kedar of the Jangam sect, -keeping me company until my previous companions, the Bramhchari with his two ascetics returned. I closely watched their ceremonies and doings and observed all that was going on with a determined object of learning all that was to be known about these sects. But once that my object was fulfilled, I felt a strong desire to visit the surrounding

mountains, with their eternal ice and glaciers, in quest of those true ascetics I had heard of, but as yet had never met them. I was determined, come what might, to ascertain whether some of them did or did not live there as rumored. But the tremendous difficulties of this mountainous journey and the excessive cold forced me, unhappily to first make inquires among the hill tribes and learn what they knew of such men. Everywhere I encountered either a profound ignorance upon the subject or a ridiculous superstition. Having wandered in vain for about twenty days ,disheartened I set raced my steps as tonally as before, my companions who had at first accompanied me, halving left me two days after we had started through dread of the great cold. I then ascended the Tunganath Peak. There, I found a temple full of idols and officiating priests, and

hastened to descend the peak the same day. before me were two paths, one leading west and the other south-west. I chose at random that which led towards the jungle, and ascended it. Soon after the path led me into a dense jungle with rugged rocks and dried-up waterless brooks. The path stopped abruptly there. Seeing myself thus arrested, I had to make my choice to either climb up still higher or descend. reflecting what a height there was to the summit, the tremendous difficulties of climbing that rough and steep hill, and that the height would come before I could ascend it , I concluded that to reach the summit that night was an impossibility. with much difficulty , however , catching at the grass and the bushes, I succeeded in attaining the higher bank of the

nala (the dry brook), and standing on a rock, surveyed the environs I saw nothing but tormented hillocks, highland, and a dense pathless jungle covering the whole where, no man could pass, Meanwhile the sun was rapidly descending towards the horizon. Darkness would soon set in and then without water or any means for Kindling a fire, what would be my position in the dreary solitude of that jungle.

Temptation of Priest craft

By dint of tremendous exertions though, and after an acute suffering from thorns, which tore my clothes to shreds, wounded my whole body, and lamed my feet I managed to Eros the jungle, and at last reached the foot of the hill and found myself on the highway. All was darkness around and over me, and I had to pick my way at random trying only to keep to the road. Finally I reached a cluster of huts, and learning from the people that that road led to Okhee Math, I directed my steps towards that place and passed the night there. In the morning feeling sufficiently rested and refreshed I returned to the Gupta Kashee whence I started the next day on my northward journey. But that journey attracted me , and soon again I repaired to Okhee math, under the pretext of examining that hermitage and over serving the way of living of its inmates .

There I had time to examine at leisure the doings of that famous and rich monastery , so full of pious pretence and a show of asceticism , The high priest (or chief Hermit ), called Mahant , tried hard to induce me to remain and live there with him becoming his disciple . He even held before me the prospect , which he thought quite dazzling , of inheriting some day his lacs of rupees , his splendor and power , and finally succeeding him in his Mahantship or supreme rank . I frankly answered him that had I ever craved any such riches  or glory , I would not have secretly left the house of my father , which was not less sumptuous or attractive than his monastery with all is riches . The object , which induced me to do away with all these worldly blessings , I added , “I find you neither strive for , nor possess the knowledge of . “He then enquired what

was that object for which I so strived . “that object , ” I answered , “is the secret knowledge , the vidya , or trlle erudition of a genuine yogi the mooktee , which is reached only by the purity of one’s soul , and certain attainments unattainable without it ; in the meanwhile , the performance of all the duties of man towards his fellow – men , and the elevation of humanity thereby . ” The Mahant remarked that it was very good , and asked me to remain with him for some time at least ; But I kept silent and returned no reply ; I had not yet found what I sought for . Rising on the following morning very early , I left this rich dwelling and went to Joshee math . there , in the company of Dakshnee or Maharashtra Shastrees and Sannyasis , the true ascetics of the 4th order ,

I rested for a while. Yogis at Joshi Math (Convent) At Joshee Math I met many Yogis and learned ascetic and, in a series of discussions, learnt more about Yoga-Vidya and parting with them went to Badrinarayan. The learned Rawaljee was at that time the chief priest of that temple; and I lived with him a few days, We held discussions upon the Vedas, and the “Darshanas,” Having enquired from him whether he knew of some

genuine Yogi in the neighborhood, I learnt, to my great regret, that there were none there at the time, but that he had heard that they were in the habit of visiting his temple at times. Then I resolved to make a thorough search for them throughout the country and especially in the hills, Further search of clairvoyoyants one morning at day break, I set on my journey; when, following along the foot of the mountains, i at last reached the banks of the Alaknanda river. I had no desire of crossing it, as I saw on its opposite bank the large village called “Mana.” Keeping, therefore, still to the foot of the hills, I directed my steps toward the jungle following the river course the hills and the road it self were thickly covered with snow and, with the greatest difficulty, I succeeded in reaching that spot where the Alaknanda is said to take its rise. But once there, finding myself surrounded by lofty hills on all sides, and being a stranger in the country, my progress, from that moment was greatly retarded. Very soon, the road ceased abruptly and I found no vestige of even a path. I was thus at a loss what to do next, but i determined finally to cross the river and enquire for my way. I was poorly and thinly clad, and the cold was intense and soon became into unbearable. Feeling hungry and thirsty, I tried to deceive my hunger by swallowing a piece of ice, but found no relief. I then began to ford the river. in some places it was very deep, in others shallow- not deeper than a cubit-but from eight to ten cubits wide. the river-bed was covered with small and fragmentary

bits of ice which wounded and cut my naked feet to bleed. very luckily the cold had quite benumbed them, and even large bleeding cracks left me insensible for a while, slipping on the ice more than once, I lost my footing and came nearly falling down and thus freezing to death on the spot .For should I have found myself prostrated on the ice , I realized that, benumbed as I was all over, I would find it very difficult to rise again. However, with great exertion, and after a terrible struggle, I managed to get safe enough on the other bank. Once there more dead than alive. I hastened to denude the whole upper part of my body; and, with all I had of clothes on me, to wrap my feet up to the knees and then exhausted, famished, unable to move. I stood waiting for help, and

knowing not whence it would come. At last, throwing a last look around me. I espied two hillmen, who came up and having greeted me with their “kashisamba” invited me to follow them to their home, where I would find food . Learning my trouble, they , moreover , promised to guide me to “sadpat” a very sacred place; but I refused their offers, for I could not walk, Not with standing their pressing invitation I remained firm and would not “take courage” ” and follow them as they wanted me; but, after telling them that I would rather die , refused even to listen to them. The idea had struck me that I had better return and prosecute my studies. The two men then left me and soon disappeared among the hills. Having rested, I proceeded on my way back. Stopping

for a few minutes at basudhara, a sacred bathing place, and passing by the neighborhood of managram, I reached badrinarayan at 8,o’ clock that evening.

Upon seeing me, the Rawaljee and his companions were much astonished and

enquired where I had been ever since the early morning . I then sincerely related

to them all that had happened to me. That night , after having restored my strength with a little food, I went to bed, but getting up early on the following morn, I took leave of the Rawaljee and set out on my journey back to Rampur. That evening. I reached the home of a hermit a great ascetic, and passed the night at his place. that man had the  reputation of one of the greatest sages living, and I had a long conversation with him upon religious subjects. More fortified than ever in my determination, I left him next morning, and after crossing hills, forests and having descended the chilkia ghattee, I arrived at last at rampur where I took up my quarters at the house of the celebrated ramgiri, so famous for the holiness and purity of his life. I found him a man of extraordinary habits. though. He never slept, but used to pass whole nights in holding conversations- very loud sometimes apparently with himself. Often, we heard loud

scream, then weeping, though there was no one in his room with him. Extremely surprised, I questioned his disciples and pupils and learnt from them that such was his habit, though no one could tell me what it meant. Seeking an interview with him, I learnt some time after, what it really was; and thus I was enable to get convinced that it was not true Yoga he practiced, but that he was only partially versed in it. it was not what I sought for.

Books on yoga and science

Leaving him I went to kasipur, and thence to Drona sagar, where I passed the whole winter. Thence again to Sambal through moradabad, when ,after crossing gurh mukteshwar I found myself again on the banks of the ganges. Besides other religions works. I had with me the “Shiva Sanhita” “Hat- pradipika” , “yoga-bij” and “Gherand sanhita”, which I used to study during my travels. some of these , books treated on the nari chalan and nari chakaras, (nervous system) giving very exhaustive descriptions of the same, which I could never grasp, and which finally made me doubt as to the correctness of these works. I had been for some time trying to remove my doubts, but had found as yet no opportunity. One day I chanced to meet a corpse floating down the river.

There was the opportunity and it remained with me to satisfy myself as to the correctness of the statements contained in the books about anatomy and man’s inner organs. Ridding myself of the books which I laid nearby and taking off my clothes, I resolutely entered the river and soon brought the dead body out and laid it on the shore. I then proceeded to cut it open with a large knife in the best manner I could. I took out and examined the kamal (the heart) and cutting it from the navel to the ribs, and a portion of the head and neck, I carefully examined and compared them with the descriptions in the books.

Finding they did not tally at all. I tore the books to pieces and threw them into the river after the corpse. from that time gradually I came to the conclusion that with the exception of the Vedas, upanishadas, patanjaly and sankhya, all other works upon science and Yoga were false. Having lingered for some time on the banks of the Ganga, I arrived next at Furrukhabad; when having passed sreenjeeram I was just interning Cawnpur by the road east of the canton went, the samvat year of 1912 (1855 A.C.) was completed.

 

Practice of Yoga

 

During the following five months, I visited many a place between Cawnpur and allahabad . In the beginning of Bhadrapad, I arrived at Mirzapur where I stopped for a month or so near the shine of Vindiachal Asooljee; and arriving at Benares in the early part of ashwin, I took my quarters in the cave ( At the confluence of the Buruna and the Ganges ) which then belonged to Bhumanand saraswati. There, I met with Kakaram, Rajaram and other Shastrees, But stopped there only twelve days and renewed my travels after what I sought for . It was at the shine of Durga-koho in chandalgarh, where I passed ten days. I left off eating rice altogether. And living but on milk I gave myself up entirely to the study of Yoga which I practiced night and day .

Frauds of Idolatry

Unfortunately, I got this time into the habit of using bhang, a strong narcotic leaf, and at times felt quite intoxicated with its effect. Once after leaving the temple, I come to a small village near Chandalgarh where by chance I met an attendant of mine of former days. On the other side of the village, and at some distance from it stood a shivalaya (A temple of shiva ) whither I proceeded to pass the night under its walks . While there under the influence of bhang. I fell fast a sleep and dreamed that night a strange dream. I thought I saw Mahadeo and his wife parvati. they where conversing together and I placing my clothes and books on its back, I sat and meditated; when suddenly happing to throw a look inside the stasue which was empty, I saw a man concealed inside . I extended my hand towards him, and must have terrified him, as jumping out of his hiding place, he took to his heels in the direction of the villege . then I crept into the statue in my turn and slept there for the rest of the night. In the morning and old womasn come and worshipped the Bull-god with myself inside . Iater on , she returned with offerings of “Gur” (molasses) and a pot of “Dahi” (curd milk ) which, making puja to me (whom she evidently mistook for the god himself ) she offered and desired me to

accept and eat. I did not disabuse her, but, being hungry . Ate it all . the curd being very sour proved a good antidote for the bhang and dispelled the sings of intoxication, which relieved me very much .

 

Forests of Nerbuddah

After this adventure, I continued my journey towards the hills and that place where the Nebuddah takes its rise. I never once asked my way, but went on travelling southward. Soon I found myself in a desolate spot covered thickly with jungles, with isolated huts appearing now and then among the bushes at irregular distances. At one of such places I drank a little milk and proceeded onward. But about half a mile farther, I came to a dead stop. The road had abruptly disappeared and there remained but the choice of narrow paths leading I knew not, where. I soon entered a dreary jungle of wild plum tree and very thick and huge grass with on signs of any path in it when suddenly I was faced

by a huge black bear. the beast growled ferociously, and rising on its hind legs, opened wide its mouth to devour me. I stood motionless for some time and then slowly raised my thin cane over him, and the bear ran away terrified. so loud was its roaring that the villagers whom I had just left, hearing it, ran to my assistance and soon appeared armed with large sticks and followed by their dogs. they tried hard to persuade me to return with them. If I proceeded any further, they said, I would have to encounter the greatest perils in the jungles which in those hills were the habitat of beats, buffaloes, elephants, tigers and other ferocious beasts. I asked them not to feel anxious for my safety, for I

was protected, I was anxious to see the sources of the Nerbuddah and would not change my mind for fear of any peril. Then seeing that their warnings were useless, they left me after having made me accept a stick- I immediately threw away.

Forest Life

On that day I travelled without stopping until it grew quite dusk. For many hours I had not perceived the slightest trace of human habitation around me. No village in the far off, not even a solitary hut, or a human being. But what my eyes met the most was a number of trees, twisted and broken, which had been uprooted by the wild elephants, and, felled by them to the ground further on I found myself in a dense and impenetrable jungle of plum trees and other prickly shrubs whence, at first I saw no means of  extricating myself. However, partly crawling on the belly, partly creeping on my knees, I conquered this new obstacle and after paying a heavy tribute with pieces of my clothes and even my own skin, bleeding and exhausted I got out of it. It had grown quite dark by

that time. but even this-if it impeded, did not arrest my progress onward, and I still proceeded. Until I found myself entirely hemmed in by lofty rocks and hills thickly grown over with a dense vegetation but with evident signs of being inhabited. Soon I perceived a few huts, surrounded by heaps of cowdung, a flock of goats grazing on the banks of a small stream of clear water and a few welcome lights glimmering between the crevices of the walls. Resolving to pass the night there, and go no further till the next morning, I took shelter at the foot of a large tree which overshadowed one of the huts. Having washed my bleeding feet my face and hands-in the stream, I had barely sat to tell my

prayers, when I was suddenly disturbed in my meditations by the loud sound of a tom-tom Shortly after, I saw a procession of men, woman and children, followed by their cows and goats emerging from the huts and preparing for a night religious festival. upon perceiving a stranger , they all gathering around me, and an old man came enquiring from whence I had appeared. I told them I had come from benares , and was on my pilgrimage to the Nerbudda sources,after which answer they all left me to my prayers and went further on . But in about half hour , came one of their headmen accompanied by two Hillman and sat by my side, He came as a delegate to invite me to their huts . but, as before, I refused the offer (for they were idolaters) He then ordered a large fire to be lit near me and appointed two men to watch over my safety the whole night.

Learning that I used milk for all food, the kind headmen asked for my “kamandalu” (a bowl) and brought it back to me full of milk, of which I drank a little that night. He then retired, leaving me under the protection of my two guards That night I soundly slept until dawn, when rising and having completed my devotions, I prepared myself for further events.” ( Here the auto biography ends. -T)

DAYANANDA AND ARYA SAMAJ – Romain Rolland

Indian religious thought raised a purely Indian Samaj against Keshab’s Brahmo Samaj and against all attempts at Westernization, even during his life-time, and at its head was a personality of the highest order, Dayananda Saraswati (1824-1883).

This man with the nature of a lion is one of those, whom Europe is too apt to forget when she

Judges India, but whom she will probably be forced to remember to her cost; for he was that rare combination, a thinker of action with a genius for leadership.

While all the religious leaders of whom we have already spoken and shall speak in the future were and are from Bengal. Dayananda came from quite a different land, the one which half a century later gave birth to Gandhi—the north-west coast of the Arabian Sea. He was born in Gujarat at Tankara (Morvi) in the State of Kathiawar of a rich family belonging to the highest grade of Brahamins no less versed in Vedic learning than in mundane affairs both political and commercial. His father took part in the government of the little native state. He was rigidly orthodox according to the letter of the law with a stern domineering character, and this last to his

sorrow he passed on to his son.

As a child Dayananda was, therefore, brought up under the strictest Brahmin rule, and at the age

of eight was invested with the Secred Thread and all the severe moral obligations entailed by this privilege rigorously enforced by his family.’ It seemed as if he was to become pillar of orthodoxy in his turn, but instead he became the Samson, who pulled down the pillars of the temple; a  striking example among a hundred others of the vanity of human effort, when it imagines that it is possible by a superimposed education to fashion the mind of the rising generation and so dispose of the future. The most certain result is revolt.

That of Dayananda is worth recording. When he was fourteen his father took him to the temple to celebrate the great festival of Shiva. He had to pass the night a strict fast in pious vigil and prayer. The rest of the faithful went to sleep. The young boy alone resisted its spell. Suddenly he saw a mouse nibbling the offerings to the God and running over Shiva’s body. It was enough. There is no doubt about moral revolt in the heart of a child. In a second his faith in

the idol was shattered for the rest of his life. He left the temple, went home alone through the night, and thenceforward refused to participate in the religious rites.

It marked the beginning of a terrible struggle between father and son. Both were of an unbending

and autocratic will, which barred the door to any mutual concession. At nineteen Dayananda ran

away from home to escape a forced marriage. He was caught and imprisoned. He fled again, this time for ever (1845). He never saw his father again. For fifteen years this son of a rich Brahmin,

despoiled of everything and subsisting on alms, wandered as a sadhu clad in the saffron robe along roads of India. Dayananda went in search of learned men, ascetics, studying here philosophy, there the Vedas, learning the theory and practice of the Yoga.

He visited almost all the holy places of India and took part in religious debates. He suffered, he braved fatigue, insult and danger. However, Dayananda remained far from the human masses through which he passed for the simple reason that he spoke nothing but Sanskrit throughout this period.

Dayananda did not see, did not wish to see, anything round him but superstition and ignorance, spiritual laxity, degrading prejudices and the millions of idols he abominated. At length about 1860 he found at Mathura an old Guru even more implacable than himself in this condemnation of all weakness and his hatred for superstition, a Sanyasi blind from infancy and from the age of eleven quite alone in the world, learned man, a terrible man Swami Virijananda Sarasvati. Dayananda put himself under his ‘discipline” which in its old literal seventeenth century sense scarred his flesh as well as his spirit.

Dayananda served this untamable and indomitable man for two and a half years as his pupil. It is,

therefore, mere justice to remember that his subsequent course of action was simply the fulfillment of the will of the stern blind man, whose surname he adopted, casting his own to oblivion. When they separated Virjananda extracted from him the promise that he would consecrate his life to the annihilation of the heresies that had crept into the Puranic faith, to reestablish the ancient religious methods of the age before Budha, and to disseminate the truth.

Dayananda immediately began to preach in Northern India, but unlike the benign men of God

who open all heaven before the eyes of their hearers, he was a hero of the Iliad or of the Gita with the athletic strength of Hercules,’ who thundered against all forms of thought other than his own, the only true one. He was so successful that in five years Northern India was completely changed. During these five years his life was attempted four or five times—sometimes by poison.

Once a fanatic threw a cobra at his face in the name of Shiva, but he caught it and crushed it. It

was impossible to get the better of him; for he possessed an unrivalled knowledge of Sanskrit and the Vedas, while the burning vehemence of his words brought his adversaries to naught. They likened him to a flood. Never since Sankara had such a prophet of Vedism appeared. The orthodox Brahmins, completely overwhelmed, appealed from him to Benares their Rome. Dayananda went there fearlessly, and undertook in November, 1869, a Homeric contest before millions of assailants, all eager to bring him to his knees, he argued for hours

together alone against three hundred pandits—the whole front line and the reserve of Hindu

orthodoxy) He proved that the Vedanta as practiced was diametrically opposed to the primitive Vedas.

He claimed that he was going back to the true word. They had not the patience to hear him out. He was hooted down and excommunicated. A void was created round him, but the echo of such combat in the style of the Mahabharata spread throughout the country, so that his name became famous over the whole of India. At Calcutta where he stayed from December

15, 1872 to April 15, 1873, Ramakrishna met him.

He was also cordially received by the Brahmo Samaj. Keshab and his people voluntarily shut their eyes to the differences existing between them; they saw in him a rough ally in their crusade against orthodox prejudices and the millions of Gods. But Dayananda was not a man to come to an understanding with religious philosophers imbued with Western ideas. His national Indian theism, its steel faith forged from the pure metal of the Vedas alone, had nothing in common with theirs, tinged as it was with modern doubt, which denied the infallibility of the Vedas and the doctrine of transmigration.’ He broke with them the richer for the encounter,2 for he owed them3 the very simple suggestion, whose practical value had not struck him before, that his propaganda would be of  little effect unless it was delivered in the language of the people. He went to Bombay, where shortly afterwards his sect, following the example of the Brahmo Samaj but with a better genius of organization proceeded to take root in the social life of India. On April 7, 1875 he founded at Bombay his first Arya Samaj, or Association of the Aryans of India, the pure Indians, the descendants of the old conquering-race of the Indus and the Ganges,

(These italic words express that the author is influenced by the speculated historical elements

which were imposed upon our history by foreigners.

Swamiji did not really take this view of Arya in any of his writings—Editor) and it was exactly in those districts that it took root most strongly. From 1877, the year when its principles were definitely laid down at Lahore, to 1883, Dayananda spread a close network over Northern India. Rajputana, Gujrat, the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, and above all in the Punjab which remained his chosen land, practically the whole of India was affected. The only province where his influence failed to make itself felt was Madras. (He could not have the time and chance to preach his gospel in Madras—Editor) He felt, struck down in his prime, by an assassin. The concubine of a Maharajah, whom the stern prophet had denounced, poisoned him. He

died at Ajmer on October 30, 1883. But his work pursed its uninterrupted and triumphant course, from 40,000 in 1891 the number of its members rose to 1,01,000 in 1901, to 2,40,000 in 1911 and to 4,58,000 in 1921.1 Some of the most important Hindu personalities, politicians and Maharajahs belonged to it. Its spontaneous and impassioned success in contrast to the slight reverberations of Keshab’s Brahmo Samaj shows the degree to which Dayananda’s stern

teachings corresponded to the thought of his country and to the first stirrings of Indian nationalism, to which he contributed.

It may perhaps be useful to remind Europe of the reasons at the bottom of his national awakening, now in full flood. Westernization was going too far, and was not always revealed by its best side. Intellectually it had become rather frivolous attitude of mind, which did  away with the need for independence of thought, and transplanted young intelligences from their proper environments teaching them to despise the genius of their race. The instinct for self-preservation

revolted. Dayananda’s generation had watched, as he had done. Not without anxiety, suffering and irritation, the gradual infiltration into the veins of India of superficial European rationalism on the one hand, whose ironic arrogance understood nothing of the depths of the Indian spirit, and on the other hand, of a Christianity, which when it entered family life fulfilled only too well Christ’s prophecy he had come to bring division between father and son.

The enthusiastic reception accorded to the thunderous champion of the Vedas, a Vedist

belonging to a great race and penetrated with the sacred writings of ancient India and with her heroic spirit, is then easily explained. He alone hurled the defiance of India against her invaders.

 

Dayananda declared war on Christianity and his heavy massive sword cleft it as under with scant reference to the scope of exactitude of his blows. Nevertheless as Glasenapp rightly remarks,

they are of paramount interest for European Christianity of which ought to know what is the image of itself as presented by its Asiatic adversaries.

Dayananda had no greater regard for the Qoran and the Puranas, trampled underfoot the

body of Brahmin orthodoxy. He had no pity for any of his fellow countrymen, past or present, who had contributed in any way the thousands-year decadence of India, at one time the mistress of the world.’ He was a ruthless critic of all who, according to him, had falsified or profaned the true Vedic  religion.’ He was a Luther fighting against his own misled and misguided Church of Rome,’ and his first care was to throw open the wells of the holy books,

so that for the first time his people could come to them and drink for themselves. He translated and wrote commentaries on the Vedas in the vernacular— Its was in truth an epoch-making date for India when a Brahmin not only acknowledged that all human beings have the right to know the Vedas, whose study had been previously

prohibited by orthodox Brahmins, but insisted that their study and propaganda was the duty of every Arya

It is true that his translation was an interpretation, and that there is much to criticize with

regard to accuracy’ as well as with regard to the rigidity of the dogmas and principles he drew from the text, the absolute infallibility claimed for the one book, which according to him had emanated direct from the “Prehuman” or Superhuman Divinity, his denials from which there was no appeal, his implacable condemnations, his theism of action, his credo of battle,’ and finally his national God. But in default of outpourings of the heart and the calm sun of the spirit, bathing the nations of men and their Gods in its effulgence Dayananda transfused into the languid body of India his own formidable energy, his certainty, his lion’s blood.

His words rang with heroic power. He reminded the secular passivity of a people, too prone to bow to  fate, that the soul is free and that action is the generator of destiny. He set the example of a complete clearance of all the encumbering growth of privilege and prejudice by a series of hatchet blows. If _ his metaphysics were dry and obscure  his theology was narrow and in my opinion retrograde_,_ (The underlined only expresses the want of opportunity  and inability in contacting and penetrating the mystery of Dayananda’s Theology—Editor) his social activities and practices were of intrepid boldness, with regard to questions of fact he went further than the Ramakrishna Mission ventures to-day.

His creation, the Arya Samaj, postulates in principle equal justice for all men and all nations,

together with equality of the sexes. It repudiates a hereditary caste system, and only recognizes professions or guilds, suitable to the complementary aptitudes of men in society; religion was to have no part in these divisions but only the service of the state, which assesses the tasks to be performed. The state alone, if it considers it for the good of the

community, can raise or degrade a man from one caste to another by way of reward or punishment, Dayananda wished every man to have the opportunity to acquire as much knowledge as would enable him to raise himself in the social scale as high as he was able. Above all he would not tolerate the abominable injustice of the existence of the untouchables, and nobody has been a more ardent champion of their outraged rights. They were admitted to the Arya Samaj on the basis of equality; for the Aryas are not a caste. The Aryas are all men of superior principles; and the ‘Dasyus’ are they who lead a life of wickedness and sin.

Dayananda was no less generous and no less bold in his crusade to improve the condition of

women a deplorable one in India. He revolted against the abuses from which they suffered recalling that in the heroic age they occupied in the home and in society a position at least equal to men. They ought to have equal education according to him, and supreme control in marriage,’ for men and women, and though he regarded marriage as  indissoluble, he admitted the remarriage of widows and went so far as to envisage a temporary union for women as well as men for the purpose of having children, if none had resulted from marriage.

Lastly the Arya Samaj, whose eighth principle was ” to diffuse knowledge and dissipate ignorance” had played a great part in the education of India— especially in the Punjab and the United Province and it has founded a host of schools for girls and boys. Their laborious hives are grouped round two model establishments,’ The Dayanand Anglo—Vedic College of Lahore and the Gurukula of Kangri, national bulwarks of Hindu education, which seek

to resuscitate the energies of the race and to use at the same time the intellectual and technical conquests of the West. To these let us add philanthropic activities such as orphanages, workshops for boys and girls, homes for widows, and great works of social service at the

time of public calamities, famine etc.

I have said enough about this Sanyasi with the soul of a leader, to show how great an uplifted of

the peoples he was in fact the most vigorous force of the immediate and present action in India at the moment of the rebirth and reawakening of the national consciousness. His Arya Samaj whether he wished it or not prepared the way in 1905 for the revolt of Bengal. He was one of the most ardent prophets of reconstruction and of national organization. I feel that it was he who kept the vigil; his purpose in life was action and its object his nation. For a people lacking the vision of wider horizon, the accomplishment of the action and the creation of nation might perhaps be enough. But not for India— before her will still lie the universe.

Vedas For Beginners : IS GOD IS THERE OR NOT?

K; Sister! You have been telling me to pray daily. I am asking you to whom we should pray? And where is that God?

 

V: God is everywhere. There is no place which is free from God.

 

K: You have told the wonderful. If god were to be everywhere then where are other things? All space  are occupied by God and if there is no place free from God then there is no place for other things. Were the other things  remaining  without a space ?

 

V: It is not that way sister! When it is said that there is no place free from God, it means that God is everywhere. This is my opinion and that is how it is told in a common language. God being there  is not dependent on space. It is the   physical  elements that occupy the space.

Earth, water, air, fire and their atoms, are those things that occupy space. But God pervades them all. Hence it is said that God is everywhere.

 

K: O.K. If God were to everywhere  why He is not seen? When  not seen, where is the proof of  his presence?

 

V: Are there are no objects present which are not seen? There are so many things in the world which are not seen. cold, hot,  happiness, sorrow, time, direction, hunger, thirst, itching, pain, etc are there which are not seen. There may be many reasons for a thing not to be seen.  Like far off places say, like  Europe, America etc, many things are not seen. Are we able to see the kite or a bird flying at  a far off distance? Because of closeness of proximity also, eye is not able to see a thing. There are hundred of subtle things like atoms. Some like  bacteria or virus could be seen only thru microscope. Water being covered with  algae is not seen because of algae  and like wise there are so many unseen because separated by cover.  Because of dirt, a mirror is not seen and because of presence of a wall the man sitting across the wall is also not seen. Milk and water are both liquids and because of this water in milk is not seen. If there were to be trouble in the eye many things are not seen. A man affected with jaundice cannot see white objects. Hence it is not correct to say that  things are not present  just  because they are un seen.

 

K:  For me, I don’t believe in anything without seeing.

 

V: This shows your obduracy. I have already said that there are many things which are not seen and yet   we have to believe them.  Good! Now,  are you listening to  what I am telling?

 

K: Yes listening.

 

V: By which?

 

K: By ears of course

 

V: Are you sure that what I am telling?

 

K: Yes. Why not?

 

V:Are you seeing my words thru your eyes? Okay. Look here, I am having a flower in my hands. Which is that flower?

 

K: It is Rose.

 

V: Does  the flower has a fragrance  or not?

 

K: Yes. It has a fragrance.

 

V: How did you come to  know about  this?

 

K:  Through my nose.

 

V:  Tell me one thing. Did sugar was there in the milk that  you drank overnight?

 

K:  Yes. It was there.

 

V:  How did you come to know about  it?

 

K: Thru My tongue.

 

V:  Now I point out, that the sound was perceived thru ears,  fragrance thru nose, and sugar thru tongue. Why this way? Why not did eyes perceive sound,  ears the fragrance and nose the sugar?  Even though the smell and fragrance was present why not the same was seen by eyes?

 

K;  The senses perceive its subjects only and grasp knowledge. God is not perceivable by any sense organs. How could we believe that He  is present at all?

 

V: God is not seen and therefore he is not present  was your initial argument. Now you have turned over.  You have agreed that there could be things not seen. It is separate  issue that the knowledge of such unseen things  could be had by  other sense  organs. Now, you are asking how the presence of   God could be accepted when he is not perceivable by any sense organ. If you believe that God could not  exist as He is not understood by senses, then how you understand these senses? If you believe that sense organs are understood by sense  organs only then it constitutes what is known as Atmashrya Dosha. This is because thru what is seen is not seen by itself. When their subjects are different by themselves how sense organs could understand the  sense  organs? The subject matter of eye is sight; ears sound;  nose smell; tongue taste; skin touch. Nose cannot understand the eyes nor the  tongue can understand the ears.

 

 

 

K:  How it cannot be  understood? When I hold mirror before me,  the eyes, ears, nose , tongue etc are forthcoming. The eyes are more forthcoming about knowledge of other organs.

 

V:  Sister! This is your wrong understanding. What you see from your eyes is only a form or sight not the subjects. Will you see the subjects of other sense organs in the mirror? The eyeballs can see places of  sense organs which have a form. The strength of these senses are present in that places.  Can eyes disclose  the entire knowledge about other sense organs? Eyes cannot see by itself. You are of the opinion that  eyes are seen in a mirror. Now, I put a question. Tell me  what is in my hand?

 

K:  Mirror.

 

V:  How did you see that there is a mirror in my hand?

 

K; Thru eyes of course.

 

V: When you said  that you saw mirror thru eyes , it means before seeing a mirror eyes  had a knowledge. In other words it means to say that without eyes mirror would not have seen. Now tell me, whether thru  eyes mirror is understood or vice versa?  If eyes are understood thru mirror, even when eyes are dried up, the mirror should have caused  the knowledge of the dried up eyes. When eyes are dried up , let alone causing the knowledge of eyes, mirror  cannot cause the knowledge of itself. If you think deeply, even eyes see the others with the help of other aids and not independently. It is however  true that sight cannot be seen without eyes  but the knowledge of  sight  cannot be made  by eyes themselves.

 

K; What other  aids are required for eyes? Eyes sees the Forms independently. The subject matter of eyes are sight. How do you say that eyes don’t see independently?

 

V: Yes.  Now I am seeing all objects. But  if there  is a thick darkness surrounding can I see things?

 

K:  No, It cannot be seen.

 

V: Hence it is clear that eyes are not just enough to see. It requires light. If there were to be no light  eyes are helpless. And even if both light and eyes were to remain present  and the object is not stationary then also we cannot see. If you place the book too close to your eyes you cannot read. Similarly also we cannot read letters in a book held at a distance. Therefore to read letters  book is to be held at a definite distance and place. Further, even the object at a place and light were to be there and  if eyes were removed from the mind, in that event also we cannot see. There are many occasions where mind is involved in some work, the objects are not seen by the eyes even though they  may pass thru our front. In such circumstances, if you were to ask a person whether he observed certain things he would say “ no, I did not watch”. Now you would have understood what are the aids that are required to see a particular object.

 

K:  What do you mean by all this?

 

V: Have you not understood as yet?  If you cannot perceive God thru sense organs, you cannot understand sense organs thru sense organs. But even then we have to accept the sense organs. Then why doubt about  the  acceptance of existence of God.

 

K: How we can understand the senses?

 

V: Sense organs are understood by the Soul thru experience. When he perceives sound, smell, Form,etc he understands  “ That there are aids within me and I am getting the benefit thru them”

 

K: And how we could understand the God?

 

V: God could be understood by experience.

 

K: How the experience is got?

 

V: God is felt thru Soul.

 

K: When  this feeling is felt?

 

V: When mind is got rid of three faults.

 

K: What are these faults?

 

V:  Mala,  Vikshepa, and Avarana

 

K: What are its characteristics?

 

V: The thinking of doing bad to others and  the effects of  Sins fallen on Soul [sanskars] is called Mala.  Constantly thinking over  the worldly objects[materialism] and lack of firmness in mind is referred to as Vikshepa. The impact formed on mind about the pride of temporary worldly things is referred to as Avarana.

 

K: How can we overcome the above three faults?

 

V:  There are three ways thru which we can overcome these three hurdles.

 

K: What are they?

 

V: Knowledge, [Jnana]  Action[Karma] and Communion [ Upaasana]

 

K: What you mean by Knowledge, Action and worship?

 

V:  Understanding the matter as it is,  i.e. to treat inert matter  as inert[Jada] Conscious entities [ Chetan] as Conscious[Chetan] and transitory things  as transitory  things marks the  Knowledge.  To work for the welfare of  Soul, Body and  Society and to try for the acquisition of ennobling things  is referred to as Action. To approach  a material  and  overcoming his shortcomings based on the strength of that  material   is referred to as Communion.  Consider for a while, that  a person is down with cold. If he approaches water for the removal of cold it betrays  his ignorance, not knowledge. If he is aware of fire and  tries to obtain fire thru Action and approaches fire for the removal of cold then  only he gets rid of cold. From Knowledge, the Mala is overcome, from Action, Vikshepa, is got rid of and finally thru Communion  the effect of Avarana is kept away. Then only God is felt.

 

K: Make this point more clear. How the faults of Mala, Vikshepa, and Avarana are removed respectively by Knowledge, Action, andCommunion respectively?

 

V: With the help of  Knowledge, it should be understood that all worldly things, all living beings are not permanent. For this reason, not entertaining the  feeling of  snatching away  the rights of others is a step in the direction of removal of evil  of Mala. By  thinking that worldly things are the end all and be all  and appropriating them with that spirit  would cause infirmity of mind  or Vikshepa. It is true that materials in the world are means to an end. But they are not end by themselves nor they could be life ideals. According to this principle, the action of man should be dispassionate, like a lotus in a water pond. This is type of  Karma which drives away Vikshepa. Looking upon the God gifted things as something his own is the thing that makes a deep imprint on the mind of man and this prompts him to treat money, women, land as his own which   causes self-pride and this cast spell over his  mind. Further with the strength of these material possessions  he starts tormenting  the others. He thinks there are no superior to him. But instead, when  he does Action with full Knowledge then he withdraws all forces inside  and with concentration thinks that “ God is with me and I am with God” in his heart  then he gets away from the evil ofAvarana. Hence by constant efforts and resorting to Knowledge, Action and Communion he is able to drive away the three evils Mala, Vikshepa and Avarana. Then only he can the feel the presence of God.

 

K; Sister, you are very clever and good at logic. Now tell me why God is necessary to this world at all?

 

V: Why God is  necessary to the world? Very good question. If God were not to be there then how is the world is created?. Who can create Sun, Moon, mountains, rivers, Air, water, ether, stars, forests, Trees, fruits, Milk, honey animals, birds, water creatures, snakes, etc. Who else can create these things and species?

 

K: Why God is necessary for the creation of these things? They are self-formed and has been there always.

 

V: If  things in the world could form themselves without the help of creator, then food should  have there without a cook, pot without a potter, ornaments without a goldsmith, sweet without sweet maker, dress without a tailor etc.  Secondly any thing in the world does not remain permanently. Every thing in the world has a origin, growth, decay, and ultimately destruction. All big to very big things have been created and gets destroyed in the end..

 

K:  I don’t see that God creates things. It does not appear as such. All things are formed by themselves and this order is there from time immemorial. Earth, water, Air, Fire, and their atoms are in existence in the world. These elements keep on joining  themselves in the creation of new and newer things and getting destroyed separately. Where is the work of God involved  here?

 

V:  Your opinion does not stand  to facts. The Earth and the other elements  and their atoms are inert matters. They don’t join themselves without joining them and do not disintegrate without getting disintegrated. Joining and Unjoining  are mutually hostile qualities. These qualities do not stay together. There may any number of qualities in a matter but not mutually  hostile qualities. If the nature of a thing  is to associate they keep on associating. and on the other hand disintegrating is their quality they keep on disintegrating. They do not join with mutually hostile qualities. If you were to say that joining and disintegrating  are the nature of a matter,  those qualities which are  predominant will have a say over the other. For ex, if joining is the  predominant quality, it never allows the world to disintegrate. If disintegrating is the nature of a matter and remains predominant it never allows the world  to stay together. If both qualities are held to be  equal then no object can be formed in the world. But we are seeing where an object is formed, remains for a while and gets destroyed. You may imagine any number of qualities in physical matters, but without God, Creation, sustenance, and dissolution is not possible in the matter called Prakrithi. There is difference in Conscious[ Chetan] and Non-Conscious[ Jada}forces. The Non-Conscious cannot do anything on their own. It keeps working with the help of Conscious forces only. The Conscious being  is capable of doing, not doing or undoing anything. This is the natural qualities of  Conscious beings.

 

K: The person who creates a thing in the world is directly  visible. The goldsmith, potter, the sweet maker,  the bird which builds the nests are  all seen. If God were to be creator of this world he would have been visible.

 

V: Believe me. The maker in the world is not at all visible. It is totally false to say that the goldsmith, Sweet maker, potter are visible. You may ask how? Listen. People like Potter, Goldsmith etc are creators who are made of twin elements, Body and Soul, The body to a soul is an instrument to do a function. Only when soul uses the  instrument called body a material  is formed. Without the instrument called body a material cannot come off. The goldsmith, potter etc are  physical bodies which are visible and are made of five elements called earth, water, fire, air and sky. But the soul who makes use of this body is not at all visible. The body without the soul cannot create things. Likewise without body, a soul cannot do anything either. His strength is of limited character. Hence God grants him a body which is visible. But God is of  limitless potentialities, omnipresent and omniscient. He does things without a body. The soul is also a creator like God, albeit with a limited strength and abilities . God is a creator of all. Both God and Soul  are not visible.

 

K: If God  is without Body then how is that  He can create the world. No function is ever possible without an instrument called  body.

 

V: Now the time is over. Tomorrow morning answer to this question will be given.

 

K: Okay. Let it be on tomorrow.
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Note : This is the the translated version of the original  ” Do bahinonke bathe” written by  late Siddagopal “kaviratna”.

Translated by Vasudev Rao.