ARYA SAMAJ - The Noble Society ( SHRI J. M. MEHTA )
The meaning of ARYA SAMAJ is NOBLE SOCIETY. Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj, who established the first Arya Samaj at Mumbai in April, 1875, wanted to establish a universal noble society, based on truth, right knowledge, justice and righteousness. Before and at the time he launched his noble campaign, the condition of Indian society and, in particular, the HINDU society was appalling, as it was afflicted with numerous social evils and ailments, general ignorance, immoral customs and traditions, ignoble rites and rituals, inhuman and unjust malpractices etc. As a result of centuries of slavery, first under the Muslim rule and later under the British imperialism, the plight of ARYA VARTA (the land of Aryas), which once reigned supreme over the entire world, had stooped to the lowest ebb of national degradation and depravation. It was in these sad and deplorable circumstances that the seed of Arya Samaj was sown for the revival of ancient true knowledge, national unity and dignity and for the removal of prevailing religious falsehood, ignorance and social evils etc.
Over 125 years have elapsed since the inception of Arya Samaj and this organisation has made significant contribution in the service of society. Swami Dayananda lived a short life of about 59 years. During his active career, he spread the message of Arya Samaj over a vast area of India. As a result of his hectic campaigning, numerous branches of Arya Samaj were established, during his life time. He fought valiantly against falsehood, religious ignorance, social evils, moral degradation and had the immense courage and fearlessness to point out defects and deficiencies prevailing in the various sects and religions, at that time. After his demise, his mission was carried forward by some of his worthy successors and as a result of efforts made by all concerned, hundreds of branches of Arya Samaj have been established, which are mainly located in Northern part of India.
Inspite of the fact that after India's independence, Arya Samaj established a large network of its branches and became a great socio-religious organisation, a large majority of Indian people remain unaware of this noble organisation and its aims and objects. There may be several reasons for that and the active workers of Arya Samaj need to reflect upon these seriously. The present condition of Arya Samaj does not seem to be very satisfactory and much remains to be done to achieve those objectives for which it was founded. First of all, there is a dire need to spread the philosophy and the message of Arya Samaj among the teeming millions of India. Inspite of economic progress and development attained by our country, the evils of ignorance, communal divide, false beliefs and irreligious malpractices are in great abundance and increasing day by day.
It is, therefore, high time that the followers of Arya Samaj make their earnest efforts in this direction and revive the past glory and selfless traditions of this great organisation.
This small book has been specially designed to acquaint the English knowing modern generation of India with the philosophy and the aims and objectives of Arya Samaj, in a concise and compact manner. It is written in simple language and easy style in order to sustain the interest of the general reader. The main purpose of writing this book is to spread the light of Arya Samaj and its noble message among a larger cross-section of Indian society.
It is hoped that after reading this small book more people shall be attracted towards Arya Samaj and offer their sincere cooperation and dedicated services in achieving the aims which it espouses