Notes from Jones’ Article on Dayananda Saraswati (1)

In what follows are notes from an article titled, “Swami Dayananda Saraswati’s Critique of Christianity” by Kenneth W. Jones.

(1) Swami Dayandana Saraswati was born in a small town called Tankara, Gujurat in 1824. His view was that the Hinduism of his times, “puranic” Hinduism was highly corrupt. Genuine Hinduism, aka Vedic Hinduism rejected idol worship, sati, the Puranas, polytheism, making pilgrimages, and so on. In addition to this, Saraswati was also sharply critical of other religions: Jainism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism and Buddhism. His form of Hinduism can be regarded as a form of Hindu Exclusivism.

(2) It was not until he made it out to Punjab, that his teachings found success. Prior to this, his words fell to the ground. In the Punjab, he was able to establish several chapters of the Arya Samaj, very quickly. Why? Why did he have so much success in Punjab, but things

did not go quite so well in other parts of India? Good question!

(3) You can see a good bit of his teaching in the Satyarth Prakash.