Please note that due to COVID-19 (Corona Virus) outbreak there will be no Sunday prayer sessions or any other gathering at the hall until after end of April. Prayer sessions will resume starting May 1st, but please check this website for further information in case this gets extended. Please stay safe and best of health to you and your family. For more information please contact:
President: Madhu Varshney
Phone: 604 222-1444
Treasurer: Kushwaha Kant Singh
Phone: 604 328-5454
Welcome to Arya Samaj Educational & Cultural Society of British Columbia website. Our prayer hall is located at 13475 King George Blvd, Surrey, B.C. Everyone is welcome every Sunday from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm to attend havan followed by pravachan and lunch. Parking is at street level o King George Blvd. The prayer hall has capacity of about 120
Please click on the Special Events link above to see all up coming events.
History of Arya SamaJ
Swami Dayanand Saraswati
Publications: Satyarth Prakash (1875 & 1884); Sanskarvidhi (1877 & 1884); Yajurved Bhashyam (1878 to 1889)
Swami Dayanand Saraswati was more than a religious leader of India who left deep impact on the Indian society. He founded the Arya Samaj that brought about changes in the religious perception of Indians. He voiced his opinions against idolatry and the pointless emphasis on empty ritualism, and man-made dictates that women are not allowed to read the Vedas. His idea of denouncing the caste system inherited by oneself in lieu of their birth was nothing short of radical. He brought about a complete overhaul of the education system by introducing Anglo-Vedic schools to offer Indian students an updated curriculum teaching both the knowledge of the Vedas along with contemporary English education. Although he was never really involved in politics directly, his political observations were the source of inspiration for a number of political leaders during India’s struggle for independence. He was given the epithet of Maharishi and is considered as one of the Makers of Modern India.
Dayanand Saraswati was born on February 12, 1824 in Tankara, Gujarat as Mool Shankar to Karshanji Lalji Tiwari and Yashodabai. His affluent and influential Brahmin family was an ardent follower of Lord Shiva. The family being deeply religious, Mool Shankar was taught religious rituals, piety and purity, importance of fasting from a very early age. The Yajnopavita Sanskara or the investiture of the “twice-born” was performed, when he was 8 and that initiated Mool Shankar into the world of Brahmanism. He would observe these rituals with much honesty. On the occasion of Shivaratri, Mool Shankar would sit awake the whole night in obedience to Lord Shiva. On one such night, he saw a mouse eating the offerings to the God and running over the idol’s body. After seeing this, he questioned himself, if the God could not defend himself against a little mouse then how could he be the savior of the massive world.
Mool Shankar was attracted towards the spiritual realm after the death of his sister when he was 14-year-old. He began asking questions about life, death and the afterlife to his parents to which they had no answers. On being asked to get married following societal traditions, Mool Shankar ran away from home. He wandered all over the country for the next 20 years visiting temples, shrines and holy places. He met with yogis living in the mountains or forests, asked them of his dilemmas, but nobody could provide him with the perfect answer.
At last he arrived at Mathura where he met Swami Virajananda. Mool Shankar became his disciple and Swami Virajananda directed him to learn directly from the Vedas. He found all his questions regarding life, death and afterlife answered during his study. Swami Virajananda entrusted Mool Shankar with the task of spreading Vedic knowledge throughout the society and rechristened him as Rishi Dayanand.
Maharishi Dayanand was a believer in Hinduism just as the Vedas have outlined, devoid of any corruption and embellishments. Preserving the purity of the faith was of utmost important to him. He strongly advocated the concepts of Dharma which he believed to be free from any partiality and as an embodiment of truthfulness. To him Adharma was anything that did not hold true, was not just or fair and was opposed to the teachings of the Vedas. He believed in reverence of human life irrespective of anything and condoned the practice of Ahimsa or non-violence. He advised his countrymen to direct their energy towards betterment of mankind as a whole and not waste away in unnecessary rituals. He revoked the practice of idol worship and considered them a contamination introduced by the priesthood for their own benefit. He was against other social evils like superstitions and caste segregation. He advocated the concept of Swarajya, meaning a country free of foreign influence, resplendent in the glory of fair and just participants.
Dayanand Saraswati & Arya Samaj
On 7 April, 1875 Dayanand Saraswati formed the Arya Samaj at Bombay. It was a Hindu reforms movement, meaning “society of the nobles”. The purpose of the Samaj was to move the Hindu religion away from the fictitious beliefs. ‘Krinvan to Vishvam Aryam” was the motto of the Samaj, which means, “Make this world noble”. The ten tenets of the Arya Samaj are as follows:
1. God is the efficient cause of all true knowledge and all that is known through knowledge.
2. God is existent, intelligent and blissful. He is formless, omniscient, just, merciful, unborn, endless, unchangeable, beginning-less, unequalled, the support of all, the master of all, omnipresent, immanent, un-aging, immortal, fearless, eternal and holy, and the maker of all. He alone is worthy of being worshiped.
3. The Vedas are the scriptures of all true knowledge. It is the paramount duty of all Aryas to read, teach, and recite them and to hear them being read.
4. One should always be ready to accept truth and to renounce untruth.
5. All acts should be performed in accordance with Dharma that is, after deliberating what is right and wrong.
6. The prime object of the Arya Samaj is to do good to the world, that is, to promote physical, spiritual and social good of everyone.
7. Our conduct towards all should be guided by love, righteousness and justice.
8. We should dispel Avidya (ignorance) and promote Vidya (knowledge).
9. No one should be content with promoting his/her good only; on the contrary, one should look for his/her good in promoting the good of all.
10. One should regard oneself under restriction to follow the rules of society calculated to promote the wellbeing of all, while in following the rules of individual welfare all should be free.