The Beliefs of Swami Dayanand Saraswati
The Beliefs of Swami Dayanand Saraswati
1. He, Who is called Brahma or the most High; who is Paramatma or the Supreme Spirit Who permeates the whole universe; Who is a true personification of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss; Whose nature, attributes and characteristics are Holy; Who is Omniscient, Formless, All-pervading, Unborn, Infinite, Almighty, Just and Merciful; Who is the author of the universe and sustains and dissolves it; Who awards all souls the fruits of deeds in strict accordance with the requirements of absolute justice and is possessed of the like attributes, even Him I believe to be the Great God.
2. I hold that the four Vedas – the repository of knowledge and Religious Truths – are the Word of God. They comprise what is known as the Samhita-Mantra portion only. They are absolutely free from error , and are an authority unto themselves. In other words, they don’t stand in need of any other book to uphold their authority. Just as the sun (or a lamp) by its light reveals its own nature as well as that of other objects of the universe, such as the earth—even so are the Vedas.
The commentaries on the four Vedas, viz., the Brahmanas, the six Angas, the six Upangas, the four Up-Vedas, and the eleven hundred and twenty-seven Shakhas, which are expositions of the Vedic texts by Brahma and other great Rishi— I look upon as works of a dependent character. In other words, they are held to be authoritative in so for as they conform to the teachings of the Vedas. Whatever passages in these works are opposed to the Vedic injunction I reject them entirely.
3. The practice of equitable justice together with that of truthfulness in word, deed and thought and the like (virtues)— in a word, that which is in conformity with the Will of God, as embodied in the Vedas—even that I call Dharma(right). But the practice of that which is not free from partiality and injustice as well as that of untruthfullness in word, deed and thought, — in a word, that which is opposed to the Will of God, as embodied in the Vedas— even that I term Adharma (wrong).
4. The immortal, eternal Principle which is endowed with attraction and repulsion, feelings of pleasure and pain, and consciousness, and whose capacity for knowledge is limited — even that I believe to be the soul.
5. God and the soul are two distinct entities by virtue of being different in nature and of being possessed of dissimilar attributes and characteristics. They are, however, inseparable one from the other, being related to each other as the pervader and pervaded and have certain attributes in common. Just as a material object has always been and shall always be, distinct from the space in which it exists and as the two have never been, nor shall ever be one and the same, even so are God and the soul to each other. Their mutual relation is that of the pervader and the pervaded, of father and son and the like.
6. I hold three things to be beginningless, namely, God the soul, and prakriti— the material cause of the universe. These are also known as the eternal substrata. Being eternal, their essential nature, their attributes and their characteristics, are also eternal.
7. Substances, properties, and characteristics, which result from combination, cease to exist on the dissolution of that compound. But the power or force, by virtue of which one substance unites with another, or separates from it, is eternally inherent in that substance, and this power will compel it to seek similar unions and disunions in the future. Unions and disunions, Creation and Dissolution of the world and birth and death of the soul have eternally followed each other in succession.
8. That which results from the combination of different elementary substances in an intelligent manner and in the right proportion and order, —- even that, in all its infinite variety, is called Creation.
9. The purpose of Creation is the essential and natural exercise of the creatives energy of the Deity. A person once asked another: “What is the use of the eyes?” “Two see with, to be sure,” was the reply. The same is the case here. God’s creative energy can be exercised and the souls can reap the fruits of their deeds only when the world is created.
10. The world is created. Its Creator is the aforesaid God. The existence of design in the universe as well as the fact that the dead inert matter in incapable of moulding itself into different ordered forms, such as seeds, proves that it must have a creator.
11. The earthly bondage of the soul has a cause. This cause is ignorance which is the source of sin, as among other things it leads man to worship objects other than God, obscures his intellectual faculties, whereof pain and suffering is the result. Bondage is termed so, because no one desires it but has to undergo it.
12. The emancipation of the soul from pain and suffering of every description and a subsequent career of freedom in the All-pervading God and His immense Creation for a fixed period of time and its resumption of earthly life after the expiration of that constitute Salvation.