A Biographical Sketch of Pandita. Gurudatta

A biographical sketch of Pandita Gurudatta Vidyarthi

A Biographical Sketch

Pandit Gurudatta is recongnised to have been the greatest achievement of Rishi Dayananda for his ancient Aryan church. The dying glance of the Rishi had miraculously transformed the mettle which was there in the young intrepid scholar. Had not death out short his scholastic career so early, the Arya Smaj and thought it the whole world of religious and metaphysical thought may have been contribute enriched by his erudite philosophic contributions, of which the few dissertations and brief discourses he could, in the midst of his manifold activities, find time to write, gave sure promise. An unmistakable vein of sincere love of truth for which no sacrifice of personal glory and earthly possession and comfort was too great runs through them all. This marks Gurudatta out as a genuine philosopher whose craving for spiritual light was not simply intellectual; it was the innermost call of his disconsolate soul. He it was who recognized in the last glance of Rishi Dayananda the soul of a seer, anxious to save a money-mad world from the dismal abyss of gross materialism to guide it away by the help of the eternal light of the veda to the empyrean eights of Spiritual Bliss. In that departing glance he read a message, a command to take up the challenge which the asuri demonical, forces of mammon were throwing out to the ancient daiva, divine, culture of the Rishis. The young boy of nineteen took the challenge up, and coming of a warlike race fought to the last on the side of truth and righteousness. His was the death of a hero who, like another young boy whom Muse glorifies as having died on the station of his duty in another sphere.  A Biographical Sketch

Pandita Gurudatta was the last male child of Lala Radhakishen Sardana of Multan, whose ancestors had distinguished themselves in the field both of letters and arms. He was born on 26th April 1864.  A Biographical Sketch

Charity in The Veda (Rig Veda and Atharva Veda

His grandfather was the ambassador of Nawab of Bahawalpur in the court of Amir of Kabul. From his he inherited an aptitude for Persian which by a little training in the primary classes gave him a working mastery of that language so that he could in his boyhood dip into the deepest waters of the Persian literature. He conceived a fondness for Samakrita too in his chooldays. And the first book that after his study of the Samskrita. Primer fell into the young boy’s hands was the Rig Vedadi Bhashya Bhumika of Swami Dayananda. He rorth with approached the authorities of Arya Samaj at Multan and challenged them to either make arrangements for his study of the Ashtadhyayi and the Vedas or accept that only trush. The alternative proposed appears to us to be an index to his inner nature. In his heart of hearts he was convinced of the intellectual and spiritual worth of the Vedas, an introduction to which by the Rishi of the time he had already read. It was his impatience, an irresistible Zeal to read more which prompted him to the blasphemous insinuation that the Vedas could, if they were not taught him, be regarded as trash. The Multan Arya Samaj engaged a Pandita who found it beyond his learning and pedagogic capacity to satisfy the little Vidyarthi. The Vidyarthi solved his own puzzles of Grammar and the Vedas, and though the arrangement made by the Samaj was not satisfactory, he did not regard the Vedas as trash. In 1881 he matriculated. It was in this year that he got himself registered in the Arya Samaja as member. In 1883 he under graduated. He had in the interim founded a free Debating Club, where profound philosophical questions used to the discussed.   A Biographical Sketch   A Biographical Sketch

Divine Assurance in the Rig veda & Sama veda

Gurudatta was now passing through that period of his life when the mind of a Youngman is yet in a fluid state. The college days of mental and spiritual intractability. The supreme authority to a college-boy is his own virgin opinion. In those days, if ever. Liberty of thought holds an absolute away over a man’s mentality. The age of greatest impressionalability is also the age of greatest into actability. Every day and every hour new opinions are borrowed. Every new thought however has during the regime its suzerainty absolute. Pandita Gurudatta’s progress in grasping and assimilating ideas and facts was tremendously rapid. Somehow he acquired the notoriety of being an atheist. Those who had the occasion to live close to him bear withes to a strong sceptic disposition in him, which to them was a mark of an intensely inquisitive frame of mind. Gurudatta, even when some thought he was an atheist, continued a staunch Arya Samajist. And when the news was received of Rishi Dayananda’s illness at Ajmere. The Arya samaja at Lahore deputed Lalas Jivan Das and Gurudatta to go and tend him. The resources of the Arya Samaja at appear to have been very poor at the time so that the choice for an opportunity of his first and last darshana of his beloved Rishi. He saw the Rishi dying. Not a word passed between the Master and his devotee. But Gurudatta’s whole nature had in the meantime silently taken a turn. When he returned to Lahore, he was evidently a changed man. His former frivolity his impatience, his skepticism had in an instant left him. The Zeal was there, but now it was wedded to seriousness, Somehow the felling had dawned on Gurudatta that the Rishi had by his last glance let his mantle drop on his shoulders, To others the privileges of succession, to Gurudatta were passed the obligations of the Rishi’s mission.   A Biographical Sketch    A Biographical Sketch

Spiritual Discipline in the Vedas

In 1885 he graduated and in 1886 he passed his M.A. His subject was physical Science. The position secured by him in the pass list remains yet a record in the University which no succeeding candidate has yet surpassed. In the meantime Gurudatta had been touring the Punjab attending anniversaries of Arya Samaja. He had been busy reading the scriptures and books on philosophy and religion both eastern and western. For two years he was acting Professor at the Government College where his deep erudition and pedagogic capability met with high and well-merited appreciation. The movement to found a college in memory of Rishi Dayananda had, since the death of the Sage, been launched by the guiding spirits of the Arya Samaja. Gurudatta threw himself heart and soul into the campaign to collect funds for that, to him, of the cause were recognized as wonderful specimens of erudition and oratory. The D.A.V college of Pandita Gurudatta’s dream was an institution where Brahma charya would be the dominant factor in the life of the students and ancient shastras the primary study in the curriculum of the academy. He was yet living when under the influence of the University the D.A.V college was given its present shape and character. He expressed strong dissatisfaction with its new aims; and puts emphatically on record his disagreement with its then conductors as regards his disagreement with its then conductors as regards their educational policy. In the short period of six years after he had seen the Rishi he had acquired marvelous mastery of sacred books of samskrita. A treatise by him entitled “The Terminology of the Vedas” was included in the course of Samskrita for the degree examination at Oxford. His translation of a few of the Upanishads, when after his death copies of it were sent to America on the occasion of the Parliament of Religious held at Chicago in 1896, won such appreciation that an publisher, of his own accord. Gurudatta spoke, for hours in Samskrita, which feat won him the title ‘Pandita’ which sticks still to this name. He in his humility styled him Pandita. This was true Brahmna spirit which marked Gurudatta throughout his carrier. To his Ashtadhyayi class came some old men, among them an E.A.C. who had taken leave for the sole object of reading Grammar with Gurudatta. A Youngman of only twenty-six attracting pupil of all ages, and making such stir among the populace recalled scenes from the hoary history of bharata Varhsa of the time of Janaka and Yajanvalkya.   A Biographical Sketch

Atmosphere of Earth by Pandit Gurudutta Vidyarthi M.A.  

The strain on the nerves of Gurudatta had been great. He had tried to compress within three years what normally should  have taken a life time to accomplish. He has amassed a great deal of learning, so that in his time he had well-high become an authority on the true meaning of scriptures. But this ceaseless assiduity had cost him his health. During his school days Gurudatta had been fond of physical exercise. His physique was strong, but his mental labour had of late been great, so that in 1889 he fell victim to consumption, and finding it impossible even then to rest, succumbed to the dire disease in March 1890. He was advised by doctors to take meat , which would uphold him in his weakness. But the smiling answer of the Vidyarthi was :- ‘Will meet make me immortal ? Will it make me dearth proof ever after? If not, why for a chance of saving one’s own life, bring about certain death of another? During the night in which Pt. Gurudatta died Ish-Upnishad had at his request been repeatedly recited to him. His references to incidents in Rishi Dayananda’s Life had always formed a pathetic portion oh his speeches. People had therefore urged him to write a biography of the Swami, which the Pandita had gladly consented to do. When the Pandita was on the point of death somebody asked where his istically replied, “ I have been trying conscientiously to record the life-account of my Rishi not on paper, not in to live Dayananda. My body, alas ! has failed me. I lay it down, gladly  in the hope that the next  vehicle will be more in conformity with the  aspiration of soul.”   A Biographical Sketch

To us a thread appears to run through the variegated phases of Gurudatta’s Life. He was heroic soul, passionately zealous impatiently inquisitive, conscientious and inordinately sincere and true. He believed in the Vedas and yet in his zeal to be able to read more of them declared his readiness to denounce them as trash. He believed in God and yet in his zeal to understand His nature more thoroughly he argued His existence with himself and others and thus appeared as if he were an atheist. He was born for a mission, and when the last glance of the Rishi had pointed the path to him he had, as it were, almost doubled his age, and become grave and thoughtful like a man of fifty. The inability to at once take the place of the Rishi was to him intolerable. He wanted instantly to shake off his physical and mental limitations and at once become a sage. The ambition was great, but in it there was no vestige of self-conceit. He was trying every day of his life to become Dayananda. To that end he learnt Yoga exercise, and when even these could not bridge the mental and spiritual distance between him and his goal he willingly laid down his life. His was the glory of a martyred to his own tyranny. The being closed for a holiday. The world of letters mourned his loss as the loss of a literary prodigy. The Punjab University was conscious that it has lost its only scholar whose earliest productions had met with recognition at the hands of those who were competent ot judge, both in and outside the country. Of the Arya Samaj he was the one hope. The spirit that inspired him has, however lived. It will for ever continue inspiring young hearts. O that he had taken better care of his body.  A Biographical Sketch   A Biographical Sketch

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