Statement of my beliefs:
Below are some of the points (some of which are elaborated further in the terms of Q & A) as per my beliefs*:
1. I consider Vedas to be the true source of knowledge.
2. I only consider the translations of Vedas by the Rishis, which are in line with Nirukta (the greatest authority in Vedic translation) and Sanskrit Vyakaran (Grammer like Ashtadhyayi etc.) to be correct.
3. I consider the translation of the Vedas by Acharya Sayan, Mahidhar, Bhattacharya, Prof. Max Muller, Ralph TGH Griffith, Monier Williams, Maurice Bloomfield and other like minded scholars to be incorrect and misleading. Below is an example of a prejudiced translation from Wikipedia (on line encyclopaedia):
The Rigveda (8.48.3, tr. Griffith) states,
a ápāma sómam amŕtā abhūmâganma jyótir ávidāma devân c kíṃ nūnám asmân kṛṇavad árātiḥ kím u dhūrtír amṛta mártyasya
We have drunk Soma and become immortal; we have attained the light, the Gods discovered. Now what may foeman's malice do to harm us? What, O Immortal, mortal man's deception?
The Ninth Mandala of the Rigveda is known as the Soma Mandala. It consists entirely of hymns addressed to Soma Pavamana ("purified Soma").
Let’s see the correct translation as per the Rishis:
Nirukta (the greatest authority on the translation of the Vedas) 4/3/13/44 has described the Soma as medicine promoting long life and youthful strength. The colour of Soma has been said of Harit Varna or green colour (yellow or tawny as per Wikipedia).
Sushrut (termed as father of Ayurveda medicine and surgery) in his Chikitsa Sthanvarti Chapter 8 has given 24 divisions of Soma. He has also termed Soma as the destroyer of old age and death (etymologically meaning promoting long life and youthful strength).
Nirukta Bhashya 5/1/3/13 and Rig Veda 10/89/6 have described Soma as a peaceful natured Soul.
Nirukta Bhashya 5/1/3/13 and Rig Veda 9/107/9 have described Soma as cow’s milk.
Similarly, Nirukta Bhashya 11/1/10/7 describes Soma as moon.
Now let’s see the translation of the above mantra as per Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati in line with Nirukta Bhashya. This mantra describes the advantages of grain eating.
“(Soma) Oh Lord! (apam) We drink the juice of the grain. (amritah abhum) We become amrit i.e. have long life; (jyotih aganm) we strive to achieve bodily strength and eternal glow; (avidaam) may we achieve (devaan) the strength of our senses; (kin krinvat) what can (asman) our (aratih) internal enemies do to us (noonam) in this condition? (amrit) Oh deathless Ish or God! (kim) what can (dhurtih) violent and (martasya) murderous people do to me?"
The ninth Mandala of Rig Veda describes the peaceful qualities of the almighty and not as stated by Griffith.
4. I consider Dharma to be the way of living by promoting the wellbeing, intellect, Satya (absolute truth) Knowledge, equality, righteousness and all other benevolent qualities for the benefit of the humanity and opposing the destructive and bad qualities. Below is the English translation of a quote by Maharishi Dayanand regarding his belief:
“Whatever is believed in by those who are steeped in ignorance or have been led astray by sectaries is not worthy of being accepted by the wise. That faith alone is really true (Satya) and worthy of acceptance which is followed by Aptas i.e., those who are true in word, deed and thought, promote public good and are impartial and learned; but all that is discarded by such men must be considered as unworthy of belief and false.”
Q: What do you consider as Satya Knowledge?
A: The knowledge of the Vedas is considered as the Satya Knowledge. Since knowledge acquired by the Vedas is in Mool (eg seed is the mool of the tree) form, the etymology given by the Rishis known as Aptas is to be used for understanding. The Granths (Scriptures) written by the Rishis are called Arsha Granths. Maharishi Dayanand has given five tests of truth (Satya) in his Satyarth Prakash Chapter 3 which are explained in the Karma section of this website.
Q: What is the definition of a Rishi?
A: Rig Ved 1/1/2 in short describes Rishi as a person who has acquired all Vidhya (knowledge, education, science, skills etc.) and teaches others the knowledge for the wellbeing of humanity without prejudice or partiality; and has all benevolent qualities (Shrestha Gun).
Nirukta Bhashya 2:3:11 describes Rishi as a person who is the drishta (seer) of the Ved Mantras in their true (Satya) meaning.
Q: Define Apta?
A: One who possesses Apti & conducts his/her life as per Apti is called an Apta. Aptas are true in word, deed, thought, promote public good and are impartial and learned.
Q: What is an Apti?
A: Apti is the complete Satya knowledge (in its true form) from every matter or substance to the Almighty God.
Q: Whom do you consider partial and why?
A: I consider those persons partial who compromise the Satya for personal gain. For example a person who inculcates incorrect practices and procedures (deliberately knowing them to be Asatya or untrue) just to acquire fame or to increase the number of people in his/her group or to please others for his/her benefit commits a sin as per Rig Ved 10/5/6 and Nirukta Bhashya’s 6/5/27/111. The reason for this being considered a sin is that it encourages others to follow the same path of deceit and has a snowball effect in time to come.
5. I consider Maharishi Swami Dayanand Saraswati (Founder of Arya Samaj) to be the only Rishi in the last 5000 years. Maharishi Jaimini (Disciple of Maharishi Ved Vyas) was the last Rishi prior to Maharishi Dayanand.
6. I consider that every human has the right to acquire Knowledge and clear the doubts by the method of shastrarth. Every human has the right to be treated with respect and should treat others with respect.
Q: What is shastrarth?
A: Shastrarth is means of clearing your doubts by discussing topics with knowledgeable persons (includes looking at the facts) and reasoning out the answer. Shastrarth can be oral as well as written. Shastrarth can be of two types - one can be taking a view and scrutinising it from different angles and the other by taking the view of opposition to reason out and learn the correct meaning.
Q: If a person's answer or understanding is incorrect wouldn’t it be called degrading his/her knowledge by proving it incorrect?
A: Not at all. Let’s take an example of a child who is sent to school for studying. If the child does not know a particular answer or answers it incorrectly, it becomes the duty of the teacher to correct him/her so that correct answer is known by the child. This may include pointing towards the text books and other reference books. It is a fact that humans learn different things as we advance in age. A wise man once said that the only dumb question is the one that has not been asked. All humans should strive to increase Satya knowledge rather than believe blindly or adhere to incorrect knowledge to please few people.
7. I consider the caste system to be incorrect and have been created due to ignorance and incorrect translations of the Arsha Granths. I however, do believe in the Varna system (classifying humans according to their work for the humanity).
Q: What is the Varna System?
A: Varna system is classifying humans in Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya & Shoodras according to their duties. The 4 Varnas have been described in the Karma Section of the website.
8. I consider Namaste (Main Apka Manya Karta Hoon) to be the best form of greeting. Namaste is a neutral greeting with respect to all in mind and is commonly accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest. It also generates a sense of humbleness in the person. The word Namaste can be represented as I bow in your respect or honour. "Nam" means bow, "as" means I, and "te" means you. Therefore, Namaste literally means "bow me you" or "I bow to you." Maharishi Dayanand has given the interpretation of Namaste in Aryoudeshyaratnamala as "Main Apka Manya Karta Hoon" which simply can be interpreted as I respect you or I honour you and the gesture of bowing is to show your respect or honouring in Vedic Culture.
9. I believe that every one should promote good for the complete humanity rather than his/her own good only.
Q: How can you promote good for the complete humanity if every person perceives the things differently?
A: Let’s take an example of a group of teachers who are keen to educate students and get good results. What the teachers should do is to put their Satya thoughts in the group during a brainstorming meeting and should reason out the best method or procedure for the benefit of the students. It is imperative that all contribute to the best of their knowledge and the person chairing the brainstorming meeting should ensure that everyone is heard and the outcome has been reasoned out well.
Q: What happens if some teachers who are close to the chairperson suggest a solution which is not entirely true?
A: It is imperative that all Satya thoughts are presented in the meeting and the solution should be implemented after deliberating what is right and wrong.
Q: What should one do if the people, for example those teachers who suggested the untrue solutions take offence and create propaganda against you?
A: It is still your duty to make them aware of the Satya and take a stance of Upeksha (being indifferent towards them) instead of keeping malice in your heart. This has been explained by Maharishi Dayanand in his Rig Ved Adi Bhashya Bhumika. It is a known fact that bad will eventuate worse in the long run.
10. I also believe in the 10 principles of Arya Samaj of which few are quoted in this document.
11. I believe the ideals of Arya Samaj as embedded in its 10 principles are the way forward for humans. This necessarily means to follow the original ideals of Arya Samaj (the same way as inculcated by Maharishi Dayanand) as a reform movement and not as a sect or a social club.
Q: What do you mean by Sect or a Social Club?
A: What is meant by the above is to follow the reasoning rather than succumb to blind faith or follow the incorrect path to increase membership. The ideal of Arya Samaj was to confront the evils of the society and educate people with Satya principles for the benefit of the society, for the benefit of the country up to the benefit of the entire humanity. Below are the English translation of two of the quotes by Maharishi Dayanand:
"All right persons should work hard to destroy all these man made religions from their roots, then only whole man kind will progress."
"Spread of knowledge, practice and progress of Truth (Satya), Reading Vedas, Prayer to God, Good behaviour, Remaining away from bad and badness, Accompany of good and goodness, always thinking of good for Whole mankind and Propagation of Dharma should be the true work of Man."
Arya Samaj should measure itself by counting the number of its members who actually display its ideals in the propagation of thoughts by speech and actions. For example, a Samaj committed to the ideals, even though might have very few members, is far superior to a Samaj which compromise the ideals and conducts satsang without displaying / promoting the Satya knowledge irrespective of hundreds of members. One of the sermons under the Phakand Khandini Dhwaja of Rishi Dayanand in the 1867 Kumbh fair was as below:
"Those who swindle the common man in the name of false precepts are not Dharma gurus but Bhrashta (corrupted) gurus and parasites on society."
The above statement goes for everyone irrespective of him/her belonging to Arya Samaj or any other institution; irrespective of the status and fame of that person. An Arya Samaj is not a real Arya Samaj unless and until the principles and ethics are followed. Without the ethics and principles, it is only a social club or a sect following the Gurudom.
Q: Is it wrong to have members of different faith in the Samaj? Is it wrong to sponsor students in Arya Samaj schools?
A: Samaj members can be from families practicing different faith, different background etc. as long as they abide by the principles and ethics of the Samaj. It is always good to sponsor children for education. Education is the key to success. However, there are many more institutions that also do the sponsoring etc. The difference with Arya Samaj is that it is a reform movement and educates the people against superstition, discrimination and all other evils of the society and promotes the benevolent qualities by displaying it practically.
12. I consider only people possessing the below qualities (as explained by Maharashi Dayanand in his Sanskar Vidhi - Jaatkaram Sanskaar Vidhi) to be capable of sitting on a Purohits seat.
“Purohit – Dharmatma, shastrokat vidhi ko purnriti se jannehara vidvaan, saddharmi, kuleen, nirvyasani, sushil, vedpriya, pujniya, sarvopkari grihasth ki purohit sanjya hai”.
Purohit is a person, who is devout, complete knower of the procedures inculcated by the shastras, follower of the same dharm, noble, without addiction, modest, believer of Ved, worthy of respect, favouring all and a grihasth (morally living a married life).
Q: Wouldn’t it be discrimination if an attendee is not allowed to be a Purohit, as all the attendees of the yajna have had their shower and had not eaten unacceptable food on that day and are wearing clean and decent clothes?
A: Purohits (Purohitas for females) can not be people who only show the Dharma on the day of the satsang or Yajna. Let’s take an example of an IT company trying to recruit a web developer. You will agree with me that the company will only select a person with the qualification and experience of IT (or web developing in this case) rather than a person who is a brick layer by profession irrespective of how good he/she has presented himself/herself in front of the interviewer/s. This can not be termed as discrimination in any way as the requirement is stated for the job. Similarly, if a person does not display the conduct required for a Purohit in his/her life should not be sitting on the Purohit’s seat.
The contents on this website are as per my belief and are taken from the books given in the reference section. No offence is intended to any person living or deceased. There might be few errors in the explanation or translation of the teachings in English; but this is due to my weakness in the command of the language. However, it will be corrected if a knowledgeable person highlights it by communicating to me.