Swami Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti is a day to pay tribute to acknowledge the social reforms that Swami Dayananda Saraswati brought about. Swami Dayananda Saraswati was born on the 10th day of Krishna Paksha (dark lunar phase) in the Indian month of Falgun.

According to the Gregorian calendar his birthday is on the 12th of February, 1824. However, in India, the birth anniversary of Swami Dayananda Saraswati is celebrated in keeping with the Hindu calendar system, and as such, it keeps changing from one year to the next when plotted against the modern day calendar.

He is noted for his socio-religious reforms and for founding the Arya Samaj. Arya Samaj was founded to break free from the Hindu custom of idol worship and ritualistic practices, and concentrate more instead on the teachings of the Vedas and the Upanishads. People celebrate his birth anniversary to remember and honor his contribution to the society.

In 2019, the Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti date is Feb 28th.

  • A brief life history of Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati :


Swami Dayanand Saraswati was born as Mool Shankar Tiwari. He was named thus for he was born during the Constellation movement phase of Mul Nakshatra. The name he became popular by was given to him much later by his Guru Swami Vrijananda. He was born to Karshanji Lalji Tiwari and Yashoda Bai in a village named Tankara near Morvi in the Kathiwar region belonging to the Rajkot district in the princely State of Gujarat. He belonged to an affluent Brahmin family. His father was a tax collector and was one of the influential persons in the locality. Mool Shankar led a comfortable life and was educated in the traditional Brahmin way. In his early life he was trained in the ways of Brahminism, h is father being a devotee of Lord Shiva. At the age of eight, he received his Upanayana, the Sacred Thread.

However, things suddenly changed in his life. Once while he was observing the rituals of Shiva Ratri, he observed that a mouse was nibbling away the offerings that were made to the God. A question came to his mind – if the God cannot protect his own offering, how can He protect mankind?! This gave rise to a difference of opinion between father and son. With time Dayanand also witnessed the death of his younger sister and his uncle, both of whom succumbed to cholera. Different question involving life and death began to wander in his mind. He was no more convinced about idol worship. His parents secretly planned to get him married to divert his attention, but Dayanand ran away from home to seek answers to his questions in the year 1846.

Dayanand travelled far and wide for twenty years in quest for his answers. He visited temples and religious places. He spoke with innumerous scholars and sages, yet he could not feel contented. Finally in Mathura, he came across Swami Virjananda who could inspire him to learn from the Vedas, the foundational books of Hinduism. Dayanand stayed with his Guru Swami Virjananda for about two and a half years, and when his Guru declared that his education was complete, he took upon the mission of spreading the knowledge to people and reforming Hinduism based on the ancient Vedic principles.

Dayananda now toured the country in its entirety and spoke against the prevalent caste system, child marriages, discrimination against women, caste system and idol worship. Be believed that the Vedas contained in them the seeds of science, and as such welcomed scientific approach to life, although he was a theologist himself. He propagated the ideal age for a woman to get married ranged between 16 and 24 years, while that for a man was 25 and 40 years. In 1875 he founded Arya Samaj to promote and propagate social reforms and also to offer social services. The motto of Arya Samaj is ‘Krinvanto Vishvam Aryam” which translated means “To make the world noble”. He penned a book named Saytaprakash (Satya = Truth; Prakash = Light) to talk about the reformed Hinduism where salvation was not the ultimate aim – the ultimate aim was to lead a fruitful and virtuous life.

As per records, Dayanand took his last breath in 1883 in Jodhpur where he was spending Diwali as the guest of the Maharaja of Jodhpur. He offended the mistress of the Maharaja by preaching the King to lead a righteous life, who in turn, poisoned him as revenge. Although the Maharaja did send out for help, his life could not be saved. Even in death, his last word was “Om”.

  • Type of Holiday in India:


Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti is not a gazetted or national holiday in India. However, people all across the various cities of the country who observe the occurrence have the option of taking a Restricted Holiday on this day to mark the occasion. Government and private offices remain open on this day though. Also, local businesses, banks and transportation systems in the cities operate in full swing. However, certain institutions may opt to remain closed on this day to celebrate the occasion.

  • Observances to mark the occasion:


Special programs are organized to mark this occasion, especially at various educational institutions across the country. Collages, wall magazines and charts are prepared that uphold the life and teachings of Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati. His principles are discussed and pictures and writings are published on this topic. Emphasis is also laid on Vedic culture and education – the foundation stone of the teachings of Dayanand Saraswati. His movements are featured in various billboards that are displayed at various locations. Arya Samaj bodies also organize for discourses and other activities that include lectures, pamphlet distributions, philanthropic activities and environmental development initiatives.


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