Talk:Arya Samaj

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Work In Progress[edit]

Since no one else seems to be working on this article, I have taken it upon myself to add some more substantial content. However, this will come intermittantly and in parts, as I do not have the time to write everything at once. So, fellow editors, please take this into consideration before trying to tie together what I admit are now rather disparate parts in this article. Once the main sections are roughed out, I will go back and smooth out the edges. Suggestions and corrections on the already existing parts are, however, more than welcome.Varoon Arya 18:37, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Arya Samaj and the Theosophical Society[edit]

The current passage:

The society was united with the Theosophical Society for a certain time, under the name Theosophical Society of the Arya Samaj.

1) ...gives the impression that it was the Arya Samaj which sought a partnership with the Theosophical Society. This, according to the available records of the correspondance between the two groups, as well as to the Wiki article on the Theosophical Society of the Arya Samaj, was not the case. If anything, the opposite would be closer to the truth. Blavatsky reportedly stated that Swami Dayanand was one of the incarnated 'mahatmas', and his position was elevated enough that he was requested to provide an account of his life for their periodical, The Theosophist. On 22nd May, 1878, Col. Olcott composed a letter to Dayanand with the following statement:

"Resolved, that the Theosophical Society, for itself and branches in America, Europe and elsewhere, recognize hereby Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Pandit, and Founder of the Arya Samaj, as its lawful Director in Chief." (See: Bawa Chhajju Singh, Life and teachings of Swami Dayanand Saraswati. New Delhi 1971.)

It was also determined that a facsimile of the signature of Dayanand should appear on all of the diplomas issued thereafter by the Theosophical Society of the Arya Samaj of Aryavarta.

Documents related to these events, along with exerpts from letters of Dayanand to Olcott and Blavatsky, can also be found in the book The Autobiography of Dayanand Saraswati, Edt. K.C. Yadav ISBN: 81-7871-002-1

Therefore, it is hardly correct to say that "the (Arya Samaj was known) under the name Theosophical Society of the Arya Samaj".

Also, I would like to see at least a reference made to this realtively short-lived and rather unfortunate liason on the main page of the Theosophical Society as well if out of nothing more than fairness to both societies involved. It cannot be denied that the encounters between Olcott, Blavatsky and Dayanand did not have a profound effect on the former, and it could furthermore be argued on reasonable grounds that the epithet "Wisdom Religion" used by the Theosophists in regard to their doctrine is nothing other than a literal (though rough) translation of "Vaidika Dharma", which was and continues to be the most widely used term among Arya Samajists to describe their own faith.

2) ...is not entirely correct. The full name of the society in the West was changed to "The Theosophical Society of the Arya Samaj of Aryavarta".

3) ..is misleading, for the Arya Samaj was at no time known by any name of which the term "Theosophical" was a part. It is true that Swami Dayanand was enrolled in the Theosophical Society, but, as indicated before, as its "Lawful Director in Chief".

On account of this comlexity and historical importance of this issue, I could imagine there being a need to devote more space to this important aspect of the development of the two societies. It is certainly as important as the relation of the Arya Samaj with the Sikhs (which has received - oddly enough - its own section). However, for the time being, I would be satisfied with the following change in relation to the above mentioned passage:

The Theosophical Society, under the name Theosophical Society of the Arya Samaj of Aryavatra, was officially recognized by the Arya Samaj as a branch of the same for the period between May 1878 and March 1882.

Additional suggestions are more than welcome.

If no one responds to this within 2 week's time, I will make the change as proposed above.Varoon Arya 03:16, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

I have added a substantial section relating to the short-lived affair between the Arya Samaj and the Theosophical Society. Therefore, I will remove the reference in the header altogether.
Also, in case someone wants to know why I have included this information here instead of adding to the already existing article on the Theosophical Society of the Arya Samaj, I say this in my defence: As I indicate in the article, this issue is a controversial one for both parties involved. Reports as to what exactly happened stand in conflict with one another, and propaganda has been published on both sides. A serious and objective review by a third party, however, has not been undertaken (and is not likely anytime in the near future). Rather than edit the existing article, which has, in my view, been cast with a decided slant towards the Theosophical camp, I choose to let that article stand as a representative of the same. Which of the two is correct does not really concern me. However this seems like the best place to discuss this issue as seen from the perspective of the Arya Samaj.Varoon Arya 18:37, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Religious Fundamentalism[edit]

I've taken a good look at the Wiki article on Fundamentalism, and though arguably the term could be said to apply on technical grounds, the caveat of the Wiki article - which is an important part of its presentation - in no way finds expression in the short proclamation in the present article. A very relevant passage reads:

"The Associated Press' AP Stylebook recommends that the term fundamentalist not be used for any group that does not apply the term to itself."

I would assume the Wikipedia would adhere to the same kind of standard. Regardless, the fact that a Mr. M. Ruthven has stated that the principles of the Arya are to be identified as religious fundamentalism does not, in my eyes, justify putting this in the header of the article - especially when the work cited is A Very Short Introduction and in all likelyhood did not involve an in-depth evaluation of the Arya Samaj specifically.

I'm not entirely against letting the reference remain, but I object to it being included in the header of the article. Perhaps a later section detailing Cricital Views regarding the Arya Samaj could be put together, where it would be much more appropriately placed. (This could also be linked with the information relating to Sikhs as well as the hitherto untouched yet historically significant reaction of Muslims to the practice of Shuddi initiated by the Arya Samaj.)

If there is no response in two week's time, I will remove the reference, though it should remain here in the discussion page for later inclusion. Varoon Arya 03:44, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

India[edit]

I changed the lead from "a Hindu Reform Movement in India" to "a Hindu Reform Movement founded in India". The fact that there exist offices of the Arya Samaj all over the world should be reason enough to justify the change.Varoon Arya 14:47, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Events Leading Up To and Including the Founding of the Arya Samaj[edit]

I've added a substantial portion to explain some of the background behind the formation of the Arya Samaj and it stands in need of a good edit. Please comment as you see fit.Varoon Arya 02:35, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Doctrines - 10 Principles[edit]

I am splitting the 10 Principles into their own sub-section, as I plan to write a more substantial section detailing the actual doctrines upheld by members of the Society. However, I am including some of the information already present in the current section, and will incorperate the remaining material in the later part(s) as mentioned. So, I am reproducing the original here so the text is not lost and can be included in edited form later on. Please do not edit this text:

"Dayananda rejected all non-Vedic beliefs altogether. Hence the Arya Samaj unequivocally condemned iconolatry, animal sacrifices, ancestor worship, pilgrimages, priestcraft, offerings made in temples, the caste system, untouchability and child marriages, on the grounds that all these lacked Vedic sanction. It aimed to be a universal church based on the authority of the Vedas. Dayananda stated that he wanted ‘to make the whole world Arya’. That is, he wanted to develop a missionary Hinduism based on the universality of the Vedas.
To this end the Arya Samaj set up schools and missionary organisations, extending its activities outside India. It now has branches around the world. It has a disproportional number of adherents among people of Indian ancestry in Suriname and the Netherlands, in comparison with India.
Arya Samaj is a global organisation having about 8000 Arya Samaj units popularly known as Arya Samaj Temples, but they are not "temples" in the traditional meaning of the term. They are rather the controlling offices of the philanthropic activities undertaken by the team in the society.

Merger proposal[edit]

I propose that Principles of Arya Samaj be merged into Arya Samaj, under a new heading: "Principles of Arya Samaj". I think that the content in the Principles article can easily be explained in the context of Arya Samaj and that it's still short enough so that the merger will not cause any problems as far as article size or undue weight is concerned. Runningya (talk) 19:55, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Criticisms Section Added[edit]

I moved this to a separate section below:

The doctrines of Arya Samaj are identified as religious fundamentalism by Ruthven (2007:108).

It rather prejudices the issue when put in the banner.

Activists include:

Varoon Arya 05:14, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Misspelled but NICE SHADOWS???[edit]

What's that? Is that vandalism? The caption for the first picture of the page says that the word depicted is misspelled (OUM instead of AUM) but has nice shadows!

Now I'm asking:

  • Should the picture be candidated for speedy deletion?
  • Is there anyone here who can confirm that the word is indeed misspelled and upload a correct version of the word? Devil Master 18:24, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
There are several accepted and therefore correct spellings of the word, i.e., 'OM', 'AUM', 'OUM', 'O3M', etc. In the Arya Samaj community, the word is typically written with a pluta 'O' followed by 'M' (O3M), as it appears in the current image. Varoon Arya 00:46, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Sikhism Blurb[edit]

I'm not even sure what this section is doing here, but apparently a few editors feel it is necessary to "enlighten" people about Sikhism in this article. As I've been reverted several times in my attempt to keep it NPOV and on-topic, I request that those interested in keeping the present passage bring some proof to substantiate their claims. Aryaman (☼) 17:12, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Dear Varoon (Aryaman), I do not agree with your entitlement of "blurb" for the section "Relations with Sikhs" on the main article page. First off, its not a blurb but an important piece of history and facts. Secondly, the information is not out of place as its about the relationship of the "subject" (Arya Samaj) with Sikhs. I have added the citations to the page as requested by you. Thanks. -- A. S. AulakhTalk 22:00, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Hi A.S. Aulakh. I chose the word 'blurb' consciously, for this article is not the place for statements like "Sikhism is an independent and unique religion", "Sikhism is a monotheistic religion that espouses equality between all humans, regardless of faith, gender, caste or occupation" and "Sikh identity was reinvigorated", etc. These things may or may not be true, but as it stands, these are POV 'blurbs' (i.e. 'promotional statements') for Sikhism which ever way you cut it. Our job here is to report on the 'related facts' of the situation, not to pass judgement upon them or take sides in a dispute. WP:NPOV We can report the reactions of the Sikhs of the time, but we have to draw the line at taking up their case and arguing it for them.
Notice, for example, that you won't find any statements in the section on the Theosophical Society like "The Theosophical Society is a group of individuals practicing the true, esoteric spirituality which underlies all exoteric religions" or anything of the sort. Yes, the Theosophists might say this about themselves, but it's not NPOV and thus it doesn't belong here. The same is true for Sikhism.
Also, I would like to actually see the passages you are citing in your references - especially the one that says the Arya Samaj tried to get Sikhs to engage in 'idol worship' and 'casteism', and that these 'Arya Samaj Leaders' were using 'derogatory language', etc.
Furthermore, I don't see why the passage mentions "Udasis and Mahants". This page is about the Arya Samaj, not about the "Reinvigoration of Sikhism". Please only bring information directly related to the Arya Samaj.
And please don't remove the templates from a disputed section. It should remain marked until we work out a satisfactory compromise with the actual data. Thanks. Aryaman (☼) 02:33, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Dear Varoon, Though I'm not the submitter of the whole text in the form that it existed before on the article page, I've modified and reformatted the language due to your POV concerns and added more references. However, I do not agree with your putting of "factually incorrect" tag there when there are more references provided in that small section than the average citations in the entire article itself. The 4 lines of text under this section now has 6 citations, which is far more than the average in this article. What is your objection to the "uniqueness" of Sikhism? Also, if you want, I can add quotes from the English translation of Swami Dayanand Saraswati's comments on Guru Nanak and other religions here with citations that should satisfy your concern/doubt about the use of language. Perhaps we can also start collaborating on adding newer section with Arya Samaj's view on other religions. As we progress, we can add more information to the article which will help making it complete with information regarding Arya Samaj history, beliefs and interactions with contemporary society.
With addition of more references, re-formatting of language and removal of some content the NPOV issue should also get resolved.-- A. S. AulakhTalk 04:33, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Hi again, A.S. Aulakh. I’m glad to see that you are willing to discuss this issue sensibly. The effort is appreciated, and – generally speaking – I would be willing to collaborate on future expansions of the article in reference to the effects of the Arya Samaj and the relationship between that organization and other religions. I still have some concerns with the current text, however.
It is not the number of citations which qualify material for inclusion in a given article. If a claim made in a statement does not belong in an article to begin with, it does not matter how many pieces of supporting evidence one brings forth, that fact does not change. I do not doubt that scores of individuals would substantiate the claim that “Sikhism is a unique and independent religion”. However, this does not need to be proven here – which is why I never requested citations for these claims. For bringing citations which attempt to ‘prove’ this as fact are misplaced altogether. This has nothing whatsoever to do with my personal opinion of Sikhism. It has to do with the NPOV stance we are required to take as editors of Wikipedia. We can report that “Sikhs believe their religion to be unique” or something along those lines, but we cannot attempt to ‘prove’ that this is so. If we do, we become advocates of Sikhism instead of objective observers. Please try to see the perhaps subtle yet vitally important difference between these two stances. To contribute to Wikipedia in a positive way, an editor must try to adhere to NPOV at all times.
Also, there is – at present – no need to add quotes from Dayanand’s Satyarth Prakash – unless you can show that (1) it was Swami Dayanand himself who was setting up offices in the Punjab and claiming that Sikhism is ‘just a branch of Hinduism’, or (2) that the Satyarth Prakash is the ‘corpus of official doctrine’ of the Arya Samaj. And I don’t think either of those can be substantiated. Of course, if you have sourced quotes from the actual Arya Samaj activists who were establishing themselves in the region where they explicitly make statements such as those mentioned in the article, we can certainly include them.
I am not the author of this section of the article, and I can only assume that it was added by a member of the Sikh community who felt somehow offended by the advances of the Arya Samaj and wanted to make a point. I have always felt that it is out of place, and that without discussing the relationship the Arya Samaj had with other religions – including orthodox Hinduism – the existence of such a section was in violation of WP:UNDUE. As it stands, this is still the case. However, if a section dealing with the topic as a whole (i.e. the effects of the Samaj) were to be written, I could see how it would fit in quite nicely. Yet, we must remain neutral observes at all times, and not attempt to rectify the errors of the past through our own commentary. We must assume that the reader is intelligent enough to judge for themselves.
Lastly, I would like to know why exactly you object to the passage as it read before. I reproduce it below in the hopes that you will clarify why you felt it was insufficient in stating the facts of the situation with respect to both the Samaj and Sikhism.
In 1875, Arya Samaj established itself in Punjab, and some of its leaders began stating publicly that Sikhs, rather than belonging to a separate religion, are actually Hindus. Concerned about what was perceived as a threat to Sikh identity, the Tat Khalsa was formed in Lahore to reaffirm Sikhism as a unique religion and peaceably regain control of Sikh institutions and gurdwaras, effectively removing them from the influence of the Arya Samaj.
Thanks. Aryaman (☼) 02:16, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

A Basic Question[edit]

Forgive me if this is a dumb question or I missed the answer, but does this group still exist? The lead uses the present tense. If so, isn't it a bit odd that the article mentions nothing that happened after 1882? Msalt (talk) 22:45, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes, the Arya Samaj still exists. I'm not a follower but I know of many. It just means the history section needs to be completed. GizzaDiscuss © 03:18, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Does Arya samaj exist in tamil nadu?I want to join and learn vedas...or can you suggest me any other similar one. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 192.8.204.45 (talk) 12:57, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Good References[edit]

--Bigsuperindia (talk) 22:57, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

CopyVio Revert[edit]

I just removed a huge section which is a clear copyright violation. The original source of this text can be found here. Please don't re-add this material, as to do so violates Wikipedia's content policies.

Date of foundation[edit]

If it was founded in 1875, why does H A Rose say c. 1847? See p. 21 here. - Sitush (talk) 16:32, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

I went ahead with the Principals of Arya Samaj merge[edit]

I am concerned that I added an entirely unreferenced block of text (I removed the Indianet link which did exist because the info was not in the citation given, and the site is on Wikipedia's spam blacklist. But I think the removal of this as a separate page will at least make the project more manageable. The article really is a mess now - it is very informative, but is at an almost complete lack of citations. I, unfortunately, have virtually no knowledge of the subject. Vincent Moon (talk) 11:43, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Not just History[edit]

I'm thinking we should add something about daily prayers (Sandhya) or worship style (havans) instead of just talking about history. Any ideas on how to start? Desasu11 (talk) 05:26, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

First of all, mention the material in orderly manner & in your own words per your understanding. Also mention sources.इति इतिUAनॆति नॆति Humour Thisthat2011 10:46, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Rockstar?[edit]

Would anyone care to explain what the word "rockstar" in the introduction to this article is supposed to mean? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 176.198.252.216 (talk) 07:06, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

Contemporary Arya samaj[edit]

How come this article does not venture beyond 19th century ? How did it spread in 20th century ? What is the status of the movement now? Does it predominantly have Punjabi , Gujarati or all India following ?Jonathansammy (talk) 22:20, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Arya Samaj after its Foundation to the present Times[edit]

The article does not have any information beyond its foundation. As per my references, the Samaj was very active , not only in Punjab but also in Hindu diasporas around the world. Indirectly it was also influential in getting the Sikhs to form anti-aryasamaji, Singh Sabha and in the formation of the Ahmadiya sect. Leaders like Lajpat Rai belonged to it. All this needs to be sourced and added. This is a huge task and I would like other editors to jump in . Thanks. (Jonathansammy (talk) 14:51, 2 January 2014 (UTC)