Satyarth Prakash

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AUM or Based on its etymology, OM is considered by the Arya Samaj to be the highest and most proper name of God.

Satyarth Prakash (Hindi: सत्यार्थ प्रकाश, Satyārth′ prakāś′ – "The Light of Meaning of the Truth" or The Light of Truth) is a 1875 book written originally in Hindi by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, a renowned religious and social reformer and the founder of Arya Samaj. It is considered one of his major scholarly works. The book was subsequently revised by Swami Dayanand Saraswati in 1882 and has now been translated into more than 20 languages including Sanskrit and several foreign languages like English, French, German, Swahili, Arabic and Chinese. The major portion of the book is dedicated to laying down the reformist advocacy of {Swami Dayanand} with the last three chapters making a case for comparative study of different religious faiths. Satlok Ashram leader Rampal criticized sections of the book in 2006 which led to clashes between followers of Arya Samaj and Satlok Ashram and one person died in that violence.[1][2][3]


During the Middle Ages of Indian history, many faiths and sects sprang up in religious and social spheres of Hindu society. Their practitioners slowly migrated away from the teachings of the Vedas attaching greater significance to their founders and their preachings. From then onwards polytheism commenced. Great differences developed among the different sects and divided and weakened Hindu society. The caste system based on birth became strong and gave rise to further fragmentation. Like with any aging society without reforms, the customs gave way to superstition and ignorance wherein practice superseded reason and the spread of blind faith threatened degradation of "Hindu" society. The word Hindu is an improper word or misnomer- the correct word is Vedantic or Sanathana Dharma, a religion based upon the Vedas. The word Hindu does not appear any where in the Vedic texts or even the Bhagavad Gita. The word Hindu is a Persian word, used by the Muslims and the renaming of the Vedantic religion to "Hindu" demonstrates the level of weakening to the Vedantic faith. "Hinduism" needs reforms.

It was at this time that Swami Dayanand wrote Satyarth Prakash in order to spread the knowledge of the Vedas and to educate people on the true qualities of God. The Satyarth Prakash contains exposition and clarifications of Vedic principles. The book advocates Vedic monism based on Advaita Vedanta. Some of the important topics in the Satyarth Prakash include worship of one God, explanation of the main principles of the Vedas, the relationship between religion and science and between devotion and intellect, elimination of the caste system and of different religious beliefs for the strengthening of society, eradication of superstitions, false notions and meaningless customs, shunning narrow-mindedness and promoting the brotherhood of man.[4]


The book contains fourteen chapters, the contents of which are detailed below:[5]

Chapter Content
1 The first chapter is an exposition of “Om” and other names of God.
2 The second chapter provides guidance on the upbringing of children.
3 The third chapter explains the life of Brahmacharya (bachelor), the duties and qualifications of scholars and teachers, good and bad books and the scheme of studies.
4 Chapter 4 is about marriage and married life.
5 Chapter 5 is about giving up materialism and starting to carry out community service.
6 Chapter 6 is about Science of Government.
7 Chapter 7 is about Veda and God.
8 Chapter 8 deals with Creation, Sustenance and Dissolution of the Universe.
9 Chapter 9 deals with knowledge and ignorance, and emancipation and bondage.
10 Chapter 10 deals with desirable and undesirable conduct and permissible and forbidden diet.
11 Chapter 11 contains criticism of the various religions and sects prevailing in India.
12 Chapter 12 deals with the Charvaka, Buddha (Buddhist) and Jain religions.
13 Chapter 13 has his views on Christianity (the Bible).
14 Chapter 14 has his views on Islam (Quran).


The book was originally written in Hindi by Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati. After detecting omissions, language and printing mistakes in the first edition, he published a second revised edition. The book has been translated into twenty-three different languages.

S.No. Language Author/ Translator Publication Year
1 Hindi 1st Edition Swami Dayanand Saraswati (Author) 1875 in Ajmer
1 a Hindi 2nd Edition Swami Dayanand Saraswati (Author) 1882
2 English (4 translation by different scholars)

Dr. Chiranjiva Bharadwaja (Translator) Master Durga Prasad (Translator) Pt. Gangaprasad Upadhyay (Translator) Vandemataram Ramchandra Rao (Translator)

1906, 1908, 1946, 1988

3 Sanskrit Pandit Shankardev Paathak 1924(1st Edition)
4 Urdu

1. Aatmaram Amritsari, Bhakt Raimal & Naunihaal 2. Jivandas Pensioner, 3. Pandit Chamupati, 4. Mehta Radhakrishna

1.1898 2.1899 3.1939 4.1905

5 Sindhi Jeevanlal Arya 1912
6 Punjabi Aatmaram Amritsari 1899
7 Bengali 1.Motilaal Bhattacharya 2.Shankarnaath 3.Gaurmohandev Verman 1.1901 2.1911 3.???
8 Marathi 1.Shridaas Vidyarthi 2.Shripaad Damodar Saatavlekar 3.Snaatak Satyavrat 4.Shripaad Joshi 1.1907 2.1926 3.1932 4.1990
9 Telugu 1.A. Somnaathan Rao "Updeshak" 2.Pt. Gopadev Sastry 1.1933 2.???
10 Tamil 1.M.R Jambunaathan 2.Kannaiyaa 3.Shuddhanand Bhaarti 1.1926 2.1935 3.1974
11 Malayalam 1.Brahamchaari Lakshman 2.Acharya Narendra Bhooshan 1.1933 2.1978
12 Gujarati 1.Manchaa Shankar, Jaishankar Dvivedi 2.Mayashankar Sharma 3.Dilip Vedalankar 1.1905 2.1926 3.1994
13 Kannada 1. Bhaaskar Pant 2.Satyapaal Snaatak 3.Sudhakar Chaturvedi 1.1932 2.1955 3.1974
14 Nepali Dilusingh Raaee 1879
15 German 1. Dr. Daulatram Devgram, Borikhel (Miyanwaali), 2. Arya Divakar 1. 1930, 2. 1983
16 Swahili
17 Odia 1.Shrivatsa Panda 2.Lakshminarayan Shastri 1.1927 2.1973
18 Assamese Parmeshwar Koti 1975
19 Arabi Kaalicharan Sharma ???
20 Burmese Kittima ???
21 Chinese Dr. Chau 1958
22 Thai
23 French Lui Morin 1940


S. Rangaswami Iyengar praised the book, saying that "It contains the wholly rationalistic view of the Vedic religion."[6]

Satyartha Prakash was banned in some princely states and in Sindh in 1944 and is still banned in Sindh.[7] In 2008 two Indian Muslims, Usman Ghani and Mohammad Khalil Khan of Sadar Bazar, Delhi, following the fatwa of Mufti Mukarram Ahmed, the Imam of Fatehpuri Masjid in Delhi, urged the Delhi High Court to ban Satyarth Prakash.[8] However, the court dismissed the petition and commented "A suit by Hindus against the Quran or by Muslims against Gita or Satyarth Prakash claiming relief... are in fact, meant to play mischief in the society."[9]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ [3]
  4. ^ "Hindu Scriptures". Retrieved 2007-10-05.
  5. ^ "Satyarth Prakash". Retrieved 2007-10-05.
  6. ^ "World Perspectives on Swami Dayananda Saraswati", by Ganga Ram Garg, Page 188
  7. ^ The Book on Trial: Fundamentalism and Censorship in India, Girja Kumar
  8. ^ "Arya Samaj plans march to defend book by founder". The Hindu.
  9. ^ "Plea seeking ban on Dayanand book is 'mischief'".

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