Swami Dayananda Saraswati

Swami Dayananda Saraswati was born in a village Tankara near Morbi in Rajkot district of Gujarat on 12th February 1824. He is known as the first leader to give the call for Swarajya. He propounded India for Indians. Later on Lokmanya Tilak continued the movement. Swami Dayananda is also the founder of Arya Samaj. Even though in the beginning he was an ardent worshiper of Lord Shiva, yet later he advocated ancient Vedic traditions of Hinduism. He expressed that ideal that idol worship had brought many ills in the Hindu society. In Vedic tradition chanting mantras and performing havans are prominent.
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Dr. S. Radhakrishnan who was a great philosopher and also the President of India called Swamiji as one of the ‘makers of modern India’. Shri Aurobindo Ghosh also gave great importance to the contribution of Swami Dayananda in modernizing the Hindu society. There were many others who were deeply influence by Swami Dayananda. These included Madam Cama, Pandit Guru Dutt Vidyarthi, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Lala Hardayal, Madan Lal Dhingra, Ram Prasad Bismil, Mahadev Govind Ranade, Swami Shraddhananda, Mahatma Hansraj, Lala Lajpat Rai and others.
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Maharshi Dayanda believed in the philosophy of Karma. Further, he was a first to call Dalits, Harijans long before Mahatma Gandhi, though it is attributed to the latter. The D. A. V organization was started by Swami Dayananda. Even today many schools and colleges are run by the organization not only in Gujarat but also in Rajasthan, Punjab, U.P and various other states.
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We pay our heartfelt tribute to the great Swami who devoted all his life for reforming Hinduism and for propagating education.
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Ganesh Chaturthi

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Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with festivities lasting ten to twelve days every year. The occasion for the celebration of the birth of Lord Ganesh, son of Lord Shiva and Parvati.

Ganesh symbolizes intelligence and application of mind. There are many incidents in Lord Ganesha’s life which symbolize his sharp wit and presence of mind. Among them the most famous of them is his competition with his elder brother Karthikeya.

As the story goes Lord Shiva called both his sons and told them that whomsoever circles the world three times will be given the prize of a magical Mango which was presented to him by Sage Narad. Ganesha realized that his vehicle the mouse, would be of no match against the swift flying peacock of his elder brother. He thought for a moment, smiled and took three circles of his parents. When they asked him why they were circling him, he replied that they were his world, and taking three circles of them was equivalent to circling the world three times. Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati were very pleased and they gave the fruit to Ganesha.

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The festival falls in the fourth day of the waxing moon in the Hindu lunar calendar month of Bhadrapad which mostly falls in September according to the English Calendar. While the festival is celebrated all over the country, it is in the Indian State of Maharashtra that the celebrations are specially famous.

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In medieval history, the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi can be traced back to the times of the great Maratha King Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. However following the decline of the Maratha empire, the festival lost its state patronage. It was the famous freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak who revived this festival as a community celebration and to gather people in his fight against British Rule.

Indeed he has left behind a lasting legacy. Every year the festival gets bigger and more and more people revel in the worship of the Lord and seek his blessings.