"Appreciation of Vedic dharma is sine qua non for world peace"

Swami Dayananda’s efforts to strengthen Hindu dharma brought together all the traditional mathadhipatis and mandaleswars (heads of Hindu religious organisations) under the umbrella of the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha, a first in the history of this religion. Travelling across the country, personally meeting the heads of the various mathas, he convinced them of the importance of establishing a body that would be the official voice of Hindu consciousness.

At the Sabha meetings, he ensured that spiritual leaders received the respect that is their due, providing them appropriate arrangements on the dais, while he sat at the well, guiding the proceedings. It was a humbling moment for those who knew and revered Swamiji, for it showed how lightly he carried his erudition. He does not project himself; he has no personal agenda. His commitment, first and foremost, is to Vedic culture.

The Tirupati Declaration, raising a unified voice against religious conversion, was a direct consequence. The declarations brought out the concerns of the practitioners and protagonists of Hindu dharma, the administration of their places of worship, proper use of temple lands and funds and other issues. As Convenor of the Sabha,

as well as in his independent capacity as a thinker, writer and master of Vedanta, Swami Dayananda has spoken at various international forums, including the Millennium Summit of World Religions, UN.

Promoting Vedic culture, creating world harmony
Yet another initiative is the Hindu Dharma Rakshana Samiti that helps to spread awareness of the richness of Vedic culture. Volunteers crisscross the country, reaching the message of rishis to the least empowered people. Swamiji firmly believes that a strong presence and appreciation of Vedic dharma is sine qua non for world peace and understanding, religious and cultural harmony.

The Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha and the Rakshana Samiti were vehicles for Swami Dayananda to move on to other spheres related to the spiritual culture of India. The conference on the ancient river Saraswati at New Delhi, sponsored by the Acharya Sabha, proved beyond doubt that it is not a mythical river, but one that had supported a flourishing civilisation, the Saraswati River Civilisation, which is called, inaccurately, the Indus Valley Civilisation. The frequent mention of the river in the Rig Veda reveals the antiquity of Indian civilisation, as well as the fact that the Vedas and the Vedic

culture are native to Indian soil, and not brought in from elsewhere.

Swami Dayananda’s commitment and respect for Hindu Dharma is reflected in the revival and renovation of temples as at Thanjavur, in the repairs and rebuilding of dilapidated temple chariots as at Tiruvidaimarudur, and in other similar projects. His interest envelopes every aspect of Indian culture and tradition, be it sculpture, dance, music, painting, establishing schools (pathasalas) for Vedic studies and chanting, astrology, preserving manuscripts in digital format, the list is endless. He has composed many “Kritis” in simple Sanskrit rendered by eminent Carnatic musicians. Rich in content and spirit of devotion, the words reveal the vision of Vedanta. To honour musicians who have significantly contributed to the promotion of Carnatic music, he has instituted an award "Arsha Kala Bhushanam". So far, 13 senior musicians have been honoured with this award.