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Swami Dayananda Saraswati Quotes and Teachings - Swami Dayananda Saraswati Founder Of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam

Swami Dayananda Saraswati (1930-2015), founder of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, teacher of Vedanta. He was a disciple of Swami Chinmayananda. He founded the famous Arsha Vidya Gurukulam. This is a collection of quotes and teachings of the eminent teacher, guide and philosopher. 

Living begins when one contributes something that will bring about more happiness, more wisdom and more freedom. Until then, one merely drags one’s life.


If I were to choose one aspect of Hinduism, it would be the teaching that God is the only reality, which can be invoked through any name or form. All worship offered with a pure heart is valid. There can be million forms of worship, offered to any name or form that you choose. This is the universal outlook of Hinduism. Hinduism is a very profound religion, not based in simple beliefs. God is to be understood, not just believed in.

The Veda says that you are the whole and that you are already free and you have to know that. Your being away from the whole is by wrong thinking.

Swami Dayananda Saraswati on Inadequate Self

To be born a human being with the unique faculties of discrimination and choice is both a great blessing and a terrible curse. This is because exercising one's choice often creates conflicts.

The source of all conflict is the feeling we get of being incomplete – of being inadequate and wanting. This wanting, inadequate self, the only self of which one is aware, is like the sruti in Indian music. The singer produces various melodies, but always keeps her voice in tune with sruti, the constant background drone of the tanpura. Similarly, there is constant sruti in our hearts which drones on: ‘I want this...I want that…’ This constant wanting finds articulation in various specific wants, each an expression of the conclusion that one is an inadequate being.

What one does to achieve comfort varies from person to person. What is common is that everyone wants to acquire or get rid of something. A person's desires keep changing –something which was once desirable, may no longer be so. What never changes is the ‘I want’ sruti in the background.
The Bhagavad Gita can help us deal with this inadequate self. It addresses the eternal problem of the inadequate self, because of which we are unable to face topical problems.

Arjuna, too, was faced with the problem of inadequacy. He was an accomplished warrior – hero and intellectual; yet, he was overwhelmed by personal conflict which left him feeling helpless. Krishna taught him to know the adequate self. Once Arjuna understood himself to be complete, all conflict and sorrow were resolved. This is in fact the theme of the Gita.

The essence of the Gita applies to all human beings. It unfolds the solution to the fundamental human problem of conflict and want. Then, like Arjuna, you too will say, ‘My delusion is no more!’

(Source: Excerpts from an article that appeared in the November 4, 2003 edition of Speaking Tree in Times of India.)

Swami Dayananda Saraswati Quotes on Advaita

The word ‘advaita’ is a very important word. It's a word that negates dvaita, which means ‘two.’ The ‘a’ is a negative particle, so the meaning would be ‘that which is nondual.’
And it reveals the philosophy that all that is here is One, which means that there is nothing other than that One, nor is it made up of any parts. It's a whole without parts, and That they call ‘Brahman’ (the Absolute), and That you are – because the nondual cannot be different from you, the inquirer. If it is different from you, then it is dual; then you are the subject and it is the object. So it has got to be you. And therefore, if you don't recognize that, you'll miss out on being the Whole.


(Source: What is enlightenment magazine. From a series of dialogues between Swami Dayananda and Andrew Cohen in February 1998.) 

Swami Dayanand Saraswati on the Importance of Japa

Japa is the repetition of a word or short sentence during the practice of meditation.

In Japa, the letter ‘pa’ stands for that which removes or destroys all impurities and obstructions and the letter ‘ja’ stands for that which puts an end to the cycle of birth and death.

Therefore, Japa is an indirect means for liberation, moksha. By destroying the varieties of obstructions to knowledge, Japa paves the way for liberation. Japa, then, is more than a mere discipline or technique.

Japa also helps in removing unwanted thoughts.


In Japa, I know exactly what is to come next. If something else pops up, I know this is not what is expected and I bring back the chosen thought. In the process I learn how to dismiss unwanted thoughts and retain the one I have chosen.

Swami Dayananda Saraswati on Bondage - the process of becoming

When one doesn’t love certain things or doesn’t like certain things, but cannot get rid of them, they become bondage for the person. It is that wanting to get out of something and not being able to. I want to get out of this struggle to become happy but I cannot rid myself of the struggle. I want to be free from insecurity, but I find myself helplessly insecure. That’s bondage. Being insecure is bondage. Being bound by time is bondage. Being bound by various limitations is bondage. Who is it that feels this bondage? Vedanta discusses it this way. The physical body does not feel the bondage. Neither does the mind.

The person or the ego feels the bondage. No matter who the person is, wherever there is “I” sense, there is a sense of bondage also. That I want to be different from being what I am is bondage. In Vedanta, we say that a life of becoming is a life of bondage.

I cannot but struggle to become because I am not acceptable to myself as I am. I struggle to become that person in whom I can be free, meaning in whom I find total acceptance, complete acceptability. Suppose I become that person in terms of wealth, in terms of health or in terms of any accomplishment that I gain. Then afterwards, once again, I want to become. Thus, I am always in the process of becoming.

This ongoing act of becoming itself reveals that there is no way of becoming free. You don’t become free, because the very fact that you want to become reveals that you are not free. The attempt to become free is a denial of freedom, according to Vedanta, because it betrays a self non-acceptance. We can say that this is the original sin or the original problem. That constant wanting to become or needing to become somebody else is the original problem. And in that somebody else, I expect to see myself as a free person, free from want, who won’t need to become any more.