Dayanand as Hero
Neeladri Bhattacharya
DAYANAND SARASWATI: HIS LIFE & IDEAS by J.T.F. Jordens Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1979, 318 pp., 80.00
Nov-Dec 1979, volume 4, No 3

Arya Dharma by Kenneth Jones was the first serious historical study of the Arya Samaj movement. Now Jordens complements Jones’s work by providing a comprehensive historical account of the life and ideas of Dayanand Saraswati.

Many of the earlier biographers of Dayanand themselves belonged to the Arya Samaj and tended to look upon their ‘Swami’ as Guru. They consiste­ntly played down the changes in his con­ceptions: as if the ‘Light of Truth’ can be revealed only once, for, what is true is immutable. As Jordens points out none of these biographers care to notice the changes in the first and second edition of Satyarth Prakash. In the book under review, Jordens attempts to transcend the usual chronological listing of Dayanand’s words, acts and deeds, common to the existing biographies, and studies the different stages of his life and ideas in their regional and historical context.

Continue reading this review