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कृण्वन्तो विश्वमार्यम्




Swami Virajanand Saraswati was one of the greatest devotees of all times. His
whole life was one of incessant toil and struggle against the adverse currents
of misfortunes so common in this topsy-turvy world of ours. Without a Virajanand
there could have been no Dayanand and without a Dayanand there could have been
no revival of Vedic dharma which is so essential for our individual or national
salvation. In this country mighty currents of thoughts of the merciful Buddha,
of the scholarly Shanker, of the devout Chaitanya flow, but there are, beside
these, beautiful fountains erected by the piety of Tukaram or Ramdasa, by the
fervor of Nanak and Kabir, by the zeal of a Ramakrishna or a Virajanand to which
a wary traveler can repair and drink deep to his entire spiritual consolidation.
But here we reach these fountains, we are to tread on the paths of karma and
jnana- action and wisdom- and one such path is chalked our for us by the
untiring genius of Swami Virajanand. As far as the work of the resuscitation of
the study of classical Sanskrit is cornered. Virajanand's contribution has been
undeniably great; and if ever the history of Hindu Protestantism comes to be
written, prominence will have to be given, whether we will it or not, to swami
dayanand. But when we think of dayanand we cannot but think of Swami Virajanand,
his great and worthy guru. When the news of the demise of Virajanand reached
Dayanand, he took a deep sigh and exclaimed "alas! Bharatvarsha! Holy Aryavarta,
today the glorious sun of Vedic grammar has set."! How the fierce rays of that
sun pierced through darkness and laid open all the hidden treasures of Veda-
vidya can only be realized by those men who have wiped the dust of prejudice
from their eyes. The incidents in the life, therefore, of this stainless saint
are not without special significance to every lover of Sanskrit literature and
arya- dharma. The life has its own grand lessons to teach and unique ideals to
present. Again, the romantic carrier of that sannyasin is surrounded by a halo
of sanctity, unparalleled in the annals of this country. His work is of far
reaching consequences. The seeds of activity sown by him in the heart of
dayanand were and are bound to develop themselves into mighty trees yielding
delicious fruits to be eaten probably by people coming generations after. Today
we see only the plants at this stage of transition their growth necessarily
seems to be slow. But plants of slow growth live long, because they take deep
roots. The life of this first planter, we repeat, though simple and to all
intents and purposes uneventful, is yet interesting enough and deserves a
critical study.
In the land of the five rivers, on the banks of the river beas is situated a
village Gangapur by name where to one Narayan Dutt was born in the vikrama samat
1854 a lad who in after years held the key to the scientific of the Vedas and
passed it on to a zealous disciple of his. Shri Narayan Dutt was a Saraswata
Brahmin and with a view to make his son a great Sanskrit pundit taught him in
due course that devavani. In spite of the tender affection bestowed by the
parents on the lad and their attempts to make his life a happy one, a sea of
troubles seemed to rise before him. What with the evil effect of a dire malady
and what with the sad bereavement his cup of miseries was full to the brim.
Small knows not how to revere age or sex and that fell disease attacked this lad
when he had just attained his fifth and deprived him of his eyesight for ever.
Misfortune never comes single, and before he completed his twelfth year his
parents died, naturally leaving the orphan to the tender mercies of the
survivors. The blind boy would ask his uncle and aunt for bread and receive
stone. He being oppressed by thirst would beg for water and down flowed a
torrent of abusive and filthy words from the hard hearts of those guardians.
Probably it was the intention of this happy couple to lay in the heart of the
nephew the foundations of those virtues which are essential for the would be
reformer. Undoubtedly it was here that the renowned ascetic first learned to be
patient, persevering and industrious. But at that particular of time his life
cup became extremely bitter. His home, if ever could be called so, was presided
over by an uncle who surpassed hiranyakasaypa in cruelty. Perhaps he did not
stand in need of one as he himself by dint of valour was to become a simha one
day of men and save his dharma and literature.


The twelfth year of his life arrived, but his miseries however, knew, no bounds.
The boy being then driven to despair hit upon the plan of running away from the
cage in which misfortunes had imprisoned him. One happy day he flew away from
it and began to roam about in dense jungles living on roots and fruits and at
times brooding over the significance of the gayatri mantra. Forest life did not
terrorize him, and why should it? He was a young yogi and knew no fear. Even in
that think forest, the hands of the almighty was there to protect him and
through him his country's sacred literature. In the land of shankracharya and
kumarilabbhatta, neither dire destitution nor the ire of wild beasts could bring
about the ruin of this savior of the Vedas. This forest life he led for about
three long years and then with a consolation and courage unknown to an atheist,
this devotee proceeded to hirishikesha in the sylvan retreats of which he
practiced regular tapasya- penance- for three more years. Then he proceeded to
haridwar where Swami Poornanada Saraswati initiated him in the sannyasa ashrama
and gave him the happy name of Virajanand Saraswati. Here it was that he studied
siddhanta kaumudi- a treatise on Sanskrit grammar. Kankhal was the next village
visited by him. Then in Benaras he studied darshan (philosophy) .apart from
studying Sanskrit he also started lectures to students who came to him for
learning. The combined duties of the teacher and the taught render
concentration of attention on one particular subject extremely difficult but
with virajanand the case was quite difficult. The blind sage had a powerful
memory to retain anything that was read out of him and was highly endowed with
the capacity to communicate knowledge to others. At Gaya he studied Vedanta for
a pretty long time.

To a genuine Yogi wealth has no attraction whatsoever. To him residence either
in a palace or a forest makes no difference at all. To those who live below the
smoke and stir of this dim spot, which man call earth and who with
low-thoughted care, confined and pestered in this finfold. Strive to keep up a
frail and feverish being; the joys of a palace are fascinating and the horrors
of a forest life are terrorizing. But to those who like Swami Virajanand take a
vow of poverty and are bent upon keeping up to any word they utter the pleasure
of the world can be no temptation.
Once Swami Virajanand was standing in the waters of the Ganges and repeating
some Sanskrit verses in praise of god in a loud voice. Maharaja of Alwar Vinay
Singh heard him. Sanskrit mantras captivated raja so much that he approached him
with a request to accompany to alwar as a guest. The blind monk replied "thou
art a king and a bhogee. I am a beggar and a yogi. These two opposites cannot
live in harmony" .at the urgent and earnest request of raja swami virajanand
agreed to accompany him if raja vinay singh would agree to study Sanskrit three
hours a day , failing which he would leave raja immediately. Raja was always
punctual at his study but one day he absented himself without taking prior
permission. The choleric tutor was all wrath, the raja was unable to pacify him
and instantaneously virajanand leaving all his books and money there left the
hospitable palace and resumed his peregrinations.


It was in year 1893 of vikrama era that he proceeded to Mathura and having hired
a building opened a Sanskrit school in which he started teaching Sanskrit
grammar. At that time a debate took place between him and a well known Sanskrit
pundit name Krishna Shastree on grammar. It was to be decided whether a sutra of
Panini, ajadyukti was a genitive tatpurusha compound or a locative tatpurusha
compound. Swami Virajanand held that it was a genitive tatpurusha. It is also
said that Swami Virajanand was made to suffer defeat and all possible fraudulent
means were adopted to achieve that end. However one thing was certain that swami
ji lost all faith in commentaries of Sanskrit grammar published by selfish men
and began gradually to devote his attention to the study of Panini astadhyayi.

Swami Virajanand in Mathura found the key to understand the hidden treasures in
Vedas. According to him study of Panini Astadhyayi was so essential that for a
correct scientific interpretation of the Vedas .without a systemic study of
Shadangas – Shiksha, Kalpa, Vyakarana, Nirukta, Nighantu and Jyotisha Vedic
interpretation is impossible. Once he infuse the spirit of the study of Rishi
Kritagranthas , the clouds of mysticism and element worship hanging on the Vedas
were all dispelled. Only it needed a Dayanand to imbibe this spirit and create a
might revolution in the world of religions. The blind, weak, ill monk Virajanand
started waiting for the true disciple who could hold these keys to bust the
cloud of ignorance over Vedas. The worthy guru whom physical disabilities
incapacitated the understanding of any great work commands the earnest disciple
to move heaven and earth to popularize the study of Vedas and no disciple has so
faithfully carried out the mandate of his guru as Dayanand. Swami Dayanand who
was wandering for years in search of truth found the keys to Vedas while
studying under swami virajanand. His thirst for truth was satisfied only in
class of swami Virajanand.


The key to the scientific interpretation of the Vedas was lost and the credit of
having found it out belongs to Swami Virajanand. Having come in possession of
that key Dayanand unlocked the hidden treasures for the benefit of mankind. It
was this patriot- sage who preached that the religion of the Vedas was not and
is not one of the worship of stocks and stones but of monotheism pure and
simple. He studied the other smrities and shastras and came to the right
conclusion that both as a system of theology or sociology vedism were grand and
sublime. The most scientific division of the four varnas- Brahmin, Kshatriya,
Vaishya and Sudra. Of the four ashrams – Brahmcharya, Grihastha, Vanaprasta,
Sannyasa and of sixteen sanskaras and five yajnas struck Dayanand as most
sublime and worthy of revival. But all this he could not possible have done if
there were no Swami Virajanand. So we emphatically declare that the credit of
showing the beauties of the Vedic dharma is in a large measure due to Swami
Virajanand. The study of classical Sanskrit conducted on scientific lines is as
it was the Rosetta- stone which enables mankind to decipher the Vedic
hieroglyphics, the discovery of which fell to the happy lot of the otherwise
unhappy Swami Virajanand.

Swami Virajanand was a man of indomitable courage and fiery enthusiasm. His love
for the Vedic literature was only equaled by his earnest desire to serve his
country and religion. By patience and perseverance alone he overcame mountains
of difficulties. His plain living and high thinking entitle him to be called as
a rishi. His solicitude for the welfare of the pupils who sat at his feet to
drink deep the fountains of immortal Sanskrit lore was the outcome of the love
he bore to education without which he thought no human being can claim to that
title. A perusal of the voluminous commentaries of the Vedas of swami dayanand
will convince any one of the greats service which he and his guru have rendered
to the cause of Sanskrit and Vedism. A genuine yogi, a profound scholar, a true
devotee and an inveterate for of sham and a real descendant of the mighty seers
of yore he shook off the mortal coil in the year 1925 of the vikrama era and
entered those religions of bliss from the "bourn of which no traveler is said
to return." As long as we have any love for Sanskrit and the Vedas, we cannot
afford to forget the yeoman service swami virajanand rendered to the cause of
Hindu nationality.

(Reproduced -

Swami Virajananda was truly

Swami Virajananda was truly a great personality. He was master of Vedic grammar. He was the man who inspired Swami Dayananda to work for the rejuvenation of the society based on the old Aryan faith and bring total revolution in the nation. Dayananda has rightly addressed him as PARAM VIDUSHAM i.e. SCHOLAR EXTRA-ORDINARY. Dr Vivek's endeavor to provide glimpses of this great scholar deserves our congratulations!
= Bhavesh Merja