Such a super exploder of myths was an ascetic, a sanyasi, Swami Dayanand Saraswati. It was he who gave the clarion call, ‘Back to the Vedas.’ The decay that had set in was rectified to a large extent by Swami Dayanand Saraswati’s relentless campaign in propagating the Vedic way of life. He launched a two pronged attack on the decadent human society, cleanse it of moral, mental and physical ills and pave the way for our souls to attain the state of bliss, viz Moksha. Let us take a look at his modus operandi.
Haridwar-Rishikesh road runs almost parallel to the Ganges. The scene is set on the banks of Ganges along that road at milestone six from the famous ghat, “Hari Ki Pauri”. The Kumbh Mela of 1867 is in full swing. A tall, well built, fair and impressive sanyasi is standing below an ochre flag, exhorting the flocks of believers to live by the tenets of the divine knowledge, the Vedas. The Dev Nagri inscription on the flag cannot but attract attention. “Pakhand Khandini”, i.e. an exploder of myths and deceptions. The essence of the Sanyasi’s sermon on the Sand was:
(a) God is Omnipresent and is Nirakar, i.e. imageless. He is not bound in a form. He is never born and, therefore, does not die.
(b) God is the fountainhead of all true knowledge.
(c) Vedas are divine; prescribes the path of righteousness for man.
(d) Forsake falsehood, myths, and superstitions.
(e) Those who swindle the common man in the name of false precepts are not Dharma gurus but Bhrashta gurus and parasites on society.
The sanyasi giving discourses under the myth-exploder banner was none other but Swami Dayanand Saraswati. He distributed a small pamphlet ‘Exploding Myths’, free of cost. Its theme exposed the falsehood of Vishnu Bhagwat, a Puran full of falsehood, by highlighting its negative approach, its propagation of false gods, thereby betraying ignorance of the Vedic way of life. People who made money by throwing the Vedic Dharma overboard and narrated cock and bull stories by inventing false gods were nothing but thugs and criminals preying on people.
Swami Dayanand Saraswati took it upon himself to cleanse the society of false gods and criminals masquerading as god men. These men and women were like cancer and jeopardized health of the society. False Gods, superstitions and false gurus not only sapped strength of society but prevented growth of scientific approach and scientific mind. He enjoined on the Arya Samaj founded by him in 1875 in Mumbai to wage war against the negative, superstitious god men and promote the theistic scientific approach of the Vedic Dharma. He and his fellow Aryas enacted 10 principles of the Arya Samaj in 1877 in Lahore to guide the common man to attain bliss, the Moksha.
Swami Dayanand Saraswati traveled far and wide in India to explode many a myth - these were indeed making man moribund. From Multan in the west to Calcutta in the east, from the Himalayan heights in the north to the plains of Pune in the Deccan were his preaching playgrounds. The myriad myths that he exploded and spurious institutions that he attacked, smarted under his verbal and written onslaught. The learned Swami held discussions with preachers of faiths like Christianity, Islam and converted captains and commoners, preachers and priests to his own point of view, the Vedic Thought. Among the 55-odd books and pamphlets that he wrote, the most widely read is the “Satyarth Prakash” or the “Light of Truth”. Let us go through a few of its noble and enlightening gems of true knowledge contained in 14 enlightening chapters.
The Vedic trinity is: God; soul; and matter. In Hindi it is: Parmatma; Jeevastma; and Prakriti. The most common myth is: God comes to this world in the form of a man. The ignorant ones call it ‘an avatar’. In the Vedic trinity, God is God, there is only one God, and God has no image or idol. And, therefore, idol worship is an exercise in futility. Likewise, a Jeevatma can never become God or Parmatma. Men of weak minds elevate stronger men to Godhead. Consequently, there are god men galore even in the 21st century, notwithstanding all avenues of enlightenment that are available to the modern man. Today many god men, sadhus and fakirs are just fakes and frauds – out to cheat the gullible in the guise of teaching tenets of religion. Vedic mantras quoted in the Satyarth Prakash show us the path to enlightenment; teach us to be mentally robust, physically fit and militarily strong to vanquish all foes. Mind is the man. Make your mind strong through meditation, pranayam and righteousness. You will, thus, make the fake fakirs vanish in thin air. The myth of god- men making gold watches for the rich and ash for the poor in a magician style will stand exploded.
In a society where the guru cheats the shishya (disciple) and the shishya cheats the guru, both are bound to sink together. Let us not cheat each other and malign the pious bonds. Sailing in a made of stone, are they not? No way but to sink! They are indeed sunken souls and cannot be redeemed because of their bad Karmas, action based on deceit.
Let us take a closer look at the ‘falsehood’ perpetrated on the so-called scientific societies. Can a virgin be impregnated without mating with a man? Here is a case of normal pregnancy of a married woman whose marriage has not been consummated. She never had a chance to share the marital bed with her legal husband. There is a natural birth and the boy born thus is hailed as a son of God. Ask yourself, the enlightened ones! Isn’t it out and out a case of promiscuity being sanctified in the name of Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. Isn’t it the biggest myth in man’s mythology? Swami Dayanand Saraswati exploded this myth neat and proper in the 13th chapter of the “Light of Truth”.
Let us, therefore, take a pledge that we will explode myths, follow the path of truth as enjoined on us by the Vedas, as interpreted by Maharishi Swami Dayanand Saraswati and enshrined in the Ten Principals of the Arya Samaj. Let us all, men and women strive for salvation – the Moksha.