The Satyartha Prakhash (The light of Truth) is the masterpiece of Swami Dayanand Saraswati. Some call it as Magnum Opus. No doubt, it is a great literary undertaking, as the lexicographic contents denote. But I go a step further. The lexicon (Oxford) says, Magnum, a bottle containing a certain quantity of wine. But as the great writer of this masterpiece Swami Dayanand was a symbol of ultimate morality and spiritualism and was a sage of standing, he never touched a drop of wine. And so his present work does not contain any such alcoholic impact. But one thing is undoubtedly true about it. This great, book is, indeed, and encyclopedia of the various contemporary social religious and political currents cross-currents and movements going on at the time of the writer’s life. To go it further, the writer has not spared the past events and guiding philosophies, which has polluted the human mind and deteriorated the man’s quest for true knowledge and right way of life.
When one analyzes this work from this angle, we have witnessed that this great masterwork of Swami Dayanand Saraswati positively made or brought revolution in the socio-political fabric not only of the Indians but of the whole mankind. It created a new flutter and awakening in the society, that made the various thinkers and followers and scholars of different faiths and sects to make drastic changes in their concepts, beliefs and interpretations contained in their Books of Faith. No doubt, much more crusading spirit was witnessed among the readers of this book who hailed from different races, communities and groups. The word Magnum, therefore, has no parallel like that in the context of this work.
Its repeated study, research and investigation have greatly contributed to the thinking of humankind, since it was written by the author, more than a hundred years ago.
The liberal angle which motivated the writer is summed up by him in the introduction, where he unfailingly disclaimed to start a new sect or religion and laid his firm faith in the oneness of human society. The introduction has Swami’s following words:
“………..there is not the remotest idea to hurt the feelings of any person either directly or indirectly but on the contrary, the book proposes that men should distinguish truth from falsehood. Thus alone can the human race steadily advance on the path of happiness, since none but the preaching of truth is the cause of the improvement of the human family.”
Such a selfless exposition by the writer has found a distinct position for this author in the world literature of this kind. The English translation of his book was rendered by Dr. Chiranjiva Bharadwaja in the last century. It enjoys greater popularity and has already run into a number of reprints.
The Sabha has brought it out to meet the great and persistent demand and as a present on the sacred occasion of Swami Dayanand’s Nirvan (Death) Centenary which being celebrated all over the world this year, under the Sabha’s aegis.
Satyartha Prakash means the Light of Truth. In fact, it is a Light House in the ocean of knowledge, where human mind can anchor at safe point during the turmoil and tempest. That way, this book has weightage over other works numbering……… written by the Swami during his life time.
Ram Gopal Shalwale
Sarvadeshik Arya Pratinidhi Sabha
Dayanand Bhavan, Ramlita Ground
New Delhi -11002 (India)
‘Satyarth Prakash’ (Light of Truth) is the Magnum opus of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the illustrious founder of the Arya Samaj. It occupies a prominent place in the classical Religious and Philosophical literature of the world. It is regarded as the Bible of the Arya Samaj and is as immortal as the truth is.
It is in fact the beacon light leading people from darkness to light, irrationality to rationality, irreligion to religion, and nescience to science. It embodies the teachings of Swami Dayananda Saraswati on all matters – religious, social, educational, political and moral, also his beliefs and disbeliefs and the way of life as envisaged by the Vedas and the Vedic culture, which prevailed throughout the whole World till 5000 years back, when enlightenment, peace and prosperity was at the Zenith of its glory.
It presents a charter of life at once sublime and noble. It contains principles and rules of conduct to all. In short it makes people mould and better their lives on the lines which were chalked out by the Vedas and the pattern laid down by what is the best in ancient Vedic heritage, whose living symbol was the Swami himself.
Author’s comments on the tenets and working of various religious denominations were made in good faith and were not motivated, as the author has envisaged, for injuring the susceptibilities of their adherents. He meant to bring forth truth to light and prevent perpetration of ‘Adharma’ (unrighteousness) in the name of ‘Dharma’ (righteousness). In fact it gave the incentive specially to the divines of those faiths to revise their teachings and give them a rational tone. The object of the Maharshi in writing this volume, to quote his own words, is as under:-
”……there is not the remotest idea to hurt the feelings of any person either directly or indirectly; but on the contrary , the book proposes that men should distinguish truth from falsehood. Thus alone can the human race steadily advance on the path of happiness, since none but the preaching of truth is the cause of the improvement of the human family.”
It is widely read by the people living in India and Overseas. This treatise was written in Hindi so as to enable both classes and the masses to be benefitted by it and has been availed by crores of people. It has been translated in all the principal regional languages of India as well as in English, French, German, Chinese and Burmese.
The present is the new edition of the English Translation rendered by the late Shri Dr. Chrianjiva Bharadwaja. It enjoys greater popularity and has already run into a number of editions. The Sabha has brought it out to meet a great and persistent demand as a present on the sacred occasion of Arya Samaj Foundation Centenary which is being celebrated all over the world this year under the Sabha’s aegis.
Our thanks are due to Dr. Satyakam Bharadwaja (son of the learned Translator) and his family, who have given cooperation in the publication of this volume and also Shri Pandit Narendra, the Convener of the Sarvadeshik Arya Samaj Foundation Centenary Committee for his valuable assistance in making this edition attractive and worthwhile in all respects.
We very much appreciate the cooperation of Bharat Mudranalaya and its partner, Shri Bharat Bhushan, Chairman, Special Zonal Committee (Shahdara), Municipal Corporation, Delhi for the speedy and nice printing.