Tuesday, July 19, 2022

A Note on Swami Shraddhanand

Swami Shraddhanand

"The great Aryan Nation is said, at the present moment, to be a dying race not because its numbers are dwindling but because it is completely disorganized. Individually, man to man, second to none on earth in intellect and physique, possessing a code of morality unapproachable by any other race of humanity, the Hindu Nation is still helpless on account of its manifold divisions and selfishness.” ~ Swami Shraddhanand, in his 1924 book Hindu Sangathan: Saviour of the Dying Race (Page 101-102)

Swami Shraddhanand (also known as Mahatma Munshi Ram Vij) was an Arya Samaj sannayasi. He fought for India’s independence and resurgence of Hindu culture and religion. He was a vehement campaigner against forced conversions. 

In his article, “Hindu-Muslim-Tensions: Causes and Resistance” (published in 1922), Mahatma Gandhi criticized Shraddhanand for his mission to reconvert to Hinduism all those who were forcibly converted to other religions. Gandhiji wrote: “Swami Shraddhanand has also become a character of disbelief. I know that his speeches are often provocative….” This was the period when Gandhiji was providing full support to the Khilafat Movement with the hope that this would lead to some kind of Hindu-Muslim unity. Gandhiji believed that by his religious mission, which was completely nonviolent, Shraddhanand was provoking the Muslim community. 

On 23 December 1926, Shraddhanand was assassinated by a fanatic who was angered by the work that he was doing for the Hindu cause.

Here’s another excerpt from Shraddhanand’s book: 

“The salvation of the community depends upon common action taken by the Hindu Samaj as a whole, but individual salvation is the lookout of individuals. Theoretical Dharma is connected with individual salvation and, therefore, there is room for theists, pantheists, henotheists and even atheists in the broad lap of the organized Hindu Samaj. But the code of practical Dharma has to do with the community as a whole and, therefore here the plea of individual Dharma should not be allowed to prevail…” (Page 110-111)

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