Vedic Vision - Ancient Insight Into Modern Life (A Translation of 'Sanskar Chandrika' The Scientific Exposition of Rishi Dayanand's Sanskar Vidhi)


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About the Book

Satyavrata had a humble beginning. Born in Ludhiana, Punjab, he was the son of a railway employee. Satyavrata went on to graduate from the Gurukula situated near the banks of the Ganga at Hardwar. He began his career by giving lectures in Vedic philosophy through-out the country under the instructions of Swami Shraddhanand - founder of the Gurukula. Later, Satyavrata began teaching at his alma mater. After holding various responsible positions at the Gurukula, he was appointed Vice Chancellor, Chancellor and finally Visitor of the institution, which had by then grown into a University.

In 1930, Satyavrata got actively involved in India's freedom movement and was imprisoned for a year. A versatile scholar, Satyavrata went on to write on a wide range of subjects. These ranged from anthropology, sociology, psychology and homeopathy to the Upanishads, the Gita, the Vedas and Vedic Culture. His book on sociology won him the prestigious Mangala Prasad prize from the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan. In 1962, he was nominated to the Indian Parliament by Dr. Radhakrishnan, the President of India. In 1978 he presided over the International Aryan conference at Nairobi. In 1981, he was honoured by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan for his book 'Scientific basis of Vedic thought', written in Hindi.

All his writings bear the stamp of his clarity of thought and lucid style. His expositions on Vedic Culture, the Upanishads and the Gita are outstanding literary achievements.

Satyavrata's late wife, Srimati Chandravati Lakhanpal was also an educationist and author of repute, and a member of the first Upper House of the Indian Parliament. He is survived by a son.


Rishi Dayanand was born in the year 1824 and diedin the year 1883. He lived for 59 years. In the year 1860, at the age of 36 years began his education under the care of Guru Virjanand. Whatever creative work was achieved by the Rishi was after this period. In this manner, he had a time span of 22 to 23 years only for his creative work. Out of this period, he spent sometime for self-mortification and in the remaining time he travelled from every nook and corner of the country spreading the message of Vedic religion, writing commentary on the Vedas, wrote several books and original treatises like `Satyaarth Prakash', `Sanskar Vidhi' and an exposition on the Rig Veda. It is amazing that his each and every work is enough to absorb an individual's whole life span. To offer so much to society in such a short, period was possible only by the great ascetic sage-(aditya brahmachari) Rishi Dayanand. Whatever was useful for the followers of Vedic culture has been wrapped up by the Rishi in his writings.

There are 2 aspects of human life-theoretical and practical. With his original and constructive ideas, Rishi Dayanand created an upheaval amongst his contemporary thinkers. Whereas he attacked the conservative and dogmatic approach within the country; he also calmed down the materialistic approach of the West. He established the prestige and dignity of Vedic Culture of the ancient sages of India giving it a definite form in his treatise `Satyaarth Prakash'. This was his doctrinaire work. But a doctrine without being practical and without thoughtful action only sprouts. Without converting the dream into practice, the Rishi's human would have been left like-a well has meaning only when it is used. For a seed to grow into a tree; it has to sprout first. The aim of Rishi Dayanand was to create a commotion, an agitation, a movement in the man of his times, thereby developing a new human. He wanted to burn the trash and establish a foundation of a new edifice of society where the new human and new society wake up from their slumber. To give a practical shape to this idea of creating a new human order, he wrote the `Sanskar Vidhi'. `Satyaarth Prakash' is the exposition of his doctrine, his ideology; `Sanskar Vidhi' is the practical i.e. func-tional aspect of the same ideology. Picking up the cord from here, we have undertaken to write the exposition and commentary of the Sanskar Vidhi'.

Many scholars have done research on `Sanskar Vidhi'. The photostat of the original `Sanskar Vidhi' has been published by the Arya Sahitya Prachar Trust. Under the auspices of the Ram Lal Kapur Trust, 'The Arya Samaj Shatabdi Sanskaran' has been published with various comments. The Vedic Press has published this many times with amendments and has taken out many editions.

Wherever possible we have considered these opinions, however, it has been our endeavour to maintain the statements and language as stated by Rishi Dayanand. With all these comments, it does not make much difference in the prescribed rites and ceremonies. What influence or difference it can make where one word has been added or deleted? The essence is to reach the inner soul (Atma) of the Sanskar.

Our book is not a document of rectification of research, the aim of this commentary is to reach the soul of `Sanskar Vidhi' and try to understand it. Therefore, it has been called as the scientific commentary on `Sanskar Vidhi'. About 50 to 60 years back, work was done by Pt. Atmaram and Pt. Bhimsen Sharma with whose efforts a book by the name of "Sanskar Chandrika" was published. Actually there is a lot of difference between that work and this one inspite of a slight similarity in the title. This difference will become clear while studying this book.

We have divided each sanskar in 2 parts-Wivechanatmak' (analytical part) and `Mantraarth sahit vidhi' (Ritual part with meanings of mantras). In the analytical part, reflections have been put forth concerning that sanskar about the scientific, psychological and philosophical point of view. In the ritual part, various headings for each ritual have been given to make it clear and simple so that there is no difficulty while conducting the sanskar.

While giving meanings of the mantras, the sanskrit words are given in bold type within brackets and the meanings of the words are given in light type outside the brackets. The idea is that if only the. sanskrit vocabulary is read then the meaning of the mantra based on figure of speech is understood. Whereas if only the hindi meaning is read, then effort has been made that the meanings of mantra convey a meaningful sentence. Generally it is observed that while giving the meaning, commentators only write the meanings of the words. After the meaning of the mantra, substance of the mantra has also been given so that there is an awareness of the deep inner aim of the mantra.

There are always a few mistakes, howsoever carefully the proof is read, therefore, I shall be grateful and thankful if any errors are pointed out. Whatever mistakes have come to my notice, an addenda has been given at the back.

**Contents and Sample Pages**