A Brilliant Thinker

New York Times

Swami Dayananda Saraswati (Arsha Vidya), an internationally known Hindu monk, a great visionary, an eminent and traditional teacher of Vedanta (the timeless religious, spiritual and core

philosophy from India), and a brilliant thinker and writer attained mahā-samādhi (cessation of bodily existence) on September 23, 2015 in Rishikesh, India. Swami Dayananda established traditional Vedanta teaching centers carrying the banner ‘Arsha Vidya’ (meaning “knowledge of the Rishis”) including three in India and one in Saylorsburg, PA. He was also the founder of All India Movement for Seva (or service), a unique social enterprise that brings education and healthcare to the children living in the rural areas of India through student homes, schools, and clinics, totally free of cost. Swami Dayananda worked tirelessly over several decades to promote multiple inter-religious dialogues, and was an author and contributor to many Joint Declarations, with Jewish and Buddhist leaders for example.

Swami Dayananda’s teachings, lectures and writings have been published in more than 60 titles in English, and some of them have been translated to other languages. A popular book that has been translated to both Spanish and French is The Value of Values. It is particularly popular among youth as it discusses the commonly sensed human values, an appreciation of which is the most important ingredient for harmony among religions, nations and cultures. Swami Dayananda’s commitment to religious harmony made him a revered spiritual leader across a wide spectrum of traditions around the world.

The final obsequies of Swami Dayananda, as per the Hindu tradition for a monk, were performed, in Rishikesh, India, in the presence of thousands of disciples, religious leaders, admirers and the general public.