CELEBRATION OF THE GLORY OF MAHARISHI SWAMI DAYANAND SARASWATI
IN THE HOUSS OF BRITISH PARLIAMENT ON WEDNESDAY 14 MAY 2014
The Hindu Council UK, Arya Samaj London and the Metropolitan Police Hindu Association did something historic in the British Houses of Parliament in the London. They celebrated the glory of Swami Dayanand Saraswati - the wonderful personality of modern India.
The Event was attended by many dignitaries, faith representatives, prominent Hindu leaders and scholars including Right Honourable (RH) Lord Swraj Paul of Marylebone, RH Damian Green Minister of State for Policing, Criminal Justice & Victims, RH Shailesh Vara, Minister for Justice & MP for North West Cambridgeshire, RH Seema Malhotra, MP for Feltham & Heston and our Host, RH Virendra Sharma, MP for Ealing Southall, Madan Bahl, President, Arya Samaj London, Varsha Mistry, Chairperson, Metropolitan Police Hindu Association, Sonerao Acharya, main Priest and Scholar, Arya Samaj London, Shefali Davda, City Hindu Network, Haribhai Halai, President Hindu Forum of Britain, Dr Jagdish Sharma, Trustee HCUK and a Champion of Arya Samaj, Jay Lakhani, Trustee, HCUK & Hindu Academy, Amrit Lal Bhardwaj, General Secretary, Arya Samaj, London, Nirmalaben Pisavadia, Hindu Council of Wales, Cardiff, Vinod Thakrar, President, Lohana Community North London, Anna Prior and Shamender Talwar, The Unity of Faiths Foundation, Jyotsana Sharma, Art of Living (representing Chairperson Ameet Aggarwal), Arun K Trivedi, Chairperson, Sanskriti UK, Remya Unnithan, National Secretary, National Hindus Students Federation, Amarjeet Singh Bhambra Bhagwan Vishwakarma Sabha UK, Swaminathan Vaidyanathan, Secretary General Hindu Forum of Britain, Gurudev Rajesh Parmar, ISSA, Satish Sharma, General Secretary NCHT, Satya Minhas, Chairperson, Hindu Council UK, Rajnish Kashyap, General Secretary HCUK, Roger Metcalfe (representing MP Steve Baker), Sarita Menon, Art of Living, Asmita Masrani, Trustee Jalaram Mandir Greenford, Min Bhogaita, Director Deloitte, Ashok Chauhan, MBE MoD, Jaishree Dave from HMRC and distinguished members of the Arya Samaj, MPHA and HCUK.
The event started with the welcome from the General Secretary Arya Samaj London Amril Lal Bhardwaj, lighting of the Lamps by the five ladies and Arya prayer led by Pandit Sonerao Acharya. Our host Right Honourable Mrs Seema Malhotra, MP for Feltham & Heston welcome the packed audience in the Jubilee Room.
Many of the guests thanked us for inviting them to an inspiring, well organised and informative event. Euan Blair son of Tony Blair was also present and he expresses interest in attending our future events.
Brief outline of the speeches is as follows:
Pandit Sonerao Acharya, Minister of Religion, Arya Samaj London
Maharshi Dayanand saraswati was the greatest scholar of the Vedas in last five thousand years. Also he was the greatest yogi and the greatest Meta-physician. There were great leaders in modern India but Swami Dayanand Saraswati was above all. Because he was the mighty all rounder champion of social, educational, spiritual and cultural changes in India. He envisioned solutions to all Indian problems from the original Indian scriptures-The Divine Vedas. Even though he was the most composed yogi but still he was upset and often rest less because of miserable plight of Indian masses. All animals like cats, dogs, lions, tigers, and so on and so forth, are perfect in them-selves. The ones and only imperfect beings in the creation of God are human beings. That is why gracious God has endowed human children with long childhood so that they can go through long education system and acquire knowledge and try to perfect themselves. In this respect the command of the Vedas, MANUR BHAVA is very relevant. Arya Samaj is living and moving monument of Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati. KRINVANTO VISVAM AARYAM means let us ennoble the whole world. This is the loftiest order of The Vedas. Arya Samaj has taken upon its shoulders the greatest task of ennobling the whole world. That is why 'doing good to the world' is the main objective of Arya samaj. As a wife or as a husband, as children or even as neighbours if you want to live the most exalted and distinguished life then I invite hereby to join the movement of Arya Samaj. Thank you and namaste.
Dr M R Bahl, President, Arya Samaj London
Maharishi Swami Dayanand Sarswati established first Arya Samaj in Mumbai on 10th April 1875 with the aim of spreading true knowledge of Vedas and Vedic culture. In June 1877 Arya Samaj was opened in Lahore. Here the Ten Principles of Arya Samaj were adopted. Arya Samaj spread to other cities and provinces of India and overseas. South Africa, East Africa, Mauritius, Guyana, Europe, The USA and Canada have active branches of Arya Samaj. The history of Arya Samaj London is one of hard work and perseverance. In the early sixties a handful of people set up Vedic Mission and started Vedic prachar and performed Sanskaras in the homes of Hindus. Donations were collected and the name of Arya Samaj London was registered as a Charity. The present building was purchased in 1977 and renovations and extensions were carried out. The main aim of Arya Samaj is to do good to the people of the world. Dhanya Vad.
Miss Varsha Mistry, Chairperson, Metropolitan Police Hindu Association
It is a privilege and a great joy for me to greet you all on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Hindu Association today. Not surprisingly there has been overwhelming interest to attend today’s event to honour our Maha Purush, Swami Dayanand Saraswati. There are many reasons for us, as British Indians to feel proud. As a person of Hindu Gujarati origin, to know that we share a spiritual & geographical connection, with a spiritual leader and reformer who two centuries ago, promoted principles including:
- importance of empowerment and equality for women, including in military roles
- the importance of education and self-sufficiency and freedom,
Certainly makes me stand a little taller.
In the MPS we are expected to conduct our duties with compassion Integrity, Courage and professionalism all of these qualities resonate with the teachings of Swami Ji.
I am very much looking forward to celebrating magnificence of SWAMI JI with you all.
Dr. Jagdish Sharma, Trustee Hindu Council UK and Arya Samaj Croydon
Dr Jagdish Sharma began with a Vedic Mantra.
This event to celebrate the glory of Maharishi Swami Dayanand Saraswati was an historic landmark as this was the first time such an event was taking place in the Houses of Parliament. In this very room last year Swami Vivekanand’s 150th Birth Anniversary was also celebrated. Dr Sharma then recounted the history of Hindu Dharma which had degenerated to over ritualization by the middle of nineteenth century and how three great reformers, revivalists and rejuvenators came on the Indian scene – Ramkrishna Paramahansa, Swami Vivekanand and Swami Dayanand. They were almost contemporaries. They emphasised the return to the Vedas, the original Hindu texts, and concentrated on the essence of Dharma rather than mere ritualistic blind following of customs and superstitions.
Dr. Sharma then concentrated on four main contributions of Swami Dayanand: He was the first one to use the word Swaraj for India which gave rise to freedom movement; secondly he worked towards emancipation of women especially against child marriages and remarrying of widows; thirdly he campaigned against untouchability. And, fourthly Swamiji emphasised the value and importance of education, not only for boys but also for girls.
To carry out these activities Swami ji formed a permanent institution called Arya Samaj at Bombay in 1875. Arya Samaj through its Pracharaks, (missionaries) took Swamiji’s reformist message to cities, towns and villages all over India. Dr. Sharma then said that he himself was the creation of Arya Samaj. He was born in a remote village in north India, where there was school and literacy was unknown. It was an Araya Samaj Pracharak who came to his village with Swamiji’s message. He convinced my father that he should educate me. My father then hired a teacher who taught me Sanskrit and Hindi. White telling his own story Dr. Sharma became emotional and talked about his journey of education leading up to a Ph. D in Education from University of London. Dr. Sharma said that he owed his life to Arya Samaj.
Mr Jay Prakash “Dilip” Lakhani, Trustee Hindu Academy and Hindu Council UK
The academics in this country have realised the potency of this personality - his life and teachings are part of the Advanced level Hinduism syllabus!
Dayanandji emphasised idea of making spirituality the key feature of Indian Society - His dream may be realised on 16th May
What I love about him is his genuine compassion for the downtrodden masses - he lived and gave his life to improve their lot - for me that is the sign of real spirituality - love of humanity and my head bows down to such individuals who live for such high ideals.
Satya Minhas, Chairperson Hindu Council UK
The Hindu Council United Kingdom, an umbrella body to serve well over 400 organisations in the UK, is pleased to facilitate this event on behalf of two of our member organisations that is Arya Samaj London and Metropolitan Police Hindu Association. As the learned speakers have already communicated the glory of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, I would just like to quote what a great leader for the Indian struggle for freedom, Netaji Subhash Chander Bose said:
“Swami Dayanand Saraswati is certainly one of the most powerful personalities who has shaped modern India and is responsible for its moral regeneration and religious revival.”
Satya also gave a special message to all Hindus to consider joining Arya Samaj London and MPHA as a member. He also requested all Hindu Organisations to consider becoming a member of the Umbrella Hindu Organisations e.g. Hindu Council UK, Hindu Forum of Britain and taking a leading part in the Service of all Hindus in the United Kingdom.
Finally, Miss Varsha Mistry offered a vote of thanks. Varsha also expressed heartfelt thanks on behalf of the three organisations, to all supporters present and volunteers for rising to the challenges encountered and making the day a great success. The event concluded with Santhi Path.
Satya Minhas, Chairperson, Hindu Council UK