Dayanand Saraswati (1824- 83): Dayanand Saraswati was a Hindu religious leader and founder of the Arya Samaj, a Hindu reform movements of the Vedic tradition. He was also a renowned scholar of the Vedic lore and Sanskrit language. He was the first to give the call for Swaraj as “Indian for India” in 1876, a call later taken up by Lokmanya Tilak. Denouncing the idolatry and ritualistic worship prevalent in Hinduism at the time, he worked towards reviving Vedic ideologies. Subsequently, the philosopher and President of India, S. Radhakrishnan called him one of the “makers of Modern India”, as did Sri Aurobindo.
One of his most influential works is the book Satyarth Prakash, which contributed to the Indian independence movement.
Swami Dayananda Saraswati’s creations, the Arya Samaj(7 april, 1875) , condemns practices of several different religions and communities, including such practices as idol worship, animal sacrifice, pilgrimages, priest craft, offerings made in temples, the castes, child marriages, meat eating and discrimination against women. He argues that all of these practices run contrary to good sense and the wisdom of the Vedas. The Arya Samaj discourages dogma and symbolism and encourages skepticism in beliefs that run contrary to common sense and logic.
Those who were influenced by and followed Dayananda included Madam Cama, Pandit Lekh Ram, Swami Shraddhanand, Pandit Guru Dutt Vidyarthi, Shyamji Krishna Varma (who established India House in England for Freedom fighters,) Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Lala Hardayal, Madan Lal Dhingra, Ram Prasad Bismil, Mahadev Govind Ranade Swami Shraddhanand, Mahatma Hansraj, Lala Lajpat Rai and others. One of his most influential works is the book Satyarth Prakash, which contributed to the Indian independence movement.