‘Arya Samaj’ is a type of reform movement focused on bringing the value of original Hinduism to modern-day Indians. This reform movement was founded back in 1875 by a man named Swami Dayananda and was based mostly on various Vedic texts. These texts, known as the Vedas, are known to be the oldest scriptures in Hinduism, and through the principles under these texts, modern-day Hindu followers can follow the path of transformation and become truly reformed persons.
The concept of the reform movement, called Arya Samaj, started with the establishment of various Vedic schools across India. This part of the founding of the reform movement started in the late 1800s with the main purpose of putting emphasis on the supposed way of living based on Vedic scripture. Students were taught the various principles according to the Vedic text, and these include lessons on values formation, creation of a God-centered culture, and religious exercises to promote self-transformation or religious, spiritual, moral, and social reform. Some of these Vedic schools also introduced non-traditional ways of worship like giving the importance to praying with the use of mantras instead of focusing on Indian idols and gods. There were many who disapproved of the way Hinduism was taught in these Vedic schools. These eventually led to the schools’ closure, but the reform movement continued on despite these kinds of challenges. New activities were introduced, and other principles were somewhat modified to cater to the differences in opinion to modern-day Hinduism followers.
At present, Arya Samaj continues to become relevant in the form of groups or societies that allow memberships and provide enlightenment lessons to other people. These reformist groups work with ten basic principles of the original Hinduism and Vedic scriptures. Under these principles, all Hindus should first acknowledge that all things come from God and that they should conduct their lives based on love, understanding, and justice for other people in the society.