The Arya Samaj movement is essentially a religious institution but became a significant force in India's religious and secular struggle for social and cultural self-determination. Its founding in 1875 presaged the creation of independent India in 1947. This work does not attempt a detailed
examination of the movement but provides an outline of its growth and philosophy in the light of the work of its founder Swami Dayanand Sarasvati. the complex of institutions and upliftment programmes initiated by the Samaj and the major historical forces which acted to shape the movement are a cause for considerable pride.
The Arya Samaj was one of several socio-religious movements which were founded in the nineteenth century. It was however responsible for constructing some of the best known educational institutions in north India. The repercussions of this were felt by emigrant Indian communities in such places as mauritius, South Africa and Guyana. What started then as a small religious sect has now grown into a religious denomination of considerable influence. In South Africa the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha is one of
the best known Hindu organisations wielding influence among the north Indian segment of the Hindu population.
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