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Obituary: Swami Dayananda Sarsawati Ji Attains Mahasamadhi

Gaurang G. Vaishnav

Swami Dayananda Saraswati Ji of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam has attained Mahasamadhi tonight (according to Bharatiya time) at his Rishikesh Ashram on the banks of mother Ganga. It was his desire to leave his body near Ganga Ji.

Those who came in contact with him would readily agree that he was a teacher par excellence of Vedanta and was modern day equivalent of Adi Shankaracharya and Swami Vivekananda. He established Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Poconos, PA in early eighties and made it into a gigantic institution to distribute knowledge/Gyan of vedic traditions in a true Gurukul style. What was unique about Swamiji was that he trained his disciple Swamijis and then set them free to establish their own Ashrams to continue dissemination of their wisdom. He didn't hold onto them neither did he make himself indispensable in that sense. 
Today Swami Viditatmananda, Swami Pratyagbodhanada, Swami Tattvavidananda,  Swami Parmatmananda, Swami Tadatmananda, Swamini Svatmavidyananda, Swamini Vilasananda, Swamini Srividyananda and a host of other Swamis and Swaminis carry on legacy of Swami Dayananda Ji in their own Ashrams across the world. 

We at Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America feel privileged to have had Swami Dayananda Saraswati Ji as our guiding force over the years.  It was Swamiji who directed us in late 90's to hold Dharma Samsad in USA to assemble all Saints and Gurus of Western hemisphere; it was with Swamiji's blessings that we embarked upon Hindu Mandir Executives' Conference (HMEC) initiative in 2006, which has become a great success. Very few people know that when Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) was established in Bharat on August 29, 1964 at Sandipani Ashram of late Swami Chinmayananda Ji in Mumbai, it was Swami Dayananda Saraswati, then his disciple, who wrote VHP's draft constitution.
Some of us were very fortunate to have had opportunity to have last Darshan of Swamiji at Arsha Vidya Gurukulam on August 25th the day he left for Bharat in an air ambulance. Though he was on a stretcher and had to labor to speak, he spoke at a length; his words were peppered with his usual humor and wit. In that halting message, he had expressed desire to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi (himself a spiritual aspirant) before giving up his body. We had conveyed the message to the PMO and also Ashram contacts had talked with PMO.  As soon as Swamiji reached Bharat, Modiji had a Skype conversation with him. At Modiji's request, Swamiji agreed to take two more treatment of dialysis and as God would have wished, on September 11th, Modiji made a trip to Rishikesh and met Pujya Swamiji. Swamiji blessed Modiji, which is for the good of the nation.
While we will miss his physical presence, we know from his teachings that this body is but a temporary abode for the Atman in its quest to merge with the Supreme.  As Swamiji used to say, "All is God."
You may leave your tributes at http://www.arshavidya.org/contact-us.html
Hari OM, Shanti!

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