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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Dayānanda Sarasvatī

(1824-1883). The founder of an Indian movement called the Arya Samaj which was dedicated to the revival of the Vedic religion and which played an important part during the early period of the Theosophical Society (TS). There are a number of references to him in The Mahatma Letters to Alfred P. SINNETT.

In 1878, Henry S. OLCOTT, the first president of the Theosophical Society, contacted Dayananda who was then in Bombay and proposed an amalgamation of the two societies and this was agreed to. In August 1878 Olcott received the full “Rules of the Arya Samaj” and realized that the aims of the latter were incompatible with those of the Theosophical Society and eventually the association was terminated. This caused a serious rift and Dayananda became very hostile toward the Theosophical Society and its members. Dayananda died October 30, 1883.

P.S.H.

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