PUJYA SWAMI DAYANANDA SARASWATI
Swami Dayananda was a guru in the real sense of that word. He did not give emphasis to Himself but rather, directed us to studying our own lives in the light of the meanings he unfolded. And these meanings seen and lived, dispell the darkness of ignorance.
He would repeatedly say “see the meaning”. By this he did not mean to get the correct idea of what he was saying. Grasping ideas as we do when we study something like philosophy, is not SEEING. His whole emphasis was to SEE what he was talking about as it exists in our own lives.
For Dayananda, seeing “what is” in a clear and undistorted way IS knowledge. Without this kind of seeing becoming active in us, it is not possible to resolve all the different forms of human unhappiness which we human beings tend to suffer from.
He did not want people to study Vedanta as a subject away from their lives but rather, he wanted us to study our everyday lives in the light of this teaching, in order to be able to live a life which was free.
He split the subject of Vedanta into two distinct areas of study: Self-Knowledge and self-growth. Vedanta teachers teach Self-knowledge.
My interest is in sharing what He and I used to joke about, namely “Dayananda psychology”. The subject matter of this psychology is self- growth; the growth of ourselves as individuals who are living in this world. This growth involves a transformation of ourselves that changes us at our very core. This transformation does not depend on religious belief but rather, it involves SEEING what really is as opposed to what SEEMS to be.
As human beings, we are not moved by thoughts but rather by our emotions. Emotions are what moves us. Unless there is a transformation of what moves us, there is no real change in us. We can read as many spiritual books as we like, but unless there is a change in what moves us emotionally, our psychological structure remains the same. If our psychological structure remains the same, the various forms of unhappiness that goes along with this structure is firmly held in place.
Swami Dayananda did not unfold a religious doctrine or a spiritual philosophy. Rather, his teaching opens our eyes to what it means to BE free WHILE living. In other words, what is important is the discovery of what it means to BE FREE in the first place and then, to learn to LIVE this freedom as we go about our daily lives.
Not only was he a great Vedanta teacher which is important in its own right, he was also an extraordinary psychological thinker. He clarified the nature and structure of ALL forms of psychological suffering but more importantly, he showed us how to be released from this suffering BY living an entirely different life.