"I accept as Dharma whatever is in full conformity with impartial justice, truthfulness and the like; that which is not opposed to the teachings of God as embodied in the Vedas. Whatever is not free from partiality and is unjust, partaking of untruth and the like, and opposed to the teachings of God as embodied in the Vedas—that I hold as adharma."
"He, who after careful thinking, is ever ready to accept truth and reject falsehood; who counts the happiness of others as he does that of his own self, him I call just."— Satyarth Prakash
Dayananda Saraswati was born on the 10th day of waning moon in the month of Purnimanta Falguna (either the 12 or 24 February 1824) on the tithi to a Hindu family in Jeevapar Tankara, Kathiawad region (now Morbi district of Gujarat.) His original name was Mul Shankar because he was born in Dhanu Rashi and Mul Nakshatra. His father was Karshanji Lalji Tiwari, a wealthy tax collector, and mother Amrutbai. His father also served as the head of an eminent Hindu family of the village. As such Dayanand led a comfortable early life, learning Sanskrit and studying the Vedas and other religious texts.
Dayananda Saraswati spent nearly twenty-five years, from 1845 to 1869, as a wandering ascetic, searching for religious truth. He gave up material goods and lived a life of self-denial, devoting himself to spiritual pursuits in forests, retreats in the Himalayan Mountains, and pilgrimage sites in northern India. During these years he practiced various forms of yoga and became a disciple of a religious Teacher named Virajanand Dandeesha. Virajanand believed that Hinduism had strayed from its historical roots and that many of its practices had become impure. Dayananda Sarasvati promised Virajanand that he would devote his life to restoring the rightful place of the Vedas in the Hindu faith.
The deaths of his younger sister and his uncle from cholera caused Dayananda to ponder the meaning of life and death. He began asking questions which worried his parents. He was engaged in his early teens, but he decided marriage was not for him and ran away from home in 1846.
One of the most important debates took place on 22 October 1869 in Varanasi, where he won a debate against 27 scholars and approximately 12 expert pandits. The debate recorded to have been attended by over 50,000 people. The main topic was "Do the Vedas uphold deity worship?"
Later, Maharaja arranged for Swamiji to be sent to Mount Abu as per the advice of Residency, however, after staying for some time in Abu, Swamji was sent to Ajmer for better medical care. On 26 October 1883. There was no improvement in his health and he died on the morning of 30 October 1883 at 6:00 am, chanting mantras. The day coincided with Hindu festival of Diwali.
He also had a notable influence on Bhagat Singh. Singh, after finishing primary school, had joined the Dayanand Anglo Vedic Middle School, of Mohan Lal road, in Lahore. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, on Shivratri day, 24 February 1964, wrote about Dayananda: