Dayanand Saraswati was born on 12, February, 1824 in Tankara, Gujarat. His original name was Mool Shankar. His father Karsanji was a tax collector and was a rich, prosperous and influential person. He was the head of an eminent Brahmin family of the village. When Mool Shankar was eight years old, Yajnopavita Sanskara, or the investiture with thread of the “twice-born” were performed. His father was a follower of Shiva and taught Dayanand Saraswati the ways to impress the Lord. Dayanand was also told the importance of keeping fasts. On the occasion of Shivaratri, Dayanand had to sit awake the whole night in obedience to Lord Shiva. One such night, he saw a mouse eating the offerings to the God and running over the idol’s body. After seeing this, he questioned himself, if the God could not defend himself against a little mouse then how could he be the savior of the massive world.
When Dayanand was fourteen years old, his sister died. He was so shocked by the sudden demise of his sister that he began to look upon death as a challenge. He also ran away from home to know the secret of death. In search of the answer, Dayanand wandered all over the country for around twenty years. During his course, Dayanand visited temples and sacred places of religious devotion. He met Yogis living in the mountains and forests but nobody had the perfect answer Dayanand was seeking for.
Lastly, Dayanand Saraswati went to Mathura where he found Swami Vrijananda and became his disciple. Vrijananda asked Dayanand to throw away all his books and learn directly from the Vedas. After completing his Vedic-education, Dayanand realized that his purpose of learning the “secret of death” has been satisfied. On the day Dayanand was to leave from the ashram, Swami Vrijananda called him and asked to spread the knowledge of Vedas in the society. The name Rishi Dayanand was also given by his guru Swami Vrijananda.1 2 3 4 5