Swami Virjananda Saraswati
A commemorative postage stamp on Virajanand Dandeesha, an Indian blind sage from Mathura, Guru of Arya Samaj founder Dayanand Saraswati :
Issued on Sep 14, 1971
Issued for : The P & T Department are privileged to bringing out a stamp honouring this Saint. The stamp depicts the Swamiji in a sitting posture.
The design on the First Day Cover high-lights symbolically the life work of Swami Virjanand in propagating knowledge of the Vedas and other “arsha Shastras”.
Description of Design : The design of the stamp is vertical and depicts Swami Virjanand in the centre, in a sitting pose.
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Mineral Red
Denomination : 20 Paise
Overall Size : 3.34 X 2.88 cms.
Printing Size : 2.98 X 2.52 cms.
Perforation : 13½ x 14
Watermark : Printed on unwatermarked adhesive stamp paper
Number Printed : 30,00,000
Number per issue sheet : 42
Printing Process : Photogravure
Designed and Printed at : India Security Press
Name : Virajanand Dandeesha
Born on 1778 at Kartarpur, near Jalandhar, Punjab, India
Died on Sep 14, 1868
- Swami Virjanand, the blind sage of Mathura and the celebrated teacher of Swami Dayanand Saraswati who founded the Arya Samaj, was born in a place near Jullundur in the year 1778 in a Brahmin family. At the tender age of five, the boy lost his eyesight after an attack of small pox. Soon thereafter, the boy’s father, who was himself a Sanskrit scholar and who had initiated the boy into the rudiments of Sanskrit learning, passed away. Thus the boy was thrown to the mercies of his elder brother and sister-in-law at a very young age. As they did not treat him well, the temperamental Virjanand soon left their house. His wanderings led him to Rishikesh where he led a life of meditation and austerity for about three years. Tradition has it that Swami Virjanand left Rishikesh for Hardwar at the instance of a divine command. At Hardwar Virjanand came in contact with Swami Purnanand, a renowned Sanskrit scholar who initiated him into ‘sanyas‘. Swami Purnanand created in him a love for Sanskrit grammar and for the “arsha” Shastras. Soon Virjanand began to master other branches of Sanskrit literature, and also took up the work of teaching others. After this course at Hardwar, Swami Virjanand left for Kashi, the well-known city for Sanskrit learning and for higher studies. Here he lived for about 10 years, mastering Meemansa, Vedanta, Ayurveda, etc. Soon he came to occupy a place of eminence among the scholars of Varanasi. From Varanasi, Swami Virjanand went to Gaya where he stayed for about four years. At Gaya, he made a comprehensive and critical study of Upanishads, the preliminary study of which he had first taken up at Hardwar and completed at Varanasi. From Gaya, Swami Virjanand went to Calcutta which was, at that time, attracting Sanskrit talent from all over the country. At Calcutta, Swamiji lived for a number of years impressing the citizens with his masterly knowledge of Sanskrit grammar and literature. In spite of the material comforts he had at Calcutta, Swami Virjanand soon left that city and settled at Gadia Ghat on the banks of the Ganges. It was here that the then Maharaja of Alwar came across the Swamiji and was greatly impressed by him. On the invitation of the Maharaja, Swamiji agreed to come to Alwar where he stayed for some time. At the request of the Maharaja, Swamiji wrote “Shabda–Bodh“, the manuscript of which is still treasured in the library at Alwar. From Alwar, Virjanand went to Soron and from there to Mathura after visiting Bharatpur and Mursan.
- At Mathura he established a “pathshala” to which students flocked from all over the country. The expenses of the pathshala were met by donations from the Rajput Princes and no fees were charged from the pupils. It was at Mathura that Swami Virjanand came across his most illustrious disciple, the famous Dayanand Saraswati. Swami Virjanand was a very hard task master and he expected a very high standard of diligence and discipline in his students. Even Dayanand Saraswati was not spared by his master.
- When Dayanand Saraswati completed his course, Swami Virjanand demanded from him as ‘guru-dakshina‘ – a vow that he will work incessantly to spread “arsha” literature and knowledge of the Vedas in this country. Swami Dayanand promised his guru accordingly.
- Swami Virjanand died on Monday, the 14th September, 1868, on Krishna Trayodashi day at the age of 90.