The Arya Samaj was founded by Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati on April 7, 1875 in Bombay with ten fundamental principles of universal character to revive and propagate the Vedic way of life. As enshrined in these principles, the Arya Samaj is a world movement. It exhorts all to accept truth and renounce untruth. Its prime object is to do good to the world, making people physically strong, spiritually enlightened and socially uplifted. It preaches love, justice and righteousness towards all without distinction of race, caste or creed. The goal of Arya Samaj is - Make This World Noble.
Swami Dayanand was a great sage and a fearless reformer who sought, apart from restoring Hinduism to its original radiance and wisdom, also to propagate the spirit of nationalism in different parts of India. The essence of his teachings is contained in 'Satyarth Prakash' a monumental treatise, which forms the essence of the Arya Samaj philosophy. The teachings of the Vedas, summarised into 10 basic principles, lie at the core of the Arya Samaj. With numerous institutions engaged in education, social service and spiritual activities, the Arya Samaj today gives hope and direction to thousands of people in more than 35 countries around the world, advocating 'Universal Brotherhood' and 'One Dharma' by adhering to the rules of :
'Realising God by understanding and speaking all truth, developing a scientific and rational temperament, acquiring more and more knowledge to be utilized for common welfare, destroying superstitious and fraudulent mentality, controlling sensual passions, associating with noble persons, cultivating good and active habits and being honest in dealing with others etc."
The Arya Samaj has supported the spirit of 'Swadeshi' i.e. self- reliance of the economy as the primary strategy for driving away poverty. However, in continuation of the teachings of Swami Dayanand, the Samaj also lays emphasis on establishing economic and political links with other countries. The Vedic path of economics not only ensures a healthy and corporate society but maintains the dignity of human soul also. The Arya Samaj considered the caste system, untouchability, child marriage and unequal status of women as inhumane, and drawing strength from the Vedas, fought a social battle successfully against them. The role played by the Samaj in the national awakening of the late 19th and early 20th century was of great significance.