Arya Samaj

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Arya Samaj was founded by Swami Dayananda Sarasvati in 1875 as a radical reform movement. Dayananda wanted to halt the Christian missionary onslaught and return to the Vedic tradition. He therefore sought to purge Hinduism of what he considered later additions, such as image worship, pilgrimage and ritual bathing. Although emphasizing the Vedic tradition, Dayananda  also wanted to modernize Hinduism and re-absorb Hindus who had converted to Islam and Christianity. The followers of Arya Samaj agree to follow its “Ten Principles”, worship largely through havan or the sacred fire ceremony and recitation of the Gayatri mantra.