Dayananda argued that God
has no shape, and therefore, idols should not be worshipped. This was not acceptable to
the majority of Hindus. But none of them could answer his arguments. So some of them began
secretly to plan his murder. Thousands of Hindu converts were taken back into Hindu fold
by purification rites conducted by Dayananda. This made the followers of these religions
angry. So Dayananda was in danger both from the followers of his own religion and from the
followers of other religions. And he had to walk along this path full of dangers.
An Anupashahar, a certain Hindu deceived the Swamiji and gave him pan-supari (betel
leaf and nuts)
Containing poison. Afterwards Dayananda realized that he had been poisoned. He went to
the river and with the help of Yoga, he removed the poison by vomiting all the food he had
swallowed and saved himself. Even then he did not utter a single word to the man who
poisoned him. But he felt sad that the Hindus could not understand their true well-wisher.
Syed Saheb was the tahsildar of the place and a devotee 0f Dayananda; he came to know what
had happened and arrested the poisoner. When he learnt this, Dayananda was angry and said,
"Sir, I have come here to free people from bondage and not to put them in
bondage." On hearing this Syed Saheb was moved to tears. He felt that the Swamiji was
in every way worthy of his name 'Dayananda' (one who delights in mercy).
At last the killers gained the upper hand. Once Swamy Dayananda went to Jodhpur.
Maharaja Jaswant Singh, the prince of the state, was a man of bad character. He was in
love with a girl called Nanhi Jan. Many a time the Maharaja had brought shame upon himself
by his conduct. Dayananda told him clearly that his action was morally wrong and shameful.
So Nanhi Jan came to hate the Swamiji bitterly.
It was the night of 20th September 1883. As usual the Swamiji drank some milk and went
to bed. At about midnight he felt a severe pain in the stomach. When he woke up Dayananda
realized that poison had entered his stomach. Immediately he vomited a couple of times,
but it was of no avail. The poison had already entered the blood and spread throughout his
body. It caused a burning sensation in his stomach and chest. On the next day, a doctor,
Dr. Alimardan Khan, was called in. But his medicine only made Dayananda's condition worse.
His body was full of sores. And blood was oozing out. This hellish torture lasted several
days. The Maharaja, too, was very sad; but he could do nothing. However, he arranged to
send Dayananda to a different place for treatment. And he himself was one of the bearers
of the palanquin for a short distance.
One day, when there was no one near by, Swamy Dayananda called his cook Dhaul Mishra.
Seeing the blood oozing out of Dayananda's body, the cook could not control his grief. He
said," I listened to traitors and mixed powdered glass with your milk. My God, I have
committed a heinous sin! Please forgive me." So saying he broke down. Dayananda
consoled him with the words, "it was my fate. How are you to blame?" He then
placed two hundred rupees in his hands and said, "If the Maharaja comes to know this,
you will be in trouble. So go away to distant Nepal and hide yourself. Let this money be
with you for your journey." So saying he sent away the Cook to a place of safety.
Afterwards Swamy Dayananda was removed to Mount Abu for further treatment, and from
there to Ajmir. But no effort could save him. The 30th of October 1883 was Deepavali day.
He had a shave and bath, and lay down on his bed in a white loin cloth. Afterwards he
called his disciples to his bedside and took a last look at them all with a benevolent
smile. He then recited the Gayathri manthra and closed his eyes in Samadhi. It was six in
the evening. The word 'Om' came from his mouth; and then his breathing stopped.
Dayananda was a great philosopher, a mighty logician, a magnificent speaker, a great
man of letters, social reformer, patriot, philonthropist and sage, and a precursor of
armed revolution; he was the embodiment of pure and noble conduct. He taught people to
think independently and fearlessly.
Dayananda was a great Rishi (a sage). He sacrificed the great joy that would have been
his by observing yoga practices. He chose a very difficult life for the well-being of
mankind. But what did he get in return for all this? Beatings, insults, abuses and poison.
He accepted all this with a smile. And he always wished the well-being of all mankind.