Maharshi Swami Dayanand Saraswati ji established Arya Samaj on April 7, 1875 in Mumbai, India
What did he mean by Arya? Not a race, not member of a caste or class, but a person, any person, of highest nature (shreshtha), character and conduct, religiously pious, dedicated to Dharma, seriously motivated and dedicated positively, a pursuant of truth and knowledge, honest in thought, word and deed. People of this nature, character and conduct are, in Vedic terms, inheritors of the earth because they sustain the life and environment on earth.
The meaning of the word Samaj is “a united, integrated, harmonious, living and vibrant community, it self moving and moving and advancing all others to a life of peace and comprehensive all round progress, physically, mentally, culturally and spiritually, for the individual and society as a whole.”
Swami Dayanand resolved to awaken India and the Hindu society. He introduced many positive reforms, among them the abolition of Sati Pratha, child marriage, dowry, un-touchability in the prevalent caste system, and introduction of women’s education. He firmly believed that the yoke of the British Empire had to go. He emphasized the concept of nationhood by introducing the word Swaraj (self rule) for the first time and a need for one national language. In his famous book, Satyartha Prakash (The Light of Truth), he sought to dispel rituals, dogmas and superstitions among all Indians.
Arya Samaj is based on 10 basic principles.