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It was through the stomach of the Brahman that the food was transmitted to the hungry dead to last them a full year. A death in the family was followed by Kirya rites fifteen days after cremation. The first death anniversary was celebrated as Barkhi, the Chaubarkha was performed on the fourth death anniversary. This over, performance of Khiah and Shraadh were recurrent annual rites.
The speeches of Lala Lajpat Rai, Mahatma Hans Raj, Principal Dewan Chand, Dr. Gokal Chand Narang, Lala Sain Das and Kali Babu, Bengali Editor of the Tribune, who spoke quite often at the Sunday meetings, weaned me away from the orthodox Puranic way of life and worship in which I had grown. All these persons had made great sacrifices for the Arya Samaj. Mahatma Hans Raj had given his life to the Arya Samaj and the D.A.V. movement without any remuneration. Principal Dewan Chand, Dr. Gokal Chand Narang and Lala Sain Dass were Life Members of the D.A.V. College, dedicated to serve the College and the Arya Samaj for a mere pittance. They lived simple lives, studied the scriptures and modern literature and gave effective religious discourses. I was also influenced by the speeches of Lala Munshi Ram who later became Swami Shradanand. He was a powerful speaker. His scheme of education in Gurukalas appealed to me a good deal.
I was considerably influenced by the teachings of Swami Dayanand as interpretted by the Arya Samaj leaders and the dedicated men who were its members. The sacrifices the Life Members had made for the cause appealed to me greatly. I also attended the Brahm Samaj on several occasions, but it did not exercise much influence on me for it looked, like a foreign plant on Indian soil. more akin to Christianity. It was inspired more by Western thought than by ancient Indian culture. It never took root in the Punjab, though it claimed the allegiance of some men and women, known for piety and high character.
to be continued...