The Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj founded by Swami Dayanand Saraswati on April 10, 1875 in Bombay (now Mumbai), with an objective to eliminate the ills prevalent within the Hindu society at that time. Contrary to some misconceptions, it is not a new religion or a new sect in Hinduism.
Arya Samaj aims to eradicate Ignorance (Agyan), Indigence (Abhav) and Injustice (Anyaya) and, thus, promote love, justice and righteousness towards all, irrespective of race, caste or creed. Arya Samaj follows the principles espoused in the Vedas, which are universally true for all of mankind, to meet the stated objectives. Arya Samaj believes in one Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Merciful, eternal reality called Om, which is the source of all intelligence, justice and bliss.
One of the main missions of the Arya Samaj has been education with an special emphasis of imparting it to the women. Arya Samaj is currently one of the largest providers of education in India, from pre-school to graduate level.
As Indians moved away from the borders of India to settle in other lands, several carried with them the principles of Arya Samaj. They established branches of Arya Samaj in their adopted countries in order to continue the good work, to educate their offspring about the rich history, cultural heritage and traditions of India, and to inspire them to carry on the beliefs and practices of Arya Samaj.
In North America, a number of Arya Samaj organizations have been formed since the 1970s. They gradually become an essential part of the Hindu Community and serve as houses of worship as well as community centers. In the year 1991, they came together to form the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha America, a congress of Arya Samajs in North America.
Arya Samaj of New Jersey
The seed for Arya Samaj in New Jersey was planted in January, 1982 when Rajinder and Jyoti Gandhi invited the members of Arya Samaj of Suburban Nrew York for havan at their home in Ridgewood. Arya Samaj of New Jersey (initially called Arya Samaj of Bergen County) had its first public gathering on August 1, 1982 at 113 Cottage Place, Ridgewood. Nearly four decades later, the Samaj continues to serve as a welcoming and compassionate extended family, offering weekly havan satsangs as well as children and youth classes. Annual cultural events are held to celebrate Hindu holidays and festivals. The credit for nurturing, sustaining and lifting this venerable and vibrant institution to greater heights, goes to the continuous, selfless and untiring efforts of all volunteers and generous donors.