Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati, a profound thinker, spiritual master and teacher of Vedanta, was born in Manjakkudi, on 15 August 1930. His parents, Sri. Gopala Iyer and Smt. Valambal named their son Natarajan. He studied in the village primary school until class 5, and later in the Government High School at Ohai, Kudavasal. In 1948, after completing his high school, Swamiji left for Chennai to seek employment. In the next few decades, Swamiji’s life underwent a great transformation. The spiritual life beckoned him and he followed his guru Swami Chinmayanandaji, studying, teaching and travelling across the world spreading the vision of Vedanta. After taking Sanyas from his guru in 1962, he was given the name Swami Dayananda Saraswati. He attained Samadhi on 23 September 2015 at Rishikesh. He was posthumously awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2016.

Although he was always keenly aware of the needs of the people of this region, it was not until the year 2000, that he could focus on his birth village.  In 2003, Swami Dayananda Educational Trust was established. Swamiji’s vision was that each individual is taught to appreciate his or her culture  that he or she is born into; for only such a person who values his or her background can grow into a confident, mature human being, who can contribute to the growth of his community, of his country. It is this vision that guides each of our institution, in their efforts to reach out to the students of rural India.

Swamiji’s Global Vision – Nurturing the diversity of the human culture

  • 1980 – Addressed the United Nations NGO representatives on ‘The Moral Imperatives of Ending the Arms Race’
  • 1995 – The UNESCO Seoul Global Convention
  • 1995 – The United Nations 50th Anniversary Celebrations
  • 2000 – The Millennium World Peace Summit
  • 2001 – The International Congress for the Preservation of Religious Diversity
  • 2001 – The Conference on the Preservation of Sacred Sites
  • 2002 – World Council of Religious Leaders
  • 2002 – Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders
  • 2002 – World Council of Churches
  • 2002 – The Youth Peace Summit
  • 2002 – A Hindu-Christian Dialogue with the World Council of Churches
  • 2007 – The Hindu – Jewish Leadership Summit
  • 2008 – World Religions after 9/11 Conference
  • 2008 – Faith in Human Rights Conference
  • 2009 – Global Peace Initiative of Women