President’s Message

Message from the President – 2020
Sukhdev Chand Soni
President and Founding Member
Arya Samaj of Chicagoland

Welcome to 2020 – a new year in the western calendar!  2019 was a phenomenal year for Arya Samaj of Chicagoland and our community.  We hosted the annual Mahasammelan of the National Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of the Americas, here in Chicagoland.  A 4-day event that brought together international scholars and teachers, our local community leaders and families from near and far.  With attendance of close to 500 guests over the four days, we hosted a spiritual gathering that inspired many, discussing the history and future of the Arya Samaj.
We have started several new programs including (i) a dedicated Mahila Samaj – for women leaders of our community to expand the Arya Samaj principles in their homes and communities; (ii) Children’s Vedic classes which help young children understand the diverse culture and heritage they belong to and can take pride in; (iii) Satyaarth Prakash classes – direct guidance from our Vedas on how to live our lives at each stage of life (as young people, adults, married and elders); and (iv) a whole host of cultural programs and activities celebrating our holidays and special occasions – Holi, Diwali, New Year, Lodi, Makar Sankranti, India’s Independence Day and western holidays as well.  Join us and participate in these special events you can find in our Vedic calendar.
Arya Samaj is a progressive community organization that promotes peace, tolerance, and diversity.  Arya Samaj principles are rooted in the ancient texts of India, the Vedas, and the oldest scriptures in the world.  Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, founder of Arya Samaj promoted the principles of the Vedas and its fundamental message: to do utmost good and to promote welfare of the whole world. The Vedas are not to preach any particular religion but to promote a spiritual outlook in life. Vedas teach us to promote physical, spiritual and social development of all mankind without any distinction of caste, color, creed, religion, race or sex.  Not just individual progress but collective, community progress.  Be noble to all mankind, animals and the environment.
This message is more important today, then perhaps ever before.
I urge each of you to make a commitment today.  A commitment to devote part of your life to community service, community activities.  To support not only your families, but neighbors, friends, even those people who may never be able to return the favor.  The first step in continuing the progress of our rich culture and diverse heritage is to continue our tradition of coming together as a community and welcoming others to be part of it as well.  If each of the several hundred active families of the Arya Samaj community bring in one or two new family members or friends to learn about the Samaj this year, we will double our outreach.  And expand the message of peace, community and harmony.
Faithfully yours,
SUKHDEV CHAND SONI
January 2020