As some of you must be knowing, Arya Samaj is a Hindu organisation that rejects the notion of idol worship and teaches God is only formless. This is due to the controversial verses in the Yajurveda such as "Na tasya pratima asti".

As a result, the Arya Samajis reject Puranas and Agamas (but accepts the Itihasas and the Dharmasastras though they believe these texts have a lot of interpolation) and accept the Vedas and the Mukhya Upanishads as the only true authoritative texts of the Vedic religion.

However, the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 2.3.1 says God is both formless and has form:

dve vāva brahmaṇo rūpe, mūrtaṃ caivāmūrtaṃ ca

English Translation: God (Brahman) has two modes, formless (nirakara, asambhuta) as well as form (sakara, sambhuta).

Of course Sanskrit words can have multiple meanings so I guess Arya Samaj has an alternate translation and interpretation to the above verse. So how do Arya Samajis translate and interpret this verse?

  • 3
    I have seen Arya samajis on quora including a neo Vedic guy, they just ramble off saying that many mantras which point towards diety worship can be interpretted differently. If not they claim it is interpolation. Commented Mar 4, 2018 at 16:59
  • 5
    Na tasya patima asti means he is one without a second, nothing to do with idols. Commented Mar 4, 2018 at 17:00
  • Its technically dont fall under category of vedas as per them. Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 22:58
  • @RakeshJoshi They do follow it. They accept the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Itihasas and the Dharmasastras. They reject only Puranas and Agamas.
    – user9969
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 4:29
  • @SuryaKantaBoseChowdhury this is what i have understood from my contact with them. But you can find translations in their website Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 10:56

1 Answer 1


How does Arya Samaj intepret Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 2.3.1?

For this You can check Upanishad translated by an Arya Samaj I author. I am using Narayanan Swami translation. Here he translated ब्रह्मणो as Universe or Five elements in place of God.

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In the commentry Narayan Swami has written that Brahmana has many meaning like God, Vedas Elements etc. And here it is used for Elements.

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