treatment of the Vedas was peculiar, and consisted of reading into them his own beliefs and modern scientific discoveries. Thus he explains the Yajna (sacrificial cult) as “the entertainment of the learned in proportion to their worth, the business of manufacture, the experiment and application of chemistry, physics and the arts of peace; the instruction of the people, the purification of the air, the nourishment of vegetables by the employment of the principles of meteorology, called Agni-Notri in Sanskrit.” He denied that the Vedas warranted the caste system, but wished to retain the four grades as orders of learning to which admission should be won by examination.
These views naturally met with scanty acceptance among the Brahmans to whom he introduced them, and Dayanand turned to the masses and established Samajes in various parts of India, the first being at Bombay in 1875. He chose the epithet Arya as being more dignified than the slightly contemptuous term Hindu. After a successful series of tours, during which he debated publicly with orthodox pundits and with Christian missionaries, he died at Ajmere in 1883.
The Arya Samaj is not an eclectic system like the Brahma Samaj, which strives to find the common basis underlying all the great religions, and its narrower scope and corresponding intensity of conviction have won it a greater strength. It seemed to meet the feeling of many educated natives whose faith in current Hinduism was undermined, but who were predisposed against any foreign religious influence. Their patriotic ardour gladly seized on “a view of the original faith of India that seemed to harmonize with all the discoveries of modern science and the ethics of European civilization,” and they cheerfully supported their leader’s strange polemic with the agnostic and rationalist literature of Europe. By 1890 their numbers had increased to 40,000, by 1900 to over 92,000. Divisions had, however, set in, especially a cleavage into the Ghasi or vegetarian, and the Mansi or flesh-eating sections. To the latter belong those Rajputs who though generally in sympathy with the movement declined to adhere to the tenet of the Samaj which forbade the destruction of animal life and the consumption of animal food. The age of admission to the Samaj is eighteen, and members are expected to contribute to its funds at least 1% of their income.
The ten articles of their creed may be summarized thus:—
- 1. The source of all true knowledge is God.
- 2. God is “all truth, all knowledge, all bliss, boundless, almighty, just, merciful, unbegotten, without a beginning, incomparable, the support and Lord of all, all-pervading, omniscient, imperishable, immortal, eternal, holy, and the cause of the universe; worship is due to him alone.”
- 3. The medium of true knowledge is the Vedas.
- 4. and 5. The truth is to be accepted and to become the guiding principle.
- 6. The object of the Samaj is to benefit the world by improving its physical, social, intellectual and moral conditions.
- 7. Love and justice are the right guides of conduct.
- 8. Knowledge must be spread.
- 9. The good of others must be sought.
- 10. In general interests members must subordinate themselves to the good of others; in personal interests they should retain independence.
The sixth clause comprehends a wide programme of reform, including abstinence from spirituous liquors and animal food, physical cleanliness and exercise, marriage reform, the promotion of female education, the abolition of caste and of idolatry.
ARYTENOID (or arytaenoid; from Gr. ἀρύταινα, a funnel or pitcher), a term, meaning funnel-shaped, applied to cartilages such as those of the larynx.
ARZAMAS, a town of Russia, in the government of, and 76 m. by rail S. of the town of, Nizhniy-Novgorod, on the Tesha river, at its junction with the Arsha. It is an important centre of trade, and has tanneries, oil, flour, tallow, dye, soap and iron works; knitting is an important domestic industry. Sheepskins and sail-cloth are articles of trade. The town has several churches. Pop. (1897) 10,591.
AS, the Roman unit of weight and measure, divided into 12 unciae (whence both “ounce” and “inch”); its fractions being deunx 11, dextrans 5, dodrans 3, bes 2, septunx 7, semis 1, quincunx 5, triens 1, quadrans 1, sextans 1, sescuncia 1, uncia 1. As really denoted any integer or whole; whence the English word “ace.” The unit or as of weight was the libra (pound: = about 114 oz. avoirdupois); of length, pes (foot: = about 113 in.); of surface, jugerum (= about 2 acre); of measure, liquid amphora (about 53 gal.), dry modius (about 9 peck). In the same way as signified a whole inheritance; whence heres ex asse, the heir to the whole estate, heres ex semisse, heir to half the estate. It was also used in the calculation of rates of interest.
As was also the name of a Roman coin, which was of different weight and value at different periods (see Numismatics, § Roman). The first introduction of coined money is ascribed to Servius Tullius. The old as was composed of the mixed metal aes, an alloy of copper, tin and lead, and was called as libralis, because it nominally weighed 1 ℔ or 12 ounces (actually 10). Its original shape seems to have been an irregular oblong bar, which was stamped with the figure of a sheep, ox or sow. This, as well as the word pecunia for money (pecus, cattle), indicates the fact of cattle having been the earliest Italian medium of exchange. The value was indicated by little points or globules, or other marks. After the round shape was introduced, the one side was always inscribed with the figure of a ship’s prow, and the other with the double head of Janus. The subdivisions of the as had also the ship’s prow on one side, and on the other the head of some deity. The First Punic War having exhausted the treasury, the as was reduced to 2 oz. In the Second Punic War it was again reduced to half this weight, viz. to 1 oz. And lastly, by the Papirian law (89 B.C.) it was further reduced to the diminutive weight of half an ounce. It appears to have been still more reduced under Octavian, Lepidus and Antony, when its value was 1 of an ounce. Before silver coinage was introduced (269 B.C.) the value of the as was about 6d., in the time of Cicero less than a halfpenny. In the time of the emperor Severus it was again lowered to about 5 of an ounce. During the commonwealth and empire aes grave was used to denote the old as in contradistinction to the existing depreciated coin; while aes rude was applied to the original oblong coinage of primitive times.
ASA, in the Bible, son (or, perhaps, rather brother) of Abijah, the son of Rehoboam and king of Judah (1 Kings xv. 9-24). Of his long reign, during which he was a contemporary of Baasha, Zimri and Omri of Israel, little is recorded with the exception of some religious reforms and conflicts with the first-named. Baasha succeeded in fortifying Ramah (er-Rām), 5 m. north of Jerusalem, and Asa was compelled to use the residue of the temple-funds (cf. 1 Kings xiv. 26) to bribe the king of Damascus to renounce his league with Baasha and attack Israel. Galilee was invaded and Baasha was forced to return; the building material which he had collected at Ramah being used by Asa to fortify Geba, and Mizpah to the immediate north of Jerusalem. The Book of Chronicles relates a story of a sensational defeat of Zerah the “Cushite,” and a great religious revival in which Judah and Israel took part (2 Chron. xiv.–xv. 15) (see Chronicles). Asa was succeeded by his son Jehoshaphat.
“Cushite” may designate an Ethiopian or, more probably, an Arabian (Cush, the “father” of the Sabaeans, Gen. x. 7). “If by Zerah the Ethiopian or Sabaean prince be meant, the only real difficulty of the narrative is removed. No king Zerah of Ethiopia is known at this period, nor does there seem to be room for such a person.” (W. E. Barnes, Cambridge Bible, Chronicles, p. xxxi.). The identification with Osorkon I. or II. is scarcely tenable considering Asa’s weakness; but inroads by desert hordes frequently troubled Judah, and if the tradition be correct in locating the battle at Mareshah it is probable that the invaders were in league with the Philistine towns. Similar situations recur in the reigns of Ahaz and Jehoram.
ASAFETIDA (asa, Lat. form of Persian aza = mastic, and fetidus, stinking, so called in distinction to asa dulcis, which was a drug highly esteemed among the ancients as laser cyrenaicum,