The blind sage of Mathura and the celebrated teacher of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Swami Virjanand breathed his last on 14th November 1868. He was one of the greatest devotees of all times. His whole life was one of incessant toil and struggle against the adverse currents of misfortunes so common in this topsy-turvy world of ours.
Swami was born in a place near Jalandhar in the year 1778 in a Brahmin family. At the age of five, he lost his eyesight from an attack of smallpox and before he completed his twelfth year his parents died. Thus the boy was thrown to the mercies of his elder brother and sister-in-law at a very young age. As they did not treat him well, the temperamental Virjanand soon left their house.
His wanderings took him to Rishikesh where he led a life of meditation and austerity for about three years. Then he left Rishikesh for Haridwar. Soon Virjanand began to master other branches of Sanskrit literature, and also took up the work of teaching others. After this course of Hardwar, Swami Virjanand left for Kashi, the well-known city for Sanskrit learning and for higher studies.
In Mathura, he established a pathshala to which students flocked from all over the country. It was here in Mathura that he came across his most illustrious disciple, the famous Dayanand Saraswati.
Dayanand underwent a rigorous training under Virjanand. As 'gurudakshina', Virjanand extracted a promise from Dayanand that he would devote his life to spread "arsha" literature and knowledge of the Vedas in the country. With his extraordinary devotion and sense of service, Dayanand soon became his most beloved and also the most renowned disciple.
To honor this great sage India post has issued 20 Paisa commemorative postage stamp in 1971.