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A brief introduction to ‘Sanatan Dharma’

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Some ex-Muslims, in electronic media, try to take a jibe at Sanatan Dharma by equating it with Hinduism. The Left-Liberal-Woke gang of Indian Hindus also try to score some “Secular Points” by abusing Hinduism. The term ‘Hinduism’ falsely connotes Abrahamic equivalent of Sanatan Dharma. And this ignorance forces people to typecast Sanatan Dharma as another Abrahamic-type of religion, which it is not. Because, Dharma and religion are not synonymous.

Agnosticism surrenders before the premise of inherent human limitation of reasoning, knowledge and intelligence to prove or disprove the existence of God. Thus, agnosticism stands somewhere between atheism and theism. In another dimension, pantheism accepts the whole universe as a deity. Pantheism does not recognize a distinct personal God.

But with this four-dimensional philosophy of atheism, theism, agnosticism and pantheism; one cannot explain the concept of Aham Brahmasmi of Sanatan Dharma which means I am divine. This makes Sanatan Dharma beyond these four ideologies. Very briefly speaking, Sanatan Dharma starts with Atmanam Viddhi meaning Know thyself and endeavors for the elevation of individual to the state of divinity (Aham Brahmasmi) and ultimate realization of Param Brahma (absolute truth or absolute one).

That is, ‘appropriate code of conduct’ can increase the possibility in infinite ways for that realization by making individual an inward-looking seeker. Sanatan Dharma literally means ‘Eternally Existing Appropriate Code of Conduct’. This conduct is symbiotic with nature and the environment, both living and non-living. It also depends on individual’s position in the society, age and sex. In other words, Dharma of a King is different than the Dharma of a Peasant. Following Sanatan Dharma increases the possibility of realization about the universe, creation and ultimate destination of human beings. This realization in Sanatan Dharma happens at spiritual and intellectual levels and beyond the perimeter of our five senses.

Thus, Sanatan Dharma is all-encompassing and not only includes theism, atheism, agnosticism and pantheism, but also goes much beyond and creates an infinite gray area for everyone to maneuver his spiritual journey and quest for the absolute truth. Sanatan Dharma believes in reincarnation. In Sanatan Dharma, Karma (activities) has central role. Karma determines the future life of every Sanatani. If Karma of a Sanatani is appropriate, his future life becomes good for himself, as well as, society. But, if it is inappropriate, his future life turns out to be bad for himself and society. That is why Dharma guides Sanatani to observe ‘appropriate code of conduct’ for attaining a meaningful and good future life, ultimate of which is realization of Param Brahma.

The concept of single God has come from Abrahamic religions. About 56 percent of world population follows Abrahamic religions today. These religions revolve around the single God of each religion. The religion of Judaism, Christianity and Islam has respective founder, God, time of origin and a divine scripture. But Sanatan Dharma is not a religion that way. It has no founder, no date of origin and no single God. There are innumerable scriptures in Sanatan Dharma. Abrahamic religions are close and regimented, but Sanatan Dharma is open and flexible.

The individual choice and freedom, in the spiritual arena, is honored in Sanatan Dharma. That is why one comes across innumerable sects, Gods, Goddesses and variant rituals in it. Thus, idolatry is also a part of Sanatan Dharma. Even its scriptures like Ramayana and Mahabharata have multiple versions and no Sanatani is bothered about that. To a Sanatani, every sect, God, Goddess, idol, scripture or ritual is only a means to facilitate the spiritual journey. Even one can continue to remain a Sanatani by not using any means and happily dying without any interest for spirituality. Ekam Sat, Vipra Bahudha Vadanti, meaning ‘truth is one, but wise men call it differently’, truly expresses the Universal essence the Sanatan Dharma.

A section of Islamists refers to Vedas and Arya Samaj to tells that Sanatan Dharma does not have idolatry. Their pathological hatred towards idolatry makes them to put across such wishful argument. What they fail to understand is that, the Sanatan Dharma is not restricted by Vedas and Arya Samaj. Vedas are four important scriptures among many of Sanatan Dharma and Arya Samaj is a sect among many. Under Sanatan Dharma, one can be absolutely materialistic too by following Charvak Philosophy. For Islamists, it is beyond their comprehension to understand the vastness and diversity of Sanatan Dharma.

Sanatan Dharma has no concept of blasphemy and apostasy. Doubt, criticism and debate on Dharmic issues and Gods, Goddesses, rituals and scriptures are ingrained in Sanatan DharmaTarka-Shastra in Sanatan Dharma is a Sanskrit term for the philosophy of dialectics, logic and reasoning, and art of debate that analyses the nature and source of knowledge and its validity.

Bhagavad Gita is another Sanatani scripture. It discusses about human doubts and their solutions. Only 700 Slokas (verses) of Bhagavad Gita cover all important human doubts, solution of those and the duties of human beings. In Sanatan Dharma there is nothing like ex-Sanatani, because it happily includes atheism also.

Unlike the stagnant ponds of Abrahamic religions, Sanatan Dharma is like a river flowing to the ocean of spiritual realization. One may flow along or one may come to the shore terminating the journey when one feels like. Why talk of non-Sanatanis; majority Sanatanis have no idea about the essence of Sanatan Dharma. They try to portray Sanatan Dharma through their Macaulay-induced Abrahamic tinted glass. And when they miserably fail to comprehend Sanatan Dharma, they replace it with Hinduism and use Hinduism as a punching bag out of frustration.

Sanatan Dharma is bottomless. Given the opportunity, Sanatan Dharma can even accommodate Judaism, Christianity, Islam or any other religion under the Sun within its fold, as means to realize the Absolute One provided the core principle of ‘appropriate code of conduct’, that is Dharma, is accepted by those religions. This is the reason why Sanatani can peacefully live, mix and contribute in any foreign community anywhere in the world today.

Polytheism of Sanatan Dharma is the ‘original Multi-Culturalism’. It has been allowing followers of different deities/sects of Sanatanis to live side by side peacefully through centuries. Unlike Islam, no one sect of Sanatani calls other sects as non-Sanatani. So, the West need not try to teach Sanatanis what multi-culturalism and tolerance are. Sanatan Dharma is also an ever-evolving spiritual philosophy and culture.

One of the important teachings of Sanatan Dharma is: Dharma Rakshati Rakshitah, meaning ‘Dhrama protects him who protects Dharma’. So, Sanatan Dharma is not all about Ahimsa Parama Dharma, which Gandhi propagated during his freedom struggle of India (1915-1947) with mala-fide intention to satisfy his inflated political ego. Sanatan Dharma also teaches Dharma Himsa Tathaiva Cha, which means ‘so too is violence (appropriate) in the service of Dharma’. Thus, Left-Liberal-Islamist-Woke cabal should stop meddling with Sanatanis.

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