What is Sanatan Dharma?
Sanatana Dharma is the actual name of what is presently called Hinduism or Hindu Dharma. The initial word for the now-so-called Hindus is Sanatan. The term Hindu is believed to not arise in the Hindu scriptures, viz, Vedas, Upanishads, and Puranas. The modern Hindus are believers of and approve of the importance of the explained scriptures, thus, they are more accurately specified as Sanatanis.
What is Hinduism? How it is different from Sanatan Dharma?
The words Hindu and Hinduism are supposed to be very recent discoveries, while the more precise name is Sanatana Dharma. It is a code of ethics, a way of living through which one may attain moksha (enlightenment, liberation). It is the world’s most ancient culture and the socio, spiritual, and sacred tradition of nearly one billion of the earth’s people. Sanatana Dharma exemplifies much more than just a belief; rather, it empowers its believers with an entire worldview, way of life and a coherent and practical view of reality. People who adopted this way of life now is known as Hindus.
Books on Sanatan Dharma
This is a book written by the famous Annie Beasant and Bhagwan Das. "The wisdom of inspired Seers is recorded in various Samhitas, Sutras, Smrtis, and other fragments. The corpus of all these is Sanatana Dharma, Eternal Order, or Dharma. Through millennia, Hindu society was moulded by it. Thought necessarily Indian in garb, its principles have a timeless relevance to any society, anywhere, any time. It is striking that the first-ever serious attempt at drawing from the vast, nebulous, scattered sources the principles of Sanatana Dharma and codifying them was left to Annie Besant, foreign by birth, but more truly Indian than an Indian could be. In compiling this brilliant work, she was ably assisted by a team of eminent Sanskrit scholars headed by no less a savant than Bharata Ratna, Dr. Bhagavan Das. A reading of this book is in itself a liberal education."
SANATANA DHARMA THE PATHWAY TO A HAPPY LIFE
This book is edited by Jaganniwas Iyer. "With the changing times, we seem to be too engrossed in our silos of individual growth and achievements and tend to ignore or even ridicule tradition. To be Western is the trend, without realising that the philosophical tradition of the West is trying to discover the beauty of Sanatan Dharma—an all-inclusive way of life. From Adi to Anant, Sanatan Dharm is the constant evolution and revelations of human possibilities. It keeps transforming with time to suit the need for existence. It is not rigid. But the moral order underlying existence never changes. When duty becomes a part of consciousness and gets the backing of impeccable philosophy of existence, life becomes much easier. Sanatan Dharm does just that. As we step into this new world, Sanatan Dharm will find increasing resonance with those who wish to understand religion and its purpose in life. This is because Sanatan Dharm is not prescriptive and gives individuals the liberty to be seekers and find their own enlightenment. It rather guides people to attain higher levels of spiritual discovery."
Understanding Sanatan Dharma
This book is written by N.K. TAWAKLEY. It answers some of the pertinent questions such as HOW ACHIEVING VERY HIGH LEVELS OF HUMAN INTELLIGENCE IS POSSIBLE AND HOW THIS CAN BE ACHIEVED? Has science grown to the level that it can control Nature? Or is Nature all powerful? Are horoscopes to be believed in? Do Gods exist in the present times and control the world?
What are the two terms "Sanatan" and "Dharma" stands for?
Sanatana Dharma is by its very significance a term that is empty of sectarian leanings or idealistic divisions. This is obvious by the very term itself. The two phrases, “Sanatana Dharma”, come from the ancient Sanskrit language. “Sanatana” is a Sanskrit word that signifies that which is Anadi (beginningless), Anantha (endless) and does not cease to be, that which is everlasting and eternal. With its affluent meanings, Dharma is not definable to any other language. Dharma is from the connotation to hold together, to maintain. Its rough meaning is “Natural Law,” or those beliefs of reality and existence that are intrinsic in the very nature and design of the universe. Thus the term Sanatana Dharma can be roughly interpreted to mean “the natural, ancient and eternal way.”
When was Sanatan Dharma first mentioned?
First and foremost, Sanatana Dharma is anadi (without beginning) and a-paurusheya (without a human founder). It is interpreted by the journey for cosmic truth, just as the journey for material truth defines science. Its earliest record is the Rigved, which is the history of ancient sages who by whatever means attempted to learn the truth about the universe, in relation to Man’s place in the cosmos. They saw nature — comprising all living and non-living things — as part of the same cosmic equation, and as permeated by a higher consciousness. This exploration has no historical beginning; nor does it have a historical founder. This is not to explain that the Rigveda always survived as a literary work. It means that we cannot point to a specific time or person in history and say: “Before this man spoke, what is in the Rigveda did not exist.”
Types of Vedas?
With the mention of Rig Veda, it is time to get to know about the all types of Vedas.
It is the oldest and most important of the four Vedas. It consists of hymns and prayers addressed to various deities, and contains information on rituals, sacrifices, and philosophy.
It primarily deals with the performance of sacrificial rituals and contains instructions on how to perform them.
It is a collection of melodies and chants used during sacrificial rituals.
It is a collection of hymns and spells used in domestic rituals, healing, and protection against evil forces.
Parts of Vedas
Each Vedas are divided into four parts.
The Samhitas are the hymns and mantras of the Vedas. They are the oldest and most important part of the Vedas, and are considered to be the divine revelation of the ancient sages. They contain prayers, invocations, and hymns addressed to various deities, and are meant to be recited during religious ceremonies and rituals.
The Brahmanas are commentaries on the Samhitas, and provide instructions on how to perform various religious rituals and ceremonies. They contain detailed explanations of the rituals, their meanings, and the benefits that can be obtained by performing them. The Brahmanas also discuss the social and ethical values of the ancient Indian society.
The Aranyakas are the forest texts, and are so called because they were originally composed by the sages who lived in the forest. They provide instructions on the mystical aspects of the rituals and ceremonies, and are intended for those who seek a deeper understanding of the Vedic teachings. The Aranyakas also contain meditative and philosophical discussions.
The Upanishads are the philosophical texts of the Vedas, and contain the most profound and mystical teachings of Hinduism. They discuss the nature of the ultimate reality, the self, and the universe, and provide guidance on how to attain liberation from the cycle of birth and death. The Upanishads are considered to be the most important part of the Vedas, and are revered as the source of all spiritual knowledge in Hinduism.
What is the nature of Sanatan Dharma?
By its nature, Sanatana Dharma is God-centered rather than prophet-centered. Experience based rather than belief based. Beyond any historical date of founding. The process of growth, which comes from the seed. Inherent in, and inclusive of all. In the world, while above the world. Both immanent and transcendent. The whole and the parts. Loving all and excluding none.
What are the Basic Principles of Sanatan Dharma?
Sanatana Dharma acknowledges that the greater part of human spiritual aspiration has always been unknown, undefined, and outside of any institutionalized belief. The universal cycle of Dharma, regardless of what name you call it, whether Dharma or some other word, has always existed. It has been before any of the great scholars were born. It is not better than, or alternative to, but is comprehensive of all. Dharma is that out of which our earth and humanity itself emerged. Dharma not only is, but always was, and always will be. To live in alignment with, and to know the true essence of Sanatana Dharma is one of the ways of interpreting the higher goal of life.
How is Santan Dharma connected to the concept of Liberation?
Sanatan Dharma brings the use of yoga as the means to attain moksha (God-realization). Yoga has been mistakenly interpreted as “union”. It does mean “union”, but that is an inadequate definition because it incorporates so much more. Yoga is the union with Brahman (Absolute God). Yoga is also the means to achieve union with Brahman. Thus, the word yoga is not just a statement of union, but it incorporates the experience of liberation.