Author : Sushant Rochlani
Sanatana Dharma means the Eternal religion, the Ancient Law. This is based on the Vedas. This is the oldest of living religions. Hinduism is known by the name Sanatana Dharma. What the Vedas alone declare to be the means of attaining the summum bonum or the final emancipation, is the Sanatana Dharma or Hindu Dharma.
The foundation of Sanatana Dharma is Sruti (Vedas); Smritis are the walls; the Itihasas and the Puranas are the buttresses or supports. [Note: See Page “Hindu Scriptures”]. In ancient times, the Srutis were learnt by heart. The teacher sang them to his pupils and the pupils sang them after him. They were not written in book form. All the sects, all the philosophical systems, appeal to (look upon) the Sruti as the final authority. The Smriti stands next in authority to the Sruti.
Hinduism stands unrivalled in the depth and grandeur of its philosophy. Its ethical teachings are lofty, unique and sublime. It is highly flexible and adapted to every human need. It is a perfect religion by itself. It is not in need of anything from any other religion. No other religion has produced so many great saints, great patriots, great warriors and great Pativratas. The more you know of it, the more you will honour and love it. The more you study it, the more it will enlighten you and satisfy your heart.
India – The Home Of Religions
The religious history of the world tells us that from time immemorial, India has been the home of great sages, seers and Rishis. All the great religious ideals that have moulded the character of men, the loftiest tenets of ethics and morality that have raised human beings to magnanimous heights of divine splendour and all the sublime truths of spirituality that have made men divine and have moulded the spiritual ideals of nations and saviors of mankind, first arose in India. The spiritual horizon of India has always been illumined with the glory of the self-effulgent sun of wisdom of the Upanishads. Whenever there was any upheaval in any part of the world, the origin of this could be traced to the wave of spirituality caused by the birth of a great soul- a special manifestation of Divinity- in some part of India.
Hindus have had a culture, civilisation and religion millennia older than those of any other country or people. God did speak to the world through India’s Rishis, Yogis, Mahatmas, Alvars, prophets, Acharyas, Sannyasins and saints. Their teachings are really inspired. God is the one Light and Truth from whom emanate the teachings of all faiths.
India is the home and abode of religions. It occupies the proud first place in religious devotion and godliness. It is famous for its Yogis and saints. The goal of India is Self-realisation or attainment of God-consciousness, through renunciation. The history of India is a history of religion. Its social code and regulations are founded upon religion. Minus its Yoga, religion and its regulations, and India will not be what it has been for millennia. Some Hindus are still not aware of the distinguishing features of Sanatana Dharma. If every Hindu knew and understood what Hinduism is, the Hindus of today would all be gods on this earth.
May you all be endowed with the knowledge of Sanatana Dharma! May you all endeavour to protect the Eternal Dharma! May the secrets of Sanatana Dharma be revealed unto you all, like a fruit in the palm of your hand, through the grace of the Lord! May the blessings of Rishis be upon you all! Glory to the Vedas and Sanatana Dharma! Glory to Brahman (Supreme Reality), the source of all Vedas and Sanatana Dharma.
Every religion has a generic form or Samanya Rupa and a specific form or Visesha-Rupa. The general form remains eternally the same. It is never changed by any circumstance whatever. It is not affected at all by changes of time, place, surroundings and individual differences. This aspect of religion is called Sanatana or Eternal. That which changes according to the change of time, place and surrounding circumstances is the external aspect or ritual, of Dharma.
Samanya Dharma is the general Dharma or law for all men. Varnasrama Dharma are special Dharmas which are to be practiced by particular castes and by men in particular stages of life. The Samanya Dharma must be practiced by all, irrespective of distinctions of Varna and Asrama, creed or color. Goodness is not the property of any one class, creed, sect or community. Every man possesses this virtue.