The vision of Sanatan Dharma is of an eternal and universal truth, consciousness, intelligence and Self-awareness behind the whole of existence. We as human beings are connected to that supreme truth at the core of our being, but only have a limited recognition of it as we seldom look within deep enough to discover our true nature.
The eternal truths of life do not depend upon validation from we as individual creatures, Sanatan Dharma is beyond any identification of name, belief, ideology or institution. It is inherent and self-evident, like the light of the Sun. Reflecting this cosmic vision, the Vedic view of truth is said to be apaurusheya, beyond any limitations of person, place or time.
India (Bharat) can be best understood as a “Dharmic civilisation”. Dharma is the key term of India’s cultural identity, view of truth, reality, life and the Divine.
Dharma refers to spiritual teachings of India, starting with the ancient Vedas, the oldest literature of India, including Yoga and Vedanta that have spread worldwide today, but also India’s art, architecture, music, dance, poetry, medicine (Ayurveda), mathematics, science, astronomy, cosmology, even agriculture and cuisine, an entire civilisation and way of life. Everything in life can be a way of Dharma as it can be a path of Yoga.
This Dharmic approach has many manifestations in the Hindu traditions that include Shaivite, Vaishnava, Shakta, Ganapata, Saura and other formulations of the universal intelligence along with their variations over time and location. It has been highlighted by the many gurus of India who have taught internationally since Swami Vivekananda 130 years ago. Yet Ankor Wat in Cambodia remains the world’s largest Hindu temple.
‘one who talks about destroying Sanatan gets destroyed’
“Some politicians are daydreaming about the Sanatan which the Mughals, missionaries and the British could not destroy! I am surprised by both the language and the spirit of the statement of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s son and State Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin. The consequences of such threats can also be serious!! Sanatan Dharma also faced challenges from Muslims, missionaries and the British, yet it won. The rule of the Mughals and the British also disappeared. Remember that the one who talks about destroying Sanatan himself gets destroyed” –Alok Kumar, Central Working President, VHP
Buddhism called Buddha Dharma spread throughout Asia, including China, Japan and Tibet. Buddha Dharma similarly indicates universal dharmic principles and practices, not just a monastic path but an entire culture, psychology and cosmology. Jainism or Jain Dharma has its own great architecture, mathematics, philosophy and social values that endure in India today. The Sikh tradition or Sikh Dharma has related concepts of karma, rebirth and liberation and similar practices of chanting, temples and pilgrimage. Modern India since PM Narendra Modi is honoring and reviving all these dharmic traditions.
Hindu Munnani files case against TN Assembly Speaker for anti-Hindu remark
Tiruneveli district secretary of Hindu Munnani functionary CS Vimal has filed a complaint with Palayamkottai police demanding action against Speaker Appavu for denigrating Hindu religion in a Christian meeting.Advocate Kutralanathan told media “On the September 10, 2023, during a speech at the Palayamkottai Xavier College grounds as part of the Balayankot District Golden Jubilee ceremony, Tamil Nadu Speaker Appavu made remarks suggesting that the denial of education to 96 per cent of Hindus was synonymous with “Sanathanam.”
Dharmic traditions have shared their values, practices and culture with many countries, but have not invaded any country or sought to conquer or convert the world to their beliefs. They embrace the whole of life as sacred, and see consciousness as pervading the entire universe, with humanity as one family with all of nature. They ask us to cultivate a receptive and respectful awareness following the rhythms of life, taking us beyond any fixation on anthropomorphic or human-centered thoughts and actions.
This is not to say that dharmic traditions can be reduced to any uniformity. Dharma embraces diversity, adaptation and creativity, and allows for freedom of ideas, debate and expression. It is defined by meditation-based inner experience and direct perception at an individual level, which makes its spiritual approach free of any outer control. Yet while recognising a universal and eternal truth of oneness, Dharmic traditions also honour the need for their adaptation according to time, place, individual and karma, which are always changing.
Meaning of Sanatan Dharma
This enduring Dharmic tradition called Sanatan Dharma refers to that Dharma which is eternal, perpetual, ever relevant and adaptable. Sanatan Dharma encompasses dharma in all of its aspects, the natural laws and forces rooted in the presence of cosmic intelligence, and harmonious action on all levels and in all aspects of life. It is not a mere formula, code, creed or assertion, but the enduring truth of life and consciousness that is interdependent and ultimately one. It is rooted in the realisation of great sages, seers, yogis in every generation, who share their teachings with all who value them.
To understand India/Bharat’s civilisation and global influence, one must understand Dharma in its Sanatan aspect, which is ever capable of new name and forms but preserves its transcendent origin and enduring prime values. Modern civilisation, rooted in an outer political worldview, does not properly understand or recognise dharma, but prefers to impose its changing opinions upon all without any recognition of any universal principles. It needs the guidance of Sanatan Dharma.
Sanatan Dharma mirrors the diverse forces of the greater Self-aware and conscious universe, not just our human species based dominance. It cannot be destroyed, possessed or controlled outwardly, because its roots are within us and everywhere, not in any external form or structure. Yet we can fail to recognise this universal unity and instead follow divisive forces our own personal prejudices, we will create negative karma for ourselves and our world. If we fall from Dharma, our own life and consciousness must suffer, harming the world around us that we control or influence.
Santan Dharma is one with the universe at its foundation beyond name and form. Not to honour it is to deny one’s in most self and the comic reality. To deny Dharma is to destroy one’s own integrity, culture and connections with all.
Challenges to Dharma
When political parties today like the Communists, Dravidian nationalists or the dynasty-based Congress party look at India, it is to gain power and control at an outer level. They do not respect Dharma, and some of their leaders now aim at its eradication because it questions their personal privileges, as if the universe should bow down to them.
“Few things cannot be opposed, that should be abolished only. We can’t oppose dengue, mosquitoes, malaria or corona. We have to eradicate this. That’s how we have to eradicate Sanatana” — Udhayanidhi Stalin, Minister of Youth Welfare and Sports Development of Tamil Nadu
“MPs have been turned into murtis in temples. OBC MPs have been filled like murtis (in the Parliament) but they don’t have any power. There is no contribution to running the country” — Rahul Gandhi, MP, Congress
“I don’t have any issue with Ramcharitramanas but parts of it have insulting comments and sarcasm directed at particular castes and sects. Those should be removed” — Swami Prasad Maurya, SP Leader
Being in harmony with Sanatan Dharma is not simply to be politically correct according to the latest social opinions that remain changing and contradictory. It is to recognise the universe within us as our true nature, family and unity for all time.
Sanatan Dharma is like the Himalayas where it has long been followed and taught by innumerable great yogis, rishi and gurus. It holds our highest aspirations to oneness, not simply the expediency of certain vested interests to divide and control. To try to remove Sanatan Dharma is to try to remove us both the Earth and the sky, leaving us no ground below on which to stand and no expanse above to which to ascend.
Dharma must be protected because it is what protects us from wrong and destructive actions. Dharma protects us and Adharma consigns to disintegration. For global peace to arise we must respect the universal vision of Dharma, not as a mere mental or emotional assertion but as an alignment with the unity of all. That Sanatan Dharma will survive is certain, but those who follow Adharma will perish by their own thoughts and actions, and can harm many others in the process.