Sanatan- A word from Sanskrit that literally means eternal. The word comes across us tens of times a day. But the majority of Sanatanis don’t even know the true meaning of it. The greatness of Sanatana Dharma is above religion, caste, gender, colour, and any sectarian cultural system.
Sanatan Dharma is always referred to as the old name of the Hindu religion but it’s not. Sanatan Dharma is different from the Hindu religion. It’s much greater and simpler. India has always been the centre of spirituality. Many invaders came into this land of sages and looted it, destroyed its culture, and ruined its glory. We get stuck only in the customs and forget the deeper sense of spirituality. Now it’s high time we understand the beauty of the Sanatan Dharma. Read this blog to understand what Santan Dharma is and why it’s the most important.
Meaning of Sanatana Dharma:
The word Sanatan means ‘Eternal’. The ancient Indian texts refer to God, the ultimate timeless being as the Sanatan. The one who doesn’t have a start and neither an end. He is the supreme above, most powerful, loving, and is present at all-time all places.
‘Sanatan Dharma’ does not refer to any religion like Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and any other religion. It refers to the eternal relation between your soul and the supreme God. It refers to the duty every soul has for this world. This is not a path to get God, rather it’s your soul’s duty towards the world and the one above all. That’s why ancient texts say that each being on this earth has a unique dharma. This is also the sole cause for the creation of a situation called ‘Dharma-Sankat’. In a situation like Dharma-Sankat, one gets confused between two options in his/ her life.
The direct relation of Sanatana Dharma is the eternal work of eternal living beings with God. The meaning of the word Sanatan is eternal, that is, it should remain forever, and it should never be destroyed. Sanatana Dharma refers to a religion that has no beginning and no end.
Sanatan Dharma is a relationship that has been running since eternal times and which will never perish. The meaning of Sanatan Dharma is from one God who is formless and nirguna. This refers to a relationship that will not decay with time. A relationship of soul to supreme soul.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, while describing Sanatana Dharma, says that all living beings in this world must serve the Supreme Personality of the Godhead. In Sanatana Dharma, we see that every living being is serving each other by fulfilling its duty. As a result, the beings become satisfied by this action.
Dharma does not mean religion. Religion deals with a path full of customs. Dharma actually means ‘The Rightful Duty’. The soul is immortal. None can destroy it by any means of this world. This is a part of the supreme God itself. The soul is called ‘Aatma’ and the God is called ‘Paramatma’ which is a conjunction of two words- Param & Aatma. This soul is independent of the human body’s characteristics. Dharma is not a path that can be written on books & stones. It is the nature of the human soul.
Hence Sanatan Dharma is the rightful duty of one’s soul to this world and the eternal one.
Understand the Difference Between Religion & Sanatan Dharma:
Most of the time, people make the mistake of understanding religion & dharma as one. It is as it is because English people named it in this way. But both terms have a great difference in their meaning. Religion deals with faith whereas Dharma deals with rightful duty.
Anyone who is born into a Hindu family is a Hindu. The same goes for all the other religions. One can change his faith from one deity to another as per his/ her wish. The history of conversions is even older than many civilizations. A person changes their faith on the basis of their interest, belief system, comfort, and conviction. He/ she starts following the customs he/ she wants to believe in. On the other hand, Dharma never changes. It is the basic nature of the human soul. You willingly or unwillingly can’t change it. Just as water can’t leave its liquidity, fire can’t leave its heat; a soul can’t leave dharma.
Sanatan Dharma always guides you to fulfil the duties of the soul. It does not refer to any particular custom but follows the soul’s longing for the supreme one. Only by diving deep into the subject, you will understand that Sanatan Dharma is not related to any religion but to the soul only. This applies to all including Hindus.
What Is Original Sanatan Dharma?
What is Sanatan Dharma in reality, what does it reflect after all? It is very important to know because the word religion divides a person many times, but Sanatan Dharma does not teach anyone to divide but shows the inner characteristic.
We refer to the survival of any person by his religion. Religion is especially related to the soul which is a main part of the body. Without religion, there can be no existence of the soul.
In such a situation, if we talk about Sanatan Dharma, it does not explain sect or religion, but Sanatan Dharma is a very interesting feeling, which develops faith and love. Along with this, Sanatan Dharma removes the misconceptions spread in society and elevates it above caste, colours, creed, and wrong feelings.
Sanatana Dharma does not refer to any sect but rather connects the individual with God and awakens the consciousness within him. In Sanatan Dharma, the old Gurus and Acharyas explained that the word Sanatan specifically reveals an attribute that has neither beginning nor end and that which is superior in itself is Sanatan Dharma.
Pillars of Sanatan Dharma:
- Adi Sankaracharya
- Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
- Acharya Sandipani
Ramanujacharya ji has said that the meaning of saying Sanatan is Sashwat, which does not remain limited in time, nation, caste, creed, or colours, it is unique in iteself.
Though the world population has divided itself into more than 5000 different religions the original Dharma for all of us is one. Dharma means the rightful duty is one for all of us. It is not the customs of different religions but the rightful duty of an individual in different situations.
A person can follow Hindu dharma and can still be a non-sanatani. Krishna says in the Bhagwat Gita that customs create problems in the long run. They must be diminished when time needs their destruction. On the other hand, Dharma rises again with the same old properties after a while. Hence by any crook & hook, no one can alter it or destroy it.
Dharma is the nature of the soul. But what is it actually? The one & all motive of one’s soul is to serve the world in order to make it more knowledgeable, peaceful, loving, and strong in all aspects of livelihood. It also says that a soul must long for its creator which is God.
Vedas tell us that God is loving and caring. But he also turns fierce when something wrong happens. To destroy the evil, he put on his weapons. He destroys evil and establishes the good on this earth. Dharma tells us to serve each other with love & respect. After all, that’s what we long for from the depths of our hearts.
The Motive of the incarnations of God:
Very often we hear that Lord Vishnu, the ultimate God in Hindu Dharma comes in different incarnations. But why? The whole of him coming in the forms of several animals & humans must have a motive.
The ancient Indian texts suggest that God takes incarnations to restore the actual Dharma on earth. Krishna says in Geeta that whenever the earth gets full of sinners and tyrants, he will come to destroy them.
Some of these famous incarnations are Lord Rama, Lord Parshurama, and Lord Krishna. All of them destroyed the evil in their times. They also showed the world the right path to follow. The path of Sanatan Dharma. They restored the old values of Dharma and led the world in the right direction. They loved everyone; they were compassionate even towards the enemy and they showed the world what Dharma actually means.
The Last Incarnation & the Final Warning:
The Hindu religion tells us about 10 different incarnations of Lord Vishnu. In every Yuga, Lord Vishnu takes several incarnations to restore humanity and dharma in this world. These 10 incarnations are as follows.
Among the above, only the last one Kalki is remaining. Hindu texts describe him as a man riding on a white horse with a sword. Kalki will come in the last stage of Kali-Yuga when sin will be at its greatest. The Kalki will come on his horse and kill the evil. Later he will establish the new age of Satyug again.