Unveiling the Timeless Wisdom of Sanatan Dharma

Unveiling the Timeless Wisdom of Sanatan Dharma

Sanatan dharma, as mostly misunderstood, is not a religion. ‘Sanatan’ literally means that which has neither a start nor an end. ‘Dharma’ means ‘Duties’. 

The term Hindu was given to the people residing by the Sindhu River by visitors from Middle Asia and West Asia. 

The eternal philosophy of life sets all duties for individuals regardless of their case, creed, and race. That’s why it still stands tall, showing people a path of their own goodwill. 

Sanatan Dharma has a vast list of duties and principles. But the core of it goes down like this. 

  • The whole world is a family. 
  • Do not injure any living being. 
  • Keep your intentions pure. 
  • Always keep goodwill. 
  • Show mercy to all.  
  • Keep patience. 
  • Show forbearance to people. 
  • Be self-restrained. 
  • Embrace asceticism. 

While these teachings are at least 5000 years old, the society we live in today needs these much more than mankind ever did. People are lost in materialism with no self-restraint. That’s why we need our old-school teachings to show us the path again. But how can you start learning it? How can anyone gain the ancient wisdom of a satisfying life? 

For all those who wonder about it, here is a guide below for you all. 

Start with The Vedas: The Sacred Scriptures

The Vedas are the religious books of Sanatan Dharma. They are the oldest books, which comprise philosophy, rituals, practices, matras, and medicinal treatments as well. 

There are four Vedas, and all of them consist of different subjects. 

  1. The Rig Veda-consists of mantras and hymns of mythology. 
  1. The Yajur Veda-consists of mantras and ritual worship formulas. 
  1. The Sama Veda-consists of hymns for religious rituals. 
  1. The Atharva Veda-consists of spells against enemies, diseases, and sorcerers. 

But the list of Vedic Literature doesn’t stop here. There are the following books as well. 

The earlier Vedic culture (Shruti

  • Brahmanas
  • Aranyakas 
  • Upanishads

The later Vedic Culture/ Smriti

  • Sutras
  • Vedangas and Upvedas
  • Darshanas
  • Puranas
  • Dharma Shastras. 

The Vedic literature shows how life was then thousands of years ago. All the books in Sanatan Dharma embrace life as a circle and withstand the philosophies to make it a blessing to mankind & earth. 

Along with the standard information on Love, Karma, Time, Relationships, Worships, Maya, and Mukti, Vedic literature shows us the intellectual understanding of art & craft, philosophy, yoga, and lifestyle. 

The vedic literature is divided into two parts- Shruti and Smriti. 

Both have different meanings and purposes in society.

  • Shruti means that which is heard and Smriti means that which is remembered. 
  • Shruti is eye-opener teachings whereas Smriti is a ritual. 
  • Smriti is a reminiscence of the timeless first-hand knowledge of Shruti.  
  • Shruti enjoys primary authority, whereas Smriti is an afterthought. 
  • Shruti is said to be divine, whereas Smriti is human-created. 
  • There are no orders in Shruti but guidance, whereas Smriti gives proper orders to follow. 
  • Shruti is timeless, eternal knowledge of the world, but Smriti changes according to time and needs modification to withstand the time

The Concept of Dharma: 

Lots of people confuse Dharma with religion. Both are different in meaning and core. It’s the fault of early translation where Dharma in English got translated as religion. 

Dharma means one’s ‘Rightful Duties’. It is not bound by any philosophical or geographical limits. More importantly, Dharma includes every living being, from humans to animals and even trees.

Hindu philosophy says that every living being has a Dharma, and one should follow his path to the very end. A person may have more than one rightful duty, and he has to fulfill all of them truly. 

For example- A soldier has duties for his nation, but he is also a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a student, and most importantly, a human being. 

When two of his duties go against each other, this situation is called ‘Dharm-Sankat’. 

One of the key concepts in Hindu philosophy is the fulfillment of the Four Purusharthas. They are

  1. Dharma- fulfilment of the rightful duties. 
  2. Artha- fulfilment of the economic means for survival. 
  3. Kama- fulfilment of love, psychology, and relationships in life. 
  4. Moksha- fulfilment of spiritual values and liberation. 

Another concept that holds a prime value in Sanatan Dharma is ‘Karma’. The term ‘Karma’ means ‘To Do’ which directly indicates taking action. 

The eastern philosophy of Karma theory suggests a clear understanding of cause and effect. It also says that Good will attract Good and Bad will attract Bad. 

But Karma is not a punishment for your wrong deeds. It’s a learning process for individuals.

How to Enjoy karma? 

  • Observe a situation. 
  • Understand the right & wrong. 
  • Keep empathy and mercy on your side. 
  • Take thoughtful actions. 
  • Don’t desire anything but do what’s necessary. 

The Divine Pantheon: 

Hinduism in real life is a monotheistic philosophy where the supreme God is mentioned as ‘Bhramana’ in the Vedas.  The various deities in Hinduism are the representations of the supreme power. 

Later, we see two divine natures, the ‘ masculine’ and ‘feminine’ of Bhramana, as ‘Purush’ and ‘Prakriti’.

There are three Devas who represent the different masculine energies of Bhramana. 

  1. Brahma- the creator
  2. Vishnu- the preserver
  3. Shiva-the destroyer. 

These three deities are considered as one, and they devote themselves to each other’s duties and powers. They are called ‘Tri-Dev’. 

Along with these, there are 33 different kinds of Devas who sustain life on earth. They are

  • 12 Adityas
  • 11 Rudras
  • 8 Vasus 
  • 2 Ashwinis 

Hinduism also embraces the concept of Avatars, which says that God ‘Vishnu’ takes birth in each yugas to eliminate evil and show humanity a new progressive path. He balances life on earth. Some of the most worshipped avatars are Lord Rama & Lord Krishna. 

On the other hand, we see Shiva in different forms to destroy evil completely from existence when needed.

Spiritual Practices and Rituals: 

Sanatan has its rituals, but it’s not limited to worship only. Indian spirituality goes beyond the daily prayerful lifestyle and embraces body and mind abilities as well.

1. Puja: 

The rituals are commonly called Puja. ‘PU’ means ‘To cleanse’ and ‘JA’ means ‘Birth’. 

So, if you’re doing Puja, it means you’re entering into a ceremony of self-birth. A new ‘You’ takes birth in the ceremony with a cleansed mind, body, and soul. 

2. Yoga, Meditation & Mantras: 

Yoga means ‘Unification. There are 4 types of Yogas- Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Raja Yoga. 

  1. Karma Yoga-Actions. 
  2. Jnana Yoga-Knowledge and Wisdom
  3. Bhakti- Love and Compassion. 
  4. Raja Yoga-Meditation. 

Hatha Yoga which we see everyday comprises all of the above concepts in practical terms. Its nature is physical, it uses all actions, wisdom, compassion, and meditation to lead life to fulfillment.  

Ethical Principles and Values: 

The very ethics of Hinduism or Sanatan revolves around the greater good of all lives on earth. They are as follows. 

  1. The first ethic is Ahimsa or non-violence. Don’t attack a living being without a valid cause of survival. Purposefully killing for enjoyment is punishable. 
  1. Every living being is one in Brahmana. Show compassion to all and be kind to everything in the world. 
  1. Always be truthful to yourself and to others. Don’t lie and don’t hide any lie until it produces good for others. 
  1. Respect all forms of life as they deserve to live, and in the true essence of existence, all are one. 

Hinduism in the Modern World: 

The present day Hinduism is clustered with so many stories and misconceptions of Dharma. Several thousand understandings are getting lost in modernity. Because of the fake gurus, Hinduism has faced a backlash, and it’s real time to understand it as it was originally. 

The real challenge in Hinduism today is not having a real understanding of spirituality, its practices, and knowledge of philosophy. Lack of these either sends people away or misleads them to become blind followers. 

If you’re in the search for Hinduism, make sure you don’t fall into the trap of false knowledge and misleading fake stories. Read from the real and oldest sources like Bhagvad Geeta, Vedas, Upanishad, Valmiki Ramayan, Mahabharat, and Puranas. 

If not, you can read our blogs regularly to find a core understanding of Sanatan Philosophy as well. 

Embrace the timeless wisdom of Sanatan and apply it in your daily life. 

Conclusion: 

Sanatan dharma is one of the oldest philosophies in the world. More interestingly, it includes all six schools of philosophies which show different paths to fulfill life. 

As time is passing, the relevancy of its knowledge and guidance becomes clearer. 

Wanted to know more about Hinduism? Read the following resources. 

  1. Vedas
  2. Upanishad
  3. Puranas
  4. Bhagad Geeta
  5. Sutras
  6. Ramayan
  7. Mahabharata

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