We often hear the word Sanatana from Acharya’s, But how do we interpret it?
Sanatana means eternal which does not have an origin. Dharma means set of defined duties & activities that has to be performed by all living beings. When we restrict Dharma to human than it does not become universal. We often relate Sanatana to Hinduism but partially it is true. Sanatana Dharma is way of life and not a religion. From the word Hinduism it is very simple to make out that it is limited to a section of people who follow Hindu culture and ism means habituation. To be surprised, word Hinduism was coined by outsiders(Outside Indian territory) because they already had a religion and wanted to distinguish.
Religion or Matha is a collection of thought based on certain samskara and conditioned on certain factors like environment, language and experience.
Mind is programmed to see varieties or changes. Why do we have variety of soaps? Can’t we have one soap overall which does the cleansing of body. Similarly, Religion vary region to region. Religion can never be universal because it is limited by space and time. We cannot club religion by picking good aspects only because definition of good in one religion might offend other religion. Hence religion is the first step in dividing humanity.
Example : A person from India born to parents following Hindu Religion gains samskara of Hindu culture. He thinks that he is different from a person who is born in an Arab country bought up in Islamic society and vice versa. But actually is there a division between the two? Fundamentally there is no difference in their body organs functioning. Both of them get thirst and hunger, experience three avasta (Jaagrath, Swapna , Sushupti) and identify with network of thought patterns surrounded by desires concluded either as sukha(like) or dukha(dislike). But why we see the difference? it is purely because of the ignorance of mind. Mind plays the trick of dividing and live in conflict (Divide and Oppose). Conflicts creates likes and dislikes which vary person to person creating turbulence in mind and leaving the person into strings of bondage (Samsara). Please don’t misunderstand Mind to be our enemy. Infact it is a wonderful tool gifted to us to direct it either towards bondage or liberation.
How do we come out of Samsara? Here comes Vedanta to help us in understanding the basic principles of human existence. Please don’t misunderstand that Vedanta will create some thing miracles to release bondage, but definitely prepare us to face any kind of situation to overcome the bondage of samsara with a unique vision. Ultimately, it is our true self and inquiry about it which leads us to the highest path of realization. Sanatana Dharma is all about self enquiry and the way human has to lead a life to elevate himself to the realization of self and attain liberation.
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