meaning of Sanatan is eternal. Vedic Dharma can aptly be
defined as Sanatan Dharma. In English, Dharma is defined
by the word 'religion'. But the term religion is
incapable to describe the vast meaning of Dharma. In
fact, the spirit of Dharma is so vast that it includes
things related not only to our present incarnation but
to the past and the future incarnations as well.
According to the definition given in the scriptures:
Dharma is something that should be borne all the time.
Thus, it is the powerful means that saves us from
catastrophe and leads to evolution. For example, Vedas
are not only the means to attain comfort in metaphysical
world but they also show the path to all round
development and prosperity.
MEANINGS OF SANATAN DHARMA
DHARMA ITI SANAATAN DHARMAH
Sanatan Dharma, as the name suggests owes its inception
to none other than the eternal supreme soul- Brahm.
Unlike other religions such as Christianity, Islam,
Zoroastrians and Buddhism which all clearly show the
name of their inceptors like Christ, Mohammed,
Zarthustra and Buddha, Sanatan Dharma boasts its
inception to the supreme soul Himself.
religions except Sanatan can be classified into two
Sanatan cannot be included in any of these two
categories. It existed even before the birth of other
religions and it exists even today. Sanatan shall exist
in future also. History has witnessed the rise and fall
of scores of religions and sects. But, Sanatan has
withstood all kinds of upheavals and oppositions and
continues to exist.
Regarding the future of Sanatan, we have to keep in mind
that since it has no beginning hence it will have no
end. So, it is beyond the reach of 'natural-law of
change' which states that one which has born shall
inevitably come to an end. There has never been an
exception to this rule nor there shall be one. Even the
divine embodiments of almighty God in physical
incarnations had to see their end. Thus, even the
physical embodiment of even the eternal God is not an
exception to this rule.
Second meaning: Sanatan has no beginning and hence no
end. It exists right from the moment of creation of
universe to the time of Pralaya (the great deluge). It
is Sanatan not because it owes its inception to the
eternal God but because it is eternal in itself. It
shall exist up to Pralaya and shall not be destroyed
even after Pralaya when it will lie dormant but exist
neverthless.With the beginning of new creation, Sanatan
shall rise once again to protect mankind and help it
But all said and done one should not have a
misconception that all the other religions are false.
Every religion guides the human being to its ultimate
goal. But these religions being historic and propounded
by somebody inevitably will see their end, of course
except Sanatan Dharma.
Third meaning :
BHAVAH SANAATANAH, SANATANAM KAROTI ITI SANATAN YATI,
SANATAN YATITI SANATANAH|
SANATANASHCHASOU DHARMA ITI SANATAN DHARMAH
Sanatan Dharma is eternal not because it owes its
inception to the eternal God. It is eternal not because
it is timeless and indestructible. Sanatan is eternal
because it is capable of making all those who have faith
in it eternal by providing them the 'ultimate
To get this point better, let us think a little more
deeply and compare the different nations, which were
once super powers at some point of time in history.
Greece, Roman, Syrian, Persian, Macedonian, Babylonian,
Phoenician, Egyptian were the powerful empires that once
held the sway in human history; but none of them exists
today. Those empires had everything- wealth, power and
huge armies. But they did not had the spiritual
consciousness to sustain itself for a long time. And
that lack of such a capacity became the cause of their
extermination. But India did have such a capacity and
hence its religion endured every onslaught and exists
even today. No doubt, Sanatan played an important role
in keeping our culture alive.
Thus, Sanatan has three distinct features.
- The eternal supreme
soul propounded it.
- It is eternal in
- It is
capable of making its followers eternal.
question naturally arises as to what are the traits of
the followers of Sanatan. Let's explore it in the fourth
Fourth meaning -
PARAMATMA SWARUPAM PRAAPYATI ITI|
Meaning - The religion that helps us
attain union with the eternal soul is Sanatan. A
follower of Sanatan dharma abides to the true- path and
which helps him to unite with the almighty God
This is the real characteristic of Sanatan,which helped
India to prosper in all walks of life since time
immemorial. But now, we are neglecting it and hence are
facing the consequences. Those who discard religious
path are sure to fall. Even God has said regarding such
YAH SHASTRA VIDHI MRITASRINYA VARTATE
NA SA SIDDHIM VAARNOTI NA SUKHAM NA PARAAMGATIM||
TASMA CHCHHASTRAM PRAMAANAM TE KARYAA KARYAVYA VASTATAU|
GYAATVA SHAASTRA VIDHAANOKTAM PARAM KARTUMIHAARHASI||
Meaning - Those who neglect the
scriptures and act in whimsical way neither attain
perfection nor any comfort and salvation. O Arjun!
Scriptures dictate the things worth your doing and
unworthy of doing.
Even Manu says:
EVA HATO HANTI, DHARMO RAKSHATI RAKSHITAH
Meaning - A exterminated religion kills
the people ultimately but a protected religion protects
RELIGION AND COMMUNITY
There is only one religion. Nomatter if it has acquired
different names in various parts of the world depending
upon circumstances, culture and tradition but the fact
is that it must necessarily contain all the good
qualities capable of giving boost to the spiritual
upliftment of a man and his ultimate salvation. These
diverse elements of virtuosity have been named as
religion. Anything lacking this spirit cannot be called
a religion. For example 'warmth' is the distinctive
feature of 'fire'. If fire loses warmth, it is no more a
fire. Similarly, the sun provides light and warmth, if
it loses these properties, it will be no more than a
dead star. Liquidity and coldness are the property of
water. Without them, it will not be water.
Human being is the supreme creation of the nature. Our
ancient sages, with the help of their tremendous insight
had formulated certain rules for the society-how a human
should live and what should be his behaviour in the
society, etc. A man who doesn't follow any rules and
regulations is not a human. Such a conduct bound by
certain norms and regulations is termed as religion.
This very quality of man (Following the religion) makes
him distinct from the animals. By, instinct man behaves
like an animal. Force that checks this fall in human
behaviour is known as religion. It is said that only
those shall live-individual or institution- who follow
the religion; those who do not follow the religion shall
be no better than dead despite having a living body.
Let's now consider the difference between the religion.
Such as the soul that is present in a living body is
eternal, similarly the religion is also eternal. That is
why it came to be known as eternal. Thus, religion has
no end. But,all the different sects or communities that
exist today were established by people in divine
incarnations according to the needs of the time. But,
basically all the religions are same despite their
DHARM or RELIGION
- Dharma is the spirit
- Dharma is the heart to
- Dharma is the examiner
and investigator of the spiritual faiths.
- Dharma investigates
the reasons for creation.
- Dharma shows the
relation between the regulations and regulator of
- Dharma helps one for
- Dharma is culture.
- Dharma is knowledge.
- Dharma is fortune and
invites you to the Wonderful Spiritual World
Engineer Rameshwar Prasad (B.Tech., M.Tech., P.G.D.C.A.,
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