SANATAN DHARAMN - OVERVIEW
Sanatan Dharam is the religion of the Hindus and it is as old as the word itself. Sanatan Dharam is not the man-made religion nor based on a set of dogmas preached by a very particular set of teachers. It is the product of the seers of the Vedas. Sanatan Dharam means the eternal religion, ancient law. It allows absolute freedom to the rational mind of man, in the matters of faith & worship & to the goals of life.The Vedas are the eternal truths revealed by God to the great ancient Rishis (seers of though) of India. The Rishis saw or heard the truth. The were seers and spiritual discoverers of the though which already existed. The Rishi is not the inventor of the Vedas. He is only a medium to transmit to people the intuitional experiences which he recieved. The Upnishads are the concluding portions of the Vedas. The teaching based on them is called Vedanta.
Sanatan means eternal, never beginning nor ending. Dharam is from dhri, meaning to hold together, to sustain. Sanatan Dharam eternally holds all together.
NATURE OF SANATAN DHARAM:
By its nature, Sanatan Dharam is;
Experience based rather than belied based
God-centred rather than prophet centred
Beyond any historical date of founding
The process of growth, which comes from the seed
Inherent in, and inclusive of all
In the world, while above the world
Applicable to all people of all places & times
Loving of all & excluding of none
What is Dharam?
Dharam is defined as follows; 'Yato'bhyudaya Nisshreyasa Siddhih Sa Dharamh' (Dharam is that by which prosperity both in this world while living and in the other world after death, are achieved). Dharam is universal and applicable to the entire humanity. What we call Sanatan Dharam is in fact Manava Dharam. Being followers of this universal Dharam, Hindus developed a great culture of respect, love and non-violence. This attitude of universal brotherhood of Hindus made them give refuge to Parsee & Jews when they were thrown out of their motherlands. Blessed are Hindus who have inherited an ancient culture, whose beginnings nobody could determine and whose uninterrupted flow has been elevating successive generations of human beings to the level of divinity.