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Friday, March 14, 2014

Sanathana Dharma and why it cannot be labeled along with other religions

What is Sanathana Dharma  and why it cannot be labeled along with other religions, though for the convenience of the world the term Hinduism is vaguely assigned to it.
I like to sip and sink in the wisdom of our predecessors as Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants”.

1] Essential attribute of Sanathana dharma is: listen to this very appropriate speech

2] This attribute is better perceived when we make a very balanced and more appropriate approach with one or more of these factors, preferably all of these or perhaps some of these factors  manifesting predominantly  in tune with what is our own subjectively dominating attribute and attitude . Balance of these four fundamental approaches to truth, what are they again listen to this speech by the same person
How Do I Know if I am Enlightened? - Sadhguru

3] ‘Hinduism’ the term itself is shrouded in mystery. For those who would be interested in brain storming or academic churning [sometimes an euphemism for mental masturbation] to know the origin and evolution of the term may read this small write up with links
Sometimes etymology the more we go back in time can throw unbelievable facts as the great and most renowned linguist David Crystal writes in his wonderful book ‘Words, Words, Words’ that the words Nice, Science, Conscience and Shit have a common origin when traced to  a few thousand years back.
Incidentally the word Religion itself is made of Re+ligare [latin] Re+lier [French] literally meaning re-link , i.e. linking again the ‘individual soul’ with the ‘Universal soul’.
So strictly speaking anything that does not contribute to this must not be called religion, imagine how many religious people will be thrown out of business.

4] Sanathana dharma is not, and better not pursued as a religion because religion is at best a noble institution for understanding the spiritual dimension of an individual human being beyond and besides his physical, intellectual, emotional selves and pursuit of realization of reality and trying to seek god’s grace. These two namely, realization of reality and  god’s grace are again too vast to explore and experience but never beyond our reach and sometimes surprisingly they land us in such arena or they land up on us or in us. You may read these two links  to know and understand what they are and most importantly what they are not and

5] The natural urge of human beings to grasp and get these two things realization of reality and god’s grace, propel them into multiple modes to search for it and therefore no single religion however noble or broad minded it is, can culturally, socially and geographically confine, control and cater to these two human needs and that is why many new religious movements and cults erupt.

6] Religion , any/every  religion could possibly contribute to realize our spiritual potential as well as  confine our frame of reference and scale of observation and thus prevent us from realizing our spiritual potential with its very well developed and attractive steps and tools.

7] Everything in any process of growth is just a step, important and inevitable, but not a stop. It is so with mother’s milk [our biological aspect of life]; it is so with learning of alphabets, words and numbers [our intellectual aspect of life]; it is so with hugging, kissing and cajoling as babies [our emotional aspect of life]; it is so with our learning and understanding of different concepts [ our philosophical aspect of life]; it is so with all forms of worship, devotion and all its concomitant rituals and religious practices [ our spiritual life] and so on. This is the inherent wisdom. A normal human being has to go through a process to grow in everything or into something. There may be exceptions like a Adi shankara, or a Bhagawan Ramanamaharishi.

We can neither avoid the steps nor get struck to them. That’s why I cannot accept the snobbism of so called intellectuals parroting pet slogans like religion without rituals, god without religion or religion without gods, spiritualism without god or religion etc. In fact I have books titled in each part of the slogan.

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