Lets not confuse Sanatana Dharma with Hinduism. Yes, Hindusim is a part of Sanatana Dharma BUT Sanatana Dharma is not same as Hinduism.
Sanatana Dharma is universal, not limited to India or Asia or few Indian cities.
For several millennia even Europe and Arabia also followed Sanatana Dharma, but later due to emergence of cults they stopped being Sanatanis. Every man or woman is a born Sanatani, but due to influence of cults leave Santana Dharma.
What are the fundamental traits and characteristics of Sanatana Dharma.
- Freedom of belief, thought and worship: Unlike specific cults which say that there is one and only one prophet, one God and one book whom everyone has to follow, Sanatana Dharma places no such restrictions. You worship any God or Goddess, no problem. You don’t believe in rituals, no problem. You follow any spiritual book, no problem. You choose any person as your guide, no problem. In nutshell “Sanatana Dharma unlike cults give you the freedom to think and worship in accordance to your instincts and don’t impose some one else’s thoughts or instincts on others by force or coercion“
- See divinity everywhere: Some cults have placed their Supreme Lord billions of lightyears away where one messenger flew and got pearls of wisdom. But Sanatani sees lord every where. You feel the presence of Lord in a river, you worship that. You feel feel the presence of Lord in a tree, you worship that. You feel the Presence of Lord in a dog or snake, you worship that. Lord in Bhagavat Gita says in 15.15 “And I am seated in the hearts of all…“. Sanatana dharma considers every living entity divine and is full of knowledge.
- Harmonious Co-existence: Let me give 2 contrasting examples. The first example illustrates the Sanatana Dharma.
- Many centuries back Ganpati Bhatta (from western India where Lord Ganesha is mostly worshipped) visited Puri, a town is eastern India where Lord Jagannath is revered and worshipped. When he paid a visit to the temple, he found Jagannath in his own form. He got disappointed and headed to his hometown. On his way back, he met an old person. He asked Bhatta “why are you disappointed?“. Bhatta narrated his story. The Old man then said Bhatta “Go back again to the temple and you will see Jagannath is the form of Lord Ganesh“. Bhatta went back to the temple and to his surprise he saw Lord Jagannath taken the form of elephant God (Lord Ganesh). From that onwards, on the very same day Lord Jagannath takes “Hathi Vesa” every year to commemorate the incident.
- Many Centuries back, the people of Mecca worshipped many Gods and Goddesses(more than 300). A person from within, wanted all to worship only one God and throw away others. He is driven away from Mecca. Several years later he comes back with a huge army, captures Mecca. And then his followers destroy the idols of all Gods and Goddesses in Kabba. They slaughter all people who did not stop worshipping their owns Gods or Goddesses.
- Equality among all living beings: Unlike cults which differentiate fidels and infidels and gives full permission to slaughter infidels, Sanatana Dharma treats not only all Human beings but all living beings equal. Lord says in 5.18 of Bhagavat Gita “The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater“
- Open for criticism and Ability to Auto-correct: Lord Buddha spoke vociferously against the Vedas, but we made him the 9th Avatar of Lord Vishnu whereas blasphemy i.e. any one speaking against Holy Quran is punishable with death notwithstanding he is the brother or father or son or wife. During the middle ages, many corrupt practices had been a part of society. However, many reformers – social, political and economic came forward and significant changes have been made. This is a fact that even B. R. Ambedkar acknowledged.
Hence, for peace in the world it is important that people denounce all the cults where the thought of one person is imposed on others and become Sanatanis.
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