Sanatan is eternal, everlasting. Sanatan Dharma is a commonly known term in day to day life, all over the globe. Dharma is innate nature or ‘Svabhav’, more commonly known as duty. What is the Sanatan Dharma of Fire? What is the innate nature of Fire? To be hot/ burn. What is the Sanatan Dharma of Sugar? To be sweet.
What is the Sanatan Dharma of a human being?
Rig Veda answered this question since time immemorial as
आत्मनो मोक्षार्थं जगद्हिताय च ( Rig Veda)
Meaning For one’s own salvation, and for the good of the world.
Every word has its expression and meaning in its own context. As the context changes, so may change its expression and meaning.
In the context of a group of people or society, Dharma has also come to known as a code of social conduct. How should you conduct yourself vis-à-vis others?
One simple rule: You should treat others as you like to be treated yourself.
In general, Sanatana Dharma ordains duties for every human being as Realizing your real-self, Honesty, Sacrifice, Refraining from injuring any other living beings, Purity, Goodwill, Mercy, Patience, Forbearance, Self-restraint, Generosity, etc.
Sanatan Dharma is thus a set of good social practices for good life for oneself and others.
The essence of Sanatan Dharma is Hindutva. Thus, Hindutva is Sanatan.
In the last a few months, I have come across expressions like political Hindutva or Hindutva as political idealism of Hinduism.
You may know by now from the above, Sanatan Dharma is holistic. It permeates economic, social, legal and political aspects of human life.
Let’s admit that of all the dimensions of human life today, politics (and political leadership) dominates everything else. The reason is simple. The politicians become the lawmakers and laws affect all other aspects of human life including economic, social and legal.
In ancient India, thought leadership or Dharma Leadership was valued above political leadership. Even around 321- 297 BC, during Chandragupta Empire, Chanakya played thought leadership. It is in the last 2000 years that issues of Church vs State or Religious Leader vs King have come to the fore, and it is the State and King (political leadership) that have emerged dominant.
Will it not touch predominantly Sanatan Dharma societies like India (Bharat, Hindustan)? By all means, it will and it should. We live in a highly connected world. We are a new village, thanks to travel, information and communication technologies.
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