August , 2023
The Basics of the Sanatana Dharma
17:36 pm

Dr. Ravindra Kumar

The firm belief in the truth of inevitable interconnectedness of all movable-immovable and visible-invisible in the universe, thus Universal Unity, and the acceptance of the reality of the existence of the Unity-Creating Power or Authority, are the two foremost basics of the Sanatana Dharma.

The One Indivisible Whole or Totality, which is addressed by different names according to Its virtues –attributes and universal functions, includes all visible-invisible and movable-immovable in the universe in Its periphery and, thus, forms Universal Unity.

Thus, in clear terms the belief in the reality of the One Indivisible Whole or Totality and Universal Oneness or Unity are the first and the second fundamentals of the Sanatana Dharma.

No other religious belief, social thought or scientific theory can negate the state of these two basics of the Sanatana Dharma, i.e., the firm belief in the One Indivisible Totality and the perpetuity of Universal Unity. Even an atheist also cannot deny this truth. Every social thinker, scientist or even an atheist, in one way or the other, accepts the fact that the cosmic order is governed by an ever-flowing universal law. There is nothing outside the horizon of the universal law; no one is beyond the domain of the universal law. The same universal law is the Order of an Indivisible Totality. It pervades everywhere and, thus, is the Creator and the Preserver of Universal Unity.

It is also almost accepted that there is a direct-indirect interdependence of all movable-immovable and visible-invisible prevailing in the universe. This state also automatically proves that the truth of universal oneness exists and, thus, seals the both, the first and the second fundamentals of the Sanatana Dharma.

The Indivisible Whole or Totality, the creator of Universal Unity and, at the same time, the basis of universal order is addressed by the name of Parabrahman in the Sanatana Dharma. Parabrahman=Para (Supreme)+Brahman (universal truth and the essence). The Supreme Brahman is beyond concepts and indescribable. He is the Creator, the Preserver, and the Saviour. He is Eternal and Infinite. He is not the subject of intellect, and the Vedanta school of thought accepts Him as the Nirguna Brahman. The Indivisible Totality, the Creator of Universal Unity, is also addressed by the name Brahman. The simple meaning of the word Brahman derived from the root ‘Brih’ is to move forward or to emerge –achieving self-growth. Thus, everything, movable-immovable and visible-invisible is Brahman only, i.e., “Sarvam Khalvidam Brahman.” (The Chhandogyopanishad, 3: 14: 1)

That Supreme Being, the Indivisible Whole, is the Supreme Lord. Parameshwara=Parama, i.e., Supreme+Ishwara (God); that is, the Supreme Lord; He is Glorious, the Controller of the universe. He is Ishwara. He is capable and full of opulence. Along with vegetation, nature, climate etc., He is the Lord of each and everything in the universe, “Ishe Yo Vishwasyaa”, i.e., “The Lord of all Divinity, Omnipotent Ishwara.” (The Rigveda, 10: 6: 3)

He is Paramatma. Paramatma=Param (Supreme)+Atma (Consciousness); thus, He is the life force. He is Bhagawan, the Master of the basic elements like Bhoomi, Gagan, Vayu, Anal and Jal, i.e., earth, space, wind, fire and water. He is Narayana, the source of water. He is “Agnimiile”, i.e., the source of light. He is Indra –Supremely Opulent and resplendent in the Divine Light; He is “Maatarishwaana”, i.e., the source of wind and Omnipresent. (The Rigveda, 1: 64: 46) He is (all pervading) Vishnu; He is pervasive everywhere; He has entered the entire Jagat –universe. (The Rigveda, 1: 154: 1) He is full of adjectives; He is, as the Lord of the universe, praised and glorified by creatures in various forms. (The Rigveda, 1: 154: 2) He is Brahma, the Greatest and all-creating Lord. He is “Sahasrashiirshaah Purushah”, i.e., the Universal King with a thousand heads, the Originator and cause of the universe. (The Rigveda, 10: 90: 1-2) He is “Tryambakam” (Shiva –the three eyed), all-benevolent and the Saviour. He is the Protector of the three aspects of time –the soul, the cause and the actions. (The Rigveda, 7: 59: 12) He is Rudra, the suppressor of evil enemies (The Rigveda, 1: 114: 2); He is Mighty and Supremely Powerful. He is the total destroyer of problems. He is “Garutmaan”, the One with the Greatest Soul and “Yamam”, the Supreme Judge, the Controller of the universe. (The Rigveda, 1: 164: 46)

He is “Savituh”, the Creator and Opulent Lord of the entire universe. (The Rigveda, 3: 62: 10) He is Hari; He is the Lord Who removes sorrows and obstacles. He is “Sachchidaananda”; always true and sovereign, eternal –perpetual and unchanging, conscious and wholly blissful. He is complete in all states. (The beginning Mantra of the Ishavasyopanishad and the Brihadaranyakopanishad 5: 1: 1) Parabrahman, Purushottama, Paramatma is always full and perfect from all sides and in all manners. He is full of zenith of bliss. Bliss is His virtue, He is, therefore, always peaceful. He is ‘ॐ’ – OM, thus, He is the Eternal Sound of the universe. He is all protector and all pervading. He is the cause and essence of the origin of the universe. He is the symbol of creation.

This is not all in His relation. His glory is limitless. His virtues are innumerable, and His powers are limitless. According to His innumerable virtues and powers, He has, as already mentioned, innumerable names. However, we have mentioned only a few of them in discussion in hand. Eventually, He is an Indivisible Whole; He is the Creator of Universal Unity. The ever-existing Sanatana Dharma accepts this eternal truth. The perpetuity of the Indivisible Totality and the reality of Universal Unity are, thus, can be repeated, established as the first and the second basics of the Sanatana Dharma.

The Indivisible Whole or Totality –the Creator of Universal Unity, Who is addressed by many names including Parabrahman-Brahman, Parameshwara-Ishwara, Paramatma etc., determines an ultimate expected duty of human being, the best of creatures of the universe, for the smooth and welfaristic functioning of the entire cosmic system. It expects him to embrace the truth of the cosmic oneness and the interdependence of all known-unknown in the whole Jagat, and to be friendly and protective towards all movable-immovable and visible-invisible therein. The Indivisible Totality urges man to respect and love the entire creation, along with the basic elements, the living beings and Nature while being wholly tolerant. This act, i.e., respect and love towards living beings, Nature and all the elements of the universe, is, in fact, eventually to respect and love the Indivisible Whole or Parameshwara as everything is emanated from Him and stays within His periphery also. He calls upon man to have devotion and reverence for all, even by his own chosen path, with a tolerant spirit. To do so is, in fact, to show reverence, love and devotion towards the Indivisible Whole or Paramatma Himself. This is the pathway of welfare of all along with an individual himself. The welfare of an individual, in fact, lies in the welfare of all.

Forbearance and tolerance are the two incomparable practices of Ahimsa –non-violence and non-violence is the best medium or way to realize the unity of all in the Jagat, and at the same time to express devotion towards it. Staying within its basic spirit, i.e., having active goodwill towards all living beings as well as all movable-immovable and visible-invisible in the whole of the Jagat, it paves the way for attitude-adjustment resultantly the greater co-operation and co-ordination among fellow beings. Non-violence is the living symbol and expression of universal love. It, therefore, emerges as the third fundamental of the Sanatana Dharma.

In an environment, surcharged with large-scaled co-operation and co-ordination, keeping the welfare of one and all in the centre, which is the call of universal unity and its Creator, i.e., the Indivisible Whole, stepping forward continuously according to the demands of time and space –making continuous efforts for doing anew, i.e., innovating one after another, is the call of the Sanatana Dharma. ‘Always Anew’ is the message and an urge of the eternal universal law. The determination to do anew paves the way for development and evolution; the real progress comes through innovation –from anew. Keeping the spirit of welfare of all intact, the call to do anew is, therefore, the fourth fundamental of the Sanatana Dharma.

The Sanatana Dharma is equipped with four pillars –basics and, thus, an all-time welfaristic system dedicated to Universal Unity. The Indivisible Whole or Totality or the Absolute Parabrahman is the Creator of Universal Unity and the only Satya –Truth. The prime expectation of this Satya from man is to step forward continuously on the pathway of life by doing anew in an atmosphere of mutual co-operation, co-ordination and harmony while embracing forbearance and tolerance (the two best practices of Ahimsa –non-violence) keeping the welfare of everyone as the nucleus. The Sanatana Dharma calls on man to achieve this expectation taking it as his prime duty. “Man identifies himself in the Only Reality of the Indivisible Whole; he attains the form of the Indivisible Whole, Brahman –the Supreme Lord”, this is the essence, goal, and purpose of human life, i.e., “Jiivo Brahmaiva Naaparah –Jiva is Brahman itself and not different.”

Since time immemorial, the pioneers of the Sanatana Dharma –the incarnations, Rishis-Maharishis and great men, born from time to time, presented this very Satya –truth before humanity purely with a spirit of welfare of everyone in the Jagat. 

— A Padma Shri and Sardar Patel National Awardee Indologist Dr. Ravindra Kumar is a Former Vice Chancellor of CCS University, Meerut; he is, currently the Ombudsman of Swami Vivekananda Subharati University, Meerut (India).

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