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Sanatana Dharma: The Universal Religion
Sanatana Dharma: The Universal Religion
Description
Back of the Book

Sanatana Dharma is not a sectarian religion. In fact, it connotes all aspects of life including faith. That is why, it is called a way of life. But there have been deliberate attempts to denigrate the Sanatana Dharma.

This book attempts to clear the misunderstandings and distortions about Sanatana Dharma. Putting Sanatana Dharma in proper perspective, it describes its important aspects. Also, it analyses its universality and usefulness in the present era.

About the Author

V.S. Sardesai, B.Sc (Hons.), L.L.M. (Advocate), was born in Panaji (Goa) in 1935 and later shifted to Mumbai for higher studies. He worked in the legal departments of various institutions and retired as Asst. General Manager from the Bank of India in 1993. Thereafter, he worked as legal consultant in Indian Institute of Bankers and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd. till he shifted to Bangalore in 2004. His articles on legal matters and historical subjects were published in several magazines & newspapers. Other books to his credit are:

Governance Under Sanatana Dharma, Amartya Sen’s Hindu Bash, Can a Secular be a Fundamentalist and Somanatha by Romila Thapar—A Critical Study.

Preface

I am always wonderstruck when I think of our heritage or culture or civilization or about our seers. How could they be at the top both in material as well as in spiritual development? How could they found such a civilization more than five thousand years back- Indus Valley Civilization or better known as Saraswati Valley Civilization which even a 1-lindu critic like Amartya Sen has appreciated saying that the Indus Valley Civilization or the Harappa Civilization had many special achievements, including remarkable town planning, organized storage especially for grains and extraordinary drainage system which, in his judgement, is unequalled in the following four thousand years in the subcontinent? How could they establish such a civilization if as claimed by some, they had no knowledge of town- planning, no knowledge of sophisticated mathematics, no knowledge of engineering and other sciences? And if the people living at that time knew all these things, was it difficult for them to construct a bridge now known as Sri Ram Setu connecting India with Sri-Lanka? And how could a person with even a little common sense be so shameless as to ask whether there were any engineering or architectural colleges at that time or in which colleges the people studied all such things to set such a civilization? And if it cannot be proved from historical data available that there were such colleges, can one deny the existence of such a civilization? But that is what our shallow- minded and shameless politicians are asking, while questioning the historicity of Ram Setu. Not only that, but they have gone a step further by asking which engineering college Sri Ram has attended to have the knowledge of construction of bridges as if because it is called Ram Setu it must necessarily be planned and constructed by Sri Ram personally with the help of Vanar Sena. There should be a limit even to rhetoric. When one crosses the limit, it only shows the meanness and shallowness of one’s mind.

Another thing, which disturbs me, is that had Ram Seth been a place of pilgrimage of Muslims or Christians, would our secular government have even thought of considering its destruction leave aside taking steps for its destruction? And would they have even dared to question the historicity of Ram and the Setu when even the historicity of Christ is in question? Is it only because it is the Hindu place of pilgrimage that the government raises all sort of nonsensical and childish arguments to be withdrawn next day when challenged, for justifying the destruction of the Seth? Is India really a Hindu majority state? And if so, are Hindus cowards to allow the destruction of their places of pilgrimage and heritage? Apart from that are not Ramayana and Mahabharata and places and things connected with them our heritages to be preserved at any cost irrespective of their historicity and of which every Indian irrespective of race, caste or religion must be proud? And is it not the duty of the government to preserve the same irrespective of the party affiliation? But instead, our secular government is out to destroy it and we, the Indians in general, and Hindus in particular, are witnessing it passively without raising a finger. It is really an irony that while our Indian government is trying hard to prove that there is no historicity of Sri Ram, Sri Lanka government is trying to establish the existence of places in Sri Lanka which are connected with Sri Ram, Sita and Ravana and characters connected with Ramayana. And if you want to destroy the Ram Seth, what moral right you have got to criticize the destruction of Buddha by Taliban in Afghanistan? But the main question in the first place is how could such a situation arise in a Hindu majority state in respect of a place of Hindu pilgrimage which is also a piece of heritage unless the government is indifferent to the majorities’ feelings or the majority is indifferent and do not care for its heritage or religious places? And if that is the case, then it is a very serious matter and our intellectuals will have to consider and find out the reasons why such a situation has arisen at all and what remedial steps are required to be taken in such circumstances. Is it not because of our education and we have given up or are indifferent to our Sanatana Dharma?

Secondly when our seers discovered the truth about the mind and our existence, they gave it to the whole world without any reservations. They gave it through Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, and showed a practical way out to realize the same through Sanatana Dharma. Sanatana Dharma was never meant to be a sectarian Dharma or religion like other two so-called religions viz. Christianity and Islam as it is being painted and propagated by vested interests. In fact, it is a way of life to be followed by every one, every human being to attain the goal of human life. But it was ignored by us firstly because of our education and Western influence, and secondly after independence because of our politicians and the pseudo-seculars who placed their self-interest above the national interest. The results we have seen, A religion which was meant to be world religion, is not only placed in the category of sectarian religions, like Christianity and Islam, but it has been further denigrated and is being dubbed as communal and fundamentalist religion while the religions which are really communal and fundamentalists are considered to he seculars. But this has adversely affected the society, the social structure. Sanatana Dharma is a way of life rather than a religion in strict sense, for the world to follow for the smooth and proper functioning of the society. By rejecting it instead of following it, we have not only disturbed the social structure, but also brought in, itt the words of Chogyam Trungpa, economic instability social and political chaos throwing the world in absolute turmoil.

During Vedic period we had Monarchy, popular monarchy as the form of government, not the democracy as we are having at present. But what do we find? In Ramayana, King Sri Rama banished Sita, his queen not because she had committed any offence, not because he had any doubt about her character or chastity but only because one of his citizens had expressed doubt about her chastity having stayed in Lanka even though forcibly as he felt that a king and his family should be above suspicion and what do we find to-day? Even if there are criminal cases against the ministers, they still continue to be ministers. Recently the Swiss government published the total amounts deposited by foreigners in its banks and agreed to give the names of the account holders if the state governments request it and which state is having the largest amount of such deposits? It is India, an underdeveloped and poor country, a country that is supposed to be a spiritual guide of the world. The total amount Indians are having in Swiss bank is about fifteen hundred trillion dollars, about thirteen times of the total debt of India. And I will not be surprised if the largest shares are of our honourable ministers and of the first family followed by our bureaucrats What is the reason for such a downfall.. Is it not because we have completely given up our Dharma, Sanatana Dharma? My attempt is to clear the misunderstandings arid the distortions purposely created for denigrating the Sanatana Dharma especially by Christian Missionaries and Muslim Mullahs for propagating their religions and by our politicians and the pseudo-seculars for appeasing the religious minority communities for getting their votes to get power. I am aware that there are some repetitions at some places but that is only to emphasize different aspects of the Sanatana Dharma and I hope the readers will excuse me for the same Sanatana Dharma covers all the aspects of the life and it is impossible to write about all such aspects especially for a person like me with limited capacity and knowledge and in normal circumstances, I would have never dared to even touch the subject; but a situation has now arisen in the present era of false propaganda that every one should try to defend Hinduism in whatever way possible and place the truth before the world to judge. But even the aspects which are described by me, I feel, are quite sufficient to show and prove the universality of the Sanatana Dharma and its usefulness in the present era.

One reason for misunderstanding Sanatana Dharma is that the word ‘Dharma’ in the absence of exact equivalent is being translated into English as ‘religion’ Religion in English means only a faith and is generally understood as the service and worship of God or supernatural while the word Dharma in Sanskrit connotes all aspects of life including faith. That is why Sanatana Dharma is called a way of life. As per Sanatana Dharma, every Visible as also invisible thing in its world including each species has got its own dharma, which cannot be changed. The Dharma of a fish is to swim and live in the waters. If it tries to change its Dharma it will be disastrous to it and it will die. So also a human being has got its own religion, which also cannot be changed by changing the faith. Sanatana Dharma only defines the human Dharma or Religion and that is why it can be called Sanatana Dharma or eternal religion. C1thstiani and Islam cannot be called religions in that sense; they are in fact faiths, ways or paths or Panths to get and attain happiness, which is the goal of life. I have tried to clear the misunderstanding and put the Sanatana Dharma as well as Christianity and Islam in proper perspective How far I am Successful in the attempt, only e readers can judge. I take the Opportunity to thank my son and daughter in low geeta hut for whose help I could at have completed the book as also the Publishers Readworthy publications Pvt. Ltd. and its staff and Shalaji Mittal for publishing the book in such a short time.

Contents

PrefaceVII
1The Problem1
2Defining Hindu-Hinduism10
3Religion Its Significance Islam and Christianity30
4Sanatana Dharma and Secularism45
5Sanatana Dharma: Can It Be Anti-Secular60
6Sanatana Dharma: The Universal Religion85
7Sanatana Dharma: The Universal Religion Institution of Marriage108
Bibliography133
Index137

Sanatana Dharma: The Universal Religion

Item Code:
NAE262
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2009
Publisher:
Readworthy Publication (P) Ltd.
ISBN:
9789380009049
Size:
8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Pages:
153
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 234 gms
Price:
$20.00   Shipping Free
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Back of the Book

Sanatana Dharma is not a sectarian religion. In fact, it connotes all aspects of life including faith. That is why, it is called a way of life. But there have been deliberate attempts to denigrate the Sanatana Dharma.

This book attempts to clear the misunderstandings and distortions about Sanatana Dharma. Putting Sanatana Dharma in proper perspective, it describes its important aspects. Also, it analyses its universality and usefulness in the present era.

About the Author

V.S. Sardesai, B.Sc (Hons.), L.L.M. (Advocate), was born in Panaji (Goa) in 1935 and later shifted to Mumbai for higher studies. He worked in the legal departments of various institutions and retired as Asst. General Manager from the Bank of India in 1993. Thereafter, he worked as legal consultant in Indian Institute of Bankers and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd. till he shifted to Bangalore in 2004. His articles on legal matters and historical subjects were published in several magazines & newspapers. Other books to his credit are:

Governance Under Sanatana Dharma, Amartya Sen’s Hindu Bash, Can a Secular be a Fundamentalist and Somanatha by Romila Thapar—A Critical Study.

Preface

I am always wonderstruck when I think of our heritage or culture or civilization or about our seers. How could they be at the top both in material as well as in spiritual development? How could they found such a civilization more than five thousand years back- Indus Valley Civilization or better known as Saraswati Valley Civilization which even a 1-lindu critic like Amartya Sen has appreciated saying that the Indus Valley Civilization or the Harappa Civilization had many special achievements, including remarkable town planning, organized storage especially for grains and extraordinary drainage system which, in his judgement, is unequalled in the following four thousand years in the subcontinent? How could they establish such a civilization if as claimed by some, they had no knowledge of town- planning, no knowledge of sophisticated mathematics, no knowledge of engineering and other sciences? And if the people living at that time knew all these things, was it difficult for them to construct a bridge now known as Sri Ram Setu connecting India with Sri-Lanka? And how could a person with even a little common sense be so shameless as to ask whether there were any engineering or architectural colleges at that time or in which colleges the people studied all such things to set such a civilization? And if it cannot be proved from historical data available that there were such colleges, can one deny the existence of such a civilization? But that is what our shallow- minded and shameless politicians are asking, while questioning the historicity of Ram Setu. Not only that, but they have gone a step further by asking which engineering college Sri Ram has attended to have the knowledge of construction of bridges as if because it is called Ram Setu it must necessarily be planned and constructed by Sri Ram personally with the help of Vanar Sena. There should be a limit even to rhetoric. When one crosses the limit, it only shows the meanness and shallowness of one’s mind.

Another thing, which disturbs me, is that had Ram Seth been a place of pilgrimage of Muslims or Christians, would our secular government have even thought of considering its destruction leave aside taking steps for its destruction? And would they have even dared to question the historicity of Ram and the Setu when even the historicity of Christ is in question? Is it only because it is the Hindu place of pilgrimage that the government raises all sort of nonsensical and childish arguments to be withdrawn next day when challenged, for justifying the destruction of the Seth? Is India really a Hindu majority state? And if so, are Hindus cowards to allow the destruction of their places of pilgrimage and heritage? Apart from that are not Ramayana and Mahabharata and places and things connected with them our heritages to be preserved at any cost irrespective of their historicity and of which every Indian irrespective of race, caste or religion must be proud? And is it not the duty of the government to preserve the same irrespective of the party affiliation? But instead, our secular government is out to destroy it and we, the Indians in general, and Hindus in particular, are witnessing it passively without raising a finger. It is really an irony that while our Indian government is trying hard to prove that there is no historicity of Sri Ram, Sri Lanka government is trying to establish the existence of places in Sri Lanka which are connected with Sri Ram, Sita and Ravana and characters connected with Ramayana. And if you want to destroy the Ram Seth, what moral right you have got to criticize the destruction of Buddha by Taliban in Afghanistan? But the main question in the first place is how could such a situation arise in a Hindu majority state in respect of a place of Hindu pilgrimage which is also a piece of heritage unless the government is indifferent to the majorities’ feelings or the majority is indifferent and do not care for its heritage or religious places? And if that is the case, then it is a very serious matter and our intellectuals will have to consider and find out the reasons why such a situation has arisen at all and what remedial steps are required to be taken in such circumstances. Is it not because of our education and we have given up or are indifferent to our Sanatana Dharma?

Secondly when our seers discovered the truth about the mind and our existence, they gave it to the whole world without any reservations. They gave it through Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, and showed a practical way out to realize the same through Sanatana Dharma. Sanatana Dharma was never meant to be a sectarian Dharma or religion like other two so-called religions viz. Christianity and Islam as it is being painted and propagated by vested interests. In fact, it is a way of life to be followed by every one, every human being to attain the goal of human life. But it was ignored by us firstly because of our education and Western influence, and secondly after independence because of our politicians and the pseudo-seculars who placed their self-interest above the national interest. The results we have seen, A religion which was meant to be world religion, is not only placed in the category of sectarian religions, like Christianity and Islam, but it has been further denigrated and is being dubbed as communal and fundamentalist religion while the religions which are really communal and fundamentalists are considered to he seculars. But this has adversely affected the society, the social structure. Sanatana Dharma is a way of life rather than a religion in strict sense, for the world to follow for the smooth and proper functioning of the society. By rejecting it instead of following it, we have not only disturbed the social structure, but also brought in, itt the words of Chogyam Trungpa, economic instability social and political chaos throwing the world in absolute turmoil.

During Vedic period we had Monarchy, popular monarchy as the form of government, not the democracy as we are having at present. But what do we find? In Ramayana, King Sri Rama banished Sita, his queen not because she had committed any offence, not because he had any doubt about her character or chastity but only because one of his citizens had expressed doubt about her chastity having stayed in Lanka even though forcibly as he felt that a king and his family should be above suspicion and what do we find to-day? Even if there are criminal cases against the ministers, they still continue to be ministers. Recently the Swiss government published the total amounts deposited by foreigners in its banks and agreed to give the names of the account holders if the state governments request it and which state is having the largest amount of such deposits? It is India, an underdeveloped and poor country, a country that is supposed to be a spiritual guide of the world. The total amount Indians are having in Swiss bank is about fifteen hundred trillion dollars, about thirteen times of the total debt of India. And I will not be surprised if the largest shares are of our honourable ministers and of the first family followed by our bureaucrats What is the reason for such a downfall.. Is it not because we have completely given up our Dharma, Sanatana Dharma? My attempt is to clear the misunderstandings arid the distortions purposely created for denigrating the Sanatana Dharma especially by Christian Missionaries and Muslim Mullahs for propagating their religions and by our politicians and the pseudo-seculars for appeasing the religious minority communities for getting their votes to get power. I am aware that there are some repetitions at some places but that is only to emphasize different aspects of the Sanatana Dharma and I hope the readers will excuse me for the same Sanatana Dharma covers all the aspects of the life and it is impossible to write about all such aspects especially for a person like me with limited capacity and knowledge and in normal circumstances, I would have never dared to even touch the subject; but a situation has now arisen in the present era of false propaganda that every one should try to defend Hinduism in whatever way possible and place the truth before the world to judge. But even the aspects which are described by me, I feel, are quite sufficient to show and prove the universality of the Sanatana Dharma and its usefulness in the present era.

One reason for misunderstanding Sanatana Dharma is that the word ‘Dharma’ in the absence of exact equivalent is being translated into English as ‘religion’ Religion in English means only a faith and is generally understood as the service and worship of God or supernatural while the word Dharma in Sanskrit connotes all aspects of life including faith. That is why Sanatana Dharma is called a way of life. As per Sanatana Dharma, every Visible as also invisible thing in its world including each species has got its own dharma, which cannot be changed. The Dharma of a fish is to swim and live in the waters. If it tries to change its Dharma it will be disastrous to it and it will die. So also a human being has got its own religion, which also cannot be changed by changing the faith. Sanatana Dharma only defines the human Dharma or Religion and that is why it can be called Sanatana Dharma or eternal religion. C1thstiani and Islam cannot be called religions in that sense; they are in fact faiths, ways or paths or Panths to get and attain happiness, which is the goal of life. I have tried to clear the misunderstanding and put the Sanatana Dharma as well as Christianity and Islam in proper perspective How far I am Successful in the attempt, only e readers can judge. I take the Opportunity to thank my son and daughter in low geeta hut for whose help I could at have completed the book as also the Publishers Readworthy publications Pvt. Ltd. and its staff and Shalaji Mittal for publishing the book in such a short time.

Contents

PrefaceVII
1The Problem1
2Defining Hindu-Hinduism10
3Religion Its Significance Islam and Christianity30
4Sanatana Dharma and Secularism45
5Sanatana Dharma: Can It Be Anti-Secular60
6Sanatana Dharma: The Universal Religion85
7Sanatana Dharma: The Universal Religion Institution of Marriage108
Bibliography133
Index137
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