• Ashu Bisht

Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism An Ancient Civilization With Modern Relevance

As the ancient Hindus ventured abroad and outsiders visited India, there was a natural transmission of the vast knowledge, wisdom, traditions, practices and experiences of Hinduism.

Today, Hinduism is a representative of not only India but the ancient wisdom of humanity. In our age of globalization, the scourges of fanaticism, terrorism sectarian violence, exploitation of human beings and the environment, and a plethora of social and moral ills are ever burgeoning and causing untold damage, anxiety and dismay. The inspiring values of Hinduism effect a positive change and provide lasting solutions to our growing conflicts and problems

Dr Arnold J. Toynbee (1889-1975), the noted British historian, expressed,

"It is already becoming clear that a chapter which had a Western beginning, will have to have an Indian ending, if it is not to end in self-destruction of the human race. At this supremely dangerous moment in human history, the only way of salvation is the ancient Hindu way."

After reading the Bhagavad Gita, Ralph Waldo Emerson, 18031892 Lecturer in Theology at Harvard University and a Unitarian minister, wrote, "I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad Gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate has rendered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us."

Science and literature in "Sanatana Dharma"

For many Hindus, religion and science ,faith and rationality are not viewed as incompatible. In Hinduism, spirituality does nor reject reason, and reasoning does not deny faith. Sages like Sushruta, Charaka, Aryabhatta, Varahamihira, Nagarjuna and others made pioneering discoveries and inventions in science. They established some of the most popular sciences like ayurveda, yoga, sthapatya shastra (science of architecture), artha shastra (science of economics), mathematics, astronomy, surgery, etc

#India is also the land where great works of literature and epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata and others were written by enlightened Rishis. Great Rishis and teachers taught in Takshashila (c. 500 BCE) and Nalanda 5001300 CE), its premier universities, to over 10,000 students from India and abroad in about 68 different branches of knowledge. The Indian Rishis and masters endeavored in nearly all domains of spiritual and secular knowledge to understand the universe, life, soul and God in a holistic way. Sanātana Dharma is basically a holistic religion that inspires morality, faith, peace, love, service to God and mankind. Hence, it has the capacity to nourish and liberate people of different spiritual inclinations and nature, and provide valid answers to individual problems and global crises. The more one learns about and experiences Hinduism, the more one comes to appreciate its richness, depth, comprehensive approach, celebratory spirit, magnanimity and capacity to relieve people from all types of bondage and suffering and elevate their souls to the height of eternal joy and happiness. References, 1. Toynbee, Arnold J. Study of History, published in 12 volumes 2. Journal of Ralph \Waldo Emerson, Vol.7. credited by Edward Waldo Emerson and Waldo Emerson Forbes London Constable & Co. Ltd, and Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin

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