Sanatan Dharma

Distinctive Features of sanAtana Dharma

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Part II - Sanatan Dharma, Chapter 9/11 - Distinctive Features of sanAtana Dharma

This is Part II - Sanatan Dharma, Chapter 9/ 11

Table of Contents

17. Distinctive Features of sanAtana Dharma

Some of the distinctive features of SD are :

  1. Religion without any name.

  2. One God depicted as many - Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Śiva, Sūrya, Ādi Śakti, Gaṇeśa and Ṣaṇmukha (Murugan, Kartikeya).

  3. God has a form (attributes) and is also formless (attributeless, nirguNa brahman).

  4. Varṇa-Āshrama dharma.

  5. Every action thought and carefully carried out is for personal and universal well being and for Ātmic development i.e. to attain inner purity.

  6. Takes into account after life. Following injunctions, as laid in shāstra-s, will make one ascend to higher, spiritual more evolved worlds of demi-gods, and other worlds.

  7. Rebirth (reincarnation)

  8. Final liberation is to be free from cycle of birth and death

  9. Freedom is here and now in this world. One can be free in this life itself, while living i.e. still being in physical body.

  10. Covers people of all kinds of temperaments.

  11. Covers all aspects of Life.

  12. Unlike other religions, which are named after their founders, Hindu dharma is not created by any one person.

  13. Vedas have been independently existing since time immemorial. They were revealed to great saints called rishi-s. They were not created by men or God. Hence veda-s are eternal, without any beginning or end. Since time does not exist before and after creation when there is nothing but Brahman, the unborn supreme reality, hence veda-s which have existed eternally are not restricted by time and hence are timeless.

  14. Conversion is not a requirement in Hinduism nor is there any conversion ceremony where you pledge to a belief in a particular savior.

  15. Heaven and Hell are not eternal nor the life in Heaven and Hell is eternal. A soul in order to suffer or enjoy the fruits of his / her action either ascends in heaven or descends in Hell, the lower worlds, and stays there until the fruits of karma are not exhausted. After the fruits are exhausted, the soul takes birth in earthly plane. Hindus do not wish to stay and enjoy with 72 virgins waiting in bedroom in Heaven.

  16. There is no judgement day and resurrection as believed by Christians and Muslims nor Hindus consider themselves as special people selected by God as believed by Jews.

  17. The cycle of creation, preservation and destruction of universe is an ongoing process.

  18. Life and Death are continuous and never ending like day and night until one extinguishes all desires and fruits of karma-s to get liberated

  19. Belief in concept of avatAra, incarnations of God either in full or in part and descend of fully realized saints and siddha-s for upliftment of humanity and for removal of weeds and non-vedic elements that have creeped into Hinduism.

  20. Guru-SiShya paramparA, the Guru – disciple tradition.

  21. The concept of jivan mukti - Attain immortality while still staying in physical body.

  22. Hindu-s may choose to live in blissful company of their beloved God in their God’s loka like vaikunTha and enjoy his constant company eternally until they merge in their ISTa devatA.

  23. Being of contemplative nature, sanAtana dharma is scientific in nature. It encourages one to dive deep into the subject and find the cause of object under study.

Now, we will discuss an important and unique part of SD which is the backbone of SD and the reason for sustainable of SD from time immemorial.