Category: Editorial

Sanjay Dixit

Sanjay Dixit

About the Author

Sanjay Dixit, Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Rajasthan, has many feathers in his cap. He graduated as a marine engineer, and sailed the high seas for a few years before changing course to civil services. He is also well-recognised as a cricket administrator who once defeated Lalit Modi in a famous election for the post of the president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association. He considers Rajasthan's first Ranji Trophy title triumph as his crowning achievement. He is also credited with bringing a revolutionary new technology for production of date palms on a large scale in western Rajasthan, transforming livelihoods.

Dixit is a prolific columnist on contemporary topics. He has a deep interest in Indian languages, culture, economics, history, philosophy and spirituality. His six-part series - 'All Religions Are Not the Same' - has won critical acclaim. He also heads The Jaipur Dialogues as its Chairman, creating an India-centric think tank in the process, and hosts the YouTube series 'Weekly Dialogues'.

Francois Gautier

Francois Gautier

About the Author

François Gautier was born in Paris, France. He was South Asia correspondent for Le Figaro, one of France’s leading newspapers. He also wrote columns for Indian newspapers: the ‘Ferengi’s column’ in the Indian Express, then the “French Connection” column in the Pioneer, as well as regular contributions for Rediff., New Indian Express, Times of India blogs, etc.

François has written several books – amongst the latest : A New History of India (Har Anand, 2008), The Art of Healing (Harper Collins, 2011), Quand l’Inde s’éveille, la France est endormie (Editions du Rocher, 2013), « Apprendre à Souffler (Hachette Marabout, 2016) & « Nouvelle Histoire de l’Inde » (Editions de l’Archipel, 2017), « Les Mots du Dernier Dalaï-lama » (Flammarion, 2018), « In Defense of a Billion Hindus » (Har Anand, 2018) & « Hindu Power in the 21st Century » (Har Anand, 2019)

Francois, who is married for 30 years to Namrita, shuttles between Pune and Delhi. He is building a Museum of (real) Indian History in Pune (factmuseum.com).

Makarand Pranjape

Makarand Pranjape

About the Author

Author, poet, and humanities professor. He has been the Director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla since August 2018. Prior to that he was a professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India for 19 years.

Maria Wirth

Maria Wirth

About the Author

Maria Wirth, a German, came to India on a stopover on her way to Australia after finishing her psychology studies at Hamburg University and an internship with Lufthansa. By chance she landed up in spiritual India, realised the great value of Vedic wisdom, and never went to Australia.

She shared her insights with German readers through numerous articles and two books, as she felt this wisdom is lacking in the West. Only some 15 years ago, she became aware that even many Indians don’t know about their amazing heritage and worse, they look down on it and often consider Christianity and Islam as preferable. This shocked her and she started to compare on her blog the three main religions and also wrote her first book in English, titled “Thank you India”. For her it is clear that Hindu Dharma is the best option for humanity and she keeps explaining why.

Dr. Omendra Ratnu

Dr. Omendra Ratnu

About the Author

Dr Omendra Ratnu from Jaipur is an ENT surgeon who runs a hospital.

He runs an NGO, Nimittekam, with the purpose of helping displaced Hindu refugees from Pakistan and integrating Dalit Sahodaras into Hindu mainstream.

Issues of Hindu survival and conflict with violent faiths are his core concerns for which he roams around the world to raise funds and awareness.

He is also a singer, composer, writer, Geeta communicator and a ground activist for Hindu causes.

He has released a bhajan Album and a Ghazal album composed and sung by him.

Editorial

A Perspective On Sanatan Dharma

India is an ancient civilization. In fact, it is the only civilization that has survived unbroken, and essentially unchanged, for nearly five thousand years. Much more than a nation, as understood in our modern geopolitical sense, India is a civilization arisen from a wide and profound quest for the deepest truths of human existence. Most civilizations in history have centered their existence around economic growth and geopolitical expansion. The Indian civilization has always been centered around the human quest for Truth, Knowledge and Immortality — satyam, jnanam, amritam. No other civilization we know of has pursued such a quest for Knowledge and Immortality with such relentless zeal. The Indian psyche, in its most essential sense, has been historically preoccupied with the philosophical and spiritual quest for Truth. In the early formative years of the Indian civilization and what may be called the Indian spiritual philosophy (darshan), the Indian mind had intuitively grasped that all existence is one indivisible continuous reality manifesting in all form and movement — the seed of the great philosophical system of Advaita Vedanta. Vedanta continues to this day an unbroken and unmodified psycho-spiritual tradition of self-enquiry and self-realization. The sciences, the mathematics, the arts, the poetry and literature, the mythology and the several religions that spread across the spectrum of Indian civilization all blossomed, in one way or another, from the seed of advaita Vedanta. Vedanta is also the base for Sanatan Dharma, the eternal Law of being, which is the core of what is widely known as the Hindu religion. Sanatan is eternal and universal — not subject to time, circumstances and change, nor limited to a particular geography, society or ideology; and dharma is the binding Law, the principle of being, without which a thing or a being would cease to exist as an independent or autonomous entity. Sanatan Dharma is not religion in the popular sense of the word. It is not a philosophical or ethical system to be “practiced”, though several philosophical and ethical systems have arisen from Sanatan Dharma. In itself and in its purity, Sanatan Dharma is the quest for the perfect Truth of being, Satyam, and its perfect manifestation and expression in living, Ritam. Satyam and Ritam therefore constitute the true basis and practice of Sanatan Dharma. And it must be noted that Satyam and Ritam are not philosophical, cultural or ethical concepts but truths to be realized and lived in the most mundane and practical sense. The realization of Satyam, Truth of being, and Ritam, Truth in becoming, are the twin foundations of Sanatan Dharma and Sanatan life. Without these, there can be no Sanatan Dharma or Sanatan life. This is a fundamental condition. Therefore, the realization of Truth (of being and in becoming) is the primary business of Sanatan Dharma, and all that can be thought and said of Sanatan Dharma must be in accordance with this, and must always refer back to this. In this sense, Sanatan Dharma cannot possibly belong to a particular culture or community. It is in this sense that Sanatan Dharma may be regarded as the base of Hinduism but not Hinduism itself. And equally, in this sense, Sanatan Dharma may be regarded as the true basis of any human religion. If we were to translate the original language in which Sanatan Dharma was first articulated into the English language, for instance, we would find no trace of any religious or cultural narrative in Sanatan Dharma at all. The phrase Sanatan Dharma itself would translate into Eternal Law or Principle. Taken out of its traditional Sanskritic settings, Sanatan Dharma could be perfectly expressed in completely secular and scientific language and understood in any human context. Sanatan thought is free of the idea of a single or only God or a single and definitive Scripture. In fact, there is not even the idea of God as the primary or ultimate being. Being itself is primary and ultimate and does not need a “God” to complete it. If one searches for a name of a Supreme God in Sanatan philosophy, one will find none. What one will find is the Sanskrit phrase Sat-Chit-Anand (usually written as a single word Satchidananda or Sacchidananda) as the ultimate description of Reality. Sat means Existence, Truth, or Reality; Chit refers to consciousness; Ananda means bliss, or the bliss of perfect fulfillment. This ‘perfect fulfillment’, is the flowering of the realization of oneself as Satchidananda, and is the peak realization of Sanatan Dharma, out of which all life and living, all values and rules, all relations and standards of conduct arise naturally and seamlessly. There is therefore no divine reality or truth out there, outside of oneself. All truth and reality, human or divine, is within. There are no heavens beyond: the within is the only heaven. There is no one scripture or teaching that tells one how to come to this fulfillment. There are many ways to come to it and none of the ways can be prescribed or described. Each one who wishes to come to this realization must find his or her own way. There is no priestly class or specific group of people appointed to lead the seeker towards this realization. There are facilitators, teachers, guides for sure, but the realization itself is accessible to any one who really wants it. With or without teachers and guides. This is the beauty of what we describe as the Sanatan dharma. धार्यते इति धर्म​That which upholds is Dharma
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