Introduction to Sanatana Dharma

What is Sanatana Dharma?

Sanātana Dharma (Devanagari: सनातन धर्म, meaning “eternal dharma“, “eternal religion” or “eternal order”) is an alternative name for Hinduism used in Hindi alongside the more common Hindu Dharma.

In Sanskrit, Sanātana Dharma translates approximately to “eternal law” or, less literally, “eternal way.” In Hindi, the Sanskrit tatsama dharm धर्म is being used as “religion[5] (सनातन धर्म) roughly translates to “eternal religion”.

Dharma is often translated as “duty”, “religion” or “religious duty”, but has a deeper meaning. The word comes from the Sanskrit root “dhri” which means “to sustain” or “that which is integral to something” (e.g. dharma of sugar is to be sweet, fire to be hot).

A person’s dharma consists of duties that sustain them according to their innate characteristics which are both spiritual and material, generating two corresponding types:

  1. Sanatana-dharma – duties performed according to one’s spiritual (constitutional) identity as atman (Self) and are thus the same for everyone. General duties include virtues such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings, purity, goodwill, mercy, patience, forbearance, self-restraint, generosity, and asceticism.
  2. Varnashrama-dharma (a.k.a. Svadharma) – duties performed according to one’s material (conditional) nature and are specific to the individual at that particular time. One’s “own duty” according to his or her class or caste and stage of life should win when in conflict with Sanatana-dharma (e.g. A warrior injuring others as explained in Bhagavad Gita).

According to the notion of sanatana-dharma, the eternal and intrinsic inclination of the living entity (atman) is to perform seva (service). 

 

 

Introduce Sanatana Dharma into your School, Community Group or Organisation

Sanatana Dharma in Schools

We follow the curriculum from the only Hindu University in the world; Banaras University, Varanasi, India. The curriculum introduces the student to The Way of Sanatana Dharma, if you wish to study with us please get in touch :