The principle beliefs of the Eternal Religion
The word ‘Sanatan’ is Sanskrit for ‘Eternal’, meaning always existing and never ending. The word “Dharma” is Sanskrit for ‘Religion’ or ‘duty’ or ‘constitutional position’ or ‘Laws’. In short, Sanatan-Dharma means the eternal laws that all living entities (souls) should follow to achieve the ultimate goal, love of God.
Principles of the Supreme
God is One, He is Eternal, Omnipresent, Omniscient, and Omnipotent. He is Lord Krishna. The Vedic scriptures are the only ones which describe God, this is because God is One, and He is only known to those who follow His instructions. Lord Krishna has appeared more than 18,000 times in His original form and millions of times in His other forms, each time He proved that He is the one and only God. All other so-called Gods are just names in books, invisible, unseen, and unproven.
“The whole cosmic order is under Me. Under My will it is automatically manifested again and again, and under My will it is annihilated at the end.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 9.8)
“This material nature, which is one of My energies, is working under My direction, O son of Kuntī, producing all moving and nonmoving beings. Under its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 9.10)
The scriptures of Sanatan-Dharma are called the Vedic scriptures. The Vedic knowledge is eternal, always existing.
The 4 Vedas (Rig, Yajur, Sama, Atharva) are the original scripture of Sanatan-Dharma, which are eternal and manifested in this universe at creation, 155.522 trillion years ago. From these other scriptures were created and new scriptures were manifested with the passing of time. There are more than 810,000 verses in the Vedic scriptures and the essence of all the Vedic knowledge is the Bhagavad-Gita, which was last spoken by the Eternal God, Lord Krishna, more than 5000 years ago.
“By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 15.15)
Principles of Material Creation
The Vedic scriptures teach that creation is cyclic. There are cycles of creation and dissolution, and within larger cycles there are smaller cycles. The lifespan of the universe is 311.040 trillion years and the current age of the universe is 155.522 trillion years.
“O son of Kuntī, at the end of the millennium all material manifestations enter into My nature, and at the beginning of another millennium, by My potency, I create them again.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 9.7)
Maintenance of Material Creation
There are 330 million demigods (33 crore) who perform various roles to maintain the universe, under the supervision of the Supreme Godhead, Lord Krishna. Just like in a corporation, there are many directors and managers who maintain the corporation, under the supervision of the one CEO.
Principles of Species Creation
There are 8.4 million species of living beings, which are all manifested at creation.
“It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 14.4)
Infallible Law and Order System
God has created an infallible law and order system for human beings, called the law of Karma. For every action a human being takes, he/she will have to face a reaction which will be in relation and proportion to the action taken. Based on the actions (or deeds), the souls move from one species to another, from one situation/circumstances to another, exactly according what the soul deserves. Nobody can get away with anything. Take good actions and one will face good reactions (enjoyment), take bad actions and one will face bad reactions (suffering).
“Nature is said to be the cause of all material causes and effects, whereas the living entity is the cause of the various sufferings and enjoyments in this world. The living entity in material nature thus follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of nature. This is due to his association with that material nature. Thus he meets with good and evil among various species.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 13.21-22)
Principles of Life
Just as God is Eternal, we are also eternal. Just as the material creation is cyclic, life is also cyclic. The soul is eternal and transmigrates from one body to another, life after life, reincarnation. The soul occupies bodies which undergoes birth, old age, disease, and rebirth.
“Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be. As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 2.12-13)
“As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 2.22)
Code of Conduct for Human Beings
- Truthfulness – Always speak the truth, side with the truth
- Compassion – Be compassionate to all living beings, including not eating or hurting the animals, vegetarianism
- Regulated principles – No meat eating, no illicit relationships (no relationship outside marriage), no gambling, no intoxications (no alcohol, no drugs, no tobacco)
- Austerity – Fasting, living a simple life, giving up material attachments are some of the austerities that humans should follow to control the mind and for purification
- Charity – One should be concerned for the welfare and wellbeing of all living beings, by donating money and time for good causes according to one’s ability and capacity
- Spiritual education – One should study the Vedic scriptures which provide full details on all aspects of life, including full details of God
- Service to the Supreme – Deity worship, one should worship God in His deity form. This gives one the chance to personally serve God in the material creation. Which will result in being able to serve God in Person in the spiritual creation
- Service to others – One should serve the spiritual masters, parents, elderly, the needy, and take of animals like cows
“Humility; pridelessness; nonviolence; tolerance; simplicity; approaching a bona ﬁde spiritual master; cleanliness; steadiness; self-control; renunciation of the objects of sense gratification; absence of false ego; the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age and disease; detachment; freedom from entanglement with children, wife, home and the rest; even-mindedness amid pleasant and unpleasant events; constant and unalloyed devotion to Me; aspiring to live in a solitary place; detachment from the general mass of people; accepting the importance of self-realization; and philosophical search for the Absolute Truth – all these I declare to be knowledge, and besides this whatever there may be is ignorance. “ (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 13.8-12)
Sanatan-Dharma is for those who want to follow an eternal religion, established by the Eternal God, who is only described in the scriptures manifested by Him, the Vedic scriptures. The result of following Sanatan-Dharma is that one will understand everything, know God in full, become peaceful, achieve love of God, and go back to the spiritual creation where we all originate from and live eternally there in the same body that is completely blissful, full of knowledge, and free from any misery.
“I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 9.29)
“Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend. Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 18.65-66)