Hindu Sanatana Dharma

People confuse over usage of Sanatana Dharma to refer to Hindu Religion. In fact both are one and the same. Indians that is Hindus referred to their Religion, Customs and tradition in their Scriptures as Sanatana Dharama. Greeks called us as Indians. And Persians called us as Hindus. So we have to understand that Sanatana Dharma is the Religion and Culture of Indians and Hindus.

Story of Sukracharya and Brihaspati

Greatness of Sanatana Dharma can be understood through the ordeals of Shukracharya, he gone through before he was recognized as a Sage. It seems Sukracharya was not alluded to be as Rushi or Muni in the scriptures but he is called as Acharya, a Professor who was well versed with the scriptures. And one of the sons of Sukracharya was called as Chand. He is also said to have imparted Mruta Sanjeevini Vidya to Kacha, son of  Bruhaspati. Some ascribe Gayatri meter / mantra to Sukracharya.

And another story is about Sage Bhrigu. Sage Bhrigu once goes to Vaikuntha, abode of Lord Vishnu. Bhrigu gets ire for neglecting  him by Vishnu. So Bhrigu hits Vishnu  with his foot on the Chest of Vishnu  (where Lakshmi dwells). Vishnu then simply destroys  Eye in Bhrigu’s foot by pretending to be massaging the leg of Bhrigu.

This conveys a message that Bhrigu who belongs to YGK / Parswah clans is percieved to be having his eye (vision) in his foot not in the head by the Sages. So Bhrigu is deemed to be having myopic vision and could not view and understand the essence of Sanatana Dharma. 

   And Sukracharya believed in himself and tried to manipulate course of events in his favour. Even though Sage Vishwamitra also did the same way, Viswamitra ultimately followed the Sanatana Dharma and became Brahma Rushi by conducting tapas for thousands of years. But Sukracharya did not do this. That is why our Puranas depict Sukracharya as single eyed person. Same is the case with Kubera. Statues of Kubera are always sculpted with his head bending downwards and Puranas say that one of his eyes is of Pingala stone. . . . .

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Brahmacharya

Rishis of ancient India lead celebate lives by following Brahmacharya. So we have to understand that  Rishis who are said to be Brahma’s children are not natural born but his wish children. In reality they were students of Brahma, who carried      forward the knowledge and tradition of their Guru’s school of thought. (This is an extract from Chapter 19 titled ‘ Brahmacharya, the practice of continence in author’s Book, ” A Tribute to the Ancient world of India “, ©)

Acharya and Brahmachari

Let us have a look at the following sloka from Atharvana veda,

 आचार्यॊ ब्रह्मचारी ब्रह्मचारी प्रजापतिः

प्रजापतिर्वि राजति विराडिन्द्रॊ भवद वशी

 AcAryO brahmacArI brahmacArI prajApatiH

prajApatirvi rAjati virADindrO Bavad vaSI

( SlOka 3152 , sUkta-5, kaaMDa 11,Atharvana veda )

“A Brahmachari  (Pupil) by strictly observing the norms of continence would        become Acharya (Professor), then Acharya becomes Prajapati (Elected head of the   community), Prajapati who follows Brahmacharya would shine in the Court of Indra.”

Let us look at another sloka by the way,

ब्रह्मचर्यॆण कन्या युवानं विन्दतॆ पतिम

अनड्वान ब्रह्मचर्यॆणाश्वॊ घासं जिगीर्षति

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brahmacharyENa kanyA yuvAnaM vindatE patim

anaDvAn brahmacharyENASvO GAsaM jigIrShati

(SlOka 3154 , sUkta-5, kaaMDa 11)

    “By following continence a dame / girl would get a husband of her choosing. And Oxen would run like horses by following continence, even though oxen eat dry hay.”

The above sloka explains two different faculties that are gained by those who observe  continence. First hymn says that by practicing pre-marital Brahmacharya a girl would get a husband of her choosing.

This example conveys a message that by controlling one’s own mind to sacrifice some of his natural/instincive interests one could be able to get the blessings of Gods and get one’s wishes fulfilled. And the second sloka tells that a castrated Ox gains physical strength which enables Ox to run like a horse. Even though, both, a girl and an ox, gained by practicing   continence reasons for the result are different. 

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    An Ox is forced to follow continence by    castration, whereas a girl’s practice of continence is intentional through her self restraint.

    This story tells us that Self Restraint would be successful when one has the capacity to control his senses in avoiding earthly and material pleasures. This is the breaking point to      acquire divine powers.     

    AND one who uses his divine powers for the welfare of others matures to become Brahma.

    Uttariya

    We Indians know that it is an age old custom to wear an upper garment, Uttariya, over left shoulder by Priests while conducting sacred religious rituals. This upper garment is called Uttariya. If we look at the #PriestKing statuette at Picture  4.1,  we will find that he is  wearing an upper garment over  his left shoulder, and the right shoulder is left uncovered. Now, let us see what is really told in our scriptures about this custom of wearing upper garment, ​(This is an extract from Chapter 4 titled ‘ The Priest King’ in author’s Book, ” A Tribute to the Ancient world of India “, ©)

    आग्न्यगारॆ गवां गॊष्ठॆ ब्राह्मणानां च सन्निधौ
    स्वाध्यायॆ भॊजनॆ चैव दक्षिणं पाणिमुद्धरॆत

    aagnyagaarE gavaaM gOShThE braahmaNaanaaM cha sannidhou
    svaadhyaayE bhOjanE chaiva dakShiNaM paaNimuddharEt
    – Manu smriti

       Meaning: “One should wear his Uttariyam in such a way that his right shoulder is kept uncovered during Yajna rituals, and also while rearing cattle, in cattle shed, in the presence of Brahmanas, while learning Vedas and of course while taking meals also.” And the following is another hymn from Manu Smriti about wearing of Uttariyam, 

    ​Then why wearing of Uttariyam is so important for ancient people ? Does this carry any scientific reason for this practice or it is simply a superstitious and ritualistic custom ? ………

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