Sanatan Dharma: The inherent rhythm of things
People confuse the term Sanatan Dharma with scriptures and religion. That is not the complete picture.
Dharma is the order of things. It is the dharma of a river to flow from the mountains to the ocean. That is the natural order. If we have a dam that blocks the flow and force the water to go upstream we violate the dharma.
Similarly all elements and the progress of life in the world is according to inbuilt laws. When the laws are followed spontaneously the synergy results in natural perfection and the expression of the natural order leads to the joy that reflects the state of what we may call heaven.
Man has the additional capacity of a discerning mind. He has also an ego that tends to separate him from the rest. The ego is the trick and the subterfuge that keeps him engrossed in the world.
The ego and the mental capacity are double edged swords. While adhering to the natural laws makes man inward looking and seek liberation from the worldly bondage, disobedience in the quest for domination leads to complete subservience to the illusory world. In the process man also cuts himself off from the bounties of the natural order.
The natural order is a current, a flow, a direction, and an intelligence that is underlying and guides all of creation. At the micro level it rules individual components, and at the macro level it rules the collective.
Understanding and harnessing the natural order is the real science. That science is all embracing and leads to fulfillment. It requires self discipline and the realization that the mind and ego are not all. Something transcends and teases from beyond.
The knowledge of the spontaneous natural order is handed over to man in every age. This knowledge is called Shruti (what is heard) or the divine revelation. The other branch of knowledge - Smriti - is the recording from memory. Shruti has no author. Smriti has an author.
The Hindu icons Shiva, Rama and Krishna are the embodiment of Sanatan Dharma. The embodiment occurs to restore the natural order of things and give life to the revelations. This is the Sakar Swarupa or the visible form.
In Nirakar or invisible form the Dharma exists in all of creation like saltiness exists in the waters of the Ocean.
Sanatan Dharma is neither religion nor the scriptures. It is an invitation to all religions and scriptures to follow the path to perfection and self realization. It is a call from the underlying reality of all creation from whom emerges all instructions.
We are Sanatan Dharmi's or upholders of the natural order of the Universe.
Today we are violating all aspects of the natural order. We dream of a "better world" by doing so without realizing that we are in fact hastening our doom.
The natural order has the capacity of asserting itself in order to restore the laws. The upheavals we currently see in nature are indication of that assertion. By turning the tables on us nature is now set to destroy the artificial civilization we have built and restore order.
It will be a frightening and humbling exercise. But we have brought it upon ourselves by our own actions.
We can sense it from this description.
The seers, O Gargi, call him Akshara – the Immutable and Imperishable Reality.
He is neither gross nor fine, neither short nor long, neither hot nor cold, neither light nor dark, neither of the nature of air, nor of the nature of ether.
He is without relations.
He is without taste or smell, without eyes, ears, speech, mind, vigor, breath, mouth.
He is without measure; he is without inside or outside.
He enjoys nothing; nothing enjoys him.
“At the command of that Reality, O Gargi, the sun and moon hold their courses; heaven and earth keep their positions; moments, hours, days and nights, fortnights and months, seasons and years–all follow their paths; rivers issuing from the snowy mountains flow on, some eastward, some westward, others in other directions."
“This Reality, O Gargi, is unseen but is the seer, is unheard but is the hearer, is unthinkable but is the thinker, is unknown but is the knower. There is no seer but he, there is no hearer but he, there is no thinker but he, there is no knower but he. In Akshara, verily, O Gargi, the ether is woven, warp and woof.”