Terrorism and Religious Fundamentalism have emerged as the greatest threat to the humanity in the twenty first century. The international community and the world religions like Islam, Buddhism and Christianity and their leaders, including Pope Francis, do not have much solution or answer for this growing cancer of the mankind, for it is based on the misguided faith and knowledge. The ancient Indian wisdom, originated at the Indus Valley Civilization, gives a lot of insight in tackling the current problems of the humanity.
An understanding of the Sanadhana Dharma, the true soul and mind of India, as old as nearly 5000 years old, can help a lot offer solutions for these problems. It should not be confused with the Hindu Fundamentalism or Brahmanism and the gimmicks of the god-men or women that are basically against Sanadhana Dharma.
Swamis and God-man
It was Swami Vivekanda, an Indian sage, who made Hinduism known in the western world, with his missionary zeal. Thereafter, Gurus, Swamis and God-men or God- women, like, Sai Baba, Rajanish, Ravisankar, Amrthandamai, and etc, effectively marketed Hinduism and the Indian spirituality in the western world and they became billionaires and sponsors of happiness and charity, with thousands of followers in different countries. In spite of all these, there exists a wide confusion or lack of understanding of Hinduism, Brahmanism and Sanadhana Dharma not only in the west but also even in India.
Hinduism or Brahmanism
Hinduism, more correctly Sanadhana Dharma, was originated from the way of life of the people who settled in the valley of the River Indus, also known as the River Hindoo, centuries before the arrival of the Aryans and the Brahmins and the origin of Sanskrit Language. After the Aryan invasion, Hinduism has been reduced into Brahmanism and its bye-products like the Caste System, including the slaves or the untouchables and devotions based on the mythological or epic characters of Ramayana and Mahabharata and also of the Puranas, relegating the Vedic Gods by 8th Century AD by Sankara and Ramanuja, the two south Indian Brahmin philophers.
Extermination of Buddhism
That was a grand strategy of Sankara and Ramanuja to exterminate the Buddhism, especially from Kerala and Tamil Nadu and to spread Brahmanism in the rest of India by eighth century A.D. They could effectively embed the epic or puranic gods and some popular heroes as the incarnations of the Trinity God of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva that lead to the creation of several epics and puranas or mythologies.
Now Hinduism is confused with the Vedas and Vedic Gods, the Epics like Ramayana or Mahabharata and the Epic Gods like Rama and Krishna, the Brahmanism and the Trinity Gods and their Incarnations and several Puranas or Mythologies besides the modern Hindu Fundamentalism. They gave only a partial view of true soul or mind of India that too is confusing or even contradicting without much spiritual and intellectual value or basis. Here comes the importance of Sanadhana Dharma.
Indus Valley Civilization and the Semitic Invasion
One of the oldest civilizations of the world with more than four to five thousand years tradition existed on the banks of the River Indus on the northern part of India, before the invasion of the Aryans and the birth of Sanskrit language. Sanadhana Dharma emanated from the way of life of the people of the Indus Valley Civilization.
A sect of the Semitic Tribe, a dissident group among the followers of Moses who worshipped the golden bull or snake, had run away from the men of Moses and later invaded the Indus Valley with horses, bows and arrows, besides plough, about three to four thousand years ago from Central Asia. As a result, the great Indus Valley civilization had met with a fall and decline. Some of the original settlers along with their teachers had moved into the other parts of India. That had resulted in spreading the Sanadhana Dharma throughout India, extending the boarders of Persia and even to the distant southern part that acted as a unifying force.
The God of War & the Ideology of Terror
The Semitic tribes, originated from Abraham, especially during the time of Moses, believed that they were the only chosen people of their God who had given them the commandment or covenant to fight and wage war for Him and eliminate others who were not His chosen ones, as had written in their Laws and treatises on war and crime. Their God was the Supreme Commander who would even fight for them. Strategies of war, terror and dominance had been cleverly incorporated in their scriptures for regular readings to groom the young for war or terror. They worshiped the God of War who never tolerated other gods or faiths. They followed the ideology of Terror for their angry, jealous and blood thirsty God.
Laws & Commandments of the Angry God
The elite or the leaders of the Semitic Tribes with oratory or literary skills assumed the role of the messengers or spokesmen of their Angry War God. The words or the writing of those people became the laws and commandments of their God so as to make the people obey the leaders and also execute the ideology of war, terror, crime and brutality on other people with sufficient justifications. The Semitic Tribes believed that they had the right to loot, rape and eliminate the other races or tribes from the earth by which they were obeying the laws and commandments of their God, as had described in their scriptures or religious texts.
Sanskrit Language– the Vedas & Upanishads
The Semitic invaders of the Indus Valley collected, codified and brought together the ideas, thoughts and teachings of the great sages and teachers of the original settlers of the Indus Valley into a secret code or complex literary language, namely Sanskrit, suiting their interest. Gradually those works had been evolved into Four Vedas — Rig-Veda, Sam-Veda, Yajur -Veda and Atharava -Veda and over a hundred Upanishads out of which nine are considered as the Principle Upanishads. Upanishads were written in the form discussions between a teacher and his students.
Hindus and Brahmins
The invaders wrongly pronounced the name of the River ‘Sindu’ or ‘Indus’ as Hindoo and the people who settled on the banks of the River Sindu were called as Hindoos or Hindus. Gradually, the Four Vedas became the basic text of Hinduism. Those who attained mastery in Sanskrit Language and the Vedic practices were known as Brahmins who got the exclusive right to perform religious sacraments and practices besides teaching and advising the rulers. They believed that they were the chosen people of their God, as had been believed by the Semitic Tribes. They followed the Semitic ideology of war and terror in a different way.
The Vedic Gods
The invaders realized that the greatest hurdles to have an absolute control over the masses were the Sanathana Dharma and faith in the Supreme God, the Brahman. As a counter strategy, they popularized the Vedic Gods and the Vedic beliefs among the people with the sole privilege of the Brahmins to perform the Vedic practices and to teach the rulers. The Vedic Gods, such as Varuna (water), Suryia (Sun), Agni (Fire) and Vayu (Air) with Indra as the supreme among them, were the representation of the various powers or elements of the Nature. However, the common people followed the Sanathana Dharama and believed in the Brahman.
After realizing that the Vedas and the Vedic Gods were not popular among the masses, the Brahmins introduced the Trinity God of Brahma (not Brahman), Vishnu and Siva and a set of beliefs. They had cleverly interpolated popular heroes and heroines and their wives and children or even friends as the incarnations of the Trinity God through several colorful epics and mythologies. The most popular among them are the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
The Outcaste & the Untouchables
In order to ensure an absolute control over the entire society, the invaders had introduced the caste system, a four-fold division of the water tight compartment of the society on the basis of birth within the frame work of Hinduism. Brahmins had been put at the top of the social strata, besides the rulers, and the rest of the society had been reduced into mere serfs to serve the Brahmins. Over ninety per cent of the people were made untouchables without any right to education or social mobility or ownership.
Revolt against Brahmanism
The Brahmins spread the beliefs that they were the only chosen people of the Trinity God and the others were just to serve or protect the Brahmins, as had been done by the Semitic Tribes after conquering the other people. The Brahmins interpreted Hinduism for sustaining their dominance over the rest of the society. The natives had made several revolts against the supremacy of the Brahmins, including creating several new Upanishads. Buddhism and Jainism were the two popular movements against the all-pervading Brahmanism, by empowering the common people, originated during sixth century B.C.
The Sanadhana Dharma Eternal
In spite of the Semitic invasion of India and their efforts to popularize the Vedic Gods and later the Epic and Mythological Gods, as a strategy for their dominance, through centuries, the common masses have been following a way of life in accordance with the Sanadhana Dharma. It becomes the underlying culture of the common people of India that unite the entire people, irrespective of their diverse local cultures, languages and customs or even religions.
The Great Indian Mystery
Sanadhana Dharma is not a dogma or religion but a way of life and a set of eternal values, helping us realize the God or the Brahman, the Nature and the Self. It is a guideline for a happy and peaceful life, a life without fear, tension, worries and stress by the realization of the Supreme Self. It is a philosophy of integration at different levels and dimensions so as to become the whole or the one with the Brahman. Its logical and intellectual bases are unique and marvelous.
The Omni-present God & the Supreme Power
Brahman is the only omnipotent and omnipresent God who created everything in order and assigned them specific roles and duties. Brahman is free from physical form and negative human emotions, like hate, anger, revenge or violence. He created not one but fourteen universes in the shapes of big eggs – anda-kadaham. By yoga and meditation a sage-like man could realize or experience the Brahman and know everything.
Each and every one is expected to realize the Brahman by oneself. Brahman does not have any angles or devils; mediators or prophets who are meant for a power crazy king or emperor-like God who dictates the people. However, the great sages or gurus could help people find out the ways of realizing Him. Except the eternal principles of life or Dharma, nothing is permanent. The universe, originated from a micro-organism (paramanu), is in flux. Everything in the universe is subjected to constant changes. Anything, that is not eternal and absolute, is maya or illusion.
Sanadhana Dharma is a way of life integrating everything with each other; the integration of one’s own Body, Mind and Soul as the basis of a happy and healthy life. Integrations must also be there between Man and Woman; Man and the Nature; Man and the Humanity and the Man and the Cosmic to lead a full and meaningful life. Different dimensions of life, such as Artha, Kama and Moksha have been integrated with Dharma for joy or bliss.
Sanadhana Dharma is basically holistic and is more than a religion. It integrates spirituality with materialism and all the pleasures of life. It also integrates life on earth with life after death as a logical continuity of karma or one’s own deeds. Everybody has to perform a set of duties or karmas so as to attain higher levels of integrations and realizations and to grow from a narrow self to the universal self.
The Noblest Deed
According to the Sanadhana Dharma the noblest deed is to live, work and die for the well-being of others. It prescribes a life without fear and selfishness. Giving, not taking, is the highest deed of life. It advocates love, peace, mercy and non-violence. It adheres to a life without hate, revenge and violence that are nothing but mere the manifestations of fear, whereas love, peace and non-violence emanates from the inner strength.
Love, Not Fear
All Semitic Religions are founded on fear – the fear of God, the fear of life and passions, the fear of death, the fear of sin and the fear of hell or punishment. Each religion advocates that only its own followers are the chosen people and the others are their enemies or the enemies of their God. But Sanadhana Dharma is founded not on fear but on conquering fear with universal love and brotherhood and greater awareness and higher levels of integrations.
Sanadhana Dharma advocates universal brotherhood, treating everybody as a member of the one and the same family – vasudeva kudubam and universal happiness not only for one’s own sect or all the human beings and all other creatures of this earth but also that of all the fourteen universes – ‘loko samsatha sughino bhavanthu’ and the ultimate realization of self as the embodiment of God – ‘aham brahmasmi’ and realization of God – ‘thathawamasi’.
Deeds and Wisdom
The awareness and realization of the Nature, accompanied by a set of deeds for fulfilling the material and sensual pleasures, results in the growth of science and technology. But they are neither holistic nor eternal. The realization of the Self and ultimately the Brahman leads to the conquering of ignorance and attaining of the holistic and eternal higher knowledge and wisdom. Hence, one who realizes the Brahman knows everything and the whole.
The Four Dimensions of Life
1. Dharma – a set of eternal values and principles on the basis of which the universe is designed and set to work; we have to observe them in every deed.
2. Artha – all forms of physical and material wealth which are essential for survival and fulfilling material, sensual and aesthetic pleasures of life;
3. Kama –Material, Sensual and Aesthetic desires or passions and pleasures or enjoyment;
4. Moksha – Heaven or Absolute liberation from worldly desires and bondages or a state of absolute joy and bliss in realizing the Brahman and in one with Him.
Man is born to live and also enjoy the material world and the sensual and aesthetic pleasures by keeping oneself in bliss and happiness and ultimately realizing the Brahman and attaining Moksha. For achieving these goals and objectives and also to live a life without tension and worries, one should observe a set of values and principles or Dharma. Nobody is free from the results of one’s deed or Karma. Dharma makes every deed noble and eternal.
The Bhagavath Geetha
Though the Bhagavath Geetha forms part of the epic Mahabharata, it is a basic manual for fulfilling one’s own duties or karma selflessly, observing dharma and attaining higher levels of knowledge by realizing the Brahman or the Supreme Self. It is bold enough to state that those who seek only the Trinity God or any one of the Trinity Gods shall not realize the Brahman and attain the Moksha, though they may gain some worldly or material rewards and pleasures. Even the incarnations of the Trinity God like Ram or Krishna are not free from the bondage of karma and they have to repay for their evil deeds or the violation of the Dharma.
Mahabharata – The Great Indian Epic
Mahabharata is a highly complex and multi-dimensional representations of war and clash between the two opposing forces consisting of hundreds of unique individuals or personalities .At one dimension, it is a clash between the members of the one and the same family that ultimately results in the total destruction without any winners. And at another, it is a clash or war that takes place within the mind of one and the same person who is an embodiment of thousands of personality traits or characteristics, represented by each and every characters of Mahabharata which incorporates hundreds of stories and beautiful narrations.
Ramayana –Another Great Indian Epic
Ramayana is an elaborate narration of a series of wars between the fair skinned Semitic invaders and the black skinned Dravidian settlers of the Indus Valley. The black skinned men were forced to move to the southern part of India. The invaders with their superior military strategy and sophisticated technology, including horses, chariots and bows and arrows made a victory over the local people. And finally the hero of the victors, Rama committed suicide in a river, for the crimes that he had done to the peace loving and highly civilized local people.
Sanadhana Dharma is not a denial of or escapism from the material world and the material pleasures. In order to enjoy them one should earn or make and manage wealth or Artha in accordance with the principles of Dharma. Making and managing the material wealth for our well-being result in the emergence and development of all types of scientific knowledge and technology.
Sanadhana Dharma is not a denial of or escapism from the sensual and aesthetic pleasures of life or Kama. In order to enjoy them without any tension and worries, Dharma shall be the guiding principle. The sensual pleasures could be enjoyed by attaining mastery in man and woman relationships for which a manual was made, known as Kama sutra. Life becomes beautiful by enjoying things of beauty and the expressions of aesthetic values .They are symbolized in nine rasas or behaviors of man and sixteen arts. Natiya Sastra was the first manual for them.
Sanadhana Dharma admits that the relationship between man and woman, for attaining greater physical, mental and spiritual joy and pleasures, is very complex. It requires specialized skill and expertise that could be achieved by physical, mental and spiritual training and exercises to be done under a teacher or guru. Kama sutra and also the basic texts in Tantric sex are manuals on the complex man-woman relationship for enjoying the sensual pleasures to the fullest extent. Kama sutra was compiled by Valsyana, a sage and an ascetic, for the well-being of the family people. For the tantric, man-woman relationship is a means to realize the Brahman and also the Nature,
Ayurveda is one of the oldest scientific and holistic systems of medicine with more than 3000 years of tradition, developed in India. It is still very popular in India, especially Kerala, It is founded on the principle that man is an integration of his body, mind and soul and his life is determined by the Nature; the body is constituted by the five elements and the mind is shaped by the five senses. Ayurveda is a means to ensure the well-being by a combined application of a package of diagnosing, treatment and administration of medicine mainly based on herbals and minerals and well identified life style, including food habits and exercises and a set of beliefs and practices.
The Five Elements of the Body
One is in perfectly healthy when all the five elements or pancha booths of the body are in perfect integration as are of the perfect integration of the body, the mind and the soul. The five elements are: the earth, the sky, the air, the water and the fire. Any disintegration at lower stage makes one weak and sick and the higher stage results in death. Ayurveda, an holistic system of medicine had been emerged for the well-being of the body, mind and soul.
The Five Senses
‘Pancha-inthriyam’ or the five sense organs help the mind to grow. But only with the five senses, one could not realize the Brahman who has no end or beginning nor any physical qualities that could be felt by the five senses. After creating the Universe with certain order, He does not disturb the set order or the balance of the universe or its working, especially the ‘kaala-chakra’ or the wheel of time.
The ultimate goal of man is to realize the Brahman and attain unity with Him – the Moksha. Such realizations result in the creation of higher knowledge either in the form of intuition or revelation. Without observing the Dharma nobody could attain Moksha. However, each man is free to choose his own path of Moksha. The Brahman is the One and the Sole and Absolute. But each human being realizes and attains Him in his own unique way which varies from person to person. The Vedas and the Upanishads and the Puranas and the Ithihasas, though originated later, prescribe or explain the different means for attaining these goals and objectives.
Yoga and Tantric
To realize the Nature and the Brahman, one has to reach higher levels of self- realization. Yoga and Tantric have emerged as a means for the higher levels of self-realization by attaining greater and greater integration of one’s own body, mind and soul and ultimately with the Nature and the Brahman. There are diverse means for attaining them.
The Power of the Self
Yoga and meditation help the practitioners realize the unimaginable power of the Self by the integration of the body, mind and soul with the cosmic power. As a result, an illiterate person could become a man of wisdom by revelation; one could know the past, the present and the future; one could present simultaneously in different places; one could be young for several years etc. Most of the great sages in India had acquired these powers.
Every human being is packed with so many powers and faculties that could be canalized by the concentration of the powers of the body, mind and soul and integrating them. Yoga and meditation are the means by which one could realize and activate various faculties (Samadhi and Siddhi). Out of hundreds of faculties, Yoga identified at least three centers of faculties or chakras concerning intellectual, aesthetic or artistic and mystical powers.
With the constant practicing of yoga and meditation, one could attain tremendous intellectual and intuitive powers. Knowledge and wisdom could be acquired either by revelation or by intellectual powers, including the ability to observe and to make critical analysis. Self-realization and the realization of the Brahman are the means of acquiring wisdom and knowledge by revelations. Revelations are not the words of the Brahman who does not talk to any man in a particular language. The Brahman does not need any mediator or prophet to communicate with other human beings. Everybody is free to realize the Brahman by oneself and not through any other person or mediator.
For attaining greater integration between the body, mind and soul and also between man and woman and ensuring proper interaction of man with the Nature, the Brahman and the Society, one has to undergo education under a great guru or teacher. There were several great teachers or sages. Constant contact with a great mind and discussions with him help the student attain knowledge and wisdom. Education is the best means for enlightening and realization that results in acquiring knowledge and wisdom either by observation and analysis or by intuition and revelations.
Artistic and Literary Powers
Art and literature are concerned with expression of beauty or aesthetic aspects of life and the Nature by the manipulation of imagination. One who practices the Yoga and meditation could attain tremendous aesthetic powers so as to become a great creator or performer of arts and literary works.
Systematic expressions of the basic nine human emotions or rasas, ensuring beauty or aesthetic elements of life, result in all forms of performing arts like acting, singing and dancing and also various forms of literary works. Natiyasastra, compiled by Sage Bharata is considered as the first scientific manual on performing arts. All forms of classical performing arts in India are designed in accordance with its basic principles.
Most of the great yogis have acquired tremendous mystic powers, including going to the past or the future; simultaneously appearing in distant places or disappearing from different places and crossing the barriers of time and space. They could remain safe for several days without breath either under the soil or water.
Not For Selfish Interest
Making use of the yogic powers for the selfish ends, either for one’s own fame, power and wealth or for doing harm to the others, including exploiting and misguiding the others are the greatest misdeeds and the violation of the Dharma. Yogic powers are meant for the well-being of all others people and creatures – “loko samastha sughino bhavathu”. Nobody should claim that he represents the Brahman or reproducing the words of the Brahman or the mouth piece of the Brahman as the Brahman is the creator of each and every human being who could not claim any infinity or perfection or absoluteness.
‘Aham Brahmasmi’ and Jesus Christ.
At the higher levels of realization, the Self has become the manifestation of the Brahman and the Self is in union with the Brahman. At this stage of realization, the Self proclaims: ‘aham brahmasmi’ or the Brahman is within me and I am within the Brahman. I am not separated from Himself and the Universe; I am in Bliss; I find Him everywhere, here and there—‘thathwamasi’.
If we carefully go through the Bible, especially the Gospel according to John, it can be seen that Jesus Christ had attained such a higher level of realization and union with the Brahman or the Heavenly Father, though his followers could not understand it. Jesus never claimed that he was a prophet, instead he even that the time of the prophets had already been over. He preferred to be known as the Teacher or the Master or the Guru.
The teachings of Jesus Christ are in effect based on the Sanadhana Dharma that was beyond the realization of the Semitic people or the Christian world that prefers to consider the teaching of Jesus as an extension of the Laws and Prophets of the Old Testament. Even the Hindus in India find it difficult to understand the teachings of Jesus as an extension Sanadhana Dharma as has been in the case of the teachings of the Buddha.
The Whole Package
Sanadhana Dharma is a whole and complete package for a happy and blissful life integrating the material, psychic and spiritual attainment of life based on the eternal values and principles. Realization of the Self and the Brahman, the Absolute and Omnipresent God are the highest objectives of life for which one must attain knowledge and wisdom, keeping body and mind sound and healthy. It is highly logical and scientific based on universal love and brotherhood, far ahead of all religions and ideologies.
Sanadhana Dharma makes one free from fear, terror and worries and helps realize the self, the universe, the cosmic and enjoy the pleasures of life too. It is far beyond the gimmicks and capsules of the Hindu god-man or god-woman and his or her devotees and followers. It is beneficial for the humanity to lead a better life on the earth rather than waiting for a life -after death.
Its influence can be found even most of the Muslims and Christians in India, including Pakistan and Bangladesh, except a small minority, quite different from their counterparts in the rest of the world. It is time for the international community to have a deep understanding of the Sanadhana Dharma as a solution for its pressing problems, including terrorism and fundamentalism, and building up an egalitarian and pluralistic global community based on universal love and oneness.
By Dr. Raju M. Mathew