Sanatana Dharma is a tangible knowledge-based
knowing life and the nature of existence and living.
It should never be confused with religions are
belief systems based on someone else's ideas.
Within the spiritual traditions alive within India as
indicated by the lion man found in Germany dated to 35,000 BC and the antiquity
of Vedanta, it's said there was a first yogi, a man born within a strong
spiritual tradition about 14,000 BC. It's said that he realised and understood
the nature of existence in a way that modern science is coming to understand,
and he taught the means by which we can all understand and unlock the doors to
happiness and joy, to let there be a heaven on earth.
Today we call this yoga which is as relevant today for human well-being as it
was then. Unlike the believers in God's who must die to enjoy the benefits of
heaven, Shiva proved that heaven, happiness and joy are not external to the human
condition, they are embodied and by exploring the technology of being human
this possibility may become reality.
The existential truth of what he'd discovered included the possibility that life
emerged from, the fact that the atom contains more empty space than substance,
and that as sensory creatures, the entirety of our life experience takes place
within our own consciousness, and that (your) consciousness is part of the
consciousness that creation emerged from.
As these ideas spread, perhaps some people began to have some Zen moments and
appreciated these truths, yet people were also looking outwards into space, the
solar system was mapped as were some of our nearer galaxies with distinction
being made between planets, stars and galaxies, and even an awareness of a black
hole in the centre of our own galaxy.
This knowledge was accumulated and passed on down through the generations. The
people of the time knowing that planet Earth was home and there was no way of
getting off in sufficient numbers to make any difference. They figured that
since in contrast to a short human life, the universe was eternal although
researchers calculated the life of this universe and defined when it would end.
With no escape, they turned their attention to living well and ensuring the
well-being of future generations.
A characteristic of being human is that we all want to be healthy, happy and
successful. The Indian ancestors gave this a great deal of thought, good health
came from a good diet and a balanced lifestyle. Happiness came from good
relationships, security and knowing something of existential truth but the
ultimate sense of worldly success and happiness is the successful passing on of
one's DNA to future generations.
The ancestors took a scientific approach to satisfy these basic human needs and
this gave birth to what is referred to as Sanatana Dharma, a scientific way of
living that addresses our physical needs or human creature comforts, yet it also
caters to the welfare of the human mind which is best served by understanding
the concepts of existential truth above representing the essence of human
spirituality. It implies that we must not be content believing as we please or
acting according to our emotions, we must base our reason and logic on the
greatest comprehensible and absolute reality though which we can prove for
ourselves which at the most minimum is that kindness and compassion are
pre-eminent human qualities, and finding the courage to live by them.
Now let's look at the idea of Sanatana Dharma in a little more detail.
It is a scientific approach to viewing and participating in life with twofold
goals. The first is to facilitate the realisation and integration of existential
truth into one's personal life and the second is to live in such a way to ensure
the continuity of the human species and indeed the evolutionary continuity of
every species because life is sacrosanct. Hence those early Indian peoples
evolved a very healthy and complex vegetarian diet.
To facilitate understanding existential truth and that existence was an
energetic frequency out of which everything is composed, these ancestors
developed a system of consecrating spaces. In particular certain stones because
of their crystalline structure were ideal places to store energy. Through the
use of ritual/blessing and adding energy into the stones memory, the stone
itself would begin over time to radiate the sweetness of that energy thereby
blessing those who came into its presence.
One of the early tribes migrating west from India took with them such a stone
and they made the mistake of asking the stone for favours, asking for good
crops, healthy animals, healthy children and good health et cetera. These stones
referred to as Linga or Lingam were never intended to be prayed to, only to be
appreciated and enjoyed. In moving westwards and mixing with those less educated
in regard to the nature of existence, the idea of Sanatana Dharma was diluted
and became a belief system or religion.
That was perhaps aided and abetted by the emergence of patriarchal leadership.
Most of the world until then was matriarchal, a flat society with an economy
based on service to the community and generosity. Money at the time was in the
form of seashells or clay tablets, more like an IOU or a trading record but with
the emergence of patriarchal dominance the world began moving from a flat
society designed to endure forever into a pyramidal structure aimed at
satisfying the short-term desires of the men in charge.
I am of course speaking in general terms but our world today is governed by
patriarchal capitalism and while it serves the wealthy elite, it dispossess the
majority of people and is the driving force towards environmental catastrophe
and total human extinction.
The process toward that realisation is referred to as yoga, it is a process of
creating unity between all aspects of self and between self and community. It is
a reminder that we live as a community on a finite planet. We can see in the
ancient Indian literature that they had the knowledge of how to develop many of
our modern technologies but they chose not to because they understood that doing
so would upset the ecological balance and spiral us towards extinction, and that
is where we are heading now.
In as much as rules and regulations offer a certain amount of guidance on how to
live one's life, they do not absolve us from suffering.
The very nature of our
civilisation or samsara governed by patriarchal capitalism is the architect of our
suffering and immanent extinction of our species because it equates to
governance by greed and an insatiable quest for pleasure, in contrast the thrust
of Indian civilisation has always been towards human happiness, well-being and
the survival of our species into an unforeseeable which is what may refer to as
faith. The formula has been proven because despite all the odds, India remains
the world's longest enduring civilisation.
How are you going to live the rest of your life?