How to summarize Hinduism? In my humble experience, I feel Hinduism has found me as the result of my craving for an experience of the Divine, and possibly because of some good karmas accrued. To me, it has been brought by Lord Shiva Himself and I am melted in gratitude towards Him (when I am in “dualistic mode” 🙂 ) and with the path itself. When I was stuck in trying to contain the infinite within my hand, and putting it down on a piece of virtual paper, I got a marvellous summary full of the wonder I also share for this path.
I had a yoga teacher who used to say: “life has the meaning that YOU want to give to it”. Well, diving in Sanathan Dharma is the meaning I want to give to life, because I have found this path complete, fulfilling and bestower of the highest joy. Practical and philosophical, it satisfies all the spheres of a human life, from the grossest body and cravings through the purushartas (explained in another post), to the subtle spiritual longing. It is worth to devote one´s life to the fulfilling joy of being as much attuned with the Divine as one can. Sanathan Dharma provides the perfect way to me, because it is itself the acknowledgement of the Eternal Truths that hold the Universe.
Here it is the, I would say, “bhakti for the path itself” that I share, by Mr. Udayabhanu Panickar:
Our spiritual heritage cannot be contained in a single cult or a creed. It is neither a cult nor a dogma, nor is it a one-way single path to moksham (salvation). It is not even a religion as such–nor is it just a way of life. It is the complete and comprehensive collection of divine knowledge of the Absolute Truth, which–when learned and practiced–can lead people to the experience of the Absolute and the Ultimate Bliss. It is a continuously evolving and absorbing science – The Science of the Absolute – a flexible body of Devine knowledge centered on the quest of the jeevAtman (soul) for Its birthright, the divine realization. In addition, it makes provisions for all (souls) in this quest. Yet, it remains immeasurable as it safeguards the very purpose of all life everywhere and in all things. We may call It Sanatana Dharma, but never a religion. The wise called it the “Science of the Absolute”, the “Science of the Self” or the “Science of the Soul”. It is braHMavidya.
Human suffering began when the practice of dhaRMam started to decline. If we do not personally enjoy peace, prosperity and happiness, which is a heritage made available to us by our ancestors, it is due to our neglect of dhaRMam as revealed in tradition. Some abandon this tradition to seek an “Ultimate Truth” through the hasty application of self-made methods erroneously assumed to provide quick and easy access to the goal.
Those with correct knowledge of the Absolute do not deviate from dhaRMam as taught by our ancestors. The rich may lose their luxuries. Servants may become the served or vice versa. Death may occur at any time. Regardless of circumstances or consequences, the wise–those with knowledge of “the Absolute “–will always adhere to the wisdom laid down by the great masters who have passed before us.
British historian Arnold Joseph Toynbee once said: “At this supremely dangerous moment in human history, the only way to salvation is the ancient Indian way. Here we have the attitude and spirit that can make it possible for the human race to grow together into a single family.”
This sentiment has never been as true as it is today. Man’s deepest foundation for spiritual progress is his perception of oneness. The existence of this oneness is the truth that assures all of us the eventual attainment of the Realization of The Absolute. The principles of this “Truth” were provided by “The Absolute” millions of years ago by our ancestors in the land of bhAratham, known now as India. From time to time, it was shaken and distorted. Yet it never fell, because it is the “Truth” based upon something invincible. All of the many challenges simply reinforced it.
So, let us dive into that vast ocean of divine knowing provided for us by our ancestors. Let us fill our minds with this knowledge, so that we are inclined to perform dhaRMam and make ourselves ready for that experience of the ultimate bliss. Let us learn from our predecessors what we may not live long enough to learn from ourselves through our own mistakes. May we not waste time seeking something new when that which we need already exists? Let us adopt those established traditions, which have endured the test of time. In addition, finally, let us pass the light of the past to the future for the liberation of innumerable souls yet to come.
Shree Narayana Gurudevan gave us every tool to do it. Let us use them and enjoy the Ultimate Bliss, shivOham, shivOham, shivOham.