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Re: Misunderstanding of Dharma with Hinduism

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  • sadhak_insight
    Shree Hari Ram Ram To respected and eminent Gita Talk members, I seek your guidance in attaining responses to the following - 1) In all the Vedas, the Puranas,
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 1, 2009
      Shree Hari
      Ram Ram

      To respected and eminent Gita Talk members, I seek your guidance in
      attaining responses to the following -

      1) In all the Vedas, the Puranas, the Upanishads, in Bhagavad Gita,
      in Ramayana, and in Ramcharitramanas, in which places is there any
      mention of Hindu, Hinduism, Hindu Dharma, or Hindu Sampradaaya
      (sect). Is there anything written about them? I am seeking in
      these scriptures actual and existing proof or evidence.

      2) In those scriptures, where there is specific mention of Dharma
      and related matters, in that very scripture, the meaning of the word
      Dharma, please provide from the main scripture the specific
      quotation/extract, not someone's commentaries or lectures or
      exposition. Is that Dharma understood as being "Hindu mat" (hindu
      philosophy) or "Hindu Dharma"? If this has been written, in which
      chapter is it? What are the supporting documents / background,
      please kindly share.

      3) That which is authoritatively called Bharatiya Sanatana Dharma,
      that versus the Dharma in Gitaji that for which Shri Krishna
      Bhagwaan agreed to descend (incarnate) time and again for the
      establishment of Dharma, in that the so-called one-ness that is
      revealed, regarding that I seek the scriptural evidence (uskaa
      shastriya pramaan chahiye). If preceding the Shri Krishna-lila, this
      Sanatana Dharma was existing, then was Bhagwaan's words/knowledge
      (shabda-gyaan) incomplete that instead of saying Sanatana Dharma,
      simple said Dharma?

      4) If Gita Talk instead of being for all of mankind, is simply only
      for participants from the Hindu sect/doctrine, then please share and
      make available the related principles / rules / practices.

      If in the language there appears to be some impatience, than please
      forgive me, and kindly grace me with your continued generosity.

      Vineet Sarvottam

      ---------------------------------------------------------------
      NEW POSTING

      -Shree Hari-

      I have withheld any comment on this thread, and have become a
      student. Aren't we all students some of the time?
      I now understand that 'Hindu' is a result of history and linguistics,
      I found this aspect of the thread informative, interesting.

      Vineet Sarvottam, with respect I have pasted in a part of one of your
      comments:
      '.... Islam, Buddhist, and Christianity, have been made known by
      great souls, whereas "Dharma" (not Hindu dharma, not Sanatana
      Dharma) is without a beginning (anaad....'

      I maybe might have something to offer, that is easily overlooked,
      that is the 'Mystic'. She/He can evolve from any platform religious
      or otherwise, but goes beyond the surface beyond ritual and dogma,
      seeking and experiencing the 'Divine' seeking to know 'Higher
      Self', i.e. beyond religion. So Gitaji is the most natural book of
      the 'Cosmos' there is for such souls. To clarify my point see paste
      below:

      'Henry David Thoreau: In the morning I bathe my intellect in the
      stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita, in
      comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny
      and trivial.'

      You do realize that this is in agreement with your quote, Vineetji?

      This is the start:

      Chapter:9 Even those who with faith worship
      Other gods, also worship Me,
      Though with a mistaken approach,
      This is the truth, Son of Kunti. (23)

      Truly I am the Enjoyer,
      And Lord of all sacrifices;
      But because they do not know Me
      They return, subject to rebirth. (24)

      Then the Mystic emerges:

      Chapter:9 With mind fixed on Me, devoted,
      worshiping, bowing down to Me,
      Thus made steadfast, with Me as your
      Supreme aim you shall come to Me. (34)

      The Dharma that has been spoken of is the underpinning of all faiths,
      and reveals itself to those who with all their hearts look beyond the
      clouds of dogma.

      With Respect and Divine Love,
      Mike Keenor
      ---------------------------------------------------------------


      ---------------------------------------------------------------
      PRIOR POSTING

      Shree Hari
      Ram Ram

      Madan Bhaiyyaa, in Gitaji's Chapter 11, Shloka 18 Arjuna says to
      Bhagwaan the word "Shaasvatdharmagoptaa" (protector of eternal
      Dharma, protector of righteousness) not "Sanatanadharmagoptaa"
      (protector of one who accepts Sanatana Dharma)
      nor "Hindudharmagoptaa" (protector of Hindu Dharma) and for
      Bhagwaan Himself he calls Him "Sanatana Puruso" (Existing from time
      immemorial, Eternal Imperishable Being) not "Shaasvat Purush"
      (Immortal Being), nor "Hindu Purush" (Of Hindu Origin).
      He "Sanatana" (Eternal) who is beyond (past, present and future),
      who is Truth. That "Shaasvatdharma" whose protection Arjuna was
      able to speak of to Bhagavaan, that alone in Kaliyug is being called
      Sanatana Dharma and will now be called out as Hindu Dharma, such has
      not been declared in the entire Mahabharat holy book. In Sadhak
      Sanjivani (Hindi) page 924 in the lower half of the page, Swamiji
      Himself has said – "Hindu dharma is "anaadi" (without a
      beginning), "anant" (infinite) and "Shaasvat" (eternal). This has
      been written so because the remaining three religions and sacred
      legends most spoken off, - Islam, Buddhist, and Christianity, have
      been made known by great souls, whereas "Dharma" (not Hindu dharma,
      not Sanatana Dharma) is without a beginning (anaadi), infinite
      (anant) , eternal (shaashvat) and sanatana (existing from time
      immemorial). With this Dharma, no Hindu, no Muslim, no Buddhist, no
      Sikh, no Christian, no Jain, no Judaic, no other word, in the form
      of preposition (upasarg) is essential. (and Bhagwaan Himself has
      said that on the destruction of righteousness - Dharma, He has
      talked about His manisfestation. He has not talked of
      some "Sanatana Dharma" or some "Hindu dharma" or some "Shaashvat
      dharma". Just as there cannot be two Paramatmas (Supreme
      Consciousness), in the same manner, Eternal is only One and that is
      Paramatma (whatever Name we may chose to call that One). If
      Paramatma is Eternal and without a beginning, and Hindu Dharma
      is "Eternal" then in these two, which came first and which came
      later? Neither came first, nor any came after. Both are together
      names of that One and only Reality (Truth). Whether some one out of
      their delusion, calls this Dharma – Hindu / Sanatana by joining a
      group or organization believes and presupposes it to be it's own
      group's great treasures, then with regards to this matter, what can
      Dharma do? In the same manner, if Gitaji is considered to be the
      scriptures/doctrines of a particular sect/group, then I would object
      and oppose this group. If Gita has been relayed for a particular
      group/sect, then was Bhagwaan not capable of saying so that the Path
      of Yoga shared in the Gita is for Hindus? Oh! I forgot that
      Bhagavaan has in no place (Gitaji or otherwise) used the word Hindu
      at all. Therefore it is best if this discussion is put together, as
      Gita-Talk members deserving of honor, do not wish to see Gitaji
      shared with all of mankind. So be it!

      Sarvottam.
      ---------------------------------------------------------
      Dear Madanlalji Kaura
      I AM ENJOYING AND APPRECIATIVE O DISCOURSE WHICH HAS BEEN GOING ON
      IN THIS
      THANKS
      A COMMENT

      HERE IS WHAT YOU QUOTED IN THIS TRAILING EMAILS


      BG (4-7 and 4-8)
      Whenever there is a decline in righteousness
      and

      an upsurge in righteousness,

      IS THIS AN UPSURGE UNRIGHTEOUSNESS OR RIGHTEOUSNESS AS YOU QUOTED

      LOOKS TO ME IT SHOULD BE UPSURGE IN UNRIGHTEOUESNESS
      BUT MAY BE I AM WRONG MAY BE YOU CAN CLARIFY AS BHAGWAN KRISHNA
      COMES ON THE EARTH BECAUSE O UNRIGHTEOUSNESS ANY HOW THANKS

      O Arjuna, I then manifest Myself. For the protection
      of the virtuous, for the destruction of the wicked and for
      establishing righteousness, I manifest myself from age to age

      Dinesh Patel
      ---------------------------------------------------------------

      Faith is only answer for all

      Unknown from "lrresources"
      --------------------------------------------------------------
      Shree Hari
      With all respect to any Dharma.Let me share from where did the word
      Hindu derived.In An Ancient India the geographical area was vast
      extended.The Sind river was in India.The people from Sind was
      actually traders and preachers who migrated everywhere.Sind was
      later on started pronounced as Hind, subsequently Hindu.
      Now I fail to Understand why there is so much hue and cry as a
      religion.It is not religion but actually it the people staying were
      called as Hindu. Let me be clear example:people from Mahad called as
      Mahadkar,from Chembur as Chemburkar ect.
      Let us be one as Hindu in this auspicious Land and be called as
      Hindustani rather then dividing ourselves. Thanks to all such person
      who say so for their own benifits and cheap publicity in the eyes of
      innocent people and further misguiding.
      Dharma according to me and as I understood means our Kartavya
      (duty) towards our Nation, Mother Earth.

      Thanks, God Bless You
      Bhawar Shah

      -----------------------------------------------------------------
      PRIOR POSTING

      Shree Hari

      || Ram Ram ||

      Dear Vineetji

      Pls. forgive me, was not able to make it very clear, here is another
      attempt - as per the previous note, pls. note that the word 'Hindu'
      is not mentioned in any of our scriptures but there is a definite
      mention of "Sanatana Dharma"' in Gitaji in the following verses:

      BG (11-18), Arjuna says -
      "tvamaksaram paramam veditavam, tvamasya visvasya param nidhanam
      tvamavayayah sassasvatadharmagopta, sanatanastvam puruso mato me"

      You are, I recognize, the Imperishable, the Supreme Being (Aksara)
      to be realized; You are the ultimate refuge of this universe; the
      protector of Eternal (Sanatana) Dharma and you are the eternally
      imperishable Being.

      'Tvam sasvatadharmagopta' -
      Arjuna says, that when there is, decline of righteousness and rise
      of unrighteousness, the Lord by taking an incarnation, destroys the
      evil and protects "Sanatana Dharma", the Dharma that has existed
      since the time immemorial and shall exist forever.
      (Ref: Sadhak-Sanjivani, pg.1251 in English and pg. 690 in Hindi).


      BG (14-27): Lord Krishna says -
      "brahmano hi pratishahamamtrsyavyavasya ca
      sasvatasya ca dharmasya sukhasyaikantikasya ca"

      For, I am the abode of Brahma, the immortal and the Imperishable, of
      Santana (Eternal) Dharma (Law of righteousness) and of absolute
      bliss.

      "Sasvatasya ca dharmasya"
      Lord Krishna, is the abode of eternal (Sanatana) Dharma and eternal
      (Sanatana) Dharma, is the abode of the Lord. It means that the Lord
      and eternal (Sanatana) Dharma, are one and the same.*

      * There are four important Dharmas (Religions) in the world. They
      are Hindu (Sanatana or Eternal), Buddhism, Christian and Muslim. The
      founders of these are Buddha, Christian and Mohammada respectively.
      But the Sanatana Dharma was not originated by anyone, it is eternal
      and beginning-less like the Lord. This is discovery made by sages
      from India. What is discovered, has its own pre-existence. The
      methods of God-realization described in other Dhramas are also the
      gift of "Sanatana Dharma".

      Whenever there is a decline of this Dharma, the Lord incarnates
      Himself for the establishment of Dharma (Gitaji 4/7-8). So the Lord
      re-establishes it, He does not find it (just like when something is
      lost we find it). Actually all other religions are the product of
      Sanatana Dharma only. So if their principles are obeyed without any
      desire for their fruit, they will lead to salvation undoubtedly. A
      deep thought for salvation as is described in Sanatana Dharma is not
      available in other religions. The principles of Sanatana Dharma
      (which in time came to be known as Hinduism) are totally scientific
      and they lead to salvation.

      (Ref: Sadhak-Sanjivani, pg. 1577 in English and pg. 855 in Hindi).

      Ram Ram

      Humble pranams
      Madan Kaura
      ---------------------------------------------------------------

      RAM RAM,

      here are the dictionary meanings of Dharma:

      'Dharma' may be defined as the eternal law or the sum of many good
      qualities governing, upholding, and supporting creation and the world
      order. for example helping each other keeps the world running (Gitaji
      3.10-11)

      It is the eternal relationship between the creator and His creatures.
      It also means way of life, doctrine, principle, prescribed duty,
      righteousness, right action, integrity, ideal conduct, custom,
      virtue,
      nature, essential quality, commandments, moral principles, spiritual
      truth, spirituality, spiritual values, and a function within the
      scriptural injunction or religion.

      = hariom roy

      ---------------------------------------------------------------
      Shree Hari
      Ram Ram

      Bhaiyyaa Madan, Your reading and study is good. Now, I have not been
      able to study these scriptures at all. From your message from the
      Gita verses Gita 4:7, 8, 11-18, no where did I find the word Hindu
      or Sanatana Dharma. Eternal Dharma, is in itself to be understood
      as Sanatana Dharma, that was not to be found in Gitaji. I want to
      undertand the root, the essence of these compositions/works (kruti).
      Vineet Sarvottam
      -----------------------------------------------------------------

      Shree Hari

      || Ram Ram ||

      Dear Vineetji

      Thank you very much for such scholarly and loaded questions, I do
      not consider myself qualified to answer the questions adequately but
      here is an humble attempt:

      QUESTION 1:

      After consulting with the scholars in the Detroit area, I learnt to
      confirm my own idea that the words "Hindu", "Hinduism", "Hindu
      Dharma" are not found in Vedas, Upnishads, Brahma Sutras, Ramayana,
      Ramcharitmanas or Puranas. Also, there is no mention of "Hindu" in
      3000 stotras composed by Adi Shankracharya and many more by numerous
      other sages. Though there is an extensive mention of gods in our
      scriptures, for example in the Bhagavad Gita, many of these gods are
      mentioned in Chapter 10 and 11. At some point in time in recent
      history, these gods have come to be known as Hindu gods.

      According to one theory, how the Sanatana Dharma got the name of
      Hinduism, it is believed that as Persians came towards India they
      called the people living on the east side of river Indus (Sindhu in
      Sanskrit) as "Hindus" because they pronounce "S" as "H", so
      from `Sindhu' it became `Hindu'. During the Mohammedan rule we took
      up the word ourselves. But the word "Hindu" lost its significance
      since all people who live on this side of the Indus river in modern
      times do not follow the same religion as they did in ancient times,
      there are proper Hindus, Mohammedans, Christians, Jains etc. who
      also live in India.

      QUESTION 2:

      The meaning of Dharma is given as which holds and sustains (It is
      said in Mahabharat –"when one follows Dharma, it protects"). Dharma
      is broadly classified into two ways - Sanatana (Eternal) Dharma and
      Swadharma (Individual duty)

      Meaning of Sanatana:

      - That which is an eternal – ever was, is and ever will be
      - That which is not subject to change
      - Universal – fundamental truths in it exist at all times and all
      places

      Meaning of Dharma:

      - That which holds and sustains ("When one follows Dharma it
      protects" - Mahabharat)
      - The levels of Dharma are specified at different levels:
      Swadharma (Individual duty) -
      . Personal Dharma (As it pertains to personal cleaniness and good
      conduct etc.)
      . Family Dharma (Duty towards other family relationships)
      . Society Dharma (Duty towards social setting, village, city or
      town)
      . National Dharma (Duty towards one's nation)

      The Swadharma or individual duty varies with time, place, conditions
      or circumstances.

      For Swadharma Dharma, refer to Gitaji verses - 2/ 31-37, 3/35 and 18-
      47.

      Sanatana Dharma never changes it is:

      - That which is an eternal order, governing the laws for the smooth
      functioning of this universe
      - That which is the inherent nature of things (Ex: Sun giving light,
      Basic virtues - Truth, Non-voilence, Compassion, Charity ...)
      - That which encompasses all the Spiritual Laws
      - That which contains the spiritual laws are eternal and are a means
      of God realization
      - That which is the source of the spiritual laws

      For Sanatana Dharma refer to Gitaji verses 4-7, 4-8 and 11-18

      QUESTION 3.

      Whenever Dharma is mentioned in Gitaji, it is meant to be in a
      broader sense as Sanatana Dharma only. When Dharma applies to
      individual duties then the word `Swadharma' is used. This fact is
      brought up in several places in Gitaji:

      BG (4-1 and 4-2)
      In the context of Karma Yoga, Lord Krishna says, I taught this
      imperishable Yoga to Vivasvan (Sun God), Vivasvan told it to Manu
      and Manu spoke it to Iksvaku. Thus handed down from father to son,
      the Royal sages knew it till that Yoga was lost to the world through
      long lapse of Time, O' Paramtapa (Arjuna).

      BG (4-7 and 4-8)
      Whenever there is a decline in righteousness and an upsurge in
      righteousness, O Arjuna, I then manifest Myself. For the protection
      of the virtuous, for the destruction of the wicked and for
      establishing righteousness, I manifest myself from age to age.

      BG (11-18)
      Thou art the Imperishable, the Supreme to be realized. Thou art the
      Ultimate Resort of the Universe; Thou art the protector of the
      Dharma; Thou art the imperishable eternal Prime Person, I consider.

      QUESTION 4.

      All secular and spiritual knowledge is based on Vedas, all
      authoritative scriptures are derived from Vedas only. These
      scriptures address to the human being in general, therefore the
      Sanatana Dharma applies to all races, creeds and cultures, and not
      just to Hindus.

      Humble regards,
      Madan Kaura

      --------------------------------------------------------------


      Pranaams to gita-talk members

      Dear Vineet, please see this -

      (1) Hindusthan

      'HIMAALAYAAM SAMAARAMBHYA
      YAAVAT HINDU SAROVARAM
      TAM DEVA NIRMITAM DESAM
      HINDUSTHANAM PRACHAKSHATHE'

      (2) Hindu
      'SINDHU PARYANTHAAM YASYAA
      BHAARATHA BHOOMIKA, MATHRUBHU : ,
      PITHRUBHUSCHAIVA, SA VAI,
      HINDU ITHI SMRUTHA'

      I am not able to locate the authority for this.
      Pranaams
      Vijayan

      ---------------------------------------------------------------
      PRIOR POSTING

      Dear All,

      MEANING OF THE WORD "HINDU"

      I recently joined this group and found that there are interesting
      brain storming sessions going on.
      Can someone please help me understand exact roots of word 'Hindu' ?
      I could find roots for 'Vedic' but not 'Hindu' anywhere in Bhagwad
      Gita.
      If someone please shed some light, it will be great help to our
      research group.

      Regards,
      -Nisarg Joshi
      Serial Vedic Learner
      --------------------------------------------------------------


      Dear Shri Vineetji,
      I read your mail with interest.Put briefly, Lord Krishna in the
      Gita [or whoever compiled it from earlier version]went beyond the
      basic tenets of vedas/vedanta/Upanishads.To say that Gitacharya
      merely summarised what was in the Upanishads is not correct. In this
      respect,the word Dharma used by the Lord means Sanatana Dharma
      (Eternal Law, Eternal Principles) and has wide meaning. Lord Krishna
      did not speak for Hindus only. Infact He says that whatever God/gods
      you may worship, it ends up in Me---that is Universal Spirit.

      There is no use in discussing these things from purely historical or
      theological perspective. Various sampradayas or traditions/sects
      came right from the time of Kashmir Saivism or even earlier. The
      worship of Vishnu brought in Puranas with emphasis on Srimad
      Bhagavatam...then many sects came into being.

      Further there is no Hindu Dharma, Christian Dharma or Islam Dharma
      or Jewish Dharma. As I understand, there is only one Dharma, but if
      you take Dharma to mean a religion or traditions, there are many.
      Dharma means only 'righteousness' and not 'rites.'

      The word Hindu or Hindu faith or religion came much later, not in
      Vedic/Upanishadic times...period.

      In Shirdi Sai Smaran,
      ---Dr N K Srinivasan

      -----------------------------------------------------------
      Shree Hari
      Ram Ram
      All Sadhaks, please include reference to the particular scripture,
      as it is important for posting to this topic.

      Gita Talk Moderator
      Ram Ram
      -------------------------------------------------------------


      -----------------------------------------------------------

      PRIOR POSTING
      Respected readers,
      My daNdavats to all in this forum.....
      So many beautiful thoughts......I had one more piece of
      information I wished to share, which is that the word "dharma" I
      have always heard translates as "that which one cannot sepatate from
      one's very existence". So, the dharma of sugar is sweetness, the
      dharma of water is wetness, and the dharma of the soul is service.
      An intelligent person will ask, "OK, so who or what can I serve
      eternally?" Then the undeerstandig of Sanatana dharma, meaning
      more or less, our eternal occupation......service to the Lord. When
      coming to Gita, and the ancient Vedic tradition, one finds so many
      wonderful, indepth and personal concepts of what is pleasing to the
      service of Radha Krsna, and how to act day by day, minute by minute,
      instructions on how to bath, how to disciplie the mind, how to learn
      self restraint, peacefulness, etc. etc. This is all preliminary to
      the goal, a loving relationship with God.
      reSpectfully,
      Mahalaksmi Dasi
      --------------------------------------------------------------
      Namaste

      It is correct that, the word HINDU is not mentioned in Vedas, etc.
      According to Persian language, Hindu means, Kafir, chor, etc. The
      Persians for whatever reasons, they called Indians Hindus and we
      Indian also started calling us HINDU without knowing the real
      meaning. In Mumbai underworld, some gangstars are called in
      different depending upon their way of attacking, as "_____ Yeda"(mad
      person). Later it has become a part of his name. Likewise, we
      Indians continued with this bad name. I think this is mentioned in
      detail in Swamy Dayanand Saraswati's (Founder of Arya
      Samaj) "Satyartha Prakash" in Hindi and "Light of Truth" in English.
      He deals with it.

      H.K. Sudhakara

      ----------------------------------------------------------
      Understanding Hindu Dharma. "Flow on self-purifying (H)indu with
      expansiveness..." Rig Veda. IX.96.21 Indu/Sindhu/Hindu/Sanatan
      Dharma/Vedic Dharma/Yoga Dharma--it is all the same. Those who would
      seek to separate the aforementioned only serve to tear apart. We see
      the results today of this division. We have those who unethically
      divorce the various [Hindu] Yogas from Hinduism; those who try and
      separate Sanantan Dharma and Hinduism. " A house divided..."

      Swami Param
      ----------------------------------------------------------------


      PRIOR POSTING

      Namaskar
      I have gone through the mail "Misunderstanding of Dharma with
      Hinduism". It is absolutely right the Hinduism has been
      misunderstood with dharma. It was started by britishers and has been
      followed by our politicians. Also, this is also true that no one has
      ever heard the word "HINDU" or "HINDUTVA" in any of our bhartiya
      granthas. All other related words
      like "HINDUTVA", "HINDUSTAN", "HINDUSTANI", "HIND", "HINDI" are
      derived from the word "HINDU". So the question is that from where
      this word "HINDU" came from?

      Well, it was started, when Mugals shown their interest in our
      country "AKHAND BHARAT" (Incl. Present Bharat, Pakistan,
      Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan). They (Mugals)
      used to call "SINDHU" to the people who lives at the eastern side
      and the banks of River SINDU. But due to language problem they
      pronounce is as "HINDU". Therefore according to them (Mugals), all
      the peoples living in Bharat, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri
      Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan are HINDU. Than how it could be HINDU
      DHARMA? Dharma is entirely different from HINDU. Hindu means a
      Sanskriti, the Culture, the Living Style of Bharat.

      According to our Vedas, Bhagvat Gita the word "Dharma" denotes the
      certain important Karmas (Must do work or Duties) of a human being
      like "Mtri Dharma (Duties & Responsibilities towards your
      Mother)", "Pitri Dharma (Duties & Responsibilities towards your
      Father)", "Desh Dharma (Duties & Responsibilities towards your
      Mother Land)" etc.

      Both the words "HINDU" & "DHARMA" have nothing to do with religion
      or caste. So i request all the readers to spread this fact as much
      as possible and understand the real meaning of "HINDU" & "DHARMA"

      Dhanyavad
      Avadhesh Didwania
      --------------------------------------------------------------
      My dear Vineet Sarvotam,
      My respects to all in this forum.....kindly allow me to share
      what I have heard from others in regard to the word "Hindu". My
      opening words are not particularly "authoritative" so please kindly
      forgive me, but what I have to say will certainly be of interest in
      your discussion.
      Firstly, I have heard many times through the years, coming from
      many sadhaks, is that the word "Hindu" was coined by the British.
      They were unable to properly pronounce the word "Sindhus" in regard
      to the community/culture of individuals living on the bank of the
      Sindhus River, so the word "Hindu" came into the lanuauge. On a
      trip I made to India in the year 2000, I was on a small plane
      between one large city and another, and somehow or other, (we know
      the hand of the Lord is everywhere) the seat next to me was
      occupied by a sannyasi from Hrshikesh. I was conversing with a
      business man in a suit next to him, and explaiing this exact same
      thing, about the word Hindu being no where in the Vedas, and the
      business man turned to the sannyas (who did not speak English) and
      asked him about this, then turned to me, and said, "He says you are
      absolutely correrct." I was amazed that the business man had no
      idea, though he was from India. Little by little, I have had to
      learn the sad truth that many born in India do not know what is
      Sanatan Dharma, nor the destructive influences of the British....or
      how to live by the teachings of Gita. I pray that those who do
      undeerstand this continually seek ways to spread it to others.
      There is a vrery nice section mentioned in a booklet called Sri
      Hari Nama Maha Mantra....compiled by Srila B.V. Narayana
      Maharaj.....there the Srimad Bhagavatam is quoted (1.2.8) "dharmah
      svanusthitah pumsam, visvaksena-kathasu yah.......notpadayed yadi
      ratim, shrama eva hi kevalam"....."The main purpose of varnasrama-
      dharma is to simplify the life of a person who is performing his
      natural occupational duty, so that he has sufficient time to hear
      hari-katha. However, if an attraction for hari-katha is not
      inspired, then all the reilgious activities he performs in
      accordance with varnasrama-dharma will be so much useless labour."

      Respectfully,

      Mahalaksmi Dasi
      ----------------------------------------------------------------Dear
      Shri Vineet Sarvottam,

      All your questions are very relevant to appreciate what Dharma is.
      Is Sanatna Dharma same as Hindu Dharma.

      With my limited knowledge I would like to answer your doubts/points
      as below.

      Hindu word is not mentioned in many of our scriptures as for a
      number of centuries it related to residents of Hindustan i.e. areas
      EAST of Sindhu river (Indus) pronounced in Persian language as Hindu
      river. Even the word India is from Indus river as pronounced by
      Greeks. By 15th century A.D Hindu word acquired some religious
      connotation as in Adi Grantah Sahib Guru Nanak writes Turki Kaane
      and Hindu Anne i.e. Muslims were half blind and Hindu totally blind
      to God's Vedic religion. Guru Nanak tried his best to revive Vedas
      being himself belonging to BEDI family for whom Vedas were the
      supreme scriptures.

      Still the word Hindu was not fully accepted as relating to religion.
      Even today if a Muslim goes to Egypt he is known as HINDI i.e from
      Hindustan.

      For the first time in the 19th century when first Census was taken
      by British Government in India after 1857, All those religions which
      originated from out side India like Islam, Christianity, Jews etc
      their followers were counted separately and all
      religions/sects/cults which originated from India were clubbed as
      Hindu religion. Thus this practice is even followed today by
      government of India. When we say Hindus are over 80% it means
      Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Kabir panthis, Ganpatias, Arya
      samajists etc.

      The word Dharma first appeared in Rig Veda where it is
      mentioned "Rtm, Satyam, Dharmmam" Rta- the cosmic laws of social,
      moral and physical order are eternal truths (satyam) and following
      these Rta (laws) is Vedic Dharma. Later when due to certain vested
      interets some influential and poewerful people found difficult to
      follow Rta, many interpretation of Dharma started like duty, which
      binds, way of life etc. Only followers of Vedic metaphysics can
      appreciate the original meaning of Dharma.

      Thus Hindu Dharma, Sanatan Dharma (meaning eternal religion of
      Vedas) would largely mean the same thing. Infact for any individual
      if Vedas are the supreme scriptures, he/she is a follower of Sanatan
      Dharma. Since Bhagavad Gita is largely based on Vedic metaphysics,
      Dharma would mean Sanatan Dharma. Bhagavd Gita clealy says in
      Chapter 16 that study of Vedas is the supreme virtue. Any
      interpretation which contardict Vedic interpretation is not valid in
      Vedic Sanatan Dharma

      If still some doubts persist I can clarify further with my very
      limited knowledge.

      with regards,
      Prem Sabhlok

      -----------------------------------------------------------------
      Dear Sadak,
      At one time only Hinduism existed. So it called Hinduism, Hindu
      Dharma etc. Later on came Jainism, Buddism, Christanity, and Islam
      to India when people started travelling by ships. Hindu Dharma
      purely meant Dharma in common to all living and non living things.
      One can see in many histories that God went to rescue his devote
      irrespective of caste and creed. Even Muslim Kabir Doss was devote
      of Panduranga. A slaughter Dharma Vajer in
      Maha Bharat is praised of his Pitru Bakthi.
      There are Dharmas concerning, women (Sree Dharma), Purusha (Man),
      Raja, Sanyasi, Etc. Then there is Prayachita Dharma, Bagavatha
      dharma, Deva Dharma, Surya Dharma, Pancha Bootha Dharma so on. These
      Dharmas are there in perfect scripts. All Dharmas
      are taken care by 33 crore demi gods, like Vayu, Agni, Indra etc.
      There is one called Yuga Dharma. That is the earth and it` s planets
      have Chatur yuga. Namely Satya Yuga, Thretha Yuga, Dwapara Yuga and
      Kali yuga. Longest is Satya Yuga. Shortest is Kali yuga around 14300
      years. That is why Bramaji is depicted with 4 heads representing 4
      yugas. This is also said in Old testament of Christanity as the
      world is square.
      In Geetha Bagavan says everything rest only on Dharma. Dharma means
      the rightfulness.
      In Ramayan scores of dharmas are said. Even drinking water by left
      hand is Adharma. Dharma is clearly said about food. Dharma is said
      about how man from morning to evening should behave related to
      environment. PLEASE NOTE ALL THESE DHARMAS ARE FOR NOT ONLY FOR
      HINDUS, BUT FOR SOCIETY AT LARGE.
      Bagavan Sri Krishna said that HE will incarnate from time to time,
      means that HE comes to protect the people who follow all these
      Dharmas. Such people are called Dharmathumas. HE does not come for
      people who are not rightious. We can see mass of humans killed for
      verious reasons. But if ONE dharmathuma is attacked, Bagavan
      response is immediate. In important scripts it said that in the
      event of abuses of God, God remains silent. But in the event of very
      small neglect/discomfort caused to HIS devote, God respondes at once.
      To give evidence from scripts/upanashid/puranas it is lengthy.
      Besides Bagavan says these are to be taught to a person who is
      consistant in seeking truth able to practice basic teachings of
      Sanathana Dharma.
      To learn incomplete a small science of human body MBBS one needs 5
      years. To learn these Dharmas one needs contiuous effort day in and
      day out.
      Jai Sri Krishna
      baiya sathyanarayan
      --------------------------------------------------------------


      ===============================================================
      PRIOR POSTING

      Gita is for people of all religions. That is why there is no mention
      of Hindu religion. Indians were called Hindus by invaders because of
      the Indus river and our faith was given the name. Hinduism is a way
      of life rather than a religion and there is nothing in the Gita
      which does not apply to people of other religions.

      Hari Shanker Deo
      ---------------------------------------------------------------

      "Dhritih kshama damo asteyam shaucham-indriya nigrahah
      Dhi vidya satyam-akrodho dashakam dharma lakshanam" (Manu Smriti,
      Ch.VI-92)
      (1) Dhriti – Patience, (2) Kshama – Forgiveness, (3) Damah – Self
      Control, (4) Asteya – Not Stealing, (5) Shaucha – Purity, (6)
      Indriya Nigraha – Sense Control, (7) Dhi – Intellect, (8) Vidya –
      Learning/Knowledge, (9) Satya – Truth, (10) Akrodha – Absence of
      Anger.

      this shows that dharma is secular as there is no reference to
      personal belief, god, satan heaven , hell, angels etc...

      Dharma is called Dao in chinese and therefore Daoism is subsciption
      to this idea. one of the 3 texts of this tradition is 'Tao Te ching'
      Its opening line is 'the Dao that can be named is not the dao', and
      this falls in line with our thinking.

      Compare this to christian islamic judaic views that god has only one
      name jehova, allah, etc..
      patanjali in chapter 3 says chose your favourite deity, this also
      means that god is relegated to do whatever suits you, its really not
      that important.

      therefore hinduism or dharma is not a religion in the judaic club,
      gang, sense. and traditionally hindus have said that it is not a
      religion but a 'way of life'.
      personally i have never subscribed to the way of life buisness
      because then surely islam is an absolute 'way of life'. however in
      context of the above this can be understood as something other than
      belief, faith, etc...

      sanatana dharma has also been translated as the perennial philosophy
      by Aldous huxley, see his book of the same name and take a look at
      his novel, Island.

      there is only one dharma and all the rest are panths, paths.

      Ravi Bakhsi

      ---------------------------------------------------------------

      The Word Hinduism was derived from the Indus civilisation. About
      2,000 years ago when the Greeks sailed up the Indus River, they were
      surprised to find a civilisation that existed and they refer to them
      as the Indus. Later this was changed to Hindus.

      Mangal Deolal

      ----------------------------------------------------------------
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