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Sanatana Dharma: The Eternal Natural Way

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  • Sanatana Dharma
    Sanatana Dharma: The Eternal Natural Way Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya An all-in-one guidebook to the world of Yoga, Vedanta, meditation and Hinduism. This
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2011
      Sanatana Dharma: The Eternal Natural Way
      Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya

      An all-in-one guidebook to the world of Yoga, Vedanta, meditation and Hinduism. This book is a celebration of the tradition of Sanatana Dharma. In this magnum opus, Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya has provided us with a valuable introduction to the philosophy and practice of this ancient spiritual path.

      Sanatana Dharma: The Eternal Natural Way is a comprehensive summary of this profound spiritual tradition. It is the first English language systematic theological and philosophical exposition of the entire world-view of Sanatana Dharma.

      With an easy to follow format, detailed glossary, and style of writing that is both authoritative, yet inviting to any reader, this book is your doorway to a rarely visited realm of spiritual awakening.

      Available Now!
      http://www.dharmacentral.com/dharmastore/Sanatana_Dharma_Book.php


      From the Introduction

      Sanatana Dharma (commonly referred to erroneously as "Hinduism") is a spiritual path that has existed since before the beginning of time. It is a path that is both ancient in origin, and profound in its understanding of the nature of reality. Sanatana Dharma is completely unlike any other religious tradition in existence. Rather than reflecting the dogmatically inclined expressions of denominationalism, sectarianism, and divisive religious doctrines that are of more recent origin, Sanatana Dharma is a spiritual expression of the divine intelligence that naturally underlies the more empirical aspects of our cosmos. Sanatana Dharma is the Eternal Natural Way. As such, this path represents the pre-religious, primordial essence of all true spirituality, philosophy, and yearning to know the higher Reality, as well as the very foundation of any and all attempts to establish any civilizational constructs based upon such eternal ideals.

      Despite the fact that Sanatana Dharma is one of the most ancient and profound philosophical cultures known to humanity, I have had the sad experience over the last four decades of my personal study of the world's many diverse religions of witnessing the perpetuation of more misconceptions, stereotypes and outrageous caricatures about Sanatana Dharma than exists about every other religion on earth combined! Even more troubling than the perpetuation of so many misconceptions about this noble religious tradition has been the fact that so few leaders, scholars, or even so-called "gurus" of Sanatana Dharma have ventured to correct these gross misconceptions.

      During my public discourses and spiritual presentations on Sanatana Dharma, I am invariably asked by my students if I can recommend a good book that serves as a well-written, systematic, accurate and conclusive introduction to the philosophical world-view, historical and social factors and practice of Sanatana Dharma. Sadly, I have always had to answer no to this question. There had been no such book available for sincere seekers who wished to understand Sanatana Dharma in its pristine and authentic form.

      Remarkably, every book that currently exists that purports to be an introduction to Sanatana Dharma falls far short in a number of respects. The two primary poles in which these books fail at their task are that they are either written by a) well-meaning, but ultimately woefully unknowledgeable and unqualified, adherents of the tradition, who thus miss the very philosophical essence of Sanatana Dharma; or are b) well-written academic treatises penned by professors and scholarly researchers who inevitably gut the spiritual tradition of anything of spiritual, experiential, practical and aesthetic value, and who thus miss the very spiritual essence of Sanatana Dharma.

      For the first group of unknowledgeable and unqualified "gurus", Sanatana Dharma is relegated to being merely an expression of personal cultural heritage, if not merely a money-making venture. For the latter group of academicians, Sanatana Dharma is nothing more than a dead relic of the past whose sole value consists in providing material and literary data for the uninterrupted churning out of speculative academic theses. For both groups of authors, Sanatana Dharma is merely a means of fostering a career and making a profit. For both groups of authors, Sanatana Dharma is not a living tradition meant to be practiced and experienced, but a tool to achieve material success.

      The "Sanatana Dharma" that is the subject of this book is necessarily an ever-living and eternal Sanatana Dharma. The following is a work that has been over thirty-five years in the making, but that has in actuality been crucially missing from the annals of world literature and religious discourse for the last several thousand years. This book is a work of scholarship, it is a philosophical-spiritual treatise, it is an untold story about the survival of an ideal, but more importantly, it is a revolutionary manifesto signaling the beginning of a wholly new era in humanity's eternal yearning for a grasp of reality that makes immediate and vibrant sense. It is a call to arms for all those whose lives are dedicated to manifesting Truth. It is a rebirth of unbridled idealism, and a signal that hopefulness is again alive in our age. The focus of this book is living and dynamic Dharma, and not merely a static concept.

      Sanatana Dharma: The Eternal Natural Way is designed to be the first English language summa theologica, a theological summary, a systematic theological and philosophical exposition of the entirety of the Sanatana Dharma world-view. The overall organizational outline of the book is a multipart structure. The Sanskrit name of this work is Sanātana-dharmāmṛta-sindhu - "The Nectarean Ocean of the Eternal Natural Way". Accordingly, the work is divided into several sections in the form of "Waves". These four sections are: A) the Foundations, B) Philosophical Grounding, C) Socio-Historical Grounding, and D) Grounding in Practice. It is my hope that this work will serve as a comprehensive general guide in your personal exploration of the ancient tradition of Sanatana Dharma.


      Available Now! $22.99
      http://www.dharmacentral.com/dharmastore/Sanatana_Dharma_Book.php


      Table of Contents

      Other Works by Śri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya v
      Table of Contents vii
      Dedication xiv
      Introduction 1
      Acknowledgements 9

      First Wave - The Foundations 11

      Chapter 1 The Eternal Natural Way 13

      The Two Approaches to Our Cosmos 13
      Normative Religion Versus Sanatana Dharma 14
      Uniqueness of Sanatana Dharma 16
      The Vedic Revelation 18
      Who is a Dharmi? 22
      Monotheistic Panentheism 23
      Vishva Dharma: The Universal Path 26
      Ethnicity Versus Religion 27
      Sanatana Dharma is not an "Indian" Religion 28
      Ancient Dharmic Cultural Sphere 29
      Dharmi Population 30

      Second Wave - Philosophical Grounding 35

      Chapter 2 The Philosophical Foundations of Dharma 37

      Dharma as a World-view 37
      Understanding the Concept of Dharma 42
      Dharma as Axiomatic 47
      Dharma as Universally Applicable 50
      Universal Elements of Dharmic Civilizations 53
      The Logic of Dharma 56
      Dharma as Replicable 58
      Dharma as Scientific 59
      The Metaphysical Principles of Dharma 61
      The Divine Descent of Dharma 69
      The Behavioral Principles of Dharma 71
      The Epistemological Principles of Dharma 73
      Three Necessary Factors of Knowing 74
      Three Ways of Knowing 75
      Truth Verification System 77

      Chapter 3 Epistemology in Literary Form: The Scriptures of Sanatana Dharma 81

      The Vedic Literature 81
      Genres of the Vedic Scriptural Canon 83
      Important Scriptures 85
      The Bhagavad Gita 88
      Central Importance of the Bhagavad Gita 89
      The Outer and Inner Wars 91

      Chapter 4 Metaphysics: The Nature of Reality 109

      Tri-Tattva: The Metaphysical Foundations of Reality 109
      Atman – The True Self 111
      Brahman – The Absolute 112
      Jagat – The Power of Prime Materiality Enformed 113
      Inter-relationships Between the Tri-tattvas 115
      Tri-tattva and the Three Dharmic Traditions 116

      Chapter 5 Ontology: Human Person, God and Creation 123

      A) The Human Person 123

      Atman 124
      Aham-pratyaya vs Aham-kara: I-Cognition vs. Illusory Ego 126
      Equality of Spirit and Hierarchy of Form 128
      Karma and Reincarnation 134
      Karma and Fatalism 142
      Refuting the Theory of Collective Karma 146
      Is There "Evidence" for Reincarnation? 147
      Discerning Spirit from Matter 151

      B) God: The Nature of the Absolute 156

      Brahman is not Anthropomorphic "God" 157
      Does God Have Attributes? 158
      The Nature of Brahman 160
      God and Determinism 160
      Brahman as the Source 162
      The Final Goal and the Final Cause 162

      C) The Material Cosmos 163

      The Three Gunas 163
      The Sattvic Program 166

      Chapter 6 Ethics: Walking the Talk 169

      The Virtue-Ethics System of Sanatana Dharma 169
      Ten Ethical Principles of Dharma 170
      A Comparative Analysis of Dharmic Ethics and
      the Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments 175
      Inherent Virtue Ethics and Proscribed Ethics 179
      The Twelve Qualities of a Dharmi 184
      The Four Jewels (Chatur-ratna) 185
      Honoring Life: The Principles of Vegetarianism 185
      Vegetarianism for a Better World 192

      Third Wave - Socio-Historical Grounding 195

      Chapter 7 Comparing Religious Traditions 197

      Sanatana Dharma and Buddhism 197
      Jesus: The Dharma Master 210
      Sanatana Dharma and Islam 219
      The Abrahamic World-view Versus the Dharmic World-View 226
      2000 Year Genocide Against Dharma 230

      Chapter 8: Sanatana Dharma Today 237

      The Current Global Crisis 237
      Dharma and Spiritual Empowerment 239
      Dharma Ascending 242
      Sanatana Dharma's Contributions to the New Age Movement 242
      Bridging the Gap: Indian Hindus and Western Dharmis 248
      Does Sanatana Dharma Have a Future in America? 252
      The Sun of Dharma Arises in the West 267

      Fourth Wave - Grounding in Practice 271

      Chapter 9: Taking Refuge in Dharma 273

      Why I Should Be a Dharmi? 273
      Choosing Sanatana Dharma as One's Spiritual Path 279
      The Importance of the Guru 279
      The Art of Questioning 290
      The Process of Diksha 295
      Requirements for Initiation 297

      Chapter 10 Dharma in Practice 301

      The Inner Dimensions of Sadhana Practice 301
      General Principles of Daily Sadhana 304
      Yoga: The Heart of Sanatana Dharma 308
      Meditation: The Heart of Yoga 311
      Mantra – Meditation Upon God's Name 313
      How to Meditate 314
      Bhakti: The Heart of Meditation 317
      Bhakti Yoga 321
      The Descent of the Infinite 324
      The Difference Between Devotion and Emotion 325
      The Science of Prayer and Meditation 330
      Establishing a Home Altar and Performing Puja Meditation 335
      Performing Puja 337
      Puja Mantras 338
      Where Do I Get Puja Supplies? 339
      The Validity of Puja Meditation 340
      Eating as Meditation: How to Prepare Prasada 342
      Guidelines 344
      How To Offer Food to God 345
      Mantras Recited Before Eating 346
      Balancing Spiritual and Material Life 347

      Chapter 11 Living Dharma Today 351

      Being a Dharma Activist 351
      25 Things You can do to Support Dharma 354

      Chapter 12 Resources 359

      International Sanatana Dharma Society 359
      Becoming a Member 364
      Books and Periodicals 366
      Dharma Websites 367

      Appendix - Sanatana Dharma by the Numbers 369
      About the Author 371
      Glossary 373
      Bibliography - Primary Sources 385
      Bibliography - Secondary Sources 391

      Available Now! $22.99
      http://www.dharmacentral.com/dharmastore/Sanatana_Dharma_Book.php
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