Q. What is the uniqueness of our Sanatana Dharma? And can you shed some light on how our religion evolved?
Ans. The specialty/uniqueness of Sanatana Dharma is that – It is not based on any “one” book. This religion is not based on any one Scripture, or any one Holy book, or any one God. There are many religions in which if you remove one core Scripture from that Religion, then the entire religion loses its essence. Neither Knowledge, nor the practices, nor the methodology remains. But our Sanatana Dharma is not like that.
So, in the very beginning, there were Vedas. In the Vedas, there was knowledge, there were Spiritual practices, and there were Stutis (Hymns). Besides these, there is nothing else in the Vedas. It doesn’t contain any stories or any analogies. In them, there is no attempt of explaining anything. The Vedas are based on “Experience” ie. do your Sadhana, do some chanting, do some contemplation and experience it by yourself! In them, there are no attempts to provide joy through words. That this happened, then such and such happened, and that is why that happened and so on.
But as society moved forward, the Vedas did not suffice everybody, because a common man doesn’t have that much time! And also, everybody is looking for easier paths ie. “Let’s accomplish something quickly, with as little efforts as possible”! Then came Stage-2 : In this stage, the Tathya/Tattva/Sattva (Facts/Element/Truth) was given the shape of a story. For example, in Durga Saptshati (a part of Markandeya Purana, and some of its parts are from Brahmanda Purana), there is story of a person named “Raktabeeja”. That there was a demon named Raktabeeja, and it was very difficult to kill him because as soon as someone tried to kill him, then the number of drops of his blood that fell on the ground, that many Raktabeejas emerged immediately. Then how will you kill such a person? So, one of Mother Divine’s forms drank all the blood of Raktabeeja before it fell on the ground. Now, it is fine to enhance our faith (in the Divine) on the basis of this story of Raktabeeja and Mother Divine, but this is not its true meaning! (Its real meaning is) – Desires are so much ingrained in our blood that they are only Raktabeeja! As soon as one desire is fulfilled, immediately others sprout up! If you kill that desire, then another one sprouts.
Just like yesterday (the 3rd Day of the Bhagavad Katha), I was telling you about Kundalini. If I tell you – Kundalini is a Devi(Goddess). These are her weapons, these are her symbols, and this is how She breathes, and this is how the battle happened and this won and that lost and so on, then it will be easier for you to remember!
(Hence, Puranas came into the picture). And Puranas and Scriptures were not written down. Rather, they were passed on by the Guru to the disciple by means of speech, as He/She deemed fit.
But as the task of writing (down the Scriptures) began, they (Scriptures) reached into those hands where there was no one left to expound on its true meaning! Only the readers were left. And that led to the birth of “Illusion”. So what happened in Stage-2 is that : To explain the actual fact, it was given a form of a story.
Then came the Stage-3, at the time of Gautam Buddha and Mahavira. They kept the facts aside, and the stories separate from the facts. Having separated those two, they tried to explain the essence. And the people of those times, got satisfied with simple simple stories. For example, Gautam Buddha went to a place. There, Brahmin people were doing their prayers. Gautam Buddha said, “You have not been liberated since so many lifetimes, how will you attain Liberation in this life!”. So all those Brahmins immediately got knowledge from within and joined Buddha’s Sangha (Union).
If you tell such a thing in today’s world, then no knowledge will sprout from within! So, as time passes, just like a knife’s edge gets sharpened, similarly human intellect also keeps on evolving. This is because humans kept on working on their intellects, and kept on progressing with new new inventions.
And finally came Stage-4, one which we are currently living in. In today’s time, the Devotee/Sadhaka/Human always “questions” everything. They always apply a question mark. They want to grasp everything from their intellect. And it is not their fault, it is natural. “Why did this happen?”, “How could this happen!” and so on.
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