Category Archives: Sanatan Dharma

Jagannath Puri Dham & its 13 glories

jagannath puri dham

Jagannath Puri dham is addressed by various names. Some of these names are Sri Kshetra, Purushottama kshetra, Nilachala dham, Jagannath dham, Samanik tirtha, Uddiyan pith, Marta-Vaikuntha, Nilgiri, Niladri, Sankha kshetra, Bhu-svarga, and Nrsimha kshetra. Jagannath Puri is one of the most prominent spiritual sites of India (Bharat). It is said that the Supreme Lord bathes at Badrinath (situated in North India), changes His clothes at Dwarka (situated in West India), accepts His food at Jagannath Puri (situated in East India) and then proceeds to take rest at Rameshwaram (situated in South India). Here at Jagannath Puri, the Supreme Lord resides in His deity form. Anyone who takes His darsana attains liberation from this material world. By visiting Jagannath Puri, one attains the pious credit of visiting all the other holy places of pilgrimage. Below are listed some of the unending glories of Jagannath Puri dham.

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Essence of Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana)

srimad bhagavatam bhagavata puranaSrimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana), also appreciated as the ripened fruit of the Vedas is a bonafide commentary on the Vedanta Sutra, presented by the author Srila Vyasadeva himself. It is one of the eighteen great Puranas that addresses a wide range of topics including cosmology, astronomy, genealogy, yoga, bhakti, etc. It is abundant with accounts of transcendental glories, name, fame, form, and pastimes of the unlimited Supreme Lord and is intended for bringing about a revolution in the impious life of a misdirected civilization. This article is a humble effort to exhibit the essence of Srimad Bhagavatam and a summary of its quintessential teachings.

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Summary of Bhagavad Gita | Essence of Bhagavad Gita

vaishnava vaishnavism krishna bhagavad gita

The Bhagavad Gita appears as an episode of Mahabharata, the great Sanskrit epic (itihasa) portraying the history of the ancient world. Bhagavad Gita was spoken by Lord Krishna to Arjuna about 5000 years ago at the onset of the great war of Kurukshetra and their discussion is considered to be one of the most celebrated philosophical and religious dialogues known to man. The following article presents the summary and the essence of the Bhagavad Gita. Relevant Slokas from the Bhagavad Gita have been cited below to help explain these principles.

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6 unknown truths about Sanatan Dharma & Varna system (Varnashrama)

#1 The underlying Principle of Varna system (Varnashrama dharma) as explained in Sanatan Dharma

sanatan varna caste varnashrama

Sanatan Dharma explains that a human being can be classified into four varnas (castes) – brahmana (priests), Kshatriya (Kings/administrators), Vaisya (merchants), and Shudra (workers) depending upon their individual nature and inclinations. Based on their caste (varna), human beings can be assigned some specific occupational duties. Indeed, everyone has a prescribed duty according to the Varnashrama dharma. Those who execute their prescribed duties live peacefully and are not greatly disturbed by material conditions. The spiritual orders of brahmacharya (celibate), grihastha (householder), vanaprastha (retired), and sannyasa (renounced) are called ashramas. If one executes his prescribed duty in both the social and spiritual order, the Supreme Lord becomes satisfied. However, it must be understood that the ultimate objective of this varna system (varna and ashrama) is to gradually purify one’s consciousness so that one grows eligible to serve and please Vishnu, the Supreme Lord. This is also confirmed in Vishnu Purana –

varnasramachara-vata
purusena parah puman
vishnur aradhyate pantha
nanyat tat-tosa-karanam
(Vishnu Purana 3.8.9)

Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Lord, is worshiped by the proper execution of prescribed duties in the system of varṇa and ashrama. There is no other way to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One must be established in the institution of the four varnas and ashramas.

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Who is the founder of Sanatan Dharma ? | Origin of Sanatan Dharma

sanatan dharma

Dharma is often interpreted as “duty,” “religion” or “religious duty” and yet its definition is more profound, defying the concise English translation. The word ‘Dharma’ originates from the Sanskrit root “dhri,” which means “to sustain.” Another correlated meaning of ‘Dharma’ is ‘that which is indispensable and fundamental to something’. The word ‘Sanatan’ translates to ‘eternal’ and the phrase ‘Sanatan Dharma’ alludes to that which is eternally integral to a living entity. Likewise, ‘Sanatan Dharma’ is timeless, non-sectarian and not limited by any boundaries. Religion conveys the idea of faith, and the faith of a person may change. But ‘Sanatan Dharma’ is that which cannot be changed. That which is ‘Sanatan’ does not have either a beginning or an end. So that brings us to our questions – Who is the founder of Sanatan Dharma ? What is the origin of Sanatan Dharma ?

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Why do Hindus worship idols/Deities? | Gaudiya Vaishnavism

#1 Does deity worship degrade and confine the Supreme Lord to a small material form? In that case is it not a sin to worship an idol (But-Parasti) of the Supreme Lord ?

In Sanatan Dharma (Hinduism), ‘deity worship’ is the practice of worshiping the eternal, completely spiritual, and fully conscious form of Bhagavan (Supreme Lord). Therefore deity worship of the Supreme Lord, as practiced in Sanatan Dharma, is not a kind of material idol worship. Furthermore, the worship also depends upon the intensity of faith and devotion of the worshiper. The more one is aloof from material contamination, the purer and more transcendental his deity worship shall become. The worshiper’s fondness towards material sense enjoyment reflects in his/her standards of worship and meditation. Hence only those qualified people who have won over the illusory influence of matter, are transcendentally situated, and are capable of conceptualizing the pure spiritual form of the Lord should engage in deity worship. Sanatan Dharma upholds the worship of pure and transcendental deity form of the Supreme Lord.

worship idol deity

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10 essential Teachings, Summary and Slokas from Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita appears as an episode of Mahabharata, the great Sanskrit epic portraying the history of the ancient world. Bhagavad Gita was spoken by Lord Krishna to Arjuna about 5000 years ago at the onset of the great war of Kurukshetra and their discussion is considered to be one of the most celebrated philosophical and religious dialogues known to man. The following article presents the summary and the ten essential teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. Relevant Slokas from the Bhagavad Gita have been cited below to help explain each of these ten principles.

bhagavad gita teachings slokas summary

#1 Proof that Krishna is the Supreme Lord | Determining one’s own duty

pitaham asya jagato
mata dhata pitamahah
vedyam pavitram omkara
rk sama yajur eva ca
(Bhagavad Gita 9.17)

I (Krishna) am the father of this world, the mother, the support, and the grandfather. I am the object of knowledge, the purifier, and the syllable om. I am also the Rig, Sama, and the Yajur Vedas.

 

tasmac chastram pramanam te
karyakarya-vyavasthitau
jnatva sastra-vidhanoktam
karma kartum iharhasi
(Bhagavad Gita 16.24)

One should know what is duty and what is not duty from the regulations of the scriptures. Knowing such rules and regulations, one should act so that he may gradually be elevated.

#2 Krishna Tattva – The truth about Krishna

mattah parataram nanyat
kinchid asti dhananjaya
mayi sarvam idam protam
sutre mani gana iva
(Bhagavad Gita 7.7)

O conqueror of wealth (Arjuna), there is no Truth superior to Me (Krishna). Everything rests on Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.

bhagavad gita teachings slokas summary

#3 Krishna Shakti – Krishna’s opulence and His various energies

bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh
kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankar itiyam me
bhhinna prakritir astadha
(Bhagavad Gita 7.4)

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence, and false ego – together these eight comprise My separate material energies.

 

apareyam itas tv anyam
prakritim viddhi me param
jiva bhutam mahabaho
yayedam dharyate jagat
(Bhagavad Gita – 7.5)

O mighty-armed Arjuna, besides these there is a superior energy of Mine, which encompasses all living entities (jiva) that are exploiting the resources of the inferior material nature.

etad-yonini bhutani
sarvanity upadharaya
aham kritsnasya jagatah
prabhavah pralayas tatha
(Bhagavad Gita 7.6)

Of all that is material and all that is spiritual in this world, know for certain that I am both its source and dissolution.

#4 Non-devotees and the Impersonalists are deluded by Krishna

avyaktam vyaktim apannam
manyante mam abuddhayah
param bhavaam ajananto
mamavyayam anuttamam
(Bhagavad Gita 7.24)

Unintelligent men, who do not understand Me perfectly, believe that I, the Supreme Personality of Godhead (Krishna), was formless before and have now assumed this personality. Due to their small knowledge, they do not know of My higher nature, which is imperishable and supreme.

 

avajananti mam mudha
manusim tanum ashritam
param bhavam ajananto
mama bhuta maheshvaram
(Bhagavad Gita 9.11)

Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature, and My supreme Lordship over all that be.

bhagavad gita teachings slokas summary

#5 Jivas – The living entities

Mamai vamso jiva-loke
jiva-bhutah sanatanah
Manah sasthhanindriyani
Prakirti sthani karsati
(Bhagavad Gita 15.7)

The living entities in this material world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to their conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, including the mind.

#6 Baddha jiva – The conditioned souls

shariram yad avapnoti
yac capy utkramatiswarah
grihitvaitani samyati
vayur gandhan ivasayat
(Bhagavad Gita 15.8)

The living entity in the material world carries his different conceptions of life from one body to the other, as the air carries aromas. Thus he accepts one kind of body and again quits it to take another.

 

na mam duskritino mudhah
prapadyante naradhamah
mayayapahrta-jnana
asuram bhavam asritah
(Bhagavad Gita 7.15)

Those miscreants who are exceedingly foolish, who are lowest among humankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons do not surrender unto Me.

#7 Mukta Jiva – The Liberated souls

mam upetya punaar janma
duhkhalayam asasvatam
napnuvanti mahatmanah
samsiddhhim paramam gatah
(Bhagavad Gita 8.15)

After attaining Me, the exalted souls, who are yogis in devotion, never return to this temporary mortal world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the greatest perfection.

daivi hy esa gunamayi
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante
mayam etam taranti te
(Bhagavad Gita 7.14)

This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature (maya), is difficult to surmount. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.

bhagavad gita teachings slokas summary

#8 The relationship between Jiva (living entity), Krishna (Isvara), and Maya (illusory potency of the Lord)

maya tatam idaam sarvam
jagad avyakta murtina
matsthani sarva bhutani
na caham tesv avasthitah
(Bhagavad Gita 9.4)

By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire cosmic manifestation is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them.

na ca matsthani bhutani
pasya me yogam aishvaram
bhuta-bhrn na ca bhutastho
mamatma bhuta-bhavanah
(Bhagavad Gita 9.5)

And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me. Behold My inconceivable mystic power! Although I am the sustainer of all living entities, and although I am everywhere, yet I am not a part of this cosmic manifestation, for Myself is the very source of creation.

#9 Abhidheya – Process of attaining the Supreme Lord

mahatmanas tu mam partha
daivim prakritim asritah
bhajanty ananya-manaso
jnatva bhutadim avyayam
(Bhagavad Gita 9.13)

O son of Prtha, those exalted souls, who are not deluded, are under the protection of My divine nature. They are whole-heartedly engaged in My devotional service knowing Me to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible.

satatam kirtayanto mam
yatantas ca dridha-vratah
namasyantas ca mam bhaktya
nitya-yukta upasate
(Bhagavad Gita 9.14)

Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, offering obeisances unto Me, these great souls are perpetually engaged in My devotion.

nitai gaura

#10 Prayojana – Attaining the ultimate fruit of ecstatic love of God

ananyas chintayanto mam
ye janah paryupasate
tesam nityabhiyuktanam
Yoga ksemam vahamy aham
(Bhagavad Gita 9.22)

But those who are exclusively engaged in My devotional service, meditating on My transcendental form – to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have.

 

samo ‘ham sarva-bhutesu
na me dvesyo ‘sti na priyah
ye bhajanti tu mam bhaktya
mayi te tesu capy aham
(Bhagavad Gita 9.29)

I am hateful to no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equally disposed to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.


What is Sanatan Dharma ? | Meaning of Sanatan Dharma

devotee of krishna association chaitanya sanatan dharma

Dharma is often interpreted as “duty,” “religion” or “religious duty” and yet its definition is more profound, defying the concise English translation. The word ‘Dharma’ originates from the Sanskrit root “dhri,” which means “to sustain.” Another correlated meaning of ‘Dharma’ is ‘that which is indispensable and fundamental to something’. The word ‘Sanatan’ translates to ‘eternal’ and the phrase ‘Sanatan Dharma’ alludes to that which is eternally integral to a living entity. That which is ‘Sanatan’ does not have either a beginning or an end. Likewise, ‘Sanatan Dharma’ is timeless, non-sectarian and not limited by any boundaries. Religion conveys the idea of faith, and faith of a person may change. But ‘Sanatan Dharma’ is that which cannot be changed. For instance liquidity cannot be taken away from water, nor can heat be taken away from fire.

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Essence of Indian Varna System – Understanding the misunderstood

indian caste system hinduism

The Indian Varna system (caste system), which is often painted negatively and presented likewise even in school textbooks, is perhaps one of the most misinterpreted social hierarchies of the world. It is popularly accepted that the Indian caste system is at least 3000 years old, though an analysis of the Vedic literatures suggests that it is perhaps as old as Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) itself. This article attempts to exhibit the system of Varna (class) and Ashrama (order) as it had been originally conceived and how it has gradually degenerated with time. The article also seeks to establish how the caste system is an integral part of any successful society and an indispensable tool to ensure its survival.

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