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Sanatana Dharma (सनातनधर्मः)

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ज्ञानम् || Jnana: corrections regarding Atman
Man (Jiva the seed of Brahman) transmigrates in different forms wandering about in the Universe, as long as he thinks of himself as different from Ishvara or the Supreme. As long as this Avidya continues he wanders in Samsara only attaining moksha from punarjanma (cycle of birth and death) once he realizes his identity with the Paramatma. Shvetashvatara Upanishad summarizes in a single sloka, the reason for punarjanma and the means to end it.<blockquote>सर्वाजीवे सर्वसंस्थे बृहन्ते तस्मिन्हंसो भ्राम्यते ब्रह्मचक्रे । पृथगात्मानं प्रेरितारं च मत्वा जुष्टस्ततस्तेनामृतत्वमेति ॥ ६ ॥(Shve. Upan. 1.6)<ref>Shvetashvatara Upanishad ([ Adhyaya 1])</ref></blockquote><blockquote>sarvājīve sarvasaṁsthe br̥hante tasminhaṁso bhrāmyate brahmacakre । pr̥thagātmānaṁ preritāraṁ ca matvā juṣṭastatastenāmr̥tatvameti ॥ 6 ॥(Shve. Upan. 1.6)</blockquote>In the wheel of Brahman, the immense source and support of all Jivas, the Hamsa (the Individual) is made to wander, thinking himself and the director (Ruler) different. United with Him, he attains immortality (Amrtatva)''.''<ref name=":022" />
===ज्ञानम् || Jnana===
The knowledge of Vedas, Vedangas, Darshanas all culminate in the Vedanta. All these were summed up together as the Lesser Knowledge (outward and revealed), and the Knowledge of the ONE, is alone considered as supreme and indivisible by virtue of it being an internal experience of Atma. Thus states Mundakopanishad<blockquote>द्वे विद्ये वेदितव्ये इति ह स्म यद्ब्रह्मविदो वदन्ति परा चैवापरा च ॥ ४ ॥ तत्रापरा ऋग्वेदो यजुर्वेदः सामवेदोऽथर्ववेदः शिक्षा कल्पो व्याकरणं निरुक्तं छन्दो ज्योतिषमिति । अथ परा यया तदक्षरमधिगम्यते ॥ ५ ॥ (Mund. Upan. 1.1.4 and 5)<ref>Mundakopanishad ([ Mundaka 1 Khanda 1])</ref> </blockquote><blockquote>dve vidye veditavye iti ha sma yadbrahmavido vadanti parā caivāparā ca ॥ 4 ॥ tatrāparā r̥gvedo yajurvedaḥ sāmavedo'tharvavedaḥ śikṣā kalpo vyākaraṇaṁ niruktaṁ chando jyotiṣamiti । atha parā yayā tadakṣaramadhigamyate ॥ 5 ॥ (Mund. Upan. 1.1.4 and 5)</blockquote>Two kinds of knowledge are to be known, thus say the knowers of Brahman - Para (परा Supreme) and Apara (अपरा foundational). Apara vidya consists of the four vedas, shiksha, kalpa, vyakarana, nirukta, chandas and jyotisha. The Paravidya, whereby that Eternal Then there is reached. Knowledge of the Brahman higher (JnanaPara knowledge) by which is attained by experiencing the Self that Aksharam or Atma which is possible by the removal of AvidyaImmutable Brahman.<ref name=":8">Swami Gambhirananda (1937) ''Eight Upanishads, Volume 2 (Aitareya, Mundaka, the root cause of karmic cycle of rebirth.Mandukya and Karika and Prasna)'' Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama</ref>
===पुरुषार्थाः ॥ Purusharthas===
The ultimate purpose of human life is to shed all attachments to matter and attain moksha (liberation from material existence) and return to the transcendental realm which is not only our true nature but also our real home. The Vedic path offers personal freedom for one to make his or her own choice of how he or she wants to pursue their spiritual approach, and what level of the Absolute Truth he or she wishes to understand. This is the height of spiritual democracy and freedom from tyranny.
All rites and ceremonies ordained by the seers and ancient preceptors are based on the the concepts given as above such as about Atman, Jivatma, Moksha etc and those who understand these can clearly see the reason for the presence of injunctions and prohibitions along with the prayaschittas found in Vaidika Dharma.<ref name=":022" /> Thus Samskaras are a complex combination of various elements expressing belief, sentiments and knowledge of the ancient seers about the nature of human life and the interrelationship with the Universe. Almost all samskaras, the domestic rites, involve kindling of Agni (Fire) as a primary constituent.<ref>Pandey, Rajbali. (2002 Reprint) ''Hindu Samskaras : Socio-Religious Study of the Hindu Sacraments.'' Delhi : Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd.</ref>
===गुरुशिष्यपरम्परा ॥ Guru-Shishya Parampara===
In the heart of Sanatana Dharma lies the tradition of handing down of knowledge from preceptor to the student. Teaching not only the shastras a [[Guru (गुरुः)|Guru]] lays the seed of all moral and spiritual education at a young impressionable age thereby leading him on the path of a dharmik life. All can receive proper instruction on how to follow the teachings of the Vedic philosophy from a Guru who is in line with a genuine parampara, or line of gurus. This was the one tradition which upheld the society till date and the preserved the continuity of Vedas when script was not developed.
Teachableness and obedience to the teacher are insisted on, and many rules were given intended to impresss on the student the duty he owned to his preceptor. A student was to be ever serviceable and careful not to offend, regarding the guru as his father in the highest sense. The position of the Guru is defined and elevated as given below by Manu<blockquote>उत्पादकब्रह्मदात्रोर्गरीयान्ब्रह्मदः पिता । ब्रह्मजन्म हि विप्रस्य प्रेत्य चेह च शाश्वतम् ॥ २.१४६ ॥ (Manu. Smrt. 2.146)<ref name=":2" /></blockquote><blockquote>utpādakabrahmadātrōrgarīyānbrahmadaḥ pitā । brahmajanma hi viprasya prētya cēha ca śāśvatam ॥ 2.146 ॥</blockquote>Meaning : Of the progenitor and the giver of the knowledge of Brahman, the giver of Knowledge of Brahman is the more venerable garther; for the birth of the Brahman in the Brahmana is verily eternal both here and after death.<ref name=":022" /><ref>Manusmrti English Translation ([ Page 26])</ref>
These principles are part of the eternal, universal truths that apply equally to all living entities who can use them for progress regardless of class, caste, nationality, gender, or any other temporary qualifications. These basic tenets, as we can see, are not so difficult to understand and are the basis of the Vedic spiritual life.
==Margas in Sanatana Dharma==
Many texts describe the two primary paths adopted by the Jivatma; one outgoing and worldly where the Jivatma gathers the experience of samsara through the [[Pravrtti (प्रवृत्तिः)|Pravrtti]] Marga and the second being [[Nivrtti (निवृत्तिः)|Nivrtti]] Marga the inward or the returning path, where the Jivatma explores internally for the Self, the Eternal. It should be noted here that whatever be the siddhantas or thought ways (the three main being Advaita, Dvaita or Vishisthaadvaita) the goal of all philosophical pathways is to attain or be in union with the Eternal, Supreme Brahman. <ref name=":022" /> Many Sampradayas have evolved over time however, their common goal has been to achieve union with the Brahman.
The constitution of the the human being is clearly outlined in the Shantiparva of Mahabharata (मोक्षधर्मपर्व Adhyaya 202)

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