Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sanatana Dharma - Perpetual Truths for Peaceful Society

Arvind Adiga, an Indian journalist, is the 2008 Booker Prize winner for his book - The White Tiger. This book basically talks about a servant-master relationship and how this servant goes on to become a successful entrepreneur. The author, Arvind Adiga, in one of his interviews narrates an incident which inspired him to write this novel. He says, 'I was buying furniture in New Delhi five years ago and the storeowner said, `Don't give me cash, give me a deposit of Rs 1,000, and give the rest to the man when he delivers it.' So when the man came to my house -- and he was a very poor man -- he put down the furniture and then I paid him the money. Then he asked for a Rs 10 tip which I gave it him. I was amazed that this man who made a maximum of Rs 1,000 a month or perhaps even less, was taking a bundle of money to give to his master.'

Another point in his interview which caught my attention was, 'And this led to the question why there was so little crime in India compared to that in New York, South Africa and Latin America, where poverty is the leading cause of the high rates of crime. In India, even if there is a phenomenal disparity in wealth there is very little crime due to poverty. The novel began as a kind of an experiment.'

These sounded familiar to me because in one of His talks, Paramahamsa Nithyananda says, "In the US, there is a police station at each every county. Every few miles, there is police check post. In India, forget few miles, sometimes a whole taluk (a block of villages) have one police check post. But statistics say that the crime rate in US is 100 times greater than in India."

That is true. According to statistics, even though there is no one watching each and every village of India, even though people are poorer than people in most developed countries, the crime rate is much lesser in India as compared to developed cities in countries like the US .

Nithyananda says, "The reason is our society is based on santana dharma. Our society is founded on these perpetual (santana) teachings (dharma). When we are internally conscious and aware, which is the basis of sanatana dharma, we do not need some external person or police to tell us what is right and wrong."

This explains why even if a person is in utter poverty in India, he does not take advantage of a situation as was seen by Arvind Adiga in the case of the poor labourer.

All enlightened masters of the Sanatana Dharma have taught one thing through meditation and yogic techniques - how to raise our consciousness. Masters like Patanjali and Buddha have talked about code of conduct, both personal and societal. Paramahamsa Nithyananda says, "When Patanjali talked about yama (personal conduct) and niyama (conduct towards people around you), he talked about a much deeper topic. They were not rules to be followed. When He talked about ahimsa or non-violence, it was not a rule. It is an expression of the heightened awareness or consciousness. When we are conscious, we cannot be violent. We automatically become non-violent."

There are many villages in India where people live based on trust and nothing else. Whether it is money or food or whatever, they build the whole society around them with trust in each other. One person can trust the other only when both of them are ruled by something much deeper. And that string which connects people is Sanatana Dharma.

Nithyananda says, "Unlike police check posts every mile in the US, there is temple at very crossing in India villages and cities. Unlike a Mc Donald's or Burger King's tower at the entrace of every county in the west, there is a gopuram (temple entrance) that welcomes people in every village in India. These temples and ashrams (monasteries) have been the preservers and propagators of Sanatana Dharma, the perpetual truths, to the mankind."

Many people, and ironically mainly so-called modern Indians, either take these for granted or do not see the value behind these truths thinking them to be ancient and irrelevent to the modern world. The very fact that these truths are the basic foundation of a billion people in India shows their relevance in today's age. These truths are ageless, and certainly are not limited to the boundaries of India or Indian sub-continent. The Nithyananda Ashrams in the west are testimony to this where many Americans and Europeas are following and benefitting from these truths through personal transformation. The only pre-requisite is - being open. That's all!

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