It is the unique and all-encompassing nature of Hinduism that one devotee may be worshiping Ganesha while his friend worships Subramaniam or Vishnu, and yet both honor the other’s choice and feel no sense of conflict. The profound understanding and universal acceptance that are unique in Hinduism are reflected in this faculty for accommodating different approaches to the Divine, allowing for different names and forms of God to be worshiped side by side within the temple walls.

-Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

Hinduism, an Awakening

Hinduism is the Sanatana Dharma, or “eternal religion.” It is the innate, perennial philosophy. This bears no founder. It has neither a beginning nor an end. It is coexistent with man himself. It is not one man’s teaching or interpretation. Nor is it limited to a single facet of religion. It consists of the entire prism. It is a God-centric religion.

The center of it is God. All other religions are prophet-centric. Here is a quote from my Gurudeva, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, on this: “The search for Truth, for God, is called the Sanatana Dharma, or the Eternal Path, because it is inherent in the soul itself, where religion begins. This path, this return to his Source, is ever existent in man, and is at work whether he is aware of the processes or not. There is not this man’s search and that man’s search. And where does the impetus come from? It comes from the inside of man himself. Thus, Hinduism is ever vibrant and alive, for it depends on this original source of inspiration, this first impulse of the spirit within, giving it an energy and a vibrancy that is renewable eternally in the now.”

Hinduism resides within each of us, in our soul. Hinduism resides in all seeking hearts and whenever man’s seeking for God becomes spiritual, Hinduism, or the tradition of Sanatana Dharma, naturally comes in. In what way and how long could man’s innermost truth be kept away from him?

When a soul reaches sufficient spiritual maturity, it naturally awakens a conscious desire to know God as its inmost essence, to experience Truth personally. This spiritual longing then leads the soul to take up the practices and study the philosophy of knowing itself. Thus it is quite clear, from the Hindu point of view, that you cannot keep Sanatana Dharma out of a country when it already resides within the soul of every person in that country, waiting to be expressed at some point in the future.

We can compare the inherent search for Truth that exists within the soul to an underlying seed hidden in the soil waiting for the right conditions to bloom and grow.

Every Hindu devotee can sense the presence of Gods, even if he cannot yet inwardly see them. This is possible through the subtle feeling nature. He can feel the presence of the Gods within the temple, and he can indirectly see their influence in his life.

The Gods can be and are seen by mature souls through an inner perception they have awakened. This psychic awakening is the first initiation into religion. Hinduism Is the eternal faith.

By K.Nagori