Some thoughts on safeguarding Sanātana-dharma!
Among the Hindu youth in Bhārata, nowadays, a lot of craze is seen for the protection of Sanātana-dharma. However, protection of Sanātana-dharma needs much maturity + knowledge of scriptures/traditions and not rowdiness accompanied with whimsical behaviour. Sanātana-dharma does not need alliance of millions of stars (whimsicals not abiding by scriptures and tradition). It requires unity of, only, few luminous planets like Sun, Moon, Jupiter etc. (those abiding by scriptures and tradition).
As Sanātanīs, we believe in Vedic scriptures as interpreted by various classical traditions. Whatever scriptures say is final to us. That is the orthodox traditional Sanatānaī thought. And as far as vox populi or public opinion is concerned, ‘tuṇḍe tuṇḍe matir bhinnā’ — every skull has a different mindset. So, it is best to rely on the infallible and God-revealed trans-human (apauruṣeya + svataḥ-pramāṇa-bhūta) Vedic scriptures, rather than on mutually, differing public sentiments.
Mutual analytical criticism of philosophical schools (like Dvaita, Advaita etc.) and the divergence of the views of their classical founders is not begotten out of mutual envy, but due to the scripturally inherent diversity of interpretation of the Vedantic canon. This should not be taken on par with the modern day heterodox pseudo-Vedic newly invented sects/cults/institutions. Debates and polemical refutations of mutual philosophical views are the healthy signs of a religion based on rational philosophy. Or else, dharma will turn into sentimental and fanatic dogmas as what the Abrahamic faiths like Christianity and Islam are. Sanatāna-dharma, on the other hand, is orthodoxly monotonous when it comes to Vedic varṇāśrama structure, but, very diverse (orthodoxly variegated) , when the issue of various spiritual/theological doctrines like Dvaita, Advaita, Śaiva, Śākta etc. arises. The theological diversity is the opulence of Sanātana-dharma which is not monotonous like the Abrahamic faiths’ philosophies/theologies. However, we can stay united on the common Vedic ground despite the Śākta/Śaiva/Vaiṣnava or the Dvaita/Advaita etc. spiritual/theological diversity.
Any person, whether be a layman or a dignitary, can assert Vedānta to be the future of mankind, yet the same person can work to form a new tradition which contravenes with the classical Vedic orthodoxy in theory and practice. Hence, lip-service is not the criteria of establishing oneself as true Sanātanī.
There will be philosophical differences concerning the nature, existence and mutual relation between jīva, jagat, brahma etc. But, no difference as far as the ascertainment of the vaidika varṇāśrama is concerned — amidst all the traditional vaidika sampradāyas having classical origin even up till medieval times.
So far as the issue of ‘sāra-grāhītva’ (extracting essence from a flower like a honeybee or taking note of positive aspects even within negative domain) is concerned, if any heterodox personality, while doing some outward propagation of Sanātana-dharma and Ārya-saṁskṛti, endeavours to dilute/neutralise the classical Vedic traditions and practices under the garb of scripturally non-defined circumstantial adjustment(s) (not the circumstantial adjustment provisioned by scriptures on the basis of variations in deśa, kāla and pātra known as the ‘śāstra-anumodita-vikalpa-svīkaraṇam’), his such act is considered to be +1-2=-1 which is even below ‘zero’ into the negative mode according to the mathematical formula. Thus, whether -1 needs to be appreciated or condemned can be well understood by those of wits.
The Vedic scriptures of Sanātana Dharma are perfect and meant to be followed eternally — for it is called ‘sanātana’ dharma or the ‘eternal’ duty (literal meaning). Only something perfect can be meant to be applicable in eternality. The Vedic scriptures and their ancillary texts and other corollaries (the smṛtis and dharma-śāstras included) have given many provisions like the ‘āpad-dharma’ (the dharma to be followed during exceptional emergency situations) and have given, alternate provisions in connection with the normal prescription (sādhāraṇa-niyama) according to the variations in deśa (place), kāla (time) and circumstance/adhikārī/pātra (saṁyoga/eligible). When, the time/place/circumstance related alternate provisions have been given in scriptures, no question arises of advocating the non-scriptural adjustments (śāstra-an-anumodita-vikalpa-nirāsaḥ).
However, is spirituality (adhyātma) a calling of heart for those who themselves are deluded by māyā/avidyā (nescience) and, thus, confined in the quadruple faults of ‘bhrama’, ‘pramāda’, ‘vipralipsā’, and ‘karaṇāpāṭava’? How can a patient recognize the root cause of his malady on his own without requiring an expert physician’s counsel? If so (if the calling of heart of those who are deluded by avidyā), such calling of heart has no meaning due to such heart’s (not talking about the organ heart which pumps blood; citta is referred to as heart here) being flawed with the above faults. Therefore, spirituality is the unconditional abide to the Vedic scriptures and our view is confirmed by the scripture. Evidence — “Nowadays, many spiritual seekers claim that whatever (organization/institution, guru/master and sect/path) suits their mental interest or whatever appeals to their hearts, they will consider that particular path, sect, master, and religious institution to be authentic. But, such ideology has been rejected by Maharṣi Vedavyāsa – the most important preceptor of whole Sanātana-dharma. Rather, scriptures like Śrīmad-bhagavad-gītā clearly assert that the mind/heart needs to remain under the guidance of intelligence and that intelligence needs to remain under the guidance of scriptures. Evidence – Śrīmadbhagavadgītā 16.23-24 and Śrīmahābhārata 1.1.244 (“yesāṁ śāstrānugā buddhiḥ te na muhyanti kaścana” or “those whose intellect is in alignment with the scriptural injunctions – they never get bewildered on the spiritual/religious path of enlightenment.”).”
If anybody wants to be called as Sanātanī Hindu (properly labelled as ‘ārya’ or ‘vaidika’), he/she needs to follow scriptures, or else, needs to have the confidence to label himself/herself as follower of some invented new path. All paths advocated by Vedic scriptures are authentic. However, paths not advocated by Vedic scriptures are not Hindu or Vedic paths. Followers of such paths should not call themselves Hindus if they cannot align their pragmatic practices and ideologies with Sanātanī scriptures. Vedic scriptures are not just ‘anything’. If a person says that unconditional abide to Vedic scriptures is a ‘zombie’, then he is, subtly, equating the imperfect non-Vedic Abrahamic fallacious books with the perfect and ‘apauruṣeya’ or trans-human and God-revealed Vedic scriptures. Only then, can he make such a comment that ‘unconditional abide to anything (such person means to label Vedas as just ‘anything’) creates zombies’. If you follow perfect scriptures, your unconditional abide to them always results in perfection, and not in zombies.
Nāstikya-vāda or agnosticism/atheism as propagated (only for a time-being due to tāt-kālika-uddeśya or short-lived goal) by Devaguru Bṛhaspati and the similar Lokāyatika doctrine of Cārvāka are not part of Hindusim or Sanātana Vedic Dharma. Any notion Indigenous (produced on the Bhāratīya soil) is not, by default, Vedic. Or else, even Buddhism and Jainism will have to be considered part of Vedic Dharma. Any notion which goes in contravention with the Vedas is not Sanātanī, not Vedic and not Hindu. The Purāṇas (texts of Sanātana Dharma) consider Bhagavān Buddha to be ‘avatāra’ of Nārāyaṇa! But, at the same time, the same Vedic scriptures warn to not follow the philosophy of Buddha (Buddha said — ‘vedaḥ nāsti pramāṇam’ or Veda is not evidence) because Buddha, though an avatāra of Narāyaṇa, His philosophy (śūnyavāda or voidism etc.) is not on par with the fundamentals of Vedic Dharma (brahma-vāda). So, if even God’s sermons are rejected when they are not on par with the Vedic scriptures, similar is the case with the atheistic doctrines of Sage Bṛhaspati and Philosopher Cārvāka.
There is a reason behind why God created ‘adharma’ (irreligion) and ‘vidharma’ (perverted religion) in the first place. Otherwise (if their creation is without reason), God will turn a fool. God never desires total destruction of adharma and vidharma. There are many evidences to prove this point in the scriptures. However, just as a ‘sajjana’ (righteous person) cannot loose his ‘sajjanatā’ (righteousness) under any circumstance, similarly, as Vedics and pro-Vedics, it is our duty to defend and propagate Vedic Dharma and to offend the anti-Vedic denominations which try to offend Vedic Dharma. Abrahamics (yavanas/mlecchas) are the most conservative and fanatics cum extremists. If Vedics adopt the tit-for-tat policy (śaṭhena śāṭhyam samācaret) to counter the Abrahamic policy of crusades and jihads, it is just a counter-reaction expected by the laws of nature. Vedics cannot be considered ‘prejudiced fanatics’ for any such act.
Rebuilt of Rāma-temple (even if done) won’t produce any tangible success till the Western Secularist based non-Vedic constitution and the subsequently built non-Vedic parliamentary democratic system as prevalent in Bhārata are not overthrown. And, till the time such non-Vedic constitution and non-Vedic democratic system is not replaced by a Vedic constitution and the Vedic administrative structure (for which Kauṭilya Atha-śāstra of Viṣṇugupta Cāṇakya is a prime pillar to be implemented).
Uncivilized idiots who are not acquainted with the śiṣṭācāraḥ to address dharma-gurus — they have no power to defend or propagate Sanātana-dharma, for Sanātana-dharma means respecting both Bhagavān and gurutva-śakti (this gurutva-śakti is manifest in various personalities — and not just one — but all such personalities do abide by scriptures and tradition; gurus are not those who don’t abide by scriptures and tradition in their theory and practice). Those who don’t know what Sanātana-dharma is and who are not willing to abide by tradition or scriptures — no matter – how much they blabber, they cannot either defend nor propagate true Sanātana-dharma. True unity means Sanātanīs should first abide by scriptures and tradition. True unity is not the act of including all sorts of invented hodgepodge in Sanātana-dharma under the falsely imposed garb of ‘all-inclusivity’ (sarva-samanvaya).
Whereas, for one second it can be accepted (though not permitted by scriptures and tradition) that even public abuses and insults targeted at genuine dharma-gurus (who follow scriptures and tradition) are of not much value, so long as, such ‘ruffian-like’ and ‘ucchṛṇkhala’ sanātana-dharma-rakṣakas are able to defend Sanātana-dharma. But, in believing as such, a great mistake is done because, such ‘ucchṛṇkhala’ (whimsical — not wanting to abide by scriptures and scriptural traditions) rakṣakas (safe-guarders) of Sanātana-dahrma are never in a position to know that ‘Sanātana-dharma’ is because as the Upaniṣad proclaims — “ācārya-vān puruṣo veda” or only a person who has learnt Vedic scriptures through a classical tradition (sampradāya method) can come to know the essence and import of Veda.
The interest to protect some distorted form of Sanātana-dharma as shown by whimsicals (who don’t follow scriptures and scriptural traditions) has no value if their interest targets the form of Sanātana-dharma not authenticated by scriptures and tradition. True Sanātana-dharma is what is authenticated by scriptures and tradition. Or else, even Sai Baba will become part of Sanātana-dharma! Anyone, who demeans the absolute necessity of scriptures — is a traitor of Sanātana-dharma, not its safeguarder.
— Bhaktirasavedāntapīṭhādhīśvara Gurupādācārya Rāmakṛṣṇa Svāmī Āmnāya-vācaspati Acintya-bheda-abheda-vedāntī Advaitācārya-parivāra-śākhīya Gauḍīya-vaiṣṇava-sampradāyī Sanātana-vaidika-dharmī