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Sanatana Dharma - The Supermarket of Religions


The Vedic texts are not sectarian Hindu scriptures, as is commonlv misunderstood. The Vedic literature is meant for all mankind since time immemorial, whereas the word 'Hindu' has come up  only a few centuries ago. When the Muslims in­vaded Bharata-varsha (as India was known in those days), they started calling the followers of the Vedic culture 'Sindhus' be­cause they lived on  the banks of the Sindhu river. However due to the difficulty they had in pronouncing the initial 's' in the word 'Sindhu'. they mispronounced it as 'Hindu'. And since then the followers of the Vedic  religion have been known as 'Hindus' and the Vedic religion as 'Hinduism', although the people themselves did not use this term. So there is no reference whatsoever to any 'Hindu' religion in the  Vedic scriptures, nor is the word found in the Vedic dictionary. The proper term for the teachings of the Vedic scriptures, as mentioned in these scriptures themselves, is 'Sanatana Dharma'. the  eternal and universal religion, that reli­gion which is not limited by time, place and circumstance.And this Sanatana Dharma stands strong even today, despite all kinds of onslaughts from all  quarters. If we look back at the history of the various religions of the world. Islam started about 1300 years ago, Christianity about 2000 years ago and Buddhism about 2500 years ago. The  Bhagavad-gita, on the other hand, was spoken about 5000 years ago. And although Lord Krishna spoke Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna 5000 years ago, He explains in the Gita itself: "I instructed this  imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god Vivasvan, and Vivasvan instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikshvaku  That very ancient science of the  relationship with the Su­preme is today told by Me to you because you are My devotee as well as My friend; therefore you can understand the transcendental mystery of this science.'"  (Bhagavad-gita 4.1-3)


Accepting that before the birth of Manu, the Gita was spoken by the Lord to His disciple, Vivasvan, a rough estimate is that the Gita was spoken at least 120,400,000 years ago; and in human  society it has been extant for two million years. It was respoken by the Lord again to Arjuna about 5000 years ago. That is the estimate of the history of the Gita, according to the Gita itself and  according to the version of the speaker, Lord Sri Krishna.Thus Sanatana Dharma being the oldest religion is the super­market of religions. This assortment of religions is designed to suit the  nature and the inclination of people who range from the morally degraded to the spiritually exalted.