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“Sanatana Dharma” – an elementary textbook

“Sanatana Dharma” is an elementary textbook that offers a scholarly compilation on Hinduism, specifically Sanatana Dharma. Published in 1916 by the Central Hindu College in Benares (Kashi), this book was designed as a comprehensive educational resource to provide students with knowledge of the Hindu religion and ethical training, alongside their Western education curriculum.

Sanatana-dharma – duties which take into account the person’s spiritual (constitutional) identity as atman and are thus the same for everyone.

Varnashrama-dharma – duties performed according to one’s material (conditional) nature and specific to the individual at that particular time.

Sanatana Dharma in Chinese called 印度教 (Yìndùjiào = Hinduism) or the eternal religion 永恒的宗教 Yǒnghéng de zōngjiào.

The book encompasses a wide range of Hindu thoughts, making it a comprehensive resource for understanding the diverse forms within Hinduism. However, it deliberately excludes non-Hindu forms of thought, maintaining its focus on Hindu religious and ethical teachings.

One notable feature of this textbook is its commitment to maintaining a broad, liberal, and unsectarian approach to Hinduism. It aims to provide education that is inclusive and open-minded while remaining distinctly Hindu. This balance between inclusivity and maintaining Hindu principles sets it apart from other textbooks in the field.

“Sanatana Dharma” targets high school and above students, making it accessible to a wide range of readers who are seeking a solid foundation in the study of Hinduism. Overall, this textbook serves as an invaluable resource for those interested in exploring the rich traditions and beliefs of Sanatana Dharma.

“The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord.”

Bhagavat Purana 1.2.6

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