I've had an argument with someone few days back about Sanatana Dharmā and person was like Sanatana Dharmā is not same as Hinduism. I've also seen some discussion here, about whether Sanatana Dharmā is way of life or a Religion.
@anexcommie @shreikanth @HelloNNewman
In this thread, I attempt to clear the confusion based on my limited knowledge and understanding. Kindly read the entire thread and I welcome any contrary view & rebuttals, just request you to keep it civil 😊

@TIinExile @GhorAngirasa @AgentSaffron
To begin with, I can say with 100% certainty tht Santana Dharmā is 'way of life', while Hinduism is a religion. And no, both are not one and the same. Sanatana Dharmā literally means 'eternal or everlasting duty' while Hinduism is a subset of Sanatana Dharmā (my humble opinion).
Let me explain why I think so.

By definition, Religion means to believe in God or higher power. Now this aspect is very much part of Sanatana Dharma, however, it's my understanding that we're missing the nuances. It's like missing the forest for trees. @RajiIndustani @SriRamya21
Our gr8 ancestors (Rishis) spent yrs in unlocking the secrets of the Universe and passed it down to following generations. In times that followed, somehow somewhere we lost the connection between mind & soul. Every ritual that is there in practice today has deeper meaning behind+
it. However, these rituals are now followed without proper understanding. Let's take an example, Shravan month is on (in East & South India), people fast in this month by consuming food once in a day - mostly in evening. Now, some people I know, do it as an obeisance to Mahadev.
That is conforming to religious aspect of Sanatana Dharmā, but there are lot of people who understand the reason behind fasting in Shravan.

Here's what I understood by reading & learning from elders. Shravan is the month of rains, which leads to puddle of water,
tht in turn is used by disease spreading insects to breed in large numbers. This is the time when chances of getting ill is high and ailment is mostly related to indigestion. Thus, our gr8 ancestors recommended that this time of the year is set aside for fasting, @rspchary
by eating light we diminish the chances of getting ill.

Also, the advice to eat in evening and to not eat food prepared previous day are with reasons too. Food gets spoiled overnight, hence the recommendation to eat freshly prepared food.
@luna_destrozada @Go_Movie_Mango
And in those days, it's difficult to eat at night with lights from torches & lamps, thus the suggestion to eat in evening.

Both of these advices no longer applies, bcos of Refrigerator & Electricity 😅

@krithikasivasw @Dharma_Yoddhaa @sambhashan_in
To conclude - Hinduism is an initiation process, the first level or step one tht makes one acquainted with Brahman following the rituals. Once we reach a level where the rituals become part of life, we start understanding it and we consciously start assimilating them in our life.
This conscious effort of living is 'Sanatana Dharmā', our 'Way of Life'.

I hope I had put this in words exactly as I envisioned it, if there's any mistake in explanation or my understanding, I'm open to learning.

Have a great day! 😊🙏🏻

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