From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
Sanatana Dharma by being a dharma is by definition not dogmatic in its beliefs or faith. Below is a list of key beliefs that are common across most followers of this dharmic tradition.
- Reverence for Revealed Scriptures
- The Vedas are of divine origin. These primordial hymns are the bedrock of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion.
- All-Pervasive Divinity
- There is one, all-pervasive Supreme Being, who is both immanent and transcendent, both Creator and Unmanifest Reality
- Three Worlds and Cycles of Creation
- There are three worlds of existence -- physical, astral, and causal -- and the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation, and dissolution.
- Laws of Karma and Dharma
- Karma, the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words, and deeds -- and by obeying the laws of dharma, righteous living.
- Reincarnation and Liberation
- The soul reincarnates, evolving through many births until all its karma has been resolved and moksha (liberation from the cycle of rebirth) has been achieved. Not a single soul will be eternally deprived of this destiny.
- Temples and the Inner Worlds
- Divine beings exist in unseen worlds. Temple worship, rituals, sacraments as well as personal devotion create a communion with these devas, divine beings.
- A Path Guided by a Guru
- A spiritually awakened master, or guru, is essential to know the Transcendent Absolute, aided by personal discipline, good conduct, purification, pilgrimage, self-inquiry, meditation, and surrender to the guru and the divine scriptures.
- Compassion and Noninjury
- All life is sacred, to be loved and revered; and therefore one is expected to practice ahimsa, or "non-injury"
- Diversity of Paths
- There are many paths that lead to salvation. Although the goal is one, the sages call it by different names and means.
- "Introduction to Hinduism." April/May/June 2009 edition of "Hinduism Today"