Sanatana Dharma: It Is Not About Proselytizing But Not Laissez Faire Spiritualism Either.

by Aranyakananda

Christianity tells its devotees that one must preach the Word of Jesus Christ. The Bhagavad-Gita tells us that “the wise must not unsettle” those “bewildered by the modes of material nature (Gita Chapter 3, Slokum 29).

Direct contradiction, right? As such, sometimes Christians unfortunately look upon Hinduism as a very lax system of belief where no path is the wrong path, and nothing is done to correct the ills of the world.

Fortunately the Gita directly addresses this in Chapter 3. Particularly verses 25,26 and 29. Verse 25 tells how a person of wisdom may act similarly to those in delusion, but do it without attachment, so as to guide the deluded, carefully, and loving, out of the trap they find themselves in. It is akin to a rescuer coming down into a caved-in mine shaft to rescue trapped miners. The rescuer and the would-be rescued are now down in the same shambles, but the rescuer has the tools to help the miner escape.

In Verse 26, Krishna says “the learned should not induce (one in delusion) to stop work.” Krishna tells us in other parts of the Gita how devotion to “the Self” is the highest way, but in the meantime works within the confines of this world are necessary to break certain bonds. So one should not, cannot, stop work to avoid further damage. They must be taught how to do everything as a devotional activity, which would be true Karma Yoga. They must be taught. They must be shown.

In Verse 29, Krishna tells us how this person’s duties are “inferior to those of wisdom only because of his lack of wisdom.” The best and most effective way for this to be remedied is through devotion. And the only way to bring this person out of delusion is by example. To “be” the change we want to see in the world, to quote Gandhi-ji once again. But we wouldn’t even think about doing this unless we knew what we were doing, on a spiritual level, which was what Jesus was talking about with all that jazz about trying to “remove a splinter from someone’s eye before removing the plank from one’s own eye.”

And so, it would seem that we spread the”Gospel of Dharma” without necessarily using words. And even when we do use words, we can do it without proselytizing. But that does not mean that we have to be any less vehement in our work toward change. It doesn’t mean that we have to be any less insistent that there is a wrong and a right way, if we truly see that one is in the wrong. We can show someone to correct “way” without insisting they become Hindus or Buddhists or what have you.

I have written in the past that even atheists are on the correct path for them and for that particular stage of their journey toward inevitable moksha/mukti/mahasamadhi/immersion into the Ocean of Brahman. And it is true. Sometimes you just have to allow one to take his own path.  But Hinduism/Sanatana Dharma is not the free-for-all that some seem to see it as from the outside looking in.

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This entry was posted in atheism, avatars, Avatars of Vishnu, Bhagavad-Gita, Bhaktivedanta, Brahman, Catholicism, Christian, Christianity, Comparitive Religion, crime, dharma, Divine Consciousness, dualism, duality, Gandhi, Gita, God, Hinduism, inspiration, ISKCON, Jesus, karma yoga, Krishna, life, Mahabharata, meaning of life, meditation, monotheism, New Testament, non-dualism, opinion, philosophy, Prabhupada, religion, Sanatana Dharma, self help, self-realization, social commentary, spirituality, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Vaishnavism, Vishnu, Western Hinduism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sanatana Dharma: It Is Not About Proselytizing But Not Laissez Faire Spiritualism Either.

  1. Prabhat Chauhan says:

    Good Article Aranyakananda .Actually i feel that comparing Gita with Gospel is like one is comparing apple and oranges ..Geeta gyan is actually light year ahead so mentioned in Bible or Quran..

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