It has confused and shocked me how many times I have heard Christians insist that Thanksgiving was “not a religious holiday.” So I decided to claim it on behalf of my chosen spiritual path.
But it IS true that Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday. Because it has nothing to do with a religion. It is simply a day of thankfulness to God. It does not have it’s roots in Biblical times. It has its roots in 1620 A.D., I believe, and just happened to be celebrated by Christians. And as long as that is true – as long as it is not by necessity a Christian Holiday – then I hereby claim it on behalf of Sanatana Dharma, the Eternal Path, which does not exclude Christians, or anyone else for that matter.
Why not? I’ve already decided earlier this month that All Saints Day needs to be applied to Hindu Saint’s (which is not the same thing as the Hindu word ‘Sant’ but is often considered a parallel) such as Mahavatar Babaji, Paramahansa Yogananda, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Radhanath Swami, Sathya Sai Baba, and many many more.
Further, I hereby decree that All Souls Day is not just for “the souls which, on departing from the body, are not perfectly cleansed from venial sins, or have not fully atoned for past transgressions” (Catholic Encyclopedia). Well actually yes, it is, but not in the Christian sense. Because if you’re still here and are not a jivan mukta who has come back to help hapless souls overcome the force of delusion, then it is because you have not become “perfectly cleansed” or “fully atoned for past transgressions” (karma).
So All Souls Day rightfully applies to all of us, living and dead. And Sanatana Dharma applies to everyone, regardless of religion.