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Religion and Theology
Pages 2 (502 words)
The term Sanatan Dharma describes the religion of the original inhabitants of India. It is also termed as Hinduism. The Vedas are believed to be eternal and all branches of religions and philosophy, to be considered authentic have to be based on their authority.
They comprise of two distinct parts, one is the Brahmanas or the knowledge, which deals with the direct realization of God and the Karma Kanda, which deals rituals and their performance. The Vedas are four in number Rig-Veda, Yajur-Veda, Sama-Veda and Atharva-Veda. No Hindu religious text can be based on anything other than the Vedas; hence, the Puranas or Epics are also based on the authority of the Vedas. In the epics, the Divine Incarnations of God are described. These Divine Incarnations also, followed the precepts of the Vedas implicitly, thereby setting an example to the common man. As such, the Vedas are unchangeable and eternal; nothing can be added to, reduced or changed in them. The Puranas serve to illustrate the injunctions laid down in the Vedas. The very same Brahma Vidyas of the Vedas, or direct methods to realize the Ultimate Reality, are to be found in the Puranas. However, the emphasis in Puranas, as they deal with Divine Incarnations, is on Faith or Bhakti. The Brahmanas with their emphasis on Brahma Vidyas, are what comprises the Path of Knowledge to realize God. It must be emphasized that Sanatan Dharma has many paths or methods to realize God. It is a highly developed religion and has a very strong base in practical religion. Initially the emphasis was on the Path of Knowledge but over a period of time it was realized that such logical reasoning to arrive at the ultimate truth was not possible for everyone. The path of Bhakti or Faith was found to be uncomplicated and very easy. ...
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