Definition - What does Sanatana Dharma mean?
Sanatana dharma is a term that refers to the eternal Truth of Hinduism. The roots of this phrase can be traced back to ancient Sanskrit literature as a kind of cosmic order. Sanatana denotes “that which is without beginning or end” or “everlasting.” Dharma, no direct translation into English, but comes from dhri, meaning “to hold together or sustain.” Dharma is often interpreted as meaning “natural law.”
As such, the whole term, sanatana dharma, can translate as “the natural and eternal way to live.” In fact, sanatana dharma is widely considered to be the original term used to describe what we now know as Hinduism.
Sanatana dharma encompasses the list of duties and practices that all Hindus must comply with. This list of practices includes virtues like honesty, goodwill, patience and generosity. Following this code allows one to reach moksha, a state of spiritual liberation, Self-knowledge and enlightenment. The practice of yoga is a vital part of this process as it allows the yogi to achieve a union with their spiritual side.
Yogapedia explains Sanatana Dharma
The concept of spiritual freedom is an integral part of sanatana dharma. The term isn't exclusively applied to the Hindu religion: Rather, it is a set of timeless values that help us fulfill our potential and understand the flow and order of the universe. Sanatana dharma places spiritual experiences above religious issues and uses yoga practice to reach moksha.
Indeed, it could be said that yoga offers a practical and consistent means of adding sanatana dharma to anyone's life. It is considered to be more rooted in experience than belief or ideology, and inclusive of all because of its applicability to people in all places and at all times.
Some see the term sanatana dharma as a more accurate term than Hinduism, in part because the sanatana dharma is without sectarian or ideological divisions. It is, therefore, still used by some Hindu leaders to refer to Hinduism, portraying it as the unified religion of all.