Why Should I Be a Dharmi? By Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya (Dr. Frank Morales, Ph.D.

) We live in an age in which people have found it increasingly challenging to express the lifegiving principles of spirituality and religion with as much seriousness, enthusiasm and dedication as was once the case. All around us, we witness on a daily basis all the destructive ravages of materialism, consumerism, greed, anger, lust and self-centeredness. Much of the war, poverty, sense of depression and meaningless, and social ills that are rampant today are directly due to the clear failures of atheism and an unsatisfying lifestyle dedicated to the pursuit of material acquisitions to the detriment of our inner spiritual growth. We have substituted television for meditation, emailing for prayer, the Internet for community, and sports for spirituality. Given all the challenges that we find ourselves facing today, it is understandable that some of us might find ourselves asking ³Why should I be Dharmi, a follower of Sanatana Dharma?´ What precisely does Sanatana Dharma have to offer us? The truth is there are many reasons why Sanatana Dharma (sometimes referred to as "Hinduism") offers us the best way to find the happiness, peace and prosperity that we¶re all seeking. This small article will only offer a very small number of these many benefits of the Dharmic way of life. For more in-depth information, visit Dharmacentral.com, and please read the other informative articles available here. Sanatana Dharma is the most ancient and respected religion in the world. Due to the spiritual peace, personal empowerment, overall health and satisfying lifestyle it offers its followers, Sanatana Dharma has survived intact for over 5000 years. It has survived ± when many other religions didn¶t - because its teachings are time honored and true. It's lasting influence can be seen in the very name of our tradition, "Sanatana Dharma", or The Eternal Natural Way. Dharmic ideas, philosophy, spirituality, and art have influenced more people in world history than any other religion on earth. Among those in the West who have been highly influenced by the teachings of Sanatana Dharma are: Schopenhauer, Emerson, Thoreau, Mark Twain, Romain Rolland, Einstein, Aldous Huxley, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Christopher Isherwood, J.D. Salinger, Arlo Guthrie, George Harrison, movie director David Lynch, and actress Julia Roberts, among the many thousands of other well-known writers, intellectuals, scientists and artists who have incorporated aspects of Sanatana Dharma into their lives. Even today, tens of millions of Americans, Europeans, famous celebrities, and scholars find spiritual solace and intellectual assurance in the amazing teachings of Dharma.

Sanatana Dharma is the most tolerant, peaceful, and non-fanatical religion in the world today. Unlike many other religions, Sanatana Dharma isn¶t based on blind belief, dogma, closedmindedness or fanaticism. Rather, it¶s based upon your own intelligent discernment in searching for Truth, your personal experience with God, the guidance of the Vedic scriptures (the most ancient collection of writings in human history), the living example of hundreds of generations of liberated yogis and sages who traversed the path before us, and respect for you as a free person and an intelligent seeker. In addition to having very rational and fulfilling religious principles, Sanatana Dharma is also a very practical path that offers us real tools for having more peace and joy in our lives. The meditation, prayer and ritual practices of Sanatana Dharma have been scientifically proven in thousands of studies to reduce stress, depression, anxiety, nightmares, and many other illnesses. These Dharmic practices have produced multiple millions of enlightened beings throughout world history, and have been proven to be just as relevant and effective in our own modern age. It is for this reason that hundreds of millions of the world's inhabitants practice meditational techniques today, almost all of which can be ultimately traced back directly to the tradition of Sanatana Dharma. The Dharmic diet of lacto-vegetarianism has been shown by the entire medical community to be the healthiest and most nutritious diet in the world. The traditional Dharmic medical system of Ayurveda is now being studied in many of the top medical colleges in the world as a safe, natural and highly effective sister-modality to contemporary allopathic medicine. And Yoga, the Dharmic path of self-realization, is now practiced by hundreds of millions of people outside of India for optimal health, stress-reduction, clarity of mind, as well as to experience the direct reality of their true spiritual selves. In American alone, about 20 million people practice Yoga on a regular basis. The reason why so many millions of intelligent, educated, health-conscious and spiritually-inclined people practice Yoga is very simple: They've seen that it works! Of all the many reasons why you should be a Dharmi, however, the most important one is because it is through Sanatana Dharma that you can have a personal and vividly transformative experience of God. The ultimate goal of Sanatana Dharma is to experience God's presence in a radically personal and real way. When God is placed in the center of your personal life and your family life, there is no challenge, no problem, no illness, and no difficulty that you cannot face with courage and contentment. Sanatana Dharma is the most direct path there is for knowing God¶s love and grace in your life. Sanatana Dharma is a religious path that is open to all human beings, regardless of your race, nationality, ethnicity, previous religious background or language. Sanatana Dharma is not "Eastern", "Indian", or "Asian". It transcends all nationalities and ethnicities. All that is required to achieve the maximum benefit that this dynamic path has to offer you is sincerity, humility, an

openness to guidance and growth, and your own eagerness to know the Truth. Sanatana Dharma is open to all. If you find the teachings, lifestyle and practice of Sanatana Dharma to be the answer to your spiritual search, the members of International Sanatana Dharma Society (ISDS) welcome you to embrace your spiritual heritage with joy and renewed vigor. Sanatana Dharma is God¶s gift to you and to our suffering world. For much more information on how you can deepen your understanding of Dharma and begin your exciting journey on this spiritual path today, please visit: http://www.dharmacentral.com/dharmainfo.php Sanatana Dharma is open to all sincere seekers and welcomes all who wish to adopt Dharma as their spiritual path. These are a few things you can do to get started in your practice of a Dharmic lifestyle. By protecting Dharma and supporting your spiritual community, you can become a great example for your family and your greater community. Step A) Beginning a Dharmic Lifestyle 1. Consider becoming vegetarian. http://www.dharmacentral.com/forum/content.php?23-Vegetarianism 2. Begin reading the Bhagavad-Gita, the most important Dharma scripture. http://dharmacentral.com/dharmastore/dharmacentral_bookstore.php 3. Learn how to practice spiritual meditation. http://www.dharmacentral.com/forum/content.php?24-How-to-Meditate 4. Understand the philosophy of Dharma and accept the principles of karma/reincarnation. Dharmacentral has a massive library of the very best articles on Sanatana Dharma available anywhere in the world today: http://www.articles.dharmacentral.com 5. Join the International Sanatana Dharma Society, a local Sanatana Dharma temple or Satsangha group. http://dharmacentral.com/dharmaactivism/donations.php Join the Dharmacentral email list here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dharmacentral/ Step B) Becoming a Practicing Dharmi (follower of Dharma)

After declaring yourself a Dharmi, you may want to then deepen your understanding and practice of Dharma by incorporating a serious spiritual practice into your daily life. The best way to do this is under the guidance of a qualified and knowledgeable guru, or spiritual teacher. The following steps will help you with this deepening of your practice. 1. Study the philosophy and teachings of Dharma under the guidance of a qualified guru. http://www.dharmacentral.com/acharyaji.php 2. Adopt a healthy spiritual lifestyle, including vegetarianism, and following the ethical principles of Dharma. http://dharmacentral.com/dharmainfo/dharma_ethics.php 3. Practice regular spiritual meditation, mantras and puja. http://www.dharmacentral.com/forum/content.php?34-Performing-Puja 4. Seek initiation from a qualified guru (spiritual teacher). Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya is one of the most highly qualified and authentic gurus in the tradition of Sanatana Dharma in the world today. Please contact us if you would like to be considered as a serious candidate for initiation by Sri Acharyaji. Or feel free to get a copy of the book "Taking Refuge in Dharma: The Initiation Guidebook". http://dharmacentral.com/dharmastore.php#secondlevel You are welcome to join the global Sanatana Dharma community. Join us in our active mission to share the beauty and peace of Sanatana Dharma with the world. Join the International Sanatana Dharma Society today! For more information on the life-enhancing path of Sanatana Dharma, please visit Dharmacentral: http://www.dharmacentral.com

About the Author Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya (Dr. Frank Morales, Ph.D.) Sri Acharyaji has been practicing and teaching Dharma for over 35 years. With a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he is the Founder-Acharya of the International Sanatana Dharma Society and the Director of the Center for Dharma Studies.

Sri Acharyaji is currently recognized as one of the world's foremost scholars on the Yoga tradition, Dharma and meditation, as well as being a truly authentic spiritual teacher. With a very large international following, Sri Acharyaji is especially renowned for his highly authentic approach to spirituality, his authoritative and scholarly method of teaching, and his clear emphasis on serious spiritual practice and direct experience of self-realization. He has lectured on Dharma at dozens of top universities, such as Harvard, Columbia, Rutgers, Cornell, and Northwestern. He has also served as a consultant for such Fortune 500 companies as Ford Motor Corporation and Lucent Technology. Sri Acharyaji's teachings stress the achievement of enlightenment through the practice of meditation, Yoga, and directly experiencing the presence of the Divine. Another overarching aspect of Sri Acharyaji's teachings focuses on the importance of love, compassion and service toward all living beings. Whether speaking to an audience of thousands, or having a heart-felt discussion with only one person, Sri Acharyaji vividly conveys a deeply moving sense of compassion, peace, humility, and spiritual insight that has endeared him to thousands of students and admirers throughout the world. For more information about the International Sanatana Dharma Society and the teachings of Sri Acharyaji, please contact us at http://www.dharmacentral.com.

Copyright Notice, (c) 2010-2012, Dharmacentral.com You have the author's permission to publish and/or forward this article for educational purposes only if it is left thoroughly unaltered, unchanged and unedited (with the inclusion of this notice), and if full credit is given to the author.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful