Hindu Dharma: The Universal Way of Life (by Chandrasekharendra Saraswati)

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To deal with Hindu Dharma or, more correctly, Veda Dharma or Sanatana Dharma, within the compass of a book, is like trying to contain an ocean in a jar. It is a task that can be accomplished only by a Great Master. Such a Master was Pujyasri Candrasekharendra Sarasvati Svami who has in the discourses constituting this book given an illuminating account of Hindu Dharma in all its aspects. He has brought to bear here not only his vast erudition but also his intuitive insights and synaptic vision. It is doubtful if in modern times any other acharya has given such a lucid and comprehensive exegesis of our sastras.

The Paramaguru discusses the basic texts of Veda Dharma ? the four Vedas, the six Vedangas, Mimamsa, Nyaya, the Puranas and Dharmasastra. These encompass various systems of thought and various points of view and the Great Master tries to make them part of one unified vision that is Hinduism. He combines ancient wisdom with modern knowledge and it is thus that he finds common points between the metaphysics and physics of sound in the CHAPTER in which he expounds the Vedas and tells us why their sound must be preserved. It is all in the context of varna dharma to which we owe the achievements of our great civilization. We need Brahmins as a separate class only to preserve the Vedic dharma and work for the well-being of mankind. In the varna system the duties of the various jatis are interlinked so as to ensure cohesion and harmony in society.

Altogether it is an integrated view of Sanatana Dharma that emerges in which the ultimate Vedic message of liberation here and now is underlined.

Pujyasri Candrasekharendra Sarasvati Svami was installed as the 68th Sankaracharya of Kanci Kamakoti Pitha in 1907 when he was hardly 13 years old. His life spanned the greater part of the century and during this period of social and political ferment he was one of the guiding lights. He was a divine incarnation - indeed he was the greatest spiritual luminary of our time ? and his mission of restoring the vedic religion to its old glory was no less significant than that of Adi Sankara.

This Master of Masters was like a lambent light who rekindled the spirit of the nation and brought about a renaissance in many spheres like religion and culture. He was the voice of eternal India and he taught mankind, groping in the dark despite all the strides taken in science and technology, how to journey towards a higher destiny, how to win the highest of freedoms, the freedom of Atma-svarajya.

His compassion was as boundless as his jnana. The memory of his gentle face can never be erased from our hearts and we shall cherish it always as we shall the memory of his hand that conveyed his blessings. We still hear his godly voice brought by the wind and the waves of the sea and we still feel the infinitude of his divine presence.

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