SANATANA DHARMA AS A MAJOR WORLD CIVILIZATION
We will look at Sanatana Dharma (or Hindu Dharma or more popularly Hinduism) as a major world Civilization.
The emerging world order
The world today has shrunk into a global village. Ease of Air travel, the Internet, Cable TV that is available around the world, migration of people, have all radically transformed the world, within the last 50 years. There is both an economic and a cultural transfusion, occurring around the world that is clearly flattening the world rapidly. Technology has revolutionized it, and nations today are more inter-dependent than they ever were before. At the same time, the import of culture en masse is also at work causing a diffusion of the boundaries between one nation and another. India is rapidly “westernizing” adopting the cultural icons of the West, such as capitalism, competition, consumerism and entertainment. Simultaneously some 20+ million Americans are now practicing Yoga, and aspiring for some form of spiritual practice. Indian Gurus and Acharyas are also traveling around the world, sharing their special wisdom, method and practice with all who will listen.
World peace or peace on Earth
Is an ideal state of freedom, peace, and happiness among and within all nations and peoples. This ideal of world non-violence provides a basis for peoples and nations to willingly cooperate, either voluntarily or by virtue of a system of governance that prevents warfare. While different cultures, religions, philosophies, and organizations may have differing concepts about how such an ideal state might come about, they have in common this ideal of a cessation of all hostility amongst all humanity.
Saraswati (Sanskrit: सरस्वती, Sarasvatī) is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning. She is a part of the trinity (Tridevi) of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati. All the three forms help the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva to create, maintain and regenerate-recycle the Universe respectively.
The earliest known mention of Saraswati as a goddess is in Rigveda. She has remained significant as a goddess from the Vedic period through modern times of Hindu traditions. Some Hindus celebrate the festival of Vasant Panchami (the fifth day of spring) in her honour, and mark the day by helping young children learn how to write alphabets on that day. The Goddess is also revered by believers of the Jain religion of west and central India as well as some Buddhist sects.
Rudraksha, also rudraksh, Sanskrit: rudrākṣa (“Rudra’s Tear Drops”),
Is a seed traditionally used for prayer beads in Hinduism. The seed is produced by several species of large evergreen broad-leaved tree in the genus Elaeocarpus, with Elaeocarpus ganitrus being the principal species used in the making of organic jwellery or mala.
Rudraksha, being organic, is preferentially worn without contact with metal; thus on a cord or thong rather than a chain
Pancha Bhoota or Pancha Maha-Bhoota (Sanskrit: पञ्चभूत, पञ्चमहाभूत )
five great elements, also five physical elements, is a group of five basic elements, which, according to Hinduism, is the basis of all cosmic creation. These elements are: Prithvi (Hindi: पृथ्वी, Earth), Apas/Jal (Hindi: जल, Water), Agni(Hindi:अग्नि, Fire), Vayu (Hindi: वायु, Air), Aakash(Hindi: आकाश, Aether). These elements have different characteristics and these also account for different faculties of human experience. In ayurveda and Indian philosophy, the human body is considered to be made of these five elements. However, Cārvāka did not accept Akash as basic element as it is not tangible and according to him, there are only four basic elements. Buddhism also accepts four basic elements and Akash is left out. These five elements of Indian cosmological system are similar but not identical to five element theory used in East Asia.
From The Heart Sūtra of Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya
Lotuses are symbols of purity and ‘spontaneous’ generation and hence symbolize divine birth. According to the Lalitavistara, ‘the spirit of the best of men is spotless, like the new lotus in the [muddy] water which does not adhere to it’, and, according to esoteric Buddhism, the heart of the beings is like an unopened lotus: when the virtues of the Buddha develop therein the lotus blossoms. This is why the Buddha sits on a lotus in bloom. In Tantrism, it is the symbol of the feminine principle. The lotuses are usually differentiated by their colour and grouping, in three or five flowers, which may or may not be combined with leaves.