Please mark your Calendars for Holi Celebration at your Arya Samaj on Sunday, March 24th.  Also, Arya Samaj Greater Houston Sthapana Divas (Foundation Day) is coming up on April 6th and 7th.

No Word for Religion/Dharma

by Acharya Harish Chandra

October 2015

A community coins a word for something that matters to it. Sanskrit has no word for religion - a faith-based sectarian organization. Its essential elements include: 1) a founder, 2) a place of worship, and 3) a holy book. Dharma is a moral code of conduct for the entire humanity and if not followed then there will be a chaos. This is a Sanskrit word and the western languages don’t quite have a word for it. India was a land of Dharma and nothing to do with religion and the western world has no idea of Dharma. India went through a massive spiritual decline resulting into the MahaBharata War, coinciding with decline of Dharma. Interestingly, all religions took birth afterwards – the oldest being Zoroastrianism and Judaism, about 4500 years ago. Now we find ourselves in the midst of a plethora of religions, sects and sub-sects. Most of the wars are in the name of religion. A typical Hindu is utterly confused and believes Hinduism is a religion as opposed to Satya Sanatana Vedic Dharma. He is rushing towards shaping his religion in the three-fold box: 1) Founder: he doesn’t know it but then has cooked up a concept that God reincarnates such as Rama and Krishna, 2) Place of Worship: he is building newer and grander temples, and 3) Holy Book: he is confused and names Gita, or Ramayana or whatever comes handy and could even be Hanuman-Chalisa.

Arya Samaj should assert that we belong to Dharma. If forced upon to reveal the three-fold parameters then, we should say: God- the Dharma-Raj, Heart (not the pumping heart that circulates blood) but deep in skull where the soul resides, called Hrit in Sanskrit – the only place where one can meet God, and the Vedas. Arya Samaj Bhavan (also referred to as temples by some people) is merely a place of assembly and learning.