What does Sanatana Dharma mean?



Sanatana Dharma is the true and original name of Hinduism. So, what is the meaning of Sanatana Dharma? Sanatana means that which cannot be destroyed by fire, water, air, weapons and is present in all living and non living being. The nearest apt English word for Sanatana is ‘Eternal.’ Now for Dharma, there is no apt English word. The nearest explanation for dharma is duty, responsibility of an individual or code of life or law. Roughly, Sanathana Dharma means the ‘Eternal Law.’

Essentially Sanatana Dharma is the sum total of all attempts made by living beings (individual soul) to merge with the Supreme Soul. The experiences of all those who made the attempt before is found in the scriptures.

Sanatana Dharma is an eternally flowing river. The only aim of the river is merge with the Supreme Truth.

The words ‘Hindu’ and ‘Hinduism’ is a later incorrect designation. The above meaning of
Sanatana can be found in the Bhagavad Gita.

It must be noted here that none of the major scriptures of Sanatana Dharma mentions the term ‘Hindu’ or ‘Hinduism.’ We will never find the term ‘Hindu’ or ‘Hinduism’ in Bhagavad Gita or other important scriptures.

Thanks to the early Muslim traders and invaders and the imperial Britishers, even many Hindus have forgotten the name Sanatana Dharma.