Yet Sanatana Dharma is more
than what is commonly regarded as Hinduism. It reflects the
spiritual approach of the sages of India and the Himalayan region
whatever their outward religion. All the religious traditions of
India have at least at times reflected the universality of Sanatana
Dharma. The Christians and Muslims of India, particularly a number
of Sufis, often reflect Sanatana Dharma in their mystical teachings
more so than their own less experiential orthodox traditions.
They demonstrate a greater
openness to Truth and seeking for spiritual realization than is
characteristic of their religions as a whole. They have their own
meditation practices, which are often more typically Hindu in nature
and almost unknown in other countries dominated by their religions.
This is because Sanatana Dharma can link one to the essence of
spirituality, whatever religion one comes from originally.
As a conscious formulation
of Sanatana Dharma, Hinduism remains close to its basic principles
of universality and eternity. This universality even encompasses
partiality. Hinduism holds that it is alright for any one of us to
think that our particular religion is the best, or that our teacher
is the highest, if such thoughts increase faith and concentration in
our inner practices.
But we should recognize the
right of others to think the same of their teachings, and not try to
impose our point of view upon them. Sanatana Dharma requires that we
respect the sacred nature of each individual and his or her own
private relationship with Divinity, which it is not for us to judge.