Sanatana Dharma - A Discussion Series​

A series of posts on understanding our Sanatana Dharma - A way of life

Sanatana Dharma? - 4 - Aachaara-Anushtaana - The various forms


Continuing our journey of understanding #SanatanaDharma, let us further continue to understand the various ways in which Aachaara and Anushtaana unfold itself.

Basically, an Achaara can be any habit that helps the advancement of our body and mind- dhyaana, yoga (including exercises), keeping a clean hygiene, why any habit can become Aachaara or Sadaachaara (a set of good habits).

At a more ritual and spiritual level, such Aachaaras become Anushtaanas, daily rituals that are prescribed by the Shastras for us. For the common Brahmachari or Householder, these include Sandhya Vandana, Nitya Pooja (Worship), any specific Upaasana of a deity, if you have taken up such a worship.

Yet, at another level, we find umpteen references in the Puranas, the Bhagavad Gita and the Srimad Ramayana and Srimad Mahabharata that tell us that reading these texts, or a specific katha, or merely even taking Bhagavan’s Naama will rid us of all our sins, grant Moksha, etc, etc.

True, very true. All these sayings are totally true.

Yet, as Kanchi Paramacharya Sri Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal, lovingly called Mahaperiyavaa, says in one of his speeches, and I quote –

Aacharana (practice) of the precepts of the Vedas is done to purify oneself from the blemishes which he would have acquired during his previous births and in this birth, knowingly or unknowingly. Acharya Adi Shankara Bhagavatpaada has also declared:

Vedo nityam adheeyatam; tadanuditam karma: su anushtheeyatam

Meaning: The Vedas have to be learnt daily. And Aachaaras mentioned there in, have to be observed well.

This goes to mean that acharana (which we call Achara and is therefore a daily routine) have to be carried out, by all of us, in all earnestness and in full faith.”

To put it simply, just as giving the final answer correctly to a long mathematical problem may be right in a way, but without detailing the steps, we fail to grasp the wisdom wholly.

So, we must all try to follow the advice of our Acharyas as we have seen above. Why even Geetacharya Bhagavan Shri Krishna says –

नेहाभिक्रमनाशोऽस्ति प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते।

स्वल्पमप्यस्य धर्मस्य त्रायते महतो भयात्।।2.40।।

“Even if we follow the littlest part of our Dharma, it will save us from the greatest fear (of Samsaara)

Yet, a silent prayer may still arise in our hearts – “O Bhagavan! In this life of a zillion distractions, show me a way to hold on to you.”

Let us see one of many such ways in the next part in this series!

Jai Shri Ram! 

Vande Maataram!