Reforming Sanathana Dharma for the 21st Century and beyond:
In the process of studying about the religions of India and the world, and by making an effort to compare and contrast different religions, a number of Dharmins (Hindus) have come to the conclusion that Sanatana Dharma (“Hindu-ism”) needs to be reformed and renewed. This is what the ‘NEW’ in NEW DHARMA means – it is the daily renewal of Global Dharma by each Dharmin as we each study our spiritual legacy and constantly reinterpret it for the future.
In this paper, we outline the logic for the need for reform, talk about our views of religion, spirituality, man’s constant search for God, and detail some basic and some detailed suggestions for that renewal.
These ideas are very reflective of an upbringing here in the U.S. We suggest different ways to organize scriptures, people and ideas together into a cohesive system that follows a somewhat corporate/governmental hierarchy while retaining a degree of flexibility and tolerance that is the fundamental strength of Sanatana Dharma.
We present ideas about numerous aspects of Dharma: revelation, monotheism, idol worship, oral versus written traditions, internal (personal) versus external (societal) development, samskaras (sacraments), temple design, education, politics, economics, the environment, population management, the Caste System, militarism, fanaticism, and the differences between spirituality and religion.
The ideas conveyed in this book are not meant to be a new form of dogma or a new set of rules/standards that are cast in stone. Nor do we seek to pass ourselves off as experts on religion – we are not. This book merely describes some suggestions from conscientious Dharmins to those who are interested. They are based on some study of scripture combined with a solid understanding of history and how religion has been transformed over thousands of years.