The International Sanatana Dharma Society (ISDS) is a global spiritual movement dedicated to practicing and teaching the ancient Vedic religious tradition in its fully authentic and unaltered form. Our goal in spiritual practice is to accept no watering-down or compromises to the time-honored integrity of the Vedic philosophy and lifestyle. The only way to practice and truly benefit from Dharma spirituality is to practice Dharma on its own sacred terms, and not merely as a further extension of our ego (ahamkara).
Our religion is known in the Sanskrit language as Sanatana Dharma, or the Eternal Natural Way. We thus call ourselves "Dharmis", or followers of Dharma. Members of the ISDS follow Sanatana Dharma exclusively as their chosen religious path. We do not mix and match pure Vedic spirituality with any other religious traditions, modern "new age" innovations, or pop spirituality. We exclusively identify with, and practice, Sanatana Dharma as our path to Self-realization and God-consciousness.
We know truth by means of a) the instructing words and guidance of the enlightened Guru (Guru-vani), b) the guidance of the revealed Vedic scriptures (Shastra-pramana), and c) the use of our own reasoning faculties (vichara), philosophical discernment (viveka) and personal experience (anubhava). Sanatana Dharma is not a religion of blind faith, fanaticism, or wishful thinking. It is a religion of acquired spiritual/philosophical wisdom, coupled with direct personal experience of the transformative presence of God.
The teachings and practices of the ISDS are based directly upon the Vedic scriptures. Our scriptures consist of the entire shruti and smriti cannons of the Vedic literature, but with special emphasis on the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Purana, Brahma Sutras, Yoga Sutras and Narada Bhakti Sutras.
Aum Tad Vishnu Paramam Padam
"The abode of Vishnu is the highest state of existence." -Rig Veda, 1:22:20
Members of the ISDS recognize the Vedic scriptures' clear declaration that Sriman Narayana (also known as Vishnu) represents the supreme form of Godhead (Brahman), and we express special devotion to the avatara of Sriman Narayana for this age: Bhagavan Sri Krishna and His divine consort (divya-shakti) Srimati Radharani. Sri Krishna was on the earth over 5100 years ago, and is the speaker of the famous Bhagavad Gita, the most important scripture for our current age. The meaning of life is to revive our innate devotional consciousness (bhakti) toward the Supreme Godhead, and to reunite ourselves with Sriman Narayana in eternal loving union.
Our spiritual practice (sadhana) consists of the full classical Yoga system (ashtanga) permeated throughout with a consciousness of bhakti (devotion). Bhakti, or devotional consciousness, is understood to be both the highest means of liberation, as well as the ultimate goal of spiritual life and culture. Thus, bhakti is not merely the most effective means (upaya) for spiritual liberation; it is also the ultimate goal (paramartha) of life. Members of the ISDS all strive to achieve Self-realization (atma-jnana), leading finally to God-consciousness (brahma-vidya). Our primary form of meditation is mantra meditation upon the divine sound vibration Aum Namo Narayanaya.
The founder and spiritual preceptor (Acharya) of the ISDS is Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya, who is more popularly known as Sri Acharyaji. He is widely recognized throughout the leadership of the global Hindu community as one of the most authentic, knowledgeable and visionary Hindu teachers on the world stage today. Members of the ISDS acknowledge Sri Acharyaji as a truly enlightened sage, as a Sad-guru (true guru) capable of guiding his disciples to the deepest realization of wisdom and spiritual liberation, and all members strive to follow his spiritual teachings in our daily lives with sincerity, loyalty and fidelity.
Distinctly Authentic Approach to Vedic Spirituality
There are several features that make the International Sanatana Dharma Society (ISDS) fundamentally distinctive when compared to any other Hindu / Dharma / Yoga movement on earth today.
1) Guru Principle: We recognize that it is only under the expert guidance and grace of an authentic guru that we can traverse the path to liberation safely and effectively. We are guided, both as individual disciples and as a movement, by a living and extremely qualified representative of the Vedic ideal in the form of our enlightened spiritual teacher Sri Acharyaji.
2) Scripturally-Based: We scrupulously base everything the ISDS does and teaches upon a clear understanding of the Vedic scriptures. Our approach to philosophy, spiritual practice, meditation and lifestyle are all rooted directly in the teachings of the scriptures. Indeed, in-depth and guided study of the Vedic scriptures is one of the most important ongoing practices that our members engage in.
3) Academic Excellence: Our members strongly strive to couple their meditative spiritual practice with a very scholarly and philosophical grasp of the philosophy, theology, culture, history and application of Sanatana Dharma. Mystical attainment can never be used as an excuse for intellectual lethargy on the part of the spiritual practitioner. Success on the spiritual path is only possible with the integrative partnership of both subjective spiritual experience (anubhava) coupled with wisdom and understanding (buddhi).
4) Quality over Quantity: In our philosophy and practices (both personal and as an organizational structure), the ISDS always emphasize the spiritual quality of our activities over mere quantity. Thus, rather than artificially focusing on merely having a large mass following, we instead strive to have a smaller membership of truly exceptional and sincere spiritual practitioners. Consequently, we have sometimes been called somewhat elitist or exclusive in who we accept as members and formal students. We're fine with that! Our goal is to serve those who are sincerely ready for the real thing: an authentic path the goal of which is having a direct experience of truth. We also seek to create the Dharma leaders and teachers of the future who will carry on the traditions of the most ancient spiritual path on Earth. The ISDS represents nothing less than the cutting-edge Vedic vanguard. The ISDS is thus not for everyone. But if you are willing to learn and practice authentic Vedic spirituality in a mood of humility and sincerity, and to experience growth in your spiritual life in a manner that is truly meaningful, then you are very welcome to join.
5) Vedic Authenticity: We are radical traditionalists in our approach to the Vedic way. We seek to practice Dharma in as traditional, authentic, orthodox and uncompromisingly real a manner as is possible in the modern era. There is nothing new, "New Age", or concocted in how we teach or practice the Vedic way. Moreover, we do not "mix and blend" our practice or understanding of Sanatana Dharma with those of other, non-Vedic paths. If you are interested in the ISDS, the teachings of Sri Acharyaji, or being involved in our movement, please do so knowing that what you will be taught and will be following nothing less than the authentic and ancient religion of Sanatana Dharma - the Eternal Natural Way.
6) Comprehensiveness: As students of the Vedic way, we understand that Sanatana Dharma is so much more than merely a religious tradition. Rather, the world-view, arts and sciences of Vedic culture are meant to very naturally extend into every field of human concern. This includes not only the spiritual, but also the social, political, economic, scientific, medical, artistic, musical, culinary, martial, cultural, civilizational and philosophical realms of human endeavor. The ISDS seeks to not only help our members in their own individual spiritual progress, but to also extend the truths of Dharma over the entire sphere of human endeavor. Our goal is to change all of society on the most fundamental of levels, and to thus affect the respiritualization of global civilization.
7) Effective Sadhana: The powerful spiritual disciplines that the ISDS teaches its members are highly effective, authorized and scripturally-based, with an emphasis on Yoga, mantra, puja, and meditation as revealed in the Upanishads.
8) Highest Ethical Standards: Many in the West have all too often found themselves exploited by unethical "spiritual teachers" who falsely claimed to be representing the pure Yoga and Dharma tradition, but who only turned out to be amoral abusers of their innocent followers. The ISDS is unyielding in its commitment to upholding and educating all its members in the very highest ethical standards that form the core behavioral expectations of Vedic culture. Our strict code of ethics includes adherence to the Yamas and Niyamas of Yoga philosophy. Both the initiated students and the leaders of the ISDS are expected, without exception, to strictly observe the following ethical standards: a) no intoxicants (including alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, hashish, ayahuasca, etc.), b) strict lacto-vegetarianism (no meat, fish or eggs), c) no illicit or exploitative sexual behavior (sexuality should be confined exclusively to the institution of marriage).
Becoming a Member of the ISDS
We recognize that membership in the ISDS is not for everyone. Sri Acharyaji's students are dedicated to following a path that encourages them to look honestly within in a contemplative manner, to observing a spiritual discipline that leads to a gradual unfoldment of their true selves, and that results in Self-realization and God-consciousness.
If you are interested in joining the International Sanatana Dharma Society, we ask that you possess deep sincerity, humility, openness, and a strong desire to know the Divine. If you are attracted to a Vedic-based path that focuses on thorough authenticity, a conscientious philosophical approach, and a clear and effective means of knowing God's presence in your everyday life, please consider becoming an official member today. For more information on how to become a member, please visit:
Join Our Tithing Family
Tithing is the ancient practice of invoking Divine Abundance (Lakshmi Devi) through giving a portion of your monthly income to a religious association that inspires you spiritually and that is dedicated to healing the world. Giving tithes and offerings for God's service, in response to God's grace upon us and in recognition of the fact that all that we have is His gift to us, is such a treasured opportunity. Monthly tithing begets the promise of security, protection, and guidance through the highest form of philanthropy, which is known as Seva, or service to the Divine. Your support of the International Sanatana Dharma Society ensures that the light of Dharma continues to be manifest here on earth.
Please consider making the ISDS a place where you send your spiritual tithe. Please come forward now and partner with us to ensure that this movement will continue to be a vital and stable shelter for you and for your children always.
Become part of our family of tithers. Invest in your community. It will be your best and most fruitful investment ever.
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"If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it." -Bhagavad Gita, 9:26