Sanatana Dharma welcomes all sincere seekers who wish to adopt Sanatana Dharma as their spiritual path. These are a few things you can do to get started in your practice of a Dharmic lifestyle. By protecting Dharma and supporting your spiritual teacher, you can become a great example for your community.
Step 1. Beginning a Dharmic Lifestyle
- Consider becoming vegetarian.
- Begin reading the Bhagavad-Gita, the most important Dharma scripture.
- Learn how to practice spiritual meditation.
- Understand and accept the principles of karma/reincarnation.
- Join the International Sanatana Dharma Society.
Step 2. Becoming a Practicing Dharmi (follower of Dharma)
After declaring yourself a Dharmi, you may want to then deepen your understanding and practice of Dharma by incorporating a serious spiritual practice into your daily life. The best way to do this is under the guidance of a qualified and knowledgeable guru, or spiritual teacher. The following steps will help you with this deepening of your practice.
- Study the philosophy and teachings of Dharma under the guidance of a qualified guru.
- Adopt a healthy spiritual lifestyle, including vegetarianism, and following the ethical principles of Dharma(below).
- Practice regular spiritual meditation, mantras and puja.
- Seek initiation from a qualified guru (spiritual teacher). Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya is one of the most highly qualified and authentic gurus in the tradition of Sanatana Dharma in the world today. Please contact us if you would like to be considered as a serious candidate for initiation by Sri Acharyaji.
The Yamas & Niyamas: The Ten Codes of Dharma
Being a moral human being is the beginning foundation of any meaningful spiritual practice. Every authentic spiritual path assures us of this fact. A yogi is by definition an ethical being. There can be no such thing as a true yogi who is not also ethical. Sanatana Dharma has a sophisticated and very highly developed system of ethical principles that all serious Dharmis aspire to observe strictly and with dedication. These ethical principles are found in many places throughout the Vedic scriptures, and they are numerous. Among our most important principles are the ten codes of Dharma known as the Yamas (proscriptions) and the Niyamas (prescriptions).
As translated in the The ISDS Initiation Guidebook by Sri Acharyaji, the ten codes of Dharma are the following:
- Non-violence (Ahimsa)
- Truthfulness (Satya)
- Non-stealing (Asteya)
- Sexual Abstinence (Brahmacharya)
- Non-Attachment (Aparigraha)
- Contentment (Santosha)
- Discipline/Austerity (Tapasya)
- Study of Scriptures (Svadyaya)
- Devotion to God (Ishvara-pranidhana)
- Cleanliness (Shaucha)
Further Reading on Sanatana Dharma
Build a good foundation for your spiritual practice.
About the Author
Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya
Sri Acharyaji has been practicing and teaching Dharma for over 40 years. With a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he is the Founder-Acharya of the International Sanatana Dharma Society and the Director of the Center for Dharma Studies.
Sri Acharyaji is currently recognized as one of the world's foremost scholars on the Yoga tradition, Dharma and meditation, as well as being a truly authentic spiritual teacher.
With a very large international following, Sri Acharyaji is especially renowned for his highly authentic approach to spirituality, his authoritative and scholarly method of teaching, and his clear emphasis on serious spiritual practice and direct experience of self-realization. He has lectured on Dharma at dozens of top universities, such as Harvard, Columbia, Rutgers, Cornell, and Northwestern. He has also served as a consultant for such Fortune 500 companies as Ford Motor Corporation and Lucent Technology.
Sri Acharyaji's teachings stress the achievement of enlightenment through the practice of meditation, Yoga, and directly experiencing the presence of the Divine. Another overarching aspect of Sri Acharyaji's teachings focuses on the importance of love, compassion and service toward all living beings.
Whether speaking to an audience of thousands, or having a heart-felt discussion with only one person, Sri Acharyaji vividly conveys a deeply moving sense of compassion, peace, humility, and spiritual insight that has endeared him to thousands of students and admirers throughout the world.
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