One of the defining and distinguishing characteristic of Sanatan Dharma (also called as Hindu Dharma) is its deep enquiry of the nature of Self, of Reality and of Divinity. It sees a living being as a microcosm of the divinity and believes that each and every living being has it in him or her to become that divinity, rather realize that divinity which we already are. Of the prolific literature left to us by our ancestors in the form of Upanishads, the gist (the निचोड़ , as we’d say in Hindi) can be summarized in 4 statements called the Four Mahavakyas (Maha –> Great, Vakyas – > statements/Sayings) of Sanatan Dharma. The aim of this post is not explain what they mean, a lifetime may be needed to completely comprehend that or even more. The aim is much simpler – make acquaintance with Sanskrit and also with a droplet of Upanishadic or Vedantic Philosophy. These are
The sequence goes from trying to understand what Brahman is, to realizing that we ourselves are the Brahman. We have a lot more in us than we believe we do. Now that is some feeling!
In the Hindu theology Brahman is said to be all pervading, eternal and infinite Supreme presence, which is nirgun (निर्गुण – without guNa/qualities) but that from which everything else comes about. Call it God, call it Energy, call it Randomness or call in Probability – whatever you believe it is, that is what you are, say the Upanishads. “Yatha Bramhande, Tatha Pinde (यथा ब्रह्माण्डे तथा पिण्डे)” – Whatever is out there in the Universe, is in own self as well and vice versa. Thus, do not look outside for answers. Look within. The answers lies in you. (यथा – if, ब्रह्माण्डे – in the universe, तथा – then, पिण्डे – in this body)
Anyway, the point is, Sanskrit is simple. In a handful of words, it conveyed gist of Upanishads!
P.S SanAtan Dharma (सनातन = Eternal, धर्म = that which sustains), Vedanta (वेद = Vedass, अंत = end -> that which comes towards the end of the Vedas -> Upanishads), Upanishad (उप – near, निषद् = sitting down -> that which is learnt sitting down beside the teacher)