Vedic religion is called sanatana-dharma because nobody can trace out when this Vedic religion begun. Therefore it is called sanatana-dharma. Every religion in our present experience, it has got a history

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"Vedic religion is called sanatana-dharma because nobody can trace out when this Vedic religion begun. Therefore it is called sanatana-dharma. Every religion in our present experience, it has got a history"

Lectures

General Lectures

Eternal means which has no end, no beginning. Nobody knows where it has begun and where it has ended. Nobody knows. Just like the Vedic religion is called sanātana-dharma because nobody can trace out when this Vedic religion begun. Therefore it is called sanātana-dharma. Every religion in our present experience, it has got a history.
Engagement Lecture -- Buffalo, April 23, 1969:

He is advising, "My dear sons, this life..." "This life" means this human form of life. Ayam deha. Ayam means "this," and deha means "body." Na means "not." Na ayam deha: "This body is not meant." Nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke. Deha-bhājām: "those who have taken or accepted this material body, amongst them." Now, this is a very significant word, those who have accepted this material body, deha-bhājām. And according to Vedic literature, we understand that this material world is only one-fourth manifestation of the complete creation of God. The three-fourths' portion of God's creation is spiritual world. That you will find in the Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa says,

atha vā bahunaitena
kiṁ jñātena tavārjuna
ekāṁśena viṣṭabhyāham
idaṁ kṛstnaṁ jagat

Ekāṁśena means a part, a fractional part. This material world is a fractional part of the whole creation. You see this universe, as far as you can see up to the sky. That is only one universe. And there are unlimited universes. They are clustered together. And that is called material world. And beyond that clusters of unlimited number of universes, there is another, spiritual sky. That is also mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā. Paras tasmād tu bhāvo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ. Lord says that "Beyond this material world, there is another bhāva, nature." Just like this is material nature. He says, paras tasmāt tu bhāvaḥ, bhāvaḥ anyaḥ (BG 8.20). Anya means another. "There is another nature, which is sanātana." Sanātana means eternal. There is no history of its beginning, or there is no end—that is called sanātana, eternal. Eternal means which has no end, no beginning. Nobody knows where it has begun and where it has ended. Nobody knows. Just like the Vedic religion is called sanātana-dharma because nobody can trace out when this Vedic religion begun. Therefore it is called sanātana-dharma. Every religion in our present experience, it has got a history. Your Christian religion, it has got a history, two thousand years old. Buddhist religion, it has got a history, 2600 years. Muhammadan religion, it has got a history, one thousand years. But if you trace out Vedic religion, you cannot find out the history, date. There is no date. You cannot find out. No historian can give. So therefore it is called sanātana-dharma. And in the Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa says that "There is another nature, which is sanātana." Sanātana means there is no history of its creation or... But this material creation, as you know... We say, "God created." "God created" means before creation, God was existing. "God created"—this very word suggests that before this creation of this cosmic manifestation, God was existing. Therefore God is not under this creation. If God is under this creation, then how He can create? He becomes one of the object of the material creation. So God is not under creation. He is the creator. Before creation, He was existing. That is called sanātana. That means He is also sanātana. And there is a spiritual nature, sky, where there are innumerable spiritual planets also. And there are innumerable spiritual living entities also. And some of them, those who are not fit to live in that spiritual world, they are, I mean to say, sent to this material world. The same idea is expressed in Milton's Paradise Lost.