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How to Counter Critics of Sanatana Dharma

Krishna teaching Arjuna

Q: I often hear people of other faiths say that Krishna was not a good teacher because he encouraged violence and urged Arjun to engage in a bloody battle and kill people. How do you counter that argument?

Why say anything to them? They obviously have their minds made up. Do not bother with the fault-finders, accusers and nay-sayers. Sri Ramakrishna said that when an elephant walks down the road the little dogs bark, but the elephant keeps walking on and leaves them behind. Such is Sanatana Dharma, and we should ignore its opponents and follow it wholeheartedly.

The Gita is the perfect scripture. All of its aspects are integrated and present the complete picture of Sanatana Dharma. War is the dharma of the kshatriya caste, but not of the other castes. It is virtuous for kshatriyas to engage in battle and adharmic for those of other castes.

All of us are miniature kingdoms, and according to the circumstances in our personal life we should act according to the situation. In religion we should be Brahmins, in matters of social ethics we should be Kshatriyas, in matters of practical affairs we should be Vaishyas, and in matters of work and service we should be Shudras. But our basic swadharma determines what caste we are primarily at all times.

Yours in the Eternal Dharma of India, the true dharma of all mankind.

To someone who asked if it was all right to learn the teachings of the different religions to which he was drawn, and to learn their spiritual practices, ending with the question: “I am not sure how to find one direction only. What are your thoughts on that?”

It is wise for a spiritual aspirant to follow their intuition in investigating the teachings and spiritual practices of any religions to which they feel drawn. We have all followed many of the world religions in our past lives, and sometimes we need to gather up the loose ends and synthesize them in our present life.

Sri Ramakrishna and Anandamayi Ma

Many great spiritual figures in India have done so to their benefit. Sri Ramakrishna is an example of this, and Sri Anandamayi Ma herself told me that during her sadhana period early in her life she had spontaneously done every spiritual practice of every religion.

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