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Does it mean it has existed forever and would exist forever? Does it mean it is changeless? The evidence shows that India is now only 80 percent Hindu and there are all kinds of forces trying to reduce this number. How does this square with Hinduism being "Sanatana Dharma"?

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    'Also does Hindu scripture use the word Hindu anywhere?' - that's a separate question and dup of What is the origin of the word “Hindu”? – sv. Feb 15 '18 at 16:51
  • Also TAG correction is needed. the name TAG is not related . But the Dharma TAG is surely needed. – SwiftPushkar Feb 15 '18 at 17:08
  • Evidence shows only 20% of the world's population today is literate in physics and Newton's laws of gravity. Does this mean gravity has existed forever and would exist forever ? Does it mean it is changeless ? Sanatana Dharma is eternal. Sanatana Dharmis on the other hand.. maybe, maybe not. Those who follow it will survive. Those who don't will perish. If any religion follows its tenets while calling itself a different name, it will survive so long as it follows it. – ram Feb 15 '18 at 21:04
  • there is overwhelming evidence that Physics is universal and sanatana. There are no sectarian physicists. If the value of the gravitational constant changes, it will be accepted. With the advent of digital media, yes the texts of Hinduism will live as long as there are humans. Just like samskaras except marriage and death have been largely abandoned, vedic yagnas are hardly conducted anymore, vedic gods like varuna and brhaspati hardly worshiped any more, god-men lik sai-baba emerging - it is not clear what is sanatana about hinduism. @ram – S K Feb 15 '18 at 23:33
  • @SK, people thought the earth was flat few thousand years ago. galileo was called a heretic for suggesting earth went around the sun. It is not really clear what is universal and sanatana about physics. – ram Feb 16 '18 at 0:56
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Sanatana (सनातन) is a Sanskrit word referring to eternal, having no beginning or end. The phrase dharma sanātana does occur in Hinduism scriptures. Traced back as far as valmiki Ramayana . The word is also present in Bhagvat Purana and in Manu smriti.

Valmiki Ramayana

कृते च प्रतिकर्तव्यमेष धर्मः सनातनः
सोऽयं त्वत्प्रतिकारार्थी त्वत्तः सम्मानमर्हति ।। VR 5.1.114VR 5.1.114।।

कृते when help is rendered, प्रतिकर्तव्यम् it should be repaid, एषः this, सनातनः eternal, धर्मः dharma, तत्प्रतिकारार्थी for doing service in return, सः अयम् this, त्वत्तः from you, सम्मानम् honour, अर्हति he deserves.`

When a service is done, a return service needs to be rendered. This is an ancient tradition. Such this ocean who wants to do a return service to the Raghu dynasty, is suitable for respect by you."


Bhagvat Purana

चतुर्युगान्ते कालेन ग्रस्तान्छ्रुतिगणान्यथा ।
तपसा ऋषयोऽपश्यन्यतो धर्मः सनातनःSB 8.14.4

catur-yugānte kālena grastāñ chruti-gaṇān yathā
tapasā ṛṣayo ’paśyan yato dharmaḥ sanātanaḥ

At the end of every four yugas, the great saintly persons, upon seeing that the eternal occupational duties of mankind have been misused, reestablish the principles of religion.


Manu-Smriti

सत्यं ब्रूयात् प्रियं ब्रूयान्न ब्रूयात् सत्यमप्रियम् ।
प्रियं च नानृतं ब्रूयादेष धर्मः सनातनः4.138

satyaṃ brūyāt priyaṃ brūyānna brūyāt satyamapriyam |
priyaṃ ca nānṛtaṃ brūyādeṣa dharmaḥ sanātanaḥ || 138 ||

He shall say what is true; and he shall say what is agreeable; he shall not say what is true, but disagreeale; nor shall he say what is agreeable, but untrue; this is the eternal law.—(138)


So I have traced the word uptill Valmiki Ramayana .

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Pandya Feb 16 '18 at 1:01

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