The fourth selection for our book, the Eternal Path is the description of the ideal Hindu given by Lord Krishna in chapter 16 of the Bhagavad Gita.
1. shri bhagavan uvacha
abhayam sattva-samshuddhir jñana-yoga-vyavasthitih
danam damas cha yajñas cha svadyayas tapa arjavam
2. ahimsa satyam akrodhas tyagah shantir apaishunam
daya bhuteshv aloluptvam mardavam hrir achapalam
3. tejah kshama dhritih shaucham adroho natimanita
bhavanti sampadam daivim abhijatasya bharata
1. Fearlessness, being pure at heart, remaining resolute in the pursuit of knowledge through Yoga practice, charity, self-control, performing sacrifices, study of the Vedas, austerity, honesty;
2. Not harming, truthfulness, avoiding anger, renunciation, tranquillity, never maligning others, compassion for other beings, remaining free of greed; kindness, modesty, never wavering;
3. Energy, patience, resolve, purity, the absence of malice and of arrogance; these constitute the qualities of one born with the godly disposition, Bharata.
In the sixteenth chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna outlines the disposition of those who are godly by nature, and those who display the opposite characteristics. In these opening three verses of the chapter, he lists the qualities and modes of conduct of those whose disposition is godly, and I think we can regard this as a further discourse on the true nature of Sanatana Dharma. Many of these qualities can be recognised from the passages given above, but it is interesting to note that in this case religious and spiritual behaviour is added. Hence we can observe the advocacy of ritual acts of worship, and of dedication to the practice of Yoga meditation. In this way, the concept of Sanatana Dharma is broadened further, although the essential elements of not harming, compassion for all beings, and giving in charity, remain clearly to the fore.