GUWAHATI, Jan 19 � Governor JB Patnaik inaugurated the centenary celebrations of the Sanatan Dharma Sabha � popularly known as Harisabha � at its campus, Panbazar here on Friday.
In his inaugural speech as the chief guest, the Governor said, �Sanatan Dharma is the first religion of India. Its Persian name was Hindu Dharma because the name was derived from the word Sindhu, as the people of Persia had named this Dharma as the religion of the people who inhabited the Sindhu river valley. The actual Dharma was Sanatan Dharma.�
This religion, Patnaik said, was comparable to the cosmological system. Just as the cosmological system was eternal and none could establish either its beginning or its end; so could none establish the beginning or the end of the Sanatan Dharma, he added.
Dwelling on the question what is religion, Patnaik said that �that which encompasses and embraces is religion; that which conserves and preserves society is religion.� The other name of religion is good behaviour and promotion of goodwill and the end of religion beckons the beginning of ruin and disaster and the fight of evil against the good and the pure, he said.
�I know not when God will reincarnate Himself but the Bhagabat wills that when bad overtakes good, God reincarnates Himself in a different form,� he said.
The Governor further said that Srimanta Sankardev had united the people of Assam through his Bhagabat Dharma or �Ek Saran Nam Dharma� where all were given equal status. He urged Basistha Deva Sharma, the Burha Sattriya of Barpeta Sattra who was present at the function as the special guest, to allow women to enter inside the Barpeta Namghar as Mahapurush Madhabdev never barred the entry of women into Namghars in his religious scriptures. Others who spoke on the occasion included Basistha Deva Sharma, the Burha Sattriya of Barpeta Sattra and Dr Manjumala Das, chairperson of the celebration committee.