Difference Between Hindu Dharma and Sanatana Dharma

Hindu Dharma and Sanatana Dharma are not the synonym of each other both have their history from their inception. In a few instances, People use this terminology interchangeably.

There distinguish concepts are listed below to clear the thin line of differences between them. They have some common beliefs which are not followed unitedly. 

Hindu Dharma vs Sanatana Dharma

The main difference between Hindu Dharma and Sanatana Dharma is that Hindu Dharma is not eternal whereas Sanatana Dharma is eternal and absolute.

Hindu Dharma is part of Sanatana Dharma.

The Terminology Hindu has been developed by Persian individuals a few centuries ago. Sanatana Dharma is established before Indian history and has no prophet who started it. 

Hindu Dharma vs Sanatana Dharma

The term Hindu Dharma has established during the 19th century to describe the religion of Indian People.

Hindu means people who lived behind the Sindhu river, the term is collectively used for Sikhism, Jainism, Vaishnava, and, Shaiba, etc.

In the Indian subcontinent, more than 1.15 billion people follow Hindu Dharma. It is one of the largest practiced religions after Christians and Buddhism.

The term Sanatana Dharma is emanated from Vedas as corresponded by Lord Brahma. It is practiced as the duty to be followed by every living creature as directed by sole power.

The motto of Sanatana Dharma is to do the service of people selflessly- without expecting anything in return. Duties guided by Sanatana Dharma’s are Self-Discipline, Honesty, Purity, Non-Restraint, etc.

Comparison Table Between Hindu Dharma and Sanatana Dharma

Parameters of ComparisonHindu DharmaSanatana Dharma
OriginHindu Dharna is a combined terminology used to denote people living in India.Sanatana Dharma has its origin from Vedas but no concurrent practitioner who started it.
Managed ByHindu Dharma is operational under various gods and goddesses with different names.Sanatana Dharma has no particular prophet, every human can follow this religion not Indian or Hindu only.
FollowersJain, Sikh, Vaishnav, Pandits are the followers of Hindu Dharma.Sanatana Dharma has no specific follower group, Everyone who follows the natural law becomes a follower.
Worship PlaceNormally, the Worship of Hindu dharma is performed at temples.Sanatana Dharma doesn’t require Temple or any other worship place.
TheisticHindu Dharma is based on an atheistic approach.Sanatana Dharma is non-theistic with a motto of good deeds only.

What is Hindu Dharma?

The Hindu Dharma is the most prominent religion followed in India. It was established during the 19th century when European people segregated Indians for their political benefits.

People who believe in Hindu Dharma have the significant attitude of accepting everything wholeheartedly.

Every human has a responsibility to face the consequences of their deeds, irrespective of the fact” Good or Bad”.

Vedas and Puranas are the teaching source of Hindu Dharma and their sub-religion has its holy books for life lessons. They are created to make the right decision in life by choosing the right path.

It spreads love and harmony among all by protecting the Dharma.

The path followed to pass over the teaching to the next generation by Guru-Shishya tradition.

This Dharma is practiced since Vedic times and earlier it was called Vedic Dharma which has its roots in the Sanatana Dharma.

The teachings of Hindu Dharma are based upon God and Goddess.

Celebration of Multiple festivals to remember the Lord more intensely is practiced in Hindu Dharma.

The birthplace of Hindu Dharma is called India as the mass believers of Hindu Dharma are located in the Indian sub-continent. Worship of numerous gods is performed in Hindu Dharma.

What is Sanatana Dharma?

Sanatana Dharma is the oldest religion and the foundation of dharma for multiple religions. It intensely believes the good deeds to be performed by every living creature on earth.

It carries a single goal to be united in every situation without harming anyone. There are no specific roots of Sanatana Dharma as it grows its references from Vedas.

It has many followers globally since it is not polytheistic like Hinduism for worshipping numerous Gods.

Sanatana Dharma is flooded with many virtues namely generosity, purity, goodwill, mercy, patience, forbearance, self-restraint, and asceticism.

It is a synonym for eternal and absolute.

There are some unique teachings of Sanatana Dharmi that the Soul is superior to the body, Soul must strive for relief. It is completely captured with a way to live life peacefully.

As per Sanatana Dharma, every creation of God is responsible to service for others with a pure heart.  It is timeless as it teaches us to make a better future while living in present. 

The purpose of life is to serve someone wholeheartedly but never expect anything in return as taught to Sanatana Dharmi. It is universal law as invented by Rishi’s thousand years ago from the Vedas.

Natural law under Sananatan dharma says one should represent his responsibilities since birth.

Main Differences Between Hindu Dharma and Sanatana Dharma

  1. Festivals: The Hindu Dharma is full of festivals and celebrations across the years and no such concept in Sanatana Dharma.
  2. Leaders: Hindu Dharma has entrepreneurial Sadhus, gurus, or babas as a leader whereas Sanatana Dharma has Acharyas and Shastra as a leader.
  3. System: Hindu Dharma has a caste system, which is anti-thesis Sanatana Dharma has a Varna-Ashram system.
  4. Objective: Dharma, Arth, Kama, and Moksha are the four objectives of Hindu Dharma and Sanatana Dharma has an objective to teach the way of life.
  5. Source: Hindu Dharma has its sources from the Indus Valley Civilization on the other hand Source of Sanatana Dharma is Pre-historic.
Difference Between Hindu Dharma and Sanatana Dharma


Sanatana Dharma is followed by people globally as it doesn’t demand to worship any particular Idol or Image. Doing good for others selflessly is the way to follow Sanatana Dharma.

Hindu Dharma is not as old as Sanatana Dharma. Where Hindu Dharma is a very complex religion on the contrary Sanatana Dharma follows a straight path with acts of Kindness.

Believers of Hindu Dharma of Indian origin are divided into various sub-religions like Sikh, Jain, Vaishya, and Brahmans. Moreover, the Sanatana Dharma is the third largest religion to be followed worldwide.

Certain duties of living creatures are attached since birth as prescribed in Sanatana Dharma


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3773407
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10781-004-8640-7

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