What is NOT Dharma?
Dharma is NOT a set of rules, Dharma is not dogma imposed by someone else from some sacred book or given by any prophet or messiah.. And this is one of the many differences between the abrahamic traditions (Judaism, Islam and Christianity) from the Dharmic ones (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism). The rishis, the highly developed humans of the ancient times in India, had the insights to understand the universe. And they brought the wisdom in the form of the Veda as the primary revealed Dharma (sruti). The good news is that we are all potential rishis and rishikas with the seed of wisdom in our own DNA. It is a matter of developing our inner eye, and all truths will unveil themselves in front of us one after another. Sooner or later, in this life or in thousand later, we all will reach the same understanding.
Dharma is NOT religion: a frozen set of do´s and don´ts imposed from outside as a constraining guideline. Dharma does flow naturally, and getting in tune with it brings not to feel any compulsory obligation or prohibition, but finding satisfying and filling contentment just in the fact of living dharmically. First understanding and afterwards following, which means simply being your true nature. When in the West we have misunderstood so much the value of freedom as the peak of all our goals in life, I would ask:
– is it freedom to be a slave of your own senses?
– is it freedom to be a slave of the fashion?
– is it freedom to try to be equal to man in the workplace by denying our value as women and the difference we can make?
– is it freedom to invite the dark forces to our life constantly with our lifestyle?
– is it freedom to get to do what we want and not what we should?
Let me tell you, my dear westerner/westernised friend, the only freedom comes from the mastery of our own mind, in the highest degree of our ability. All the rest is slavery in disguise of ragas and dveshas, likes and dislikes (loosely translated) commanding our life.
More nuances of Dharma: the personal dharma or swadharma, which points to your personal skills and abilities, to develop the best of yourself for you and the whole.
The social Dharma, the Dharma as a woman or as man. The Dharma Sastras, that are the texts that guide a society to act lawfully and behave in a dharmic way for the benefit of all. But as the Dharma that they are, they are smriti, that what is remembered. And contextualised and determined to being studied from vivek. So no point in criticising certain customs that may have been established for a certain context and they have to be properly understood and updated, again with a pure mind of wisdom and not looking for convenience in that updating. One of the many reasons for the need of a Guru in our lives…
My very personal view on Dharma: to me Dharma is the compass that guides me in life. Dharma is what makes me happy and what takes me where I want to be, at this very moment and in the illusory future too.
One can live eons, life after life playing hide and seek with happiness, deceiving yourself thinking that by doing your own will you will be happy. Till that revolutionary moment comes into your life, in which you realise that out of Dharma and a dharmic living, real happiness will not show its face to you. That momentary sensation of satisfaction when doing what one wishes only, and not what has to be done, asks for a high price to pay later, that will have you unhappy. It is not because I say, don´t ever believe anything because others say: it is how the universe works. Sooner or later, everybody will see with their own eyes.
There is a very well known saying: Dharmo Rhaksati Rhaksitah, meaning those who protect Dharma, they are protected by Dharma. How true! May I be always more and more attuned to this fabolous flowing of life. May you, that are reading me, discover or reinforce your happiness in Dharma. May the whole humanity discover the joy of being alive and awake to the universal laws. As much as one can, without strains that hamper the flow! We have many lives to realise the divinity in us, and live up to it. Just when the urge for liberation starts pushing us, we discover the way towards the aim by being Dharmic.
So what is then Sanathan Dharma? Sanathan means eternal, we are only making our way to be in tune with the Universe, at all levels. The return to innocence, to what our real inner Nature is: the whole Universe comprised in our small forms. what is, has been and will always be, in a close circle of infinite eternity.
Texts tell us: “Human beings and animals have the same urges. They eat and sleep and copulate and besides, the feelings of fear are common to both. What, then, is the difference between the two? It is adherence to Dharma that distinguishes human beings from animals. Without Dharma to guide him, man would be no better than an animal” Hindu Dharma. VOICE OF THE GURU PUJYASRI CHANDRASEKHARENDRA SARASWATI SWAMI. The book can be downloaded here: hindudharma
Blessed to be Dharmic and to defend Dharma, it is my privilege, that only by His Divine Kripa I have rediscovered Sanathan Dharma in this life. I am determined to defend it whenever is required. Om Namah Shivaya!