Dharma

“The fire of Dharma ignites in that heart which has Vivek – Vairagya, discriminating intellect and dispassion. Without the powerful foundation of Dharma there cannot be any brahma vichara, reasoning into higher Truth.”

Q . Why is Dharma called Sanatan, law of being is eternal, please explain?

When the word ‘Sanatan’, eternal  is affixed with the word ‘Dharma’, law of being,  it purely signifies that it is without the limitation of date, time, year.. and hence called Sanatan. It means that Truth, non-violence, love and compassion is always present and you don’t need to ask whether you should speak truth or lie, whether you should love or hate, whether you should be violent or non-violent you shall certainly follow the virtuous qualities which is inherent. The dharma of the Sun is to give light and it cannot choose to say that today he does not wish to give light, similarly dharma of water is wetness and water cannot choose to say one day that today it wants to be dry, same with earth, fire, air etc..these are their inherent qualities or innate  dharma and not subjected to change. Similarly we have  an innate  dharma, Atman, Self, Truth, which innate essence. Vedas is innate dharma whether we acknowledge it’s physical application e.g traditions, religious rituals, yajnas… Vedic science has no distinctive line between the subject and the object and hence everything is consciousness and eternal.

Sanatana Dharma is complete as it makes you reach your ultimate goal Moksha, Liberation. Moksha behaves in day to day life as Sanatana Dharma . All other religions have taken a part of it, but by itself the Dharma is complete. If anywhere, anytime we are seeing lacking in our Dharma, it is just because Dharma is not understood. Completely and immediately the Dharma becomes a religion. Dharma is Dharma which holds the whole creation is the aadhar, foundation. It is the substratum or for, the Sat- Dharma or Sati-Dharma also on which now a days lots of controversial narratives are opiniated. It is because Sanatana Dharma has not been understood well. When Dharma is misunderstood, this is what we call Adharma, decline of Dharma. To understand the secret, deeper meaning of dharma, it is raised to the level of consciousness.

धर्मस्यतत्त्वंनिहितंगुहायांमहाजनोयेनगतःसपन्यः।

Says, Mahabharata that, the essence of Dharma is hidden in cave : one has to do to higher soul to understand. It is in the same pattern as HridayaGuha as told in Upanishadas.

“उत्तिष्ठजाग्रतप्राप्यवराननिबोधत”

“Arise,Awake and Seek the Truth”

Do we see any connection? Irrespective of any age, time, place, Why Is Sri Rama called as dharm vigrahavan means as if dharma has itself assumed the Form. We try to understand dharma on superficial level and this our biggest mistake. Remember Dharma misunderstood is mortification of Dharma.

One question in my mind arises: has Dharma always been misunderstood and do we require to re-establish as it is said. So if the shastras are so misunderstood how will they benefit the mankind. If even the preachers misunderstood Dharma and are unable to propagate  it properly, then certainly what to say of simple people. Dharma remaining in books or dharma in practice. Vivekananda also implored people to awake ,arise and work.

Trying to put through all the thought points here.

  1. An action becomes ‘yoga’ when it functions in two ways.
  2. Vyashti,Individual level and
  3. Samashti,Collective level

And both levels are beneficiaries at the same time. The beauty of this Karma is that although individual is exemplary but through him all are getting inspired and benefited. Self- evolvement touches himself and the people at the same time; since purity of Karta,doer is there behind purity of Karma,actions. Means when one is doing good for the welfare of the society, but  however,another is doing prayashchitta karma, for inner purification that also is equally good not only for himself but others as well.

यत्कर्मकुर्वतोSस्यस्ययातपरितोषोअन्तरIत्मनः।

तत्-प्रत्यनेनकुर्वित।।

  1. Basic Dharma is that which gives, satisfaction and more renewed energy to perform further action on dharma only. If Dharma begets Adharma in you then there is  some lack of understanding. Dharma  will lead to dharma only and not to adharma.
  2. For decline of dharma we cannot blame other invaders etc. as dharma has increased after Independence. To remain firm in Dharma inspite of all opposite  circumstances was the character of this Nation understanding  also means love for Dharma as dharma resides in intellect, which is in close proximity with Self the Atman, by the result one gets more and more energy from dharma so, one loves more and more to it inspite of outer-conditions.
  3. To blame Dharma for all disorientation, conduct and indiscipline only at bigger aspect e.g at samashti,national level is because of our ignorance or Dharma has been wrongly understood. Dharma itself means a code of conduct to achieve to accomplish higher stratosphres. By the result we are always alert, conscious awakened. This type of misunderstanding has developed in our intellect because of the media – firstly and parents and teachers are not teaching the basic Dharma. We ourselves are confused between religion and dharma, between external ritual and discrimination at intellectual level which leads to inner strength and peace.
  4. As we know Dharma is the very foundation of life, forgetting the values given by Dharma, when we want to amass dollars and are trying to do analysis on dharma, then we are weighing a great treasure with dust. Life with material values can give us external comforts, but alas! we have chosen handful of dust, inert matter instead of eternal treasure.
  5. Why does this land give respect to a brahmin, pundit or a sadhu who have got no worldly wealth? Is this respect for understanding the scriptures and knowledge? Or is it for materialistic gains? In second case definitely we will get fooled, as U.S. got fooled by Pakistan. Understanding the shastras means understanding the life, understanding the dharma means understanding the real happiness by leading a selfless life. When one is leading a life according to Shashtras or dharma then  your desires slowly starts melting. As mind is obeying the orders its own agitations begins vanishing and feels much at peace . Slowly nishkamta, desirelessness, peace and purity of heart  will dawn. This is called  Vairagya. People of this land worship an ascetic because of his tyag, renunciation and not materialism.
  6. Dharma leads to Moksha. PujyaMaharshiji says that, in Dharma also nivritti,cessation from actions, is there. Although Shastras talk about two types of Dharma 1.Pravritti and 2.Nivritti  dharma, Geetabhasya starts with this classification but  in Pravritti, dharma of householder is also Nivritti Dharm of reuniate, is there. Such is the power of Dharma that even when you are involving your face in the outer action  thataction releases or expects you from its entanglement. Dharma gives correct attitude. When we give value to the higher values, those values have got peace in their womb, which externally one may not able to see and this peace is called nivritti. In other words- Wherever Dharma there is Rama is there and Shakti Sita will also be there.
  7. Dharma’s face is towards Moksha. Then mortification,decline of Dharma is that; we got more inclined towards lower sense perception i.e. Maya, Instead Of Higher values  of life, truth, honesty, devotion, to care for others. These days parents are not expressing their love to children by teaching  higher values of life through literature or in other ways but love is expressed by gifts and return gifts.. mind is given no value. We are neither talking norprojecting (through literature or media)  to inculcate Dharma means values in children. Our love is expressed by heavy birthday parties and return gifts. Etc. etc. others are trying to copy. This is just an example- No criticism but for the awakening. We ourselves are making child greedy with self- aggrandizement, selfish for   material things etc.
  8. Meaning of Dharma is that we cannot put allegations on others. One has to take responsibility on one’s own shoulder and self –introspect. Why we have become Heartless? It only shows lack of Dharma. Dharma gives understanding and compassion.
  9. Here comes the stage of Vairagya, when dharma ripens  its name becomes Vairagya. It is not negative quality, but positive quality. Dharma fruitifies as vairagya. Vairagya leads to shatsampatti,six spiritual aspirations which keeps the the aspirant marchimg on his path without being deviated. Sadhak or Sadhu remains single pointed and focussed. Sita is this sat-sampatti or Bhakti. How Dharma lead to bhakti?

मोक्षकारणसमग्राच्याभक्तिरेवगरीयसी

Says our reverend Shankaracharya that Bhakti  is the most important of all the requirements necessary in the path of Moksha. Interestingly in one place Bhakti (devotion) is the cause of vairagya(refer Aparokshanubhuti beginning) and at  another place vairagya is the cause of Bhakti (refer Vivekchudamini). Try to do mananam- reflect or ponder on this aspect.

Q. Dharma,law of being as defined by our Maharajshree

Our dharma, our law of beings, is generous and tolerant since it is established upon the substratum of non-opposing Self, the Truth. Dharma not only gives us inner strength but also the vision to see ‘One Truth’ in all beings.

Odyssey of Dharma,law of being

The word Dharma is from the Sanskrit root “dhri,” which actually means to hold or to support. Dharmasya Vishvasya Jagatha Pratishtha means, dharma is the very foundation of the complete universe. The Sanatan or perennial laws of Dharma guide Karma. Dharma teaches you to surrender your body in selfless service and enlightens us with a firm conviction that divinity is within us and we are eternal. But the true essence of Dharma cannot be limited to just righteous actions; it is the inner journey of a soul towards  peace or Absolute Truth. Dharma is the substratum of the very existence.

As such, the literal “support” of Dharma takes many forms, including:

  1. Dhariyete iti dharma: One that beholds the realms.
  2. Dhriyete loka Aneneti Dharma: with whose help all these realms are supported
  3. Dhriyete yah sah Dharma: knowledge absorbed and imbibed by good and great men.

Universe would not exist if there was no dharma,eternal Truth. Every existence is born with an innate quality, Dharma: the sun is born with the dharma to illuminate the earth, the dharma of water is wetness, the dharma of fire is to burn. Similarly, Man is born with the Dharma to attain Moksha, liberation. As like the essence or dharma of fire and water, Man’s essence of dharma is not something to be attained, it is full,it is whole, we just need to remove the moss of ignorance. We are born free and are ever free,as absolute wisdom already exists within us.

The Sixteen Empowering Principles of Dharma as explained by Swami Akhandanand Saraswatiji Maharaj

A. Atman is Supreme Existence

  1. Death cannot bury us today and has no power to engulf us tomorrow; we are the immortal sons of immortal parents. Thus, fear of death is very much against the principles of Truth, one’s Immortal Pure Self. One should perform one’s work fearlessly, knowing that you are the imperishable Atman.
  2. As my Atman or individual self is eternal, so is that of others. Thus it is Adharma or ‘offense’ to incite the fear of death in others. Do not become a reason for anyone’s death.

These first two aspects of Dharma clearly reflects realistic principles of Non-Violence.

  1. One’s Integral-Self or Atman is imperishable. It is Dharma for one to make an effort for one’s living.
  2. Respect and save other people’s lives as you respect and save your own life.

The third and fourth aspects, unfold necessary reasons and purposes for our life. Even providing medication for the body is also Dharma.

B. Atman is Absolute Consciousness

None can ever experience one’s ownself as inert. Experience, itself, is Consciousness.

  1. To cheat, to betray, and to fool others is definitely Adharma, against righteousness.
  2. To keep oneself ignorant and foolish or to allow oneself being cheated by others in the world of knowledge is also Adharma.
  3. To impart good knowledge, run schools, organize lectures, and initiate religious talks all considered good acts.
  4. The endeavour to attain true Knowledge is Dharma. To protect and spread the knowledge which already exists, and also acquire the knowledge which one does not have, is also Dharma.

C. Atman is Absolute Bliss

  1. Try not to hurt anyone purposefully.
  2. Do not be unhappy for any reasons or under any circumstances.
  3. Keep oneself cheerful and happy always.
  4. Give happiness to others.

D. Atman is Non-Dual

  1. Do not conspire to break the peace of a society or a community.
  2. Do not encourage the feeling of hatred or aversion towards others.
  3. Be friendly with others.
  4. Always make an effort to connect people with good people, they all should live happily.

Dharmo evo hato hanti dharmo rakshati rakshitah

Violating dharma is violating one’s own self. One who has firm faith in the laws of Dharma—Dharma itself becomes his saviour.

  1. A seeker should keep oneself away from mind and maya.
  2. All action at the end culminates in inaction.
  3. Fulfillment of all desires ends in annihilation of all desires.
  4. Ego is partial to one thing and is impartial to other. This is violence .
Q. What is the meaning of ‘Sanatan Dharma’ and why is it called hindu dharma?

Essentially the word ‘Sanatan’ means eternal, infinite and imperishable. ‘Dharma’.Synonym of Sanatan Dharma is Vedas, Atman, Brahman, Parmatman

Vedas is classified into three parts

  1. Ritualustic :  this part of the Vedas deals with behavourial dharma that which deals with world.
  2. Upasana : this deals with devotion, which involves all vedic expressions of God in all names and forms be it subtle form or gross form, like idol worship Mandirs.
  3. The Knowledge part : the most important part of Vedas is the knowledge part and is called as Vedanta deals with formless, attributeless God basically it deals with the teachings that Atman, the Jiva or the individual Self is inseparate from Brahman, Absolute Consciousness.

It would be poverty of our intelligence to call Vedas as just repository knowledge. Sanatana Dharma is now called Hindu Dharma. The word Hindu was coined by the Persian travellers when they came to Bharat, and they gave this name to us people who lived on the banks of the river Sindhu. Sanatan dharma is not any school of thought Sampradaya,or founded by an individual or a set of individuals like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism and so on….Vedic Sanatan Dharma cannot be called ancient and nor can it be carbon dated. If we say ancient then it will be with respect to time, space and object. Dharma is beginningless Sanatana. Santan Dharma is mother to countless sampradayas,doctrines, school of thoughts or any thought.