What is DHARMA?

So much has been said in the previous posts about Dharma. Hence it is important that it be defined.

Dharma is derived from the root verb dhr plus man. It means “that which provides support to the inner qualities, the intrinsic traits”. In other words, that which provides support to the essential qualities and the specific traits of an entity is dharma. Every object in this manifest world has its own dharma. For instance, water has its own dharma; fire has its own dharma; oxygen and nitrogen also have their own respective dharmas. And it is by virtue of their dharmas that different objects can be distinguished from one another.

If an object loses its capacity to burn, it can no longer be called fire. Similarly, if the thirst-quenching property is absent in an object, it is not water. Each elemental object carries its own identity through its dharma.

Each and every being of the universe has its own dharma. Even trees and creepers have their own dharmas. The dharma of trees and creepers is to seek certain goals, that is, to collect nourishment, to develop physically, to multiply through seeds and saplings, and then to get lost in the abyss of darkness so as to be born again. The life of animals is similar; the only difference is that animals are a little more developed than trees and creepers. They have one additional quality or trait, and that additional quality is the ability to move from one place to another. Plants cannot make such movements. So plants and animals have some common qualities, but animals have an extra quality, that they can move. That is why animals are said to be movable, while trees and plants are immovable.

What is meant by the dharma of human beings? One dharma of humans isjaeva dharma [the dharma of living beings], which plants, animals and humans, all three, all have in common. As animals, humans also have another quality, namely their movement from one place to another. This quality is also one of their traits. It is a dharma that they share with [animals]; but the dharma that human beings have in addition to this is their Bhágavata dharma. The life of animals and plants is wholly given to their senses. They have nothing beyond their physical needs and comforts. But some human beings are conscious of having one more dharma – Bhágavata dharma. The basic idea or controlling idea of human beings’ Bhágavata dharma is that they will move ceaselessly and uncompromisingly towards the highest ideal, towards Parama Puruśa.

Humans’ future is always bright. Never is it clouded with darkness. Because human beings’ guide is the most radiant and most brilliant Entity in the universe, and the final goal of their life’s journey.

The Supreme Being, the most effulgent Entity, is always present before you. Hence the future of anyone, whether sinful or virtuous, is always bright. One’s future can never be bleak. Hence people should continue to move without pause towards Parama Puruśa, maintaining a little adjustment with the jaeva dharma or animal dharma in them – this is human dharma. People have a physical life and also a mental life, but their speciality is their tireless movement towards Parama Puruśa. That is exactly what the Giitá wants to convey by saying that Bhágavata dharma is the svadharma of human beings.

Dharma is one for all human beings, and that dharma is mánava dharma.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: