According to the ancient Indian philosophy the man must conduct himself in accordance with his ‘Dharma’. Unlike religion, ‘Dharma’ is not essentially some kind of a code of conduct or a guideline thought of and prepared by the man for his the spiritual, intellectual and physical well-being. Therefore, it is not right to treat ‘Dharma’ at par with the religion.
‘Dharma’ is proactive in nature with essential restrains. It has to be a wonderful amalgamation of human ‘Pravritti’ (the natural inspiration that prompts the man for making efforts for his physical survival in the world) and ‘Nivritti’ (the thoughtful inspiration that detaches the man mentally from the materialistic world and strongly encourages him to explore and realize his spiritual existence).
We say that ‘Dharma’ of the clouds is to provide rains or the ‘Dharma’ of a river is to flow along and water the land; or, we may even say that ‘Dharma’ of a teacher is to acquire knowledge and impart that knowledge to his students. Similarly, not to harm any living beings and the nature, or to explore the absolute truth while conducting according to the immediate truth can also be accepted as man’s ‘Dharma’. Perhaps, we may view ‘Dharma’ as a liberal set of natural duties of the man, that is, the duties that are consistent with the Divine laws or universal consciousness.
In addition to this, all selfless actions of the man, for the welfare of the entire universe, with all animate and inanimate that exist therein, and, which are aligned with the Divine laws are also treated as man’s ‘Dharma’. Whatever is aligned with the Divine laws may be considered by many as what is dedicated to the God. In other words, no one is authorized to accept the fruits of his selfless actions and hence, one must not expect any rewards against his selfless action or selfless duties for his selfish needs. Further, since such selfless actions have to be dedicated to the God, ‘Dharma’ can never be a subject matter of man’s Ahamkar (ego). One who follows the path of ‘Dharma’, in fact, repays the debts that he owes to whoever or whatever contributed to his existence.
‘Dharma’ is not absolute truth as it may necessitate restraint over man’s Pravritties; it is, therefore, subject to place, time and circumstances. But, at all times and situations ‘Dharma’ cannot supersede ‘Absolute Truth’ in any way. It is essential for the man to keep on redefining the elements and refining the essence of ‘Dharma’.
PROMOD KUMAR SHARMA
[The writer of this blog is also the author of “Mahatma A Scientist of the Intuitively Obvious” and “In Search of Our Wonderful Words”.]