Wednesday, April 18, 2007


The word Dharma is derived from the Sanskrit root Dhara which means the base or sustaining factor. From this root derived the words Dharani or Dharati and Vasundra which denotes the earth. Dharma should not be confused with duty or responsibilities for which the Sanskrit word is Kartavyam or not even with religion for which the Sanskrit word is Mata which means concept or opinion which is normally used as Mata Bedha for difference of opinion and Mata Dhaana for Voting (as we are supposed to vote for some ideology or concept like, capitalism, socialism, communism, nationalism etc.,)

Dharma is classified into the two levels, first the Saamaanya Dharma and the second the Vishesha Dharma or Swadharma. While Saamaanya Dharma is common to all like worshiping God, serving the nature and the society, giving the offerings to the ancestors etc., the Swadharma will differ to individuals, groups in accordance with the context of time, place and nature.

A Sanyaasi (a monk) has to takes the pledge "Abhayam Sarva Bhoodeybhyha" (Let i cause no fear for any life) but a warrior has to pledge to fight to save and defend his nation. When Arjuna refused to fight, Krishna insisted him that being a Kshatriya he has to follow his Swadharma and fight for the sake of dharma.

We believe that everthing is the manifestation of Ishvara, in that case
Dharma is also His manifestation, not a mandate. This is the Vedic view of Dharma. That is the reason why end does not justify the means. For the sake of Ishvara you cannot do anything aganist Dharma, which is not separate from Isvara.

Dharma is within every one which is meant to control one's actions. If there is nothing to control a person and one is totally ignorant of what is right and wrong, then the creation is defective. It is some thing like a car coming into the market without a break system. We had no sermons from a mountain top. We do not require a son of God, a messiah or a Prophet to come and tell us universal values, the dharma.

God embedded the dharma within every human being, we Hindus strongly emphasis that God had created the car with a good break system which is our conscious, in a given situation what is proper and needs to be done is Dharma, Which is not separate from Ishvara.

What we don't like if others do to us is what we should not do to others. Imagine how a thief will get worried when his stolen property goes stolen by another thief, he cries as if his hard earned property went stolen. If i don't like others to stab me, let me not stab others.

There is a law governing the behavior of everything in this universe. All must submit to it for the world function properly. Otherwise things will go awry and end up in chaos. It is the will of the Lord that all his creation, all his creatures, should live in happiness. That is why he has manifested into dharma, a law, for each one of them. It is compliance with this dharma that ensures all-round harmony.

The name Hindu was given to us by foreigners as they identified every one across river Sindu as Sindus or Hindus or Indians (from the term Indus for Sindu). However it be Hinduism was not the name of our way of life in the distant past. Our basic texts do not refer our way of life by any name for the dharma.

The reason is very simple. When some one comes to our doorstep and asks " Ramu is there?" at once we will ask absent-mindedly "which Ramu?" . There will be many people in our place bearing the name Ramu. So to tell them appart we will call them as the Dark Ramu, the Tall Ramu, Dr. Ramu etc., When there is only one Ramu then there is no need to give him a distinguishing label.

When there are number of religions they have to be identified by different names. But when there is only one, where is the problem of identifying it? All religions barring our own were established by single individuals. Buddhism means the religion found by Gautama Buddha, Jainism by Mahaveera etc. Needless to say about western religions like Christianity and Islam which came into existence only in very recent times when compared with the original Dharma or even with the later Dhaarmic religions of the East.

1 comment:

Hariharan said...

It is really an eye opener for all Hindus. Proud to be an Hindu......