Swa. That’s the name of an artisanal juice syrup brand I got to taste recently. It was tasty, and its name comes from the fact that one has to make it ‘on their own’. Put in the effort of adding water to the Swa syrup and mixing it.
And such is the case with Dharma as well. The ultimate dharma, the ultimate goal of a human being is to attain moksha or liberation. However, the path to getting there is what is called as swadharma, because it is of one’s own doing.
A super example is from Acharya Prashant’s book called Karma. He likens dharma to being at the (x,y,z,) coordinates of (0,0,0). This is the starting point. It’s where we all came from originally, and where we need to go to eventually (in this lifetime or next).
Depending on where we are currently, our coordinates could be (10,12,15), or (3,4,5) or even (-20,-8,19). And thus the starting point is what will determine the work we would need to do to get to (0,0,0). This difference in starting point is what requires swadharma. Everyone would have to do their own bit. The work is not easy. Time for a drink.