Skip to content

Tag: dharma

Confusion, instruction, disciple-tion – part 2

Of course Arjuna said he feels defeated already. Nay, not defeated, but more deflated, like retired-hurt, to use a cricket term. Or maybe a hit-wicket? He didn’t even want to star in the war, the same one for which he had trained all his life!

So he finally came to Krishna and surrendered completely. “Krishna, I’m lost and I’m a mess. Please instruct me. Take me as your disciple. What should I do now?”

But let’s look at the other side of the battlefield shall we? Just days before the Kurukshetra war, the arch villain Duryodhana had a meeting with Krishna too. He was in fact offered a choice – either Krishna, or a massive army. Duryodhana chose the latter, because tens of thousands of soldiers are better than the Lord Krishna no? Or was it because he didn’t recognize that Krishna was an avatar of the Lord?

No, Duryodhana very well knew of Krishna’s true nature. In spite of this knowledge, he chose the army. Not just that, he also told Krishna thus, “I know what I am doing is wrong. I know I am on the wrong side of Dharma. I know I should be choosing you. I know I am a wicked person. But still Krishna, I am unable to do what is right.”

What is the difference here then? Simply one of ‘ego’. Duryodhana was just unable to accept that he needed help. He was unable to surrender to a greater power. Because he thought himself to be the greatest power. Arjuna on the other hand, realized that he was in a situation that he could not solve on his own. What better way then, than to surrender?

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

Swa

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.

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment

What exactly is dharma? – Part 2 of 2

So we continue from yesterday’s post on dharma.

The ancients have given us exceptional guidance. “Desha, Kaala, Paristhithi”, which translates to Place, Time and Situation. No law or diktat can be applicable to everybody, every time and in every circumstance. Hence trying to apply one standardised definition (one size fits all) may not work.

Dharma may also arise from the passion that one shows for one’s work. If we are able to find our true calling, and work as if it were play, then our duty would be implemented dharmically. Hardly anyone truly finds their passion though. Therefore, to start with, we would have to fool our minds into enjoying our work. Soon passion and enjoyment will come automatically.

There are also some universally accepted principles and values that come under dharma. Such as non-violence, truthfulness, cleanliness etc. No matter the caste, creed, race, or gender, these principles apply across the board. Here, we can follow the simple dharmic principle, “do not do unto others, what you don’t want them to do to you”, i.e. practising compassion and empathy.

Further, dharma is also in intent. Is the intent selfish? Is it driven by “what is in it for me?”. Instead of thinking about us, we should be thinking about others. Dharma therefore take shape when there is maximum benefit to maximum people.

As per Vedanta, the dharma of a human being is to attain moksha or liberation. This is somewhat a destination than a journey. However, the journey must be undertaken, with a life lived in accordance to all the above dharmic dictums. The destination will reveal itself automatically.

Finally, even the greatest of yogis and rishis have faltered in upholding dharma. Do we even stand a chance? We certainly do, but for that, we must take refuge in a Guru.

Like it? Please share it!
2 Comments

Buttermilk

Our emotional extremes rarely come out into the open.

We may go so far out of the way to nonchalantly help someone that it warmed their hearts forever. At an other time, we may have felt so disgusted at something that we wish secretly and momentarily that a perpetrator be banished from the face of this earth.

Each of us is a mix of good and evil. We know what society at large considers right and wrong. A simple check before any decisive action is “would I like it, if someone does the exact same thing to me?”

Sometimes things may get out of hand. But it is alright. The ancient Chinese had a system. They would never brand a person a liar. They would only point out that this person said a lie, on this date at that time.

Our mind must be strong and balanced. If something bad has happened, we cannot let it affect us forever. If a fly falls in milk, we throw the milk away. But if a fly falls in butter, we only scoop out a small section of it.

It is our choice, whether we let ourselves be polluted fully, or periodically purge out the muck. Butter up!

Like it? Please share it!
Leave a Comment