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What is Dharma?

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

11 May 2022

 The entire dharma can be condensed into one statement: “ātmanah pratikūlāni pareśām na samācaret” – Whatever you feel is harmful to you and you do not like, do not inflict it on others.” Try to be helpful to others, serve them. Do not hurt or harm anyone. Live with sufficient sensory restraint and mental harmony. This is the whole gamut of Dharma.

Q4: Swamiji, can you please talk to us about the concept of Dharma? 

PS: The word Dharma is a Sanskrit word which does not have any English equivalent. Generally, we translate it as “righteousness”— whatever is right and proper. But the actual meaning of the word goes much deeper. The power that sustains your life in good and bad, in prosperity and adversity, in success and failure, is called dharma.

The entire dharma can be condensed into one statement: “ātmanah pratikūlāni pareśām na samācaret” – Whatever you feel is harmful to you and you do not like, do not inflict it on others.” Try to be helpful to others, serve them. Do not hurt or harm anyone. Live with sufficient sensory restraint and mental harmony. This is the whole gamut of Dharma.

Your motto in life should be, “I am a cog in the universal wheel. Along with me there are millions and millions of others. I am only one of them.” Always think of mother earth, think of the universe. There is a rhythm and order in the whole universe. Conform to it.

In the language of Bhagavad Gita, dharma has another principle – treat sukha (happiness) and duhkha (unhappiness) alike. Both are conditions of the mind. The world consists of all these pairs of opposites. You cannot have light without darkness; you cannot have hunger alone, appeasement also is there. Develop an outlook, by virtue of which you will evenize these. Do not prefer happiness and do not abhor unhappiness. Be equal towards gain and loss, victory and defeat.

Our subject of discussion for the fifth Global Bhagavad Gita convention is ‘Mental Harmony’. That is the greatest Dharma. What Bhagavad Gita says is: “As ordinary people are living with a lot of attachment, delusional clinging, in the same manner the enlightened man also should live but without any internal clinging at all.”

Our mind is capable of rising to these elevated dimensions, transcending happiness and misery. When intelligence is also harmonized, you do not yearn for what you like, or fear what you dislike.

I will put it in a small formula: Do not do what you want, and then do what you like. What does this mean, in actual pursuit?

Do not have any strong desire or insistence in any matter. Do not be rigid also about doing and non-doing. Be flexible and light. With such a frame of mind, do whatever you like, whatever comes to be done.

This is the best Dharma. I have learnt to do what I dislike and I equally learnt not to do what I like. I can do what I don’t like and I can easily not do what I like. If I like something and people around me do not like, I can easily make a concession and not do it. The other way round also. I am super happy, stable and magnificently performing.

Live as others, and do also; but never have a complaint in the mind that you are affected. You should live unaffectedly, gloriously, happily, ecstatically, abundantly. We have got infinite, interminable, inexhaustible resources within the body. Tap them, my dear Youth. Okay.

Harih Om Tat Sat

– Vicharasethu–May 2022

“In the language of Bhagavad Gita, dharma has another principle – treat sukha (happiness) and duhkha (unhappiness) alike. Both are conditions of the mind. The world consists of all these pairs of opposites.”

“Do not be rigid also about doing and non-doing. Be flexible and light. With such a frame of mind, do whatever you like, whatever comes to be done. ”

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