What Is The Concept Of Dharma?
Dharma i.e religion is when an element or anything reverts to its original nature or state.
– Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan
In worldly interactions, we say, “I am John (the reader may insert his own name here), isn’t it? However, John is only our worldly or relative self, whereas our real Self is the Pure Soul residing within. To revert to the nature of the Self is the real religion.
There are two types of dharma:
1. Real dharma and
2. Relative or worldly dharma.
The real dharma is the dharma of the Soul which is our real Self. The dharma of the Soul exists in the heart of ‘Gnani Purush’, the Enlightened One; it cannot be found anywhere else.
And Jain, Vaishnav, Muslim, Christianity etc., are all relative religions i.e. religion of our worldly self (John). It all stems down to one’s background and upbringing which determines which faith if any, one may adhere to. The relative religion encompasses the religion of mind, religion of speech and religion of the body.
Chanting Lord’s name, saying prayers, doing penance, meditation, repenting for one’s mistakes, listening to religious talks and lectures, renouncing worldly ties are all a part of relative religion. Every religion teaches us to do good deeds and avert doing bad deeds because through good deeds we bind merit karma which yield happiness and peace, whereas with bad conduct we bind bad karma which bring us lot of hurt and suffering.
Do not hurt anyone
Just as 1, 2, 100, etc. are all valid numbers, similarly all the religions in this world are correct. Therefore, we should never feel or say, “Our dharma is right, and yours is wrong.” Those at level 1 are correct according to their level; those at level 2 too are correct at their level, etc. They are all correct according to their respective level. And that which accepts all levels is at the centre. For one who is at the centre, all the relative views are correct because every religion is correct; it is one’s belief and his conviction. We must not hurt anyone’s belief.
This basic concept of dharma is all that one needs to understand…
As a human, our religion (dharma) is to give happiness to every living being. To hurt a living being in any manner is a wrongdoing (non-dharma).
How do we apply this concept in our daily life?
• “May no living being be hurt to the slightest extent through my mind, speech and body” – recite this sentence every morning five times. Doing so, you shall begin to see a difference within you very soon. Where earlier you may have harbored the intent to cause hurt to others, your opinion now will have radically changed for the good. If you strive to uphold the principle of not hurting others by your mind, speech and action, you will experience considerable peace in life and go on to sow merit karmas. With merit karmas to your credit, you rise higher in life and secure a better future.
• Aim to see good in everyone. Whoever comes your way, if your mind tries to show you their flaws, choose to immediately disagree with such thoughts and try to see some positive quality instead in that person. Every person has certain good virtues; always bear them in your mind because by seeing faults of others, our vibrations reach the other person and it makes them feel bad.
• Ask for forgiveness. When arguments, conflicts or negative opinions arise for each other, they make you unhappy and unsettled as they take away your peace of mind. To alleviate these emotions, seek forgiveness with sincere repentance in your heart. This will lessen the effects of negative emotions that you may have developed for each other.
• Always stay on the side of positivity. Even when things seem tough, find out one positive from that situation. This will make you feel happy. A happy person always spreads happiness and an unhappy person spreads unhappiness. So stay positive – that will keep you happy. And by staying positive, you will influence a positive outcome.
• Decide that you want to make a difference in the lives of others. Simple things like saying ‘good morning, hello’ or giving up your seat in bus or train to someone who needs it more than you; even a small donation of your used clothes or a meal into a food bank will create a positive impact in the lives of others. When you put happiness of others above your own happiness, as a direct result of such auspicious thinking it will bring you inner contentment. Moreover, when you decide to make others happy the same happiness will materialize within you, this is how the law of Nature operates.
That which brings forth ‘results’ is called religion.
When the anger, pride, deceit and greed seated within us progressively reduce and eventually become annihilated, no one shall be hurt by us, rather everyone will be happy having us around. And that is religion. The above-mentioned steps shall very much help us progress in the this direction.
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