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Embodiment Of Dharma (right conduct)

Yada yada hi dharmasya glanirbhavati bharata

Abhyuthanamadharmasya tadatmanam srijamyaham

Paritranaya sadhunam vinashay cha dushkritam

Dharmasamsthapanarthaya sambhabami yuge yuge
The meaning:

Whenever there is decay of righteousness, O Bharata,

And there is exaltation of unrighteousness, then I Myself come forth; For the protection of the good, for the destruction of evil-doers, For the sake of firmly establishing righteousness, I am born from age to age.

Dharma ([dʱəɾmə]; Sanskrit: धर्म dharma,  Pali: धम्म dhamma) is a key concept with multiple meanings in the Indian religions.

In Hinduism, dharma signifies behaviours that are considered to be in accord with rta, the order that makes life and universe possible, and includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and ‘‘right way of living’’. In Buddhism dharma means “cosmic law and order”, but is also applied to the teachings of the Buddha. In Buddhist philosophy, dhamma/dharma is also the term for “phenomena”. Dharma in Jainism refers to the teachings of tirthankara (Jina) and the body of doctrine pertaining to the purification and moral transformation of human beings. For Sikhs, the word dharm means the path of righteousness and proper religious practice.

Rta, Maya and Dharma

The evolving literature of Hinduism linked Dharma to two other important concepts: Ṛta and Māyā. Ṛta in Vedas is the truth and cosmic principle which regulates and coordinates the operation of the universe and everything within it. Māyā in Rig-veda and later literature means illusion, fraud, deception, magic that misleads and creates disorder, thus is contrary to reality, laws and rules that establish order, predictability and harmony. Paul Horsch suggests Ṛta and Dharma are parallel concepts, the former being a cosmic principle, the latter being of moral social sphere; while Māyā and Dharma are also analogous concepts, the former being that which corrupts law and moral life, the later being that which strengthens law and moral life.

 In Upanishads, the concept of dharma continues as universal principle of law, order, harmony, and truth. It acts as the regulatory moral principle of the Universe. It is explained as law of righteousness and equated to satya (Sanskrit: सत्यं, truth), in hymn 1.4.14 of Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, as follows:

धर्मः तस्माद्धर्मात् परं नास्त्य् अथो अबलीयान् बलीयाँसमाशँसते धर्मेण यथा राज्ञैवम् ।
यो वै स धर्मः सत्यं वै तत् तस्मात्सत्यं वदन्तमाहुर् धर्मं वदतीति धर्मं वा वदन्तँ सत्यं वदतीत्य् एतद्ध्येवैतदुभयं भवति ।।

Nothing is higher than Dharma. The weak overcomes the stronger by Dharma, as over a king. Truly that Dharma is the Truth (Satya); Therefore, when a man speaks the Truth, they say, “He speaks the Dharma”; and if he speaks Dharma, they say, “He speaks the Truth!” For both are one.

— Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 1.4.xiv 

Dharma and law

 The notion of Dharma as duty or propriety is found in India’s ancient legal and religious texts. In Hindu philosophy, justice, social harmony, and happiness requires that people live per dharma. The Dharmashastra is a record of these guidelines and rules. The available evidence suggest India once had a large collection of dharma related literature (sutras, shastras); four of the sutras survive and these are now referred to as Dharmasutras. Along with laws of Manu in Dharmasutras, exist parallel and different compendium of laws, such as the laws of Narada and other ancient scholars. These different and conflicting law books are neither exclusive, nor do they supersede other sources of Dharma in Hinduism. These Dharmasutras include instructions on education of the young, their rites of passage, customs, religious rites and rituals, marital rights and obligations, death and ancestral rites, laws and administration of justice, crimes, punishments, rules and types of evidence, duties of a king, as well as morality.

Sad Guru Sri Sathya Sai: Dharma is a body of principles that are fundamental to social stability and individual progress. “Dharma Moolam Idam Jagath”. Dharma is the root of this world. Obey it and you are happy. One common definition of Dharma is that it is the adherence to the rule: ‘Do unto others what you wish them to do unto you. Do not have a double standard. Treat all as your own self’.

 Dharma is the foundation for the welfare of humanity; it is the Truth that is stable for all time. God is the embodiment of Dharma; His Grace is won by Dharma; He is ever fostering Dharma; He is ever establishing Dharma. He is Dharma itself.

The basic principles of Dharma are Sathya (Truth), Prema (Love), Sahana (Fortitude) and Ahimsa (Nonviolence). “Dharmo Rakshathi Rakshithah” – Dharma protects those that protect Dharma. Dharma means certain obligations and duties and regulations over actions, words and behavior. For example, elders have certain obligations towards younger people and vice versa; neighbors have mutual duties and rights.

“Dharma” sustains the harmony in the cosmos

Dharma means that which links man with God. The Indian name for religion is Dharma. Dharma is described  as: Dharanat Dharma ityahuhu,  or Dharayati sa Dharmah.

Dharma is that which upholds the creation together,  which sustains all the creation-that means which helps to keep up the harmony in creation. That is the Vedic ‘Rita’. It lays the codes of discipline, temporal as well as spiritual for man to conduct himself during his life’s journey so as to live in tune with  and blend  himself into the divine harmony of the Cosmos. Without religion, Cosmos will turn into chaos. Religion implies realisation of the Reality, i.e., realisation of God who  pervades the entire creation, who inheres in all the beings and who holds all the creations together; it also charts out the pathway towards this supreme realisation.

Om bhur bhuvah swah, tat savitur  varenyam
Bhargo devasya dhimahe, dhiyo yonah prachodayat.

“May the Supreme Light illumine our intellect  and direct  the rays of our intelligence to the path of virtue.”

Sarve Janah Sukhinobhavantu– ” May all beings be happy ”

Asatoma Sadgamaya, Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya, Mrityoma Amrutamgamaya

Oh Lord lead us from untruth to Truth, from darkness  into Light and from mortality to immortality.

Om Shanti shanti shanti Om

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