Dharma is our guide to living!
Who guides us on how to live? What to do or not to do?
Dharma is righteous behavior. It holds our lives and our world together. It guides and regulates our actions so that our life turns out balanced, happy, and contented. Dharma is the compass steering our life through the choppy and turbulent challenges of life.
Social Implications of Dharma
Dharma integrates and harmonizes society. Atharva Veda declares that Dharma holds the whole world together. It is also true that strife and conflict in society are caused by a decline of Dharma or conversely abundance of Adharma. In the absence of Dharma, society is plagued by undesirable strife, sectarian, selfish, and discordant behavior.
Personal Implications of Dharma
A happy and sorrow free life sprouts in the fertile soil of Dharma.
Hinduism believes in stitching material and spiritual components of life together to construct a wholesome life experience. Dharma, as stated in our texts, guides us and regulates our conduct for integration of world and self. In every moment. So that we may lead a blissful, joyous, and peaceful life.
Myths surrounding Dharma
Let us dispel a few myths.
Dharma is not a regime, meant only for a saffron-clad religious ascetic who is looking for salvation. It guides all of us to material and spiritual pursuits – a profession, family life, enjoyment of music and literature, social roles, our spiritual quest, worship, and meditation. All this happens in this world, here and now.
Where does Dharma come from? Who decides what Dharma is?
Who tells us what to do? Where does the Dharmic authority flow from?
The authority of Dharma flows from – Shruti [Vedas], Smriti [other dharmic texts], Sadācāra [righteous behavior], Priyam ātmanāh [satisfying ones own quest].
This is the four way test to decide whether any action falls within the purview of dharma.
Next time you ponder over your actions, think what is actually guiding your actions.