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What is the Dharma?

What is the Dharma Explored

what-is-the-dharmaMost of us seek happiness. As we seek happiness, those of us who are perhaps of a more immature frame of mind might think happiness is to be gained through the fulfillment of one’s desires. In that respect, we seek happiness through worldly pleasures, attainment of worldly success. Perhaps for some unfortunates, happiness is sought in addictive behavior and substances. These addictive behaviors bring of course short-lived “happiness” and requires increasing amounts of the favored substance to bring it about. When everything fails to bring what we feel we desire, those of us fortunate enough might begin to ask what is the dharma.

What is the dharma defined

What is the dharma can best be answered as that path of righteousness and living one’s life according to certain codes of conduct. Thus, these codes might vary according to the religious path one follows. However, Hinduism has long been known as the path that best describes dharma.

What is the dharma?

Hinduism describes dharma as the natural universal laws whose observance enables humans to be contented and happy. It also saves one from suffering. Dharma is the moral law. One combines it with spiritual discipline to guide one’s life. Thus, for Hindus answering the question what is the dharma, they will tell you that it is the very foundation of life. A Sanskrit word, it means “that which holds” the people of the world and all of creation. Dharma is the “law of being” without which things do not exist.

Definition of what is the dharma by Tulsidas

A wise Hindu scholar, Tulsidas, defined the root of dharma as compassion. This principle is observed and promulgated by Lord Buddha in the Dhammapada, an immortal book of great wisdom. In Hindu wisdom, there is dharma and the absence of it is referred to as adharma.

How karma contributes to the question of what is the dharma

Hinduism accepts the concept of reincarnation. What determines the state of an individual in the next incarnation is karma. Karma refers to the actions undertake by the body and the mind. In order to achieve good karma, it is important to live life according to answering the precepts of what is the dharma. This involves doing what is right for the individual, the family, the class or caste and also for the universe itself. Dharma affects the future according to the karma accumulated.

What contributes to answering what is the dharma?

Anything that helps human beings to reach god and fulfill their spiritual path is dharma. Anything that hinders human beings from reaching god is adharma. According to the wise book, the Bhagavat Purana, righteous living or life on a dharmic path has four aspects:

  1. Austerity
  2. Purity
  3. Compassion and
  4. Truthfulness.

Adharmic life has three vices: pride; contact and intoxication. Moreover, the essence of dharma lies in possessing a certain ability, power and spiritual strength. The strength of being dharmic lies in a unique combination of spiritual brilliance and physical prowess.

Rules involved in answering what is the dharma

According to the ancient sage Manu, there are ten essential rules for the observance of dharma:

  1. Patience
  2. Forgiveness
  3. Piety or self control
  4. Honesty
  5. Sanctity
  6. Control of senses
  7. Reason
  8. Knowledge or learning
  9. Truthfulness and 10. Absence of anger

I know that many people reading these rules of dharma find themselves with a feeling of overwhelm at the many conditions of living in the dharma. However, the purpose of dharma is not only to attain a union of the soul with the supreme reality. It also points to a code of conduct that one intends to secure both worldly joys and happiness.

Thus,unlike many Christian religions, leading a dharmic life is not only so that you may enjoy your afterlife. It is also to bring joy and contentment to this life. The practice of dharma gives an experience of peace, joy, strength and tranquility within one’s life in the present.

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