Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Dharma

Dharma: Basis for harmony in the world of disparities

This acceptance of others, acceptance of differences and well-being of all is possible in the Indian civilisation because religion is not dogmatic. Swami Vivekananda explained it in the West, "Do not disturb the faith of any. For you must know that religion is not in doctrines. Religion lies in being and becoming, in realisation.' (CWSV, vol. VIII, p. 229.)

In the vision of Oneness man is not merely the body-mind complex, unconnected with the others; he is the expanding consciousness. The bigger, the expanded form of the individual is the family. The expanded form of the family is society. The expanded form of the society is nation. Nation is a part of creation. And ultimately everything is the expression of that One consciousness.

Therefore, religion is not 'believing' in God; it is 'being and becoming'. The term used in India is 'Dharma'. Dharma was translated as 'religion', but there is need to understand the difference between 'Dharma'  and 'Religion'.

Dharma is, to strive to express the divinity within; it is the striving of the smaller identity to be unselfish so that the bigger identities are nurtured and harmony is maintained; Dharma is to share, offer for the good of all because all are just the expression of one's own self; Dharma is to perform one's duty towards one's larger existence such as family, society, nation and the entire creation. If the society is Dharma-based, then everyone's needs are taken care of.