Article

DHARM

- ‘Dharm’, often translated into English as Religion, of a thing cannot be more than one. It is not possible to translate this term ‘dharm’ in any language. To have a glimpse of the meaning of this term, we can say that the term refers to the intrinsic qualities of a thing. For example, water has qualities of going downwards, remaining cool etc. As such, these qualities can be termed as ‘dharm’ of water. Similarly, man has certain qualities like liking the truth, hatred towards deceitfulness etc. These qualities as a whole can be termed as ‘dharm’ of man. For a man, there cannot be two sets of qualities. HE CAN NOT BE TERMED AS HINDU, MUSLIM, SIKH, CHRISTIAN ETC. FOR THE REASON THAT HIS INTRINSIC QUALITIES SHALL REMAIN THE SAME IN ALL SOCIAL CONDITIONS. If any rule of a sect acts like a hurdle for becoming a human being, that hurdle need be crossed to reach the goal.

- What cannot be proved cannot be dharm. Here, ‘cannot be proved’ means inexplicable by reason by highest level of intellect.

- if we are to summarise whole of ‘dharm’ into one word, then that word is ‘Ahinsa’. For earning Punaya, everyone will like to follow the path of ‘Ahinsa’. For that, let us know / understand the meaning of this term. ‘Ahinsa’ refers to ‘not bringing pain to any other without a justifiable reason just for the pleasure of our senses (Here, ‘Man’ is included in our senses) e.g.  killing an enemy by a soldier is ‘Ahinsa’. Now, let us expand this term to know its subtle meaning. The act of not knowing about God, soul and nature can not be called ‘Ahimsa’ because this act of ours is just for the pleasure of our senses including ‘Man’. By not knowing the truth of these three entities, we are harming or bringing pain to the society we live in, although it may be unknowingly. All our actions are rewarded whether they are done knowingly or unknowingly.

Necessity of Dharm-Dharm has been considered like an inseparable part of our body by our forefathers. Like, life is not possible without a heart, similarly also, life is not possible without dharm. Since dharm is a part & parcel of our self, question of necessity of dharm has not been answered directly in our scriptures. Indirectly, it has been said that protected dharm protects man in return & unprotected dharm kills man. As such, man should do continuous effort to move in accordance with dharm. When we say that dharm is a part & parcel of our self, then, it should be true in case of uncivilized races also. Certain works of some scholars show that there exists some of the basic elements of dharm in these uncivilized races like belief over an unseen power greater than humans, who is creater of this universe, who resides at a place different from that of man, who brings clouds and lightening, who punishes the guilty, who takes life of animals for his food etc.

Appetite for dharm is in the heart of man.

 “It is one of the most undeniable facts of psychology that the average man can as little exist out of a religious element of some kind, as a fish out of the water”

(M.Blavatsky’s Isis Unvieled)

As a hungury person may eat good or bad things just to kill his hungur, similarly sometimes certain races and individuals in order to kill their hungur for dharm take resort to certain things, which are ultimately harmful for them. Today, people hate dharm. It has two reasons. One is unjustness in the name of dharm and the other is fashion & blind following. When thoughtful persons see hatred in the hearts of so called religious persons towards their fellow beings upto the limit of killing the persons having different beliefs, burning of people alive, slaughtering of thousands of animals every day, destroying the peaceful atmosphere of living and all these in the name of religion, then they tend to hate such type of dharm. Their hatred for dharm (often translated as religion in English) is like a person, who on seeing a hungury man eating sand starts hating food and out of such hatred starts saying that man should not eat food. Rather such a person had a duty to suggest the person eating sand that food, which is good for one's body should be eaten instead of sand. Actually, the reason behind unjustness existing in the word is not dharm but adharm (opposite of dharm). Adharm in the disguise of dharm is doing all the unjustness. Suppose, I intend to defeat one of my foes. My colleagues or friends (actually, no one but God is friend of man) refuse to support me for this. But if I make them believe or instigate them using their ignorance that to hurt my foe is their dharm, then they will become ready to help me in my intention (history is full of such type of cases). Actually, reason of such sort of riots is not dharm but selfishness of some people. Riots or fights do not happen only because of adharm but also because of dirty politics. Real or actual politics do not warrant such types of riots or fights. In the same way real or actual dharm does not support such unjustnesses.

      Second reason of hatred towards dharm is fashion & blind following of the persons of higher class by the masses. Certain persons or races think the other persons or races as higher or superiour than them and immitate their thoughts on different subjects including 'dharm'. Though, today’s real scientists do not comment on the matters related to dharm with the thought that these things are outside the ambit of today’s / modern science but today’s head of educational institutions and the like go on instilling in their disciples hatred towards dharm without knowing the actual dharm for the simple reason that some scientists of earlier period criticized dharm.

 Dharm and science are not two different things. Science and dharm are embedded in each other. Actually, what is unscientific cannot be dharm. Somehow, certain scholars treat dharm and science as two separate things. Even some of these scholars feel that science in itself cannot be the light-house of man’s life.

“….science, for the reason of its aim (which is to study all that exists) can afford no guidance for the life of man.”

(“What is religion?” by Count Leo Tolstoy)

Here, we have not explained what dharm is but have only given some introduction of ‘dharm’. Everybody knows what dharm is, though, it is like knowledge of a child regarding recognition of a cow. Base should be very strong so as to have a strong building. As such, this work is aimed at providing a stong base to the readers, who are willing to go further in this field.

-Some of the thoughts of Pt. Gangaprasad Upadhayay