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February 28, 2020 No Comments

Did you Know – What is Dharma

Happiness remains elusive to most people even after realizing their dreams, success, name, and fame. Somehow, consciously or not, directly or indirectly, in the short or the long term, whatever we do, whatever we hope, whatever we dream — somehow, is related to a deep, profound desire seeking happiness or well-being.

Dharma generally interpreted as religion also means ‘righteous conduct’ or ‘moral duty’. There remains a conundrum whether one’s Dharma supersedes his duty or the other way around. Dharma can be more aptly described as the natural law that when followed leads to happiness in the long run.

Dharma a Vedic concept is a human ability to outgrow the animal instinct born out of either a fear of survival or a desire for power by controlling others. While empathy towards others is Dharma, the exploitation of the weak for the self-gain is Adharma.

Dharma is universal but context-sensitive. It’s a principle and neither a code of conduct nor rule book. It is this difference between principles and rules that is highlighted and is a differentiator between Ramayana and Mahabharat, the two greatest epics forming the Vedic literature.

The figure below illustrates the difference between Lord Ram and Lord Krishna. Though both Ram and Krishna follow the underlying principles, while rules are always followed in the case of Lord Rama but are often flouted in the case of Lord Krishna.  In the modern world, the emphasis is on rules largely disregarding the principles resulting in a high majority of alpha males like Duryodhana in Mahabharata.

 

Within every human there is mind and there is a heart. These, by their very existence as two, holds the possibility of suffering. A harmonious working between mind and heart is the foundation of happiness while a conflict between them results in suffering.

 

As per Maharishi Dharma is a convergence of needs, desires, and competencies of the individual involved in a given context. The figure above illustrates the concept of Dharma.

While a leader should not only perform his own Dharma he should also facilitate and encourage the team members to perform their individual Dharma. Dharma or righteousness is the key to happiness.

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