What is Dharma?

Understanding Dharma is essential for success.

Word Dharma is coming from the Sanskrit language, the language of the ancient Vedas. The root of the word is DHRI, meaning – „to uphold or maintain (something or someone)”. From this comes the meaning of the word Dharma – „that which sustains our existence and makes us who we are”. So, we see Dharma as fundamentally an ontological concept. But, what is that actually which is sustaining our existence and making us who we are? Primarily 3 things:
1) law
2) our true nature
3) our purpose

Laws coming from the higher authorities (such as God and nature) and all the moral principles, duties, etc. coming from such laws, are meant to maintain and protect the natural and moral order of things, people, and societies. In this way law is sustaining our existence, supporting us and our growth (material and spiritual) if we abide by the law. With obedience to such laws, we can elevate our thinking, our consciousness and develop noble traits of character.

If there wasn’t for such a law, we could not sustain our existence. Chaos and degradation would be natural byproducts. This is why such moral laws – Dharma, represents a path of progress, wholesome progress, material and spiritual. So, when we understand and follow Dharma, prosperity, and self-realization come.

Sanskrit is a very rich language and even only one word can have several profound meanings. It’s the same with Dharma. One of the original meanings of the word Dharma is “one’s essential characteristic.” Our essential (inseparable) characteristic or nature also sustains our existence and makes us who we are. An example is given with the sugar and its sweetness. Sweetness is Dharma of the sugar, it’s an inseparable characteristic which is making sugar that what it is – sweet.

Our Dharma also, it is helping us grow, but if we are acting against it (same as with the law), if we are not recognizing, respecting, and following our highest nature, again we will experience chaos, confusion, and degradation.

Everything in this world is susceptible to change, but Dharma cannot be changed – it is our eternal, essential characteristic. That characteristic is service. That is our Dharma. Every one of us is a servant and can serve others with some extraordinary talent. To be engaged in our Dharma – a meaningful specific service, meant for us to do, that brings energy, contentment, and happiness to all, that is a success.

Although Dharma is something that is established, firm and stable, its application is very individual and flexible. Dharma in its application includes a specific time, place, and a specific person – us. Often we need assistance in determining this. We can not determine solely on our own what is our unique, individual Dharma, which we all need to find, our calling, mission, and life’s purpose. Our purpose is also to define and support our existence. Without purpose, nothing could exist. So, we all also have a purpose, and to find it (the highest one) is to live life in its full. This will ignite in us an inherent spirit of enthusiastic service, which is individual, spontaneous, and voluntary. This spontaneous loving service is a sign that we are living our Dharma.

If we enquire and understand these subjects well, we will understand and realize ourselves, Universe, God, other living entities, and our true relationship with them, because understanding and following one’s Dharma leads to a successful life, in which everything that matters the most and our real blissful self, gradually fully unfold.

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