Dharma- What is the meaning of Dharma?
Nowadays there is a misconception amongst the populace that dharma means religion. If you also think that this is what dharma means let me make it clear today. Dharma means law.
Dharma means law. It is like the constitution. The constitution has laws upon which a country runs. The constitution is the dharma of the citizens. For example, it is your dharma to stop at a red traffic light as a citizen. It is your dharma to vote as a citizen. It is your dharma to take care of your children as a parent. It is your dharma to take care of your parents as a child. So on and so forth.
Now the constitution is your dharma as a citizen. But there is also personal dharma which is not taught nowadays. There is a saying in Bharat, first dharma then karma. First, you have to establish your own personal dharma upon which you shall base all your karma. Karma without dharma will always take you in circles.
Your personal dharma can be anything. It may be money. It may be the truth. It may be a family. It may be love. It may be theft. Or it may be Shiva. You can choose and establish your own dharma. What is important is not what your dharma is but that you have dharma. When you have established your dharma now you will always know how to act as you can perform your karma accordingly. For example, someone whose dharma is truth will always try to speak the truth. If someone’s dharma is money then he will always make decisions to obtain more money. But if you have no dharma, you don’t know whether you should be truthful or not, whether you should make more money or not. Instead of living life accidentally you can live your life consciously.
Dharma is not about right or wrong instead it helps you in being decisive as you always base your decision so as not to compromise this principle you have set. This becomes your way of life.
Now it does not mean you have to have your own dharma. You can live however you want. It is just that it will become difficult to get out of the chakravyuh that you might find yourself in.
By:- Agyeya Dixit