Sanatana Dharma: Dharma- Definition and Difference (Series # 03)

What is the definition of being Dharmic

Normally we think that being theist means having faith on some invisible, super power entity who is more powerful than Human. But this definition is incomplete. We can have thousand doubt after considering this as a true statement. A person who is religiously extremist from Ku Klan Ku to ISIL, killed innocent in name of super entity. Do we consider him theist ? If you will check history there is thousand of riots and extermination has been done in name of religion. In India, 1947 partition was based on religion. Can we conclude that being theist actually originate riots, fights, agitation. The time of crusade when Muslim and Christen rural were killing each other, which was happened in name of religion only. if we look around, we find that thousand superstitious customs being made in name of religion and faith in society. can we consider that agitation is born by religious belief. Many innocent animals killed in name of religion. So why should not every one think that just because of almighty god many innocent animal go to death untimely.

This confusion has been origin because people doesn’t understand the definition of theistic belief. theist belief doesn’t have dharmic input into their definition.

Doing righteous work by influencing the dharma is consider as Dharmic. if a human do righteous work by effect of dharma then he is dharmic another wise superstitious.

The foundation of superstitious is Illiteracy and agitation in society is result of greed of power in society.

Definition of Dharma

We need to understand the definition of Dharma and its comparison with religion.

  • “Dharm” is Sanskrit world which origin from “dri” which means something which can hold by human as a internal character. “Dharyate ithi Dharma” which can be hold.
  • Jaimini sage Mimasa darshana explain about character of Dharma “The character of dharma is holding quality and action which lead to external and internal peace by having righteous stand in mind”
  • Vedic literature explain that dharma is natural character of any thing living and non living. for example lightening and burning is nature of fire and protection and Compliance to his people  is duty of a King.
  • Mansmriti says “Patience, forgiveness, preventing mind to fall into excessive material desire do not theft, being hygienic, control of human desire, intelligence and knowledge, truth speaking and non violence is ten character of Dharma”. chapter 3 V 31
  • Other location its says ” Good Conduct to others is dharma” chapter १/१०८
  • Mahabharata says “whichever can hold as a conduct or what society hold as a conduct is dharma”.
  • Vasivik Darshan’s writer sage Kanadh says ” Any conduct which help to social reform and progress and lead to liberation is Dharma”.
  • Swami Dayananad (a reformer of Indian society) says “A justice with out discrimination, leaving of untruthful conduct is dharma and opposite of it is adharma” Satyarth Prakash 3 Sammulass.

So this clear that Dharma is more about conduct and doing right action which can lead society to an progressive end. it is not like Abrahamic religion which forced and instruct to do some set of rules and practice. it is more about adaptation to society. Hence Dharma is fundamentally different then Religion.

Difference between Dharma and Religion

before recalling it lets define the definition of dharma and religion by comparing the philosophy. Lets rewind a few basic facts about dharma:-

1.  Dharma is more about right conduct within society while religion is more about having blind faith and submission to Invisible God.

  1. Dharma says action is prime while religion advocate faith is prime.
  2. Dharma is according to human nature and adopt human behavior which make it more natural in every person and the fundamental of this is law of nature. While religion is politicized form of Dharma, that’s why its unnatural and man made. That’s why dharma is one, but religion is different. By having history centric and man made rules they are opposite to each other in many ways while dharma can modify itself according to need. hence friction amongst dharmic is very less.
  3. The character of dharma is applicable to every human being without cast creed and religion. because its more about right conduct then just following faithful rules and practice. while religion has different line of believe which can detached them from main religion and it has been highly oppose amongst religion because of high level of irrational believe rather then logical adaptation. Dharma has been made for all time, for all people, for acceptance and accepted in every place while religion is origin in a special history of time, with special people. some conduct is transfer from dharma to religion hence they are still valid for few things.
  4. Dharma is highest form of being gentle. hence being dharmic a person must be gentlemen. But religion doesn’t call for highest code of gentle conduct. Any person can be dharmic by just following highly gentle code of conduct mentioned in dharma while no dharmic can be religious without accepting blindly the faith and its submission. The priority of being dharmic is following gentle code of conduct while being religious you have to agree on primary term and condition. its more like human contract. Example no matter how much a person is nice and gentlemen but if he doesn’t accept the Jesus as a god can not be true christen. while any christen can become dharmic just adopting code of conduct in dharma.
  5. Dharma made human more human and increase him to do have gentle code of conduct and action. in second though human and dharma is complementary to each other. it is also said that, having food sleep, reproduction is similar action like animal, dharma makes us more human. a person without dharma is like animal. while other side religion says” only faith and submission to a prophet and idea of supernatural being in sky with different name is only condition of being religious”.
  6. Dharma is direct related to higher idea of God. having liberation in dharma need highly code of conduct and righteous in action. But religious first attached human to his prophet and then following path instructed by prophet consider as most powerful way to liberation. Religious forced to following the teaching more than conduct of good life in term of society. example no matter how much a nice and generous a infidel but if he fails to believe in Jesus will go to hell. so religious give priority to blind way of believe than good human conduct.
  7. Dharma doesn’t believe in external symbolism because by nature its about conduct and holding the quality based on Vedas. A dharmic is not forced to have external symbolism, while religion has some external things which is symbols of their identification example having a long bearded, a dress code for women and skull cap in religion.
  8. Dharma make human practical and hardworking because he instruct human to have a knowledgeable and gentle conduct for getting liberation while religious give a bypass by following sets of customs only. A dharmic must have right conduct in behaviour while a religious person taught that just believing in faith and blind submission will lead to liberation. Dharma make human hardworking while religious forced a person to believe blindly.
  9. Dharma said that you have direct contact to God and no middle men is required for this contact, no particular path has be follow of any prophet. while religion said that without obeying prophet Jesus  word you can not get liberation. religious actually forced to a mental delusion while dharma is exactly opposite of it.
  10. Dharma teach to sacrifice life for others protection while religious teach that human are prime being and all things around the world meant to be eaten and used by them. this makes natural discrimination. whoever is creator has equal stand for human and animals. but when religious text say human are higher then others shows that religious text has human input.
  11. Dharma is against of animal killing and eating while religion says ‘ others faith are false and animals are meant to eaten by Humans”.
  12. Dharma says human race shall be follow single conduct which is right and hardworking. its teach equality amongst human. while religion draws line of faith, conduct, dressing, believe system, customs and even languages.
  13. Dharma called for one god who is manifested in every human being. connected to our consciousness while religion teach that people must follow prophet, teachers, human which is quite wrong.

A human can consider the difference between religion and dharma very easily. A human who do progressive work in society and do charity to society is doing purusarth (means human effort). doing work hard and right conduct in society to get liberate and be part of  manifestoed divinity is real worship.

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