[Advaita-l] Musings on the fundamentals of Hinduism

srikanta srikanta at nie.ac.in
Wed Sep 16 02:47:21 CDT 2009

"Dharma" according to Wikipedia means "Righteous duty or any virtuous path
in the commonsense of the term",that which 'upholds or supports".It is not
just orderliness which falls under "krama".In English this merely means
"law".Dharma has wider significance in the Vedas and puranas.From the
Philosophic view(both Adwaitic and Buddhistic),this means "the being" or
creatures,which are generally called "living beings".In Bhagawadgita
Krishna advises Arjuna to do his duty without worrying about the
results,which is "karma Yoga",or Nishkama karma.Then if one were not to
worry about the results, why one should work or make effort?.The answer is
provided by Krishna himself,"strange are the ways of karma"(durenahyavaram
karma....).One should not waver while doing karma,one should have
"onepointedness"(ekagra citta).

In the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha, there are various instances of this
dharma.Rama was an epitome of selflessness which should be the hallmark of
any righteous king.In the Mahabharatha there are various instances how the
dharma takes various ways,and ultimately declare,"Dharmo rakshati
rakshitah"(the dharma will protect one who protects it.)
There is also a story which beautifully illustrates this:
A hunter in search of a prey goes inside the forest and sees a pair of
birds on a  branch of a tree.High above,a vulture also circles the tree
waiting to catch the birds and their eggs.A snake which has its hole under
the tree comes out,and when the hunter is about to release an arrow from
his bow aiming at the birds,strikes the hunter on his leg.immediately,the
aim fails and the released arrow kills the vulture.Both the hunter and the
vulture are killed.

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