Eternal Nature of our Dharma
May 19, 2013 Comments Off on Eternal Nature of our Dharma
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. If you go through the pages of our scriptures, you will find something very unique that has made our culture eternal. Any thoughtful person cannot but be amazed at the universal comprehensiveness, profundity and vastness of our Dharma. To everyone in this world – the good as well as the bad, the noble as well as the ignoble – our tenets of Dharma have relevance.
What is the reason for this uniqueness? I think it is that our Dharma primarily and ultimately is pivoted on and revolves around our scriptural Truth. It declares: Oh ye! Children of immortality, you are the Soul and not the body!” Now, when such a statement is made you cannot brush it aside.
You are not the body, you are the Soul. What is the ‘Soul’? It is something different from the body. The words ‘different from the body’ mean quite a lot. Whatever the body is, the Soul is not. Whatever the body has, the Soul does not have. Whatever conditions the body passes through, the Soul does not. The first factor is: the Soul is not born as the body was born; and the Soul will not die as the body will.
When the Soul is not born and will not die, what about the life between birth and death? Life is nothing but duration between birth and death of the body. That duration or period is inapplicable to the Soul. When this truth is presented in such startling terms, how can anyone push it aside and be negligent about it?
By recognizing that the Soul is different from the body, what ramifications should be there in you? All experiences are provided by the body during embodiment. All these experiences are not true of the Soul because it is different from the body. That means, the Soul is not subject to sorrow, pain or misery. So, our entire experiences are questioned and stand nullified. All our general ideas about life and its purpose fall to the ground.
Keeping this Soul as the fulcrum, we have built a culture, a civilization and a legacy which is impeccable and which can redress all problems of life.
Arjuna was grieving and shedding tears. When Sri Krishna began the gospel of the Soul, his (Arjuna’s) agitation subsided. He became a staunch enquirer. Can you imagine the scene! From such a devastating sensory, mental and emotional plight, Arjuna suddenly rose to the position of a patient and dedicated enquirer!
Enquirer of what? Of the wisdom of the Soul! In the end, he found all his problems resolved; and he was ready to fight!
This is the effect of Soul-philosophy. Are you looking for peace, contentment, joy, thrill, exhilaration or ecstasy? The Soul is ecstatic; it is ananda-maya. If the Soul is ananda-maya, then why seek ananda elsewhere? You don’t have to. Delve within and get inebriated with the joy of the Soul.
The young ascetic Shuka Muni came majestically before Pareekshit, the great king. Where is the royal emperor and where is the penurious renunciate! And yet the sage came to take up the narration of Sreemad Bhagavatam. It is a great scholarly work – a devotional elixir. And the sage, who was going to narrate it, was overflowing with blissfulness of the Soul. Pareekshit was in the clutches of Death – cursed to die of the poison from the cobra on the seventh day. His mind must have been miserable. But in front was the young sage with no throne, wearing no dress to cover his body, and yet floating in the ecstasy of the Soul! Pareekshit, the Maharaja saw it! Naturally his regard and admiration for the holy person in front increased manifold. Seeing him inundated in the blissfulness of the Soul, Pareekshit was compelled to listen.
Why do I say this? This Soul is such that its realization can make man absolutely unassailable. That is why in our country we have wandering monks (avadhootas) who have thrown asunder all worldly considerations. They roam around freely, filled with the nectar or ecstasy of the Soul. Our shastras describe the lofty states to which you can ascend with the realization of the Soul.
What do you think of this? It is a panacea for the entire human ills and diseases.
The Soul is sanaatana, eternal. The understanding of the Soul makes you sanaatana, eternal. Consequently our dharma has become sanaatana. Not only is our dharma eternal, it makes its votary eternal too. It imbues him with eternality.
This eternality is the central fulcrum of Hindu dharma. Using this Soul-concept we can deal with every situation or problem of life. We invoke it to bring about any correction. For any improvement, we seek it. For making us strong, affluent and resourceful, or for bringing peace and quietitude, or for performing any heroic, valorous act, we seek the help of the Soul. And finally, even to say goodbye to the world, we derive the inspiration and strength from the same Soul.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.
– Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha
[From the Prabhaata-rashmih message from Poojya Swamiji, published in the April 2009 issue of Vicharasethu.]
(c) Narayanashrama Tapovanam, 2012