Faith

Dharma and adharma

Dharma is what should be done, and adharma is what should not be done. Each of us has what is called svadharma- that is what we should do. Parents, for instance, must look after their children and provide for their needs. A student must spend his time studying and so on. We must not move away from the path of dharma, said Kidambi Narayanan in a discourse.

Once, a sage doing penance on the banks of the Ganges, saw a scorpion struggling in the water, and taking pity on it, he pulled it out of the water and set it on land. The scorpion immediately stung him. It also slipped back into the water, and again the sage rescued it, and again it stung him. The sage’s sishya asked him why he continued to save it, when it so ungratefully caused him so much pain. The sage replied: “Saving it is my dharma. To bite is its dharma.”

In the Ramayana, Bharata meets Kausalya, who accuses him of having plotted to deprive Rama of the throne. Bharata assures her that he is innocent of such a sin, and goes on to say that whoever advised that Rama be exiled, will be guilty of many sins. He will be guilty of the following: the sin of a master who makes his servant work hard, but does not pay him well; the sin of those who harm a good ruler; the sin of a ruler who taxes his people, but does not care for their welfare; the sin of abusing elders and of deceiving a friend; the sin of a man who eats without sharing his food with his family and his servants; the sin of milking a cow with a young calf; the sin of polluting drinking water; the sin of not providing water to a thirsty person; the sin of not putting an end to a quarrel between two people, through mediation. Reading the list gives one an idea of what one should not do. From that we can infer what we should do.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 3:37:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/dharma-and-adharma/article26935881.ece

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