Dharma protects

‘Dharmo rakshati rakshitah’, it is said. That means if we protect dharma, then dharma in turn protects us. There are rules we have to follow in life. It is like adhering to lane traffic on a highway. Violation of lane rules could lead to accidents. Yajnavalkya Smrti says that a slip from dharma leads to hardship. We have a dharma for each period in our lives. Our elders have laid down rules for us. It is beneficial to follow these rules, said Kidambi Narayanan, in a discourse.

After all, they would have been witness to the results of non adherence to dharma, and would, therefore, have framed rules accordingly. So, it is best we follow what was codified on the basis of past observation and experience. As we climb the ladder of success, it is good to keep in mind that if we go against dharma, we could fall. The higher we go, the greater the injury, should we fall.

Dharma falls into many categories — sadharana dharma which is common to all. Then there is visesha dharma. This is the dharma a person has to follow because of some high position that he holds. Sometimes it happens that one’s sadharana dharma might clash with visesha dharma. In such cases, visesha dharma takes precedence over sadharana dharma. But how do we know what is dharma, and what we have to follow?

The god of dharma was born as Yudhishthira, but even Yudhishthira had questions about dharma. To answer these questions, Krishna tells him to go to Bhishma. Bhishma is on his bed of arrows, awaiting death. Although Bhishma was a man with great moral courage and determination, unfortunately, in his old age he had to stand on the side of adharma. He had to be with the Kauravas and had to fight the Pandavas, although the latter’s claims were legitimate. Bhishma tells Yudhisthira about dharma.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 11:40:53 PM |

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