The Life of Dharma

From Satyam Jyoti, Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

The world has always been blessed by super beings who have taken different forms and used their ability and skills, their strength and wisdom to help others around them. This is the concept of being powerful. The powerful person is someone who can help, guide, inspire everyone with compassion, kindness, wisdom, forgiveness, guided by the principles of correctness and farsightedness. Today the understanding is different. A powerful person is that person who is able to effectively manipulate others for personal gains. It was not so in the vedic times.

Super beings come to inspire and encourage humanity; to give people’s lives a direction, to give their life a path, a goal and aim. The form of protection of dharma and the form of human upliftment varies from age to age. There were times when muscle power was needed to establish dharma, the righteous living. There were times when the wicked had to be overpowered to establish the rule of dharma. There were times when new ideas were promoted to change the stagnation in life to establish the rule of dharma. There were times when methods, practices, systems, disciplines, lifestyles were prescribed by seers to live a life of dharma. Yoga vidya is a lifestyle practice established to help people live the life of dharma.

The path of dharma

By reading yoga books people think of samadhi as the attainment of yoga. If you look at the people who have attained higher states; what have they done, how have they lived, how have they thought, you will discover that they lived the life based on the principles of dharma. In Kali Yuga, people live the principles of adharma, back-biting, criticizing, expressing the negative dark mood, the aggression, the jealousy, the hatred, the greed, and spreading that negativity all around. Everyone has the nature to demonize another person. Nobody can acknowledge and appreciate a good, positive, constructive quality that the other person expresses or lives in life. Demonization is easy, appreciation is difficult and that is the path of adharma which spiritual aspirants also walk.

I am not saying anything incorrect. Look at your own life, speech, thoughts and deeds. What kind of filth comes out of your mouth during the day and yet you believe yourself to be a spiritual aspirant following the life of dharma! You may practise meditation, asana and pranayama. You may live one of the yamas or niyamas but that does not mean that you live the life of dharma. Twenty minutes of asana practice does not indicate a change in your behaviour for the remaining twenty-three hours forty minutes. The practice of a few pranayamas in fifteen minutes does not indicate a qualitative change for the remaining twenty-three hours and forty-five minutes.

Daily yoga nidra for thirty minutes does not indicate attaining stress-free living for the remaining twenty-three hours and thirty minutes. Thirty minutes of meditation and mantra does not stop the dissipative vrittis from creating misunderstanding and restricting wisdom and positive expressions for the remaining twenty-three hours and thirty minutes. But, the filth one generates in the mind, spoken from the mouth and acted upon by the senses goes on for the full duration of time and becomes part of daily normal behaviour. Desiring compassion and kindness for one’s self but not giving to anyone else, finding fault in others and being aggressive towards them, is that the path of dharma that you wish to walk?

In order to live the precepts and the principles of dharma, the aspirant has to make the effort, sustain, be serious, sincere, committed. How many people practise their mantra daily? You took the mantra, you were motivated for a few months, you practised the mantra sadhana. Then, one day, lethargy set in and gradually the periods of lethargy increased. Today many don’t even remember what their mantra was. This is the commitment of aspirants to improve themselves and to follow the path. One has to remain true and connected to the inspiration and the motivation to live the spiritual life.