Dharma is the indomitable force of nature that sustains harmony, order and all good in the world. It supports and sustains evolution of life and discourages all that is opposed to it.
Dharma promotes spiritual freedom and worldly prosperity. Living in your Dharma refers to right way of living, living in accord with all the laws of nature. Dharma is your natural duty in life. This includes all moral goodness and right action, all the principles that support life.
According to Vedic Science, dharma is built upon four principles:
- Satya: Pure truth
- Saucha: Purity, cleanliness, order
- Ahimsa: Non-violence, compassion
- Tapas: Austerity, non-attachment, discipline.
From the Vedic perspective these are animated as the four legs of the bull of dharma.
These four values enjoy a synergistic relationship. For example, in the presence of truth, tapas is elevated to the status of intentionally transcending the relative. Without pure truth, tapas is an attempt to escape the relative. Although in both cases the move of awareness is the same, the effect of pure truth drastically influences the purity of the outcome.
Dharma and the Yugas
In each Yuga (massive time periods of the universe) only truth alone stands strong. There are four Yugas:
- Sat Yuga – where life is lived in 100% alignment with Natural law. In Sat Yuga all four legs of dharma are stable. They can be expressed independently, or together.
- Treta Yuga – where life is lived in 75% alignment of Natural law. The leg of austerity loses its ability to flawlessly uphold life.
- Dwarpa Yuga – where life is lived 50% in alignment with Natural law. The leg of cleanliness loses its ability to uphold life without problems.
- Kali Yuga – where life is lived 25% in alignment with Natural law. The leg of compassion loses its ability to support life without also creating problems.
Since we are currently living in Kali Yuga, in order to utilize dharma to bless life, it is necessary to lean primarily on the leg of truth. The other values, purity, compassion and non-attachment must be modified by truth in order to genuinely serve life’s loftiest goals.
You can test an action in another way to see if it is dharmic by taking a step in the direction of your ideal. In this situation the step may go easily and the environment around you seems to rise up to support. This indicates that another step is in order. If you try and try and it just doesn’t work, this is an indication that you would be better off moving in another direction.
You have the internal resources to approach your situation with wisdom. These principles apply to all life decisions, not just selecting an occupation. Therefore, you can always use them to get clear answers on any question.
The four values of dharma can also form to create an energy matrix. This matrix is built upon the four pillars of dharma. Then these pillars layer upon each other, combining in different patterns. The layering continues to infinite complexity. The matrix reminds me of this wonderful drawing by M.C. Escher.