What is Dharma and relevance of Rituals

Last updated on Sep 22, 2010

Posted on Sep 22, 2010


Dharma, as it has been conceived in the Indian spiritual traditions, has been totally misconstrued.  People have often equated it to religion, which is nonsensical and out of ignorance.  Dharma’s root word in Sanskrit (Dhri) is often thought to mean “to hold) or Dharan karna (in Hindi).  However, it does not mean dharan karna or to accept – as that phrase generally means. Dharma’s main meaning is “that which sustains or holds” – Dharti also comes from the same root. So, it is not what YOU hold.. but what HOLDS YOU!

So, there is a foundational discrepancy in the way Dharma is viewed in our society.

And because of how it was conceived, Dharma was known as “Sanatan”.. and one that holds even if you never figured it out, or totally refused to accept it. Its the inherent and PRIMAL property of this existence.  It has nothing to do with you accepting, rejecting or abusing it.

Dharma is also not about society. It was nothing to do with the societal norms, laws or precepts. Dharma is the primordial sustaining “intelligence” or “law” if you will. Societies disappear and new societies can create their own laws; but Dharma (primordial sustaining law) is not affected and neither cares. One ends up “personifying” Dharma as some kind of entity; but that is the limitation of semantics. I have no other way to explain it.

So, One – Dharma doesn’t care about religions nor does it care about societies; and Two – it is not “defined” or affected by humans, aliens – green or blue ones.. nor does it ever change. It is what it is.

To live in Dharma – is to recognize that there is an intelligence in the existence. You don’t need to call it “God” .. although some do.

I feel the best illustration of Dharma and “living Dharmically” was portrayed in the movie “Avatar”. Where Eywa was the personification of the “primordial intelligence” as the people of that planet understood. To surrender to Eywa and let her “heal” was their way of living Dharmically. Also, when James Sully prays for help, and Neytri tells him “Eywa doesn’t favor anyone. It is for balance”. That was a very profound statement on Dharmic Intelligence that runs in the Existence. Dharma really doesn’t care.

Now lets go to another concept that people completely misunderstand – Rituals.

Rituals don’t give shape to Dharma. Nor do they “save” it. Rituals were created – quite a few of them – by Yogis who delved deep into the secrets of existence. It was like a process created so even if you didn’t know the subject matter, and just followed a process it will benefit you. In US, there are these lanes created at every place using taped barriers. Now, people know how to stand in a straight line, if they so applied their mind to it. But, the assumption is that they won’t. So, there is a process for that. Now, someone who comes from Bihar to US may think what the F*** is this lane for? How will it improve anything? It hinders his way of life – which he has been accustomed to. To him, making neat lanes and standing in them was a waste of time. As painful as fasting. But someone who has studied the mathematics of lanes and service management would know that it is the fastest way to serve large number of people.

It doesn’t matter, whether one “respects” the rituals or doesn’t. It does you or other no good. The person who thinks you are some kind of rebel for not doing some ritual should be as much pitied as you for not doing something because you think it is inconvenient. Because, BOTH, you and her are doing so out of ignorance.

I can break every lane and line that I stand in .. in India, and simultaneously remark that I completely “respect” the lanes that the Americans make.  Well, that “respect” doesn’t help ME! It is a rhetorical statement and one which is pure ignorance and nonsense.

Rituals should not be “followed”… but “used”. People feel that they are slaves of the rituals and that is why they hate it. The reason for that is because they do not have the intelligence enough to “stand in a straight line” themselves.. out of their own will. So, if you knew how to raise you level of existence to a higher level out of AN intelligent application of yourself, then rituals are useless.

Rituals are made for “Dummies”; but dumber still are those who neither know what to do and won’t use the rituals either!

So, are the rituals done to “benefit the humanity”? No. But in some way it helps. Because it makes less stressed people or people who are more in tune with themselves (if they understand why and what they are doing) who are more productive.

Now, to someone Shiva lingam may seem like a “stupid idea”. But to a Yogi it was the BEST way to hold and conserve energy from meditation.

Is that important and scientific or just “mumbo-jumbo”?

Well, according to strong empirical evidence gathered by Dr. Tiller at Stanford Material Science labs; when Monks were asked to “put intention” into a “device” to reduce pH value of water and “shut” the intention in it.. and these devices nicely placed in “Faraday’s cage (elliptical shape)” were Fedex’d to Canada and Europe, they found that indeed the pH value of water put in the cage decreased.

Now, why is this signifcant? Because it showed that something as intangible as MENTAL INTENTION overrode the need for Chemical intervention.. or actually reproduced a Chemical (physical) process WITHOUT any such intervention… just by power of Mind and Intention… done by someone who had honed his “Self” using meditative processes.

Here is a post with the video of the what was done in that experiment.

Does this put Shiva Lingam – PROPERLY consecrated by a Siddha Yogi – in a better light?

Does it make you see why one could benefit if one were in the proximity of such a structure?

Would it take you to Nirvana? Probably no. But if it helps you better manage your life around you, because you are at a “higher state of being”, then would you have the urge to look “beyond”?


And that is all it takes. The urge to look beyond the obvious.

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