This could be a voice of any great indian rishi of yore but is of a buddhist of 20th century
Mahabharata the great epic which is acclaimed as the Manava Kartavya Sastra (code of duties of human beings) contains a discussion of this topic. On being asked by Yudhistira to explain the meaning and scope of DHARMA, Bhishma who had mastered the knowledge of Dharma replied thus:
Tadrisho ayam anuprashno yatra dharmaha sudurlabaha
Dushkamha pralisankhyatum tatkenatra vysvasyathi
Prabhavarthaya bhutanam dharmapravachanam kritam
Yasyat prabhavasamyuktaha sa dharma iti nischayaha.
SHANTHI PARVA – 109-9-11
It is most difficult to define Dharma.
Dharma has been explained to be that which helps the upliftment of living beings.
Therefore, that which ensures the welfare of living beings is surely Dharma.
The learned rishis have declared that which sustains is Dharma.
Karna Parva — Ch. 69 Verse 58 eulogies Dharma in the following words:
a deatiled reading of the 96 chapters would make an interesing reading
Dharanat dharma mityahu dharmo dhara-yate prajaha
Yat syad dharanasamyuktam sa dharma iti nischayaha.
Dharma sustains the society
Dharma maintains the social order
Dharma ensures well being and progress of Humanity
Dharma is surely that which fulfils these objectives
The title to this essay i am going to journey with you sounds very divisive, as if i am throwing a challenge to a peaceful orderly existing political establishment and society in India, which in any case is not true as poltics at this juncture in india is as dangereously divisive as it can be because of a large scale concerted effort by liberals, left and minorities to portray a democratically elected BJP led NDA as a danger to the notion of INDIA. i am not denying completely the notion held India as a tolerant society but to say the fabric is ” secular” is far from true. I hold the premises that secularism has actually divided the indian society vertically and also completely distorted the political system. Let us take the society first.
Before that it is pertinant to spend some time on this famous line
“SARVA DHARMA SAMBHAVA”
Translation, ” All dharmas are equal and harmoniuos to each other “ instead of going on a big explanation on this ( millions of pages have been written on this subject and i dont want to go on a meandering trip of confusion as i feel most have intertpreted it to suit to their lines of arguments)
when Hindus, Jains and Bhudhists use the word , “DHARMA ” , that means “TRUTH”. (1) it doesnt mean faith or belief, both the words immidiately connect to some god or gods. Strangely these days mullahs and christian priests use this word very conveniently to counter hindu argument saying dharma is faith.The problem is all and sundry inerpret hindu dharma but the minute hindus start doing that with christian and islamic holy books , all hell will break loose and are accused they are murdering secularisim. The most who do damage to sanatana fundamentals are left liberal hindus who forever keep misinterpreting it by liberally backing it with misunderstood translations of sanskrit text by christian western academics who are not sanatanis by birth and hence dont have any affinity to sanatana dharma or “hindu way of life “
This misterppretaion of , “SARVA DHARMA SAMBHAVA” starting from Mahatma Ghandhi who used it along with that saying his famous oneliner , ” God has no religion . “How easily the famous get away with incongruous grandiose statements. History is replete with such becuse it is sacrilageous to dispute what ” heroes” say. This was caried forward by the judiciary and the hotch potch rest and amazingly parroted by the new claimant to hindu heritage , the Bahratiya Janata Party using it in the same context.we can see now where all these misinterpretaions are leading with the “secular “ word thrown in for a large measure.
i would like to pause this blog here so that who ever gets to read pursues and on their own to try to find answers to questions that would have individulay croped up while going through the last four paragrapghs. i would like to take the socio-political landscape of india for the past 2000 years and odd in my next blogs before reverting back to the ,“Secularism” which is the root cause of most ills in INDIA because that history is existential to continue this topic
.(1) one can write volumes on explaining what “dharma” means in ” sarva dharma sambhava” , my intention to bring this famous qoute is in the context of word secularisim, if one has to intepret the word ” dharma ‘ that is another subject and volumes can be written about that. I want my followers to read more on their own on this subject of dharma or truth as there is so much to read and understand and it is possibel with the literatutre availabel. Only tip i would give don’t get lost in finding the truth. Essence of sanatana is just to find the ultimate truth .That is a individual journey that most often end for most of us without finding that answer.But that journey is what makes this life worthwhile.
i may be excused for bringing in extensive back up and quotes from our ithihasas .But it is essential to do that as the topic in intertwined with bharathvarsha, sanatana dharma and the mundane indian political Scenario of the day . Albeit in year 2018 it may be mundane but is very germaine to the issues i am addressing.