What is Dharma?

In our childhood, there used to be a period/class in the curriculum called “citizenship training”. The rules of the road and the little courtesies that would sweeten one’s life are impressed upon young minds. Personally, I feel that in most of the coutnries in the world today, the absence of this period/class had made a great difference(in a bad  way). For example, holding the door for an aged person, giving up seat for an elderly lady or a lady with a baby in her arms are considered to be good acts and are encouraged. Lending a helping hand to any person should come spontaneously and from the heart – not for any name or fame’s sake.

However, today, ego and vanity, unfortunately are taking the driver’s seat. There is nothing wrong in thinking yourself as a king or a queen. Even though there should be limits to one’s ego – but to think and treat others as servants is unacceptable. After all, one’s freedom ends where the other’s nose starts.

There is a stanza in “Mahabharata” : What is the best rule of conduct? “Oruleyavi onarinchina Apriyambe tamo manamunakagu avi taa norulaku onarimpani parayanamu parama dharma pathamulakellam” meaning “what acts done by others cause displeasure and unhappiness to us, never do them unto others”.

This is the best Dharma  – “Treat others in a way as you expect yourself to be treated by them”.

This has been taught in various forms by many(such as budhas, rishis and saints in eastern culture to shows like Oprah’s lifeclass)  but often forgotten by many.

If this simple rule is held uppermost in our minds, most of the strife with others vanishes I suppose.

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