The Essence of Dharma-1


(Spoken on February 11th, 1973)

The duty of man depends upon the aim of life. Whatever we are supposed to do in our life is directed by the purpose for which we are existing. Aimless activity is unthinkable. All our efforts, professions and works are somehow or other directed toward the achievement of an end, a goal or a purpose. Unless we are conscious and clear about the aim of our life, it would be difficult for us to determine the nature of our duties in life. In India especially, ethics are based on metaphysics. The conduct of life is rooted in the concept of existence.

Now, the purpose of life, or the aim of life, is again dependent upon the nature of the universe. How is the universe constituted? On that depends very much the aim of our existence, of our life, and consequently, the nature of our activities. We must know to what family we belong, what sort of atmosphere we are living in, what the tradition of our society is. On that depends the way in which we have to conduct ourselves in life.

Likewise, we may have to find out the nature of the universe as a whole in order that we may know what our function in life is because we are inextricably involved in the structure of the universe. We are a part of the cosmos, and the laws that operate in the cosmos naturally have a say in the matter of our personal existence. We cannot do something contrary to the law of nature, of the universe, just as we cannot do something contrary to the principles of our own family or our society.

 Swami Krishnananda
To be continued ..