The Essence of Dharma-21.


Spoken on February 11th, 1973)

Now I come to another aspect of the subject. What is this being? Why do we say ‘being’? Because the universe is being. It is not becoming. Western philosophers and psychologists are wont to say that the universe is becoming, but Indian metaphysics tell us that it is being. If it is becoming, it should be a process. Hegel and Whitehead are the protagonists of this theory of process in the Western world. But what do they mean by a process? It is a movement, but a movement of what?

Of the universe. Towards what? Movement is inconceivable without space, but space is a part of the cosmos, so we come a cropper. How can we conceive of a universe of process unless there is space intervening between the parts of the process? And when the space also is a part of the process itself, how can there be a process? So the universe is not process; it is existence. When space and process combine together, we have a being of the universe and not a becoming of the universe.

So dharma is growth of consciousness into intimacy with the being of the universe, and this being of the universe is God. What is called ‘the substance’ in the terms of Spinoza is also called the Absolute, or Reality, Brahman, Ishvara, or Jehovah. What we call God is nothing but this being of the cosmos behind the becoming of the process, and when we grow consciously into intimacy with this being of the universe, we grow in dharma, so the highest dharma is moksha. The highest dharma or duty of man would be to strive with every nerve of his being towards the realisation of moksha.

To be continued ...

Swami Krishnananda


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