Dharma – the Path of Righteousness
Dharma is described as the path of righteousness. Hinduism says dharma is a natural universal law. Observing dharma enables one to be happy and contented. It saves him or her from suffering and degradation. Spiritual discipline is required to lead a dharmic life. Hindus say dharma is the foundation of life. It is said to uphold the whole of creation.
What the Scriptures Say
The ancient author Tulsidas defined dharma as being rooted in compassion. This principle was also echoed by Lord Buddha in his book of wisdom called Dhammapada. In the Hindu epic Mahabharata, the pandavas are said to represent dharma, and the kauravas the opposite, adharma.
Good Dharma Equals Good Karma
A life of good dharma will definitely yield positive results, according to Hinduism. To achieve good karma, one needs to live a righteous life. Doing the right thing means doing what is right for the caste, class, family and ultimately the universe itself.
Dharma helps one reach God in this very life. The Bhagavat Purana says dharmic life consists of four aspects: austerity, purity, compassion and truthfulness. On the other hand, unrighteous life consists of three vices: pride, contact and intoxication. A dharmic life lends one, power, spiritual strength and physical prowess.
Rules of Dharma
The observance of a dharmic life depends on following 10 essential rules. These are: patience, forgiveness, self control, honesty, sanctity, sense control, reason, learning or knowledge, absence of anger and truthfulness. Further, the essence of dharma means the following virtues: control of senses, purity of mind and body, non-coveting, truth and non-violence.
The purpose of a righteous life is not only to unite with the divine. Dharma secures supreme happiness and worldly joys on this plane. It is a method for attaining bliss here and now on earth. It is one’s dharma to marry, beget children and provide for the family. Dharmic practice ensures tranquility, strength, joy and peace and disciplines one’s life.