WHAT IS OUR DHARMA?
When a person is born, he is born with certain tendencies, tendencies which might go back into many previous lifetimes, if one believes in that, or even tendencies which he inherits from his parents. But the environment in which he is born also influences his tendencies, and it could be said that a person’s tendency is his dharma, which means duty.
Say a young man is born in some slum, and the environment is such that it would be more conducive for him to develop negative qualities. By developing these negative qualities, could it be said that those are his tendencies? There is a difference between proper tendencies in a human being and assumed tendencies superimposed upon him. Really speaking, if one goes to the core of the human personality through various methods of meditation, one will find that the essential tendency of man is to reach back to the source from which he has come. That is the basic tendency of man. Man comes from, and through so many evolutionary processes, he wishes to return home, which is man’s basic tendency. But then, there are other tendencies which are superimposed upon this tendency, and it is the superimposition of lesser tendencies that create havoc or stress or suffering in man’s life.
The first dharma, man’s first duty, would lie in finding the real, essential tendencies, and in trying to find the real tendencies in man, he has to overcome the lesser tendencies. The lesser tendencies might deviate him; he might find a detour instead of reaching his goal. Instead of meeting his Maker, he might drift away in the opposite direction. Through various meditational and spiritual practices, we have found that we do realise what our real tendencies are.
To find what our real tendencies in life or our dharma should be, one has to delve deep within oneself through certain specific spiritual practices, whereby one can go beyond physical needs and the body’s requirements. One can go beyond the thinking animal called the mind, whereby one reaches the source or the core of oneself, the core of one’s personality. And this is what meditation does for us.
CONSCIOUSLY OR UNCONSCIOUSLY, MAN HAS THE DESIRE TO REACH HOME
Once we are in touch with the core of one’s personality, we intuitively feel that our path is there to lead us back home to our Maker. By mental analysis, there could be many pros and cons that the mind could bring forward to deny this. The mind could say, “Why must I return to my Maker? What an effort! Let me live in this life and just have a nice time.” The mind could say that. Yet, there is an innate desire in him, an innate compulsion in him that wants to drive him on to reach back home, and this he pursues. Consciously or unconsciously, man desires to reach home, which is proven by his quest for happiness, the core of the human personality, that which is within. The Bible says, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven that is within, and all else shall follow.” So, because man originates from something divine, he will always have the instinctive or intuitive desire to become one with the divine again. This will be a compelling force that will spur him on and on.
That is the basic reason man is looking for happiness, because the nature of that which resides within one, that is, happiness, is bliss. So, when man strives for happiness, he is aiming for something within him and inspiring him. Never mind how much he tries to cover it, never mind which path he chooses, he still has to reach that Divinity to find happiness.
ONENESS BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN IS FOUND THROUGH A UNION OF THEIR DIVINE SPIRITS
We find human beings, and they are the same everywhere; they feel that happiness can be found by external means. So, they go chasing after money; they go chasing after a woman, they go chasing after various sensual pleasures, which they think will give them happiness. And we do know that the man that chases money, if he makes a million pounds, then he will have the desire to make two million. There will be no satisfaction; once he has two, he wants three, and like that, it will go on and on and on. He tries to find happiness with a woman. He thinks that by finding the right woman, he will find happiness. That is a good desire, but how does he approach it? What does he look for in the woman that will give him happiness? The real purpose is often lost because he might say he loves the woman, but does he love the real woman? He might like the woman’s pretty face, nose, and hair. He might want her very much as far as her external appearance goes. He might like her mode of thinking as far as her mind goes, but what has he discovered about the Spirit that resides in the woman? Because when a man loves a woman or a woman loves a man, genuine love can only come in totality. Otherwise, it is partial love, and any form of partial love that touches the physical and the mental only can last very, very temporarily.
The nature of the mind and the nature of the body is forever and ever-changing. But there is that quality within the woman or the man that is never changing, that is always constant. So, in pursuing happiness, the man thinks he will find happiness by loving a woman. He can do this, but he has to find the Spirit in the woman first, the divine essence that is in the woman, because by seeing the divine nature that resides in the woman, he will find the divine spirit that resides in him, and that is where unity takes place. The union between man and woman could only be lust on the physical level. The union between man and woman on the mental level only could just be a mental appreciation of some form of intelligence, some unique ability. But if that union occurs between the Divine Spirit of the woman and the Divine Spirit of the man, then oneness is found.
FINDING THE SECRET OF DIVING DEEP WITHIN
So, at first, the search becomes external; a man tries to chase money to find happiness but is unsuccessful. Then he tries to pursue women for external values only, which is not happiness-producing. He tries to see name and fame, which is not happiness-producing either. I have not met very famous or wealthy people that we could sincerely say, “Ah, he is a happy man.” Because if a person gains a certain amount of fame, ten million people have heard of him, so he desires a hundred million people to hear of him. That desire is forever perpetuating itself because those desires are based on his ego, which is a very selfish animal. It will do everything in its power to preserve itself.
With our meditational techniques, we start the search not externally but we start the search internally, and there are scientific methods devised that might have nothing to do with religion. Even an atheist could practise these scientific methods, whereby step by step, he goes more profound, deeper, and deeper within himself. He goes beyond the body, beyond the mind and finds the Light there. The purpose of finding the Light there is to draw that Light out into daily living. Once reaching that Light, that Light permeates the mental self of a person, and from permeating the mental self of a person, it permeates the person’s physical self. And by doing that, his life assumes a better quality. The better quality can be judged by how much happier he can become, how much more joyful he can become and how his environment improves through his development.
The nature of the flower is to grow beautiful, and the flower grows beautiful in the garden. That is the dharma of the flower to develop beautiful. But by the flower growing beautiful, another thing happens, it also enhances the garden’s beauty. So, by becoming beautiful and improving ourselves through the simple, effortless methods of meditation, we are not only helping ourselves, we are not only finding our dharma and our duty, but we are also benefitting the environment. And in aiding the environment, we start by helping those near and dear to us. And then, from the home, it leads to the village, to the environment, to the country, and with this development, the heart expands to such a level that it could embrace the entire universe.
Once having found this secret of being in touch with the essential nature of man, then we use that secret, that touching of the core of the human personality, which is Divine. Then after the inward probe, inward search, and inward finding, we go outward. What we did at first was that we tried to find things outwardly. Now we first see it within ourselves and then carry it out. By finding first, to repeat the message of the Bible, “Find ye first the Kingdom of Heaven within,” this is the way, and “Then all else shall be added unto thee.” All else is added unto you because you have now uncovered and found the secret of diving deep within. After touching that divine source, you will find the external search enlightening, life-giving, invigorating, stimulating, and fulfilling. And then our eyes change our perception changes. There is more extraordinary love because the source within is known to us as love. Do we not say, “God is Love” and “Love is God.” By touching that source, love, it automatically is brought out externally, and when it is brought out externally, we start loving people.
LOVING OUR NEIGHBOR AS OURSELVES MUST BE A SPONTANEOUS ACT
One day a lovely young lady, an excellent mind, brilliant mind, and pleasant looking, came to our centre in South Africa, and she said, “Gururaj, I do not know what is wrong with me, but nobody loves me.” But she says, “Gururaj, nobody loves me; what must I do?” As we know, no man is an island unto himself; man wants to communicate, and a person cannot live a lonely life. So, I told her I put her on a practice to open the heart, and in a few months, when her heart was opened, she started loving. She started loving all around her. She started seeing everyone with kindlier eyes, more compassionate eyes, and more loving eyes, and when she started loving, she could not help becoming loveable.
So the secret of communication, the secret of becoming loveable, is first to start loving. These are the things that meditation teaches because meditation takes us right within ourselves. It means that if man asks, “what is my dharma in life,” then the answer, to put it in a nutshell, is that man must find himself by whichever method he chooses. Of course, meditation is the easiest one, and after finding himself, he automatically translates and interprets that which he has found within himself to his environment.
So, he makes himself a better person and his environment better because society cannot be changed collectively as a whole. Society is composed of units, and to improve society, one improves oneself. So, the dharma of man, the duty of man, is to find the goodness within himself, and by doing that, he will do good to others. He will become loving to others, which is the only way we can truly practise the Commandment “Love thy neighbour as thyself.”
If we study “Love thy neighbour as thyself,” up to now, that only remains a mental concept because nothing or no one in our environment can force us to love our neighbours. Nobody can force us; nobody can channel that quality in us without it. To love our neighbour as ourselves is a spontaneous action, and it must happen spontaneously. It cannot be contrived. If loving one’s neighbour is contrived, then it is hypocrisy. It must well up very spontaneously within ourselves, And the way to do that is by delving deep within ourselves and drawing out that quality of love because the nature of the Lord is love. And by drawing that quality into our daily practical living, we only know the meaning of “Love thy neighbour as thyself”, and we do see not only the meaning but also live it. That is our dharma and purpose in life.
… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang UK 1976- 02B