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What Dharma is and Why Someone Needs to Follow it?

Dharma is the path of righteousness. All living beings are bound to follow the rules of nature (dharma) created by God. After death, a person would go to heaven or hell would entirely depend on whether he/she spent his/her life according to dharma or not, or how many actions or decisions in his/her life were according to dharma. But the problem is that majority of the people, on this earth, don't even know whether what they are doing in life is according to their dharma or not. Also, many people argue why they should lead their life following the path of dharma. They say they should have the freedom to do what they want to do. In other words, they are slaves of their desires. It is said that people following a religious life are on the path of dharma but I can tell you sometimes even the religious people are altering the definition of dharma according to their needs.

To give you an example, there was a religious person who fell in love with her cousin sister and wanted to marry her. I said the person was religious because he had a lot of faith in God and every day he used to go to the temple to worship God and he was honest by nature. A lot of people had done business with him and they said he was honest in business. Now someone asked him why you want to marry with your sister as this is against dharma? According to Hindu Mythology marrying a girl who is your sister is absolutely prohibited. Do you know what he replied? He said their love is a true love and true love is greater than all dharmas.

So here even a religious person altered the definition of dharma as he came into the grip of physical attraction for a girl. It may also be that he was not in the grip of physical attraction and their love was a true love but still, dharma doesn't allow marrying a cousin or real sister as true love asks for sacrifice if it creates panic in the society. It would create panic in society because no one ever saw in the past that a person married his own sister. This shows that this is against dharma as the knowledge of dharma often comes from the behavior of people in the society and society is often built on the grounds of dharma where the laws of dharma often pass into current generation from ancestors.

But of course, a girl or a boy has the right to choose his/her life partner as long as he/she is not his/her brother or sister and parents should not interfere in it. But dharma is not bound by caste or creed. So marrying a person of different caste is not against dharma as all human beings are one in the eyes of God.

Now the question is who created the dharma and why we need to follow dharma? Dharma is actually inbuilt in nature and ideally, we can say God created the dharma for the establishment of a peaceful and healthy society. But dharma is different for different people. A dharma which is applicable to a wife may not be for a husband. This whole society will collapse in the absence of dharma. It would be something like the collision of different vehicles without a traffic police. If you have read science do you know why an object falls to the ground when released from a height? You would say it is due to the universal law of gravity as discovered by Isaac Newton. But then Newton just discovered this law but the law itself is inbuilt in nature. Similarly, dharma is inbuilt in nature and you need to follow it to protect yourself from sins. Just like people get punished by traffic police for violating traffic rules, in the same way, you go to hell or lead a miserable life for violating dharma.

That is also the reason that there is so much inequality in the society as people are punished or rewarded according to the type of Karma they did in this life or their previous lives. By "type of karma" here I mean if the actions in life were performed according to dharma or not. That is also the reason you cannot blame God for your problems in life because God doesn't do anything. You reap what you sow.

Go Back to Religion

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How Should I Lead My Life so that God Loves me?
What is the kingdom of God?
What is soul?
What is a Materialistic Nature?
Is there any life after death?
What is sin?

Written by: Rajesh Bihani who is the webmaster of this website. Know more about Rajesh Bihani).

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