Tag Archives: Culture

Dharma – What is Dharma?

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Dharma Chakra

The seven steps of Dharma are actually a play on words. There are no seven steps to Dharma, it was how I organized my thoughts to discuss the meaning of Dharma.

On Dharma —–

Is Dharma telling someone what “their” Dharma is?  Example what he or she should be donating/doing and not doing?

Does “Dharma” only apply to rich people? or people of class?

What exactly is Dharma for poor people? :)

Is Dharma what I decide is righteous? How I spend my time towards that cause?

What exactly is the Dharmic principal? Is it doing what is right? Following the “right conduct”

Doing what is just? or Is it doing your duty?

Dharma is:

1.  It is doing what is right/just.  It is the code of right conduct.

2. It is doing your duty to your family.

3. It is doing your duty for the society.

4. It is doing your duty with purpose, understanding karma.

5. It is following the principles of right conduct (Dharma) — a way of life.

6. It is upholding Dharma  — The principles of justice and fairness.

7. It is not done with selfish motives but with action in mind.

 

1. Doing what is right and just and following the right code of conduct.

What does that look like?  It is following the right conduct by doing what is right.  One cannot mistreat a person based on caste, creed and status. That is not “right” in terms of Dharma.  One cannot mistreat a person for their obstacles in life. That is not Dharma. One cannot be involved in scandalous behavior and participate in activities that are not right for the mind and body.  All of these behaviors promote adharma.  All those adhering to the right behaviors, character and thinking, they promote Dharma.

2. It is doing your duty to your family.

How do you uphold your duty to your family. How do you do that? By taking responsibility in your family duty you uphold the dharma. By doing your duty to your family you uphold one’s family values and Dharma that is duty.

3. It is doing your duty for the society.

Helping the poor, volunteering, and donating food is one’s Dharma.  It is done for the common good of the society. Does one’s place in society define their duty for society? Always yes! Sometimes being blessed with status allows for people to contribute to the society. However, one also needs to have a mentality or the mind frame for it.  It is dharma of an educated person in society.  Doing your duty for the society for the good of others, shows your real value in the society, it shapes your buddhi (intellect) and”perhaps” karma.

4.  It is doing your duty with purpose and understanding karma.

Dharma is not a spiritual progression like karma, Jna, Bhakti, siddhi and buddhi.  Dharma is purpose driven. Each individual has a purpose, should see their life with purpose.  A life that does not uphold or take responsibility for themselves, body and behaviors will eventually face that karma.  For a person to be in the spiritual progression they need to do their duty and what it is they treasure about life inorder to have good karma in life. Doing duty for an aspect in life that one teasures with purpose and understanding has influence on ones karmanas. Having and doing duty with purpose shapes the the evolution of one’s consciousness and makes Dharma possible.

 

5. It is following the principles of right conduct (Dharma) — a way of life.

Dharma is upholding the religious, cultural values and a way of life.  Is education only good for buying luxuries and living a comfortable life? What good is education that we value so much when people cannot uphold the religious principles and it’s Dharma.  Dharma comes from walking on the ground.  Even in Ramayan, the princes had plough the ground, and went begging for food.  Therefore it is important to see and honor the surface, the ground that you walk on to understand Dharma.  An educated way of life is not necessarily “THE” way of life with necessities and luxuries. For a Hindu, that education has lost it’s purpose. It is understanding the principles of truthful living and righteousness or right conduct.  And essentially seeing the surface you walk on and align it with Dharmic life.

6. It is upholding Dharma — The principles of fairness and justice.

Dharma is Just. It is right.  It is just because it follows the right rules of conduct or behavior.  How can one follow the right rules of conduct or behavior?  You hold the principal of fairness and justice and standing up for it. In Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna had to uphold dharma, for himself, for his family and for the country. To do what is right in his life.  What is done wrongful in other’s part, Dharma has to stand up for it.  Dharma is not a coward, it is righteousness and truthful living. In the case of Arjuna he had to take it upon himself to uphold the Dharma — principles of justice. It happens in action. It is seen in action, done in action. It is more than a duty/responsibility, it is UPHOLDING it. How else can one uphold the principles of a country if not for standing up for that country’s Dharma and its beliefs and principles of justice?

When I think of the words “upholding the dharma” I think of the verse yada yada hi dharmasya (4.7).  God says, where there is adharma (injustice), or mistreatment I shall come again and again to rise for justice. One verse, I have come to love.

7. It is not done with selfish motives but action in mind.

To uphold a religious principle like Dharma one cannot be selfish or self-centered. Dharma does not work that way. There is no I, and Dharma is not self centeredness or has selfish motive or desire. The motive is for common good/benefit of society and happens on the higher plane spiritually speaking. Dharma is dependent on I to perform action but it is not to show independence, it is to show action and motives for greater good and for a value.

In essence, however you look at Dharma, it stands for the eternal law of this universe, and how our matter manifests in this universe.

Iksvakave

The difference between Om and Aum

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aum

OM is —– The spirit of God, the sound, vibration of this universe that is the absolute truth.

 

What is Aum then?

AUM is a representation of the three Gods in three planes.

 

The representation of the three Gods:

A — Stands for Shiva — the past, the birth, rebirth and reincarnation.

U — Stands for Vishnu — the present, the time/space of our universe

M — Stands for Brahma — the future, the manifestation/creation of our universe Om.

 

The three planes of existence:

Bhur Bhuva Svah

Bhur — Earth —- Lord Shiva

Bhuva — In the sky — Lord Vishnu

Svah — In space — Bharm

 

Therefore, AUM represents the past, present and future.  If you say — the names of Shiva, Vishnu and Bhrama, they do sound true to their representation — past, present and future.

On Namaste

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https://penzu.com/p/b0420868

On Namaste

What does Namaste Mean?

a. Please come again —–

b. I see the god in me in you

c. I think you are god

d. I respect you —– you are like God.

e. My salutations and oblations to you —

It is Salutations — Respects — oblations – obliged. It is how we think of our values of mother land India.

A sense of admiration. And greater thanks!

The inner meaning really implies I am grateful to you as I would be to God.

 

It is not to say you and I are GOD. It is the highest form of respect and regard Hindu’s have traditionally held for another human being.

It also shows Sanskar and one’s place in society.

In essence, we bring our hands together to show respect, admiration and thanks.

A special entry

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097

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exsXDhTVOfg&feature=youtu.be

I want to write about it but it was not a fairy tale. Thinking about him brings tears to my eyes. They are not tears of pain, sorrow, vengeance or trauma.  I knew their hearts and they both knew mine —- they are tears of immortality.

My Grandpa — what was different about him was he had to face challenges, had increased sense of responsibility early on in life at a very young age.  His mom died before he turned 7, father remarried and he was left at the discretion of his mom’s sister.  So family life was not a fairy tale to share but out of nothing, he made and gave himself to providing for the family and to see his children successful and in college. Not just in any colleges and universities, they were the ones that were recognized. My grandma came from a very conservative family that was recognized during her time in the small town. Her perseverance, patience, strength, unconditional affection is everything I have come to admire about my Indian culture.  She was the reason behind respect if there is such a thing as respect left for some of us.

I respect the Indian upbringing and our parents sacrifices for their children to have good future — like Grandpa. This is a life story of person who was part of the same generation as Gandhiji.   I have to say, though this video might show them to be poor in comparison to what Indians are making today working for call center companies, I never felt poor when I was next to grandpa, not for a second.  Growing up with them, he gave me everything and what I also remember most about him and regard him highly for is his work ethic, he did a lot of walking in his time, and what he always carried with him was invaluable.

I have very fond memories of them while growing up my first few years in India.  Things my grandpa did to make us feel comfortable during our visits to India — hardly mattered. Actually the house has not been occupied in the last 12 years. The two places I really remember are the veranda and the dabha (roof top) were we slept under the night sky when the family reunited. That is something you treasure. They know my heart and soul. Even though I know they did not understand nor have the capacity to understand my life and life style in later years. One thing I miss about my grandpa is holding his hand and that was the last thing I kissed while he was a sleeping before I left India. The Irony behind that was he passed away by the time we landed in SFO.  All my wealth was in holding his hand wherever we went.  I was fearless next to a man everyone feared. Grandma is still there, when I think life is not been fair, I immediately think of my life with them and my soul is assured and comforted. I am no less and no more, we must all face the life challenges, triumphs, and sadness. Ultimately, what we are here for and bodies are here for is to undergo karma. Our destination is with God. Also, what I regard in my grandparents highly for is their devotion to God, Narayana. 

More recently, and no one has to Identify with my unique and extra ordinary experiences. More recently, after grandpa’s passing away and as strange as this sounds, I think my grandpa soul is saddened by how life has treated me so he pretty much wants me to be crazy.  What do I mean by that? My blog really only had meaning after he passed away.  He is in a way taught me nothing matters and wanted the world to see who I am.  How much do I keep my life private and how much do I really share with the world? Does the world get to hear my real voice? In what circumstances? Will the world ever see me for who I am.  Some might think it crazy, and some might believe it or others might make that transfer into a relationship. This journey and blog has really made me question and realize who are really dear to me and who knows me. 

In making the video of my grandpa, and in my sadness, and the memory of two old people that lived in this house for a long time —- I knew for the first time what it meant to leave everything behind.  The only thing he took with him was his soul.

I hope where ever my grandpa is, his soul is happy. THAT was what was important to him the most in my regard.  My happiness! The attachment I feel towards him is without a comparison.

Veena

Gandhiji on God –video

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Gandhiji's way

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSWzFz-tGrM

Gandhiji — you are the father of our nation.

When I think of you —-
I see your chappal
I see your dhoti
I see your chakra
I see your stick
I see the color and the texture of your batta
I see you walking, walking with long strides with these symbols to make a difference.

I really do think your way is the only way to make a difference in India.

Unity in Co-existence

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Dancer —1  Bharatnatyam

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9mmmzfYvJg&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MN-L1BH0kWg&feature=related

Dancer 2 —- Gujurati

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psxx0m9BwSc&feature=related

Does this look more familiar —
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC03Jxrv4AI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRkn_YbQO84&feature=related

Dancer 3 — Oddissi
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-t_BMdBPrM

Dancer 4 — Kathak (This actually looks like Kathak)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqPCYZ03M8E&feature=related

Dancer 5 —  Mohininatyam — I learned something today.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eOxW8H-bcU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aaJ0OwV2lc&feature=related — So much I also don’t know.
Hinduism is not just a faith. It is the union of reason and intuition that can not be defined but is only to be experienced. Evil and error are not ultimate. There is no Hell, for that means there is a place where God is not, and there are sins which exceed his love.

Dancer 6 —- Kuchipudi
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHTzsJk0vv4&feature=related

Dancer — 7 and 8 Manipuri
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RISY7LU3u0&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkppAU5xsKE&feature=related — Telugu’s on Manipuri Dance.

Dancer — 9  Rajastan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7lbdotCfYo&feature=related

Dancer — 10  Marathi  — Which looks familiar?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCDcM4Lo-HI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytRJcemUzN4&feature=related

Dancer —11 and ………. Punjabi
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6X7A8z2Zi3c&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDFSC9HLYuU — Does this look more familiar? 🙂

Unity in Diversity —- India
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8-PE88bWqE&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PL846CD73C57C54CF5

This is another version of it —– America*
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeQk-3x7sbw

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