Nasarudheen.P. Parameswaran

(8.8.1952 / Manakad)

Karma and Dharma


KARMA in Sanskrit language simply means our activity by thought, word or deed. Dharma is another Sanskrit word which implies our duties: obligatory by custom/religious dogmas or entrusted by law. These terms are interpreted philosophically and religiously. Generally, both Karma and Dharma are divided in to two such as divine and devilish. Karma or Dharma that gives delight to the doer and the people or creatures around him/her is good and that causes worry is vice. The good, righteous doer leads himself and others to god -ward; the evil doer leads to sorrows. Nobody can live without doing karma. It is his dharma. Ones knowledge leads to right pleasing karma as dharma and ignorance leads to adharma (mean deeds) . As we are to lead a social life, our karma shall be bound by dharma not adharma.
The mythological stories tell us of innumerable wars between the God and Satan; good angel and bad angel; dharma and adharma deeds/karmas.In India, the Kurukshetra war narrated in Mahabharata and the Rama versus Ravana war narrated in Ramayana are the examples. In the drama of Christopher Marlow, Dr.Faustus, we see the struggle between the good and bad thoughts in the hero Dr.Faustus. The Vijayadeshami celebration also reminds us of this struggle and the success of the good over the evil.
Prophets of the world tried/try to destroy the evil system(Adharma way of life) and tried their best by establishing the righteous path. That is why, to establish a peaceful happy society certain dogmas are prescribed by Godmen or Divine Personalities. These dogmas regulate the life of individuals and the society that leads to a disciplined Theo-centric society.
In the modern society the true spiritual aspect of man is neglected, instead it is used for material gains. So, the institutionalized religions expected to create peace and stability in society stir intolerance and violence and create a panicky society. The majority –minority issues are created by the materially motivated priests and politicians even in a country famed for tolerance. Actually all religions teach us to follow the divine path which is lighted by virtues and they oppose vices. People are told to fear and worship only the One God: the Creator, Protector and the Destroyer. The people are to follow the divine directions.
Luxurious Materialism is opposed to the simple life of Spiritualism. The holy Qur’an tells “Ignorant people depend on guesswork”(2: 78) , “Whoever does evils deserves Hell and whoever does good deeds and believe in God deserve Heaven”(2: 81-82) .Bhagavat Gita clearly tells, “Leave and dharmas(duties to be dedicated) to me, and be dedicated to me, I shall absolve you from sorrows/burdens, don’t worry’(18: 66) and where Krishna and Arjuna join in an activity there the success is.(18: 78) .It means where we work with right thought and persistent actions we will get victory.
The holy Bible tells, ”Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed in to judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”(Ecclesiastes,12: 13-14) .
Therefore, we cannot go around our karma but face it sincerely according to dharma(righteous path, another meaning to Dharma.Dharma, Ardha(wealth) , Kama(great desire to please the five senses) and Moksha(liberation from the worldly cares) are known as the Purushardhas.To get liberation, we act to our ability, believing the God will reward after testing us.Karma for salvation shall be based on Dharma. This is detached act (nishkama karma) . This faith in God (Almighty/Allah/Brahma/Agni/Jehovah-names may differ according to language but the God is One: Omnipotent, Omniscient, and the Omnipresent One; the Creator, Protector and the Destroyer) .So Yagnavalkya in Thaithiryopanishad advised in his valedictory talk, ”Tell the truth, Follow Dharma…Your actions to amass wealth, protect yourselves, shall not violate Dharma.” Karma and Dharma are inseparably linked in making a peaceful society.One wins when works as worship to God.

Submitted: Saturday, October 12, 2013
Edited: Thursday, October 31, 2013

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  • Dinesh Nair (10/15/2013 6:07:00 AM)

    An excellent and elaborate essay on Karma and Dharma. Though I believe in the power of omniscient human goodness that can do wonders, your write brings home your convictions very effectively. Thank you for sharing sir. (Report) Reply

  • Valsa George (10/13/2013 8:50:00 AM)

    A wonderful treatise on Karma, Dharma and Adharma winding up with a great assertion that God, though may be called by different names is one and the same.... the Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Ominiscient! ! (Report) Reply

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