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the law of the truth as the sole law to which the individual and the collectivity are called upon to give their ultimate allegiance. Thus there came about in India an organization of human life in which each individual and collectivity was given the freedom to develop in accordance with the law of the truth; even the state authorities could legislate, but the legislation itself had to be in accordance with and in subservience to the law of the truth. This is what is meant by the law of Dharma and this is significance of the superiority that was ascribed to Dharma in determining the individual and collective life.

It is true that, according to the Vedic Rishis, Rita had to be discovered by each individual and that Rita could not be formulated in the form of rigid law. There are, however, certain universal harmonies, which once discovered, could become guidelines of action for those who had not yet directly experienced the Truth Consciousness. These guidelines were to be found in the Veda itself, and they were expressed, tacitly or explicitly, as revelations and given to people in their varying capacities of receptivity as direct lines of approach to the truth either through a discipline or spiritual practice or through symbolism or through significant ritualism of the sacrifice. Thus there was no one uniform formulation of the law of the harmonies, and yet, there was a kind of coordination and an ascending gradation laid down for a progressive approach to the right law of action.

It is from this complex scheme and formulation that the later idea of Dharma grew and developed. As the original idea of Rita could never be rigidly fixed, even so, there could not be in India any one fixed formulation of Dharma. In a certain sense, Dharma has always remained some indefinable thing. Thus although Dharma has been upheld as the highest non-legislative law which even the highest state authorities had to obey, there is no where in India one fixed and uniform formulation of Dharma. Indeed/there have been several formulations and in many respects these formulations themselves have been in conflict with each other, and there are attempts even to reconcile this conflict resulting in some new flexible and synthetic formulation of law. From this complexity of the situation, there has arisen in India some universal and general idea of Dharma and certain recognized variations of the formulations of Dharma. The great Smritis of Yajnavalkya and Manu are attempts to codify this Dharma, and although these two are

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