Let us delve again a little more on this question of Dharma. Dharma in the highest sense of the word is that which holds: it comes from the word dhṛ; dhṛ dhārayate, ‘to hold’: that which holds, that is called ‘Dharma’. In this world as it is, you find the things are not holding; the world is in a constant flux in which things are formed and then broken. The greatest loss that we experience in life is the breaking: we are not able to hold. The moment there is a movement, then that which was previously there gets broken. And yet while we want to hold, we also want to progress and progress means breaking.
Dharma really means: “That which can hold even when you make progress”. You make progress and yet you are not broken. There is something in you, which will remain permanent: therefore, Dharma is called permanent. We use the word sanātana dharma, the meaning there by is there is a Dharma, which is sanātana, which is eternal. And if you know this, you will know you will never be broken because it will hold under every circumstance: that is because the Divine is at once akartā and kartā. He is Himself the Supreme immobile, therefore, can never be broken; and all movement proceeds from that immobility.
If you therefore, become like the Divine you have attained the Dharma, and you establish Dharma; therefore there will be no breaking. To attain constant progression, without dissolution is the secret of Dharma. You become as vast as the universe and yet you remain yourself: there is no breaking. To attain to this secret is the establishment of Dharma. But because human beings are ignorant, while they want to hold, the moment they move forward, which they also want to, and they must, the dissolution comes about. And this is the greatest threat in human life.
Why death for example is so much resisted by human beings? Because it is a threat of dissolution. Everyone wants to preserve, and wants to create conditions in which preservation is achieved. But because you do not know how to achieve preservation, even in this mobile world, that is why we are in constant difficulty. Therefore in the whole movement of the world there is a constant dissolution, and they require someone to hold.
When this movement of dissolution reaches a very climatic point, and with all ordinary means, which are available to humanity, holding becomes difficult or impossible, then the Divine birth takes place. That is the real meaning of dharma–saṁsthāpanārthāya. Sri Krishna says: “I come from age to age when a situation so arises that Dharma has declined, people are not able to hold on, therefore to give a holding stand, I come on this earth and really keep the earth, the world in a stable condition. I do not allow dissolution.”