Dharma 20th August 1999 (Auroville) - Dharma 203

Now we get a more perfect idea of Dharma. Dharma is the right action, Rita, which proceeds from the perception of reality, and from the perception of the comprehensive reality, and which proceeds automatically straight, in multiple forms, through us as a bow, by an archer who himself has a possession of that perception of reality, comprehensive reality. This is Rita, this is Dharma. So you have now a long journey spread out before you − where you are, you grow gradually. Now what do you do in the process? Constantly, try to be accurate in your expression: if you are a writer write accurately, if you are a poet, describe truthfully, accurately, symbolically, and beautifully, if you are a musician, then allow the melody to flow, accurately, so as to describe the reality as it were to give the tonal reality to the reality. Tone, reality has a tone, discover these true tones and manifest them. Whatever you are, you are a worker, a shoemaker, get the right form of the shoe, the true form of the shoe, be absolutely skilful so the right thing is manifested and the ultimate manifestation is perfect whatever you do.

This is the process. Now this process has been described by many people, in many different ways. When you take books on Dharma, some will say, Dharma is this, some will say Dharma is that, and others will say Dharma is that. It creates a lot of confusion. All confusions can be set aside and can be reconciled, if you know that all of them, if they fit into this discussion which I have given you about Rita, then, they are correct. If they do not, throw them away because there are many wrong ideas of Dharma also.

I have brought with me three sentences which describe Dharma. These are some of the best expression in the Indian tradition. In the Western tradition there are many concepts of which also I shall tell you. I am now telling you this because you will come across these ideas and you should be acquainted with them. Very rarely you will come to the description of Dharma which I have given you because it is only in the writings of Vedas, Upanishad or Sri Aurobindo that the ultimate things have been expressed. Many of the writers have confined themselves to middle heights. They have not scaled to the topmost that is why I wanted to tell you of the topmost, that once you know that, then all confusion at the lower level can be understood properly and dissipated.



I am giving you these three descriptions of Dharma which are given in the Indian tradition. Of these three descriptions, one is given in a book called Manusmriti. Now you may not have heard Manusmriti at all. In India, there was at one time a very great sage and he was called Manu and he found that many people are struggling to find out what is Dharma, and they were not able to reach the top. He himself had reached the top, but he wanted to help people who were still struggling to rise from below. So in the middle part, he wanted to help them, and give some simpler definitions, simpler ideas. So he has given ten words. I gave you only three words: Immortality, Certainty and Permanence. Now Manu has given ten words. These ten words describe ten states of consciousness. When you rise from the lower to the higher you will find that there is one development which only develops states of consciousness. There is a difference between states of consciousness and what you call accumulation of knowledge. In the books (when you read books) you will have a plethora of Information, knowledge about so many things: what is oxygen, what is hydrogen, what is a cell of the body, what is an animal, so many things. You know many Subjects; in each subjects you will have a lot of information. The more information you have, you feel you have more knowledge, but this is distinguishable from states of consciousness. Very often we do not make a distinction between the two, but if you are very careful you will find that there is a marked distinction between possessing knowledge and possessing the state of consciousness. Now these ten words describe the states of consciousness.



1. I shall tell you what are the states of consciousness: the first one is called Dhriti, (excuse me if I take Sanskrit words because it will also introduce you to Sanskrit to some extent, which I want to be introduced). Dhriti means a capacity, a state of consciousness, out which patience is born. Now you will see patience is not a state of knowledge; it is a state of consciousness, to be patient If somebody says, 'Try to be patient", it is not a question of learning this subject or that subject, learning to be patient needs a different kind of school. It is not that by learning chemistry, or by learning mathematics you should be patient. To be patient is another line of development. If your consciousness is able to move slowly but steadily, slowly but steadily, that gives you the capacity of patience that is the first mark. If you are patient, Manu says, "You have already entered into Dharma". That is the first mark.

2. Second: Shama, forgiveness. You know there are many people who want to take revenge. Somebody hits you and you want to hit back, somebody has Insulted you and you want to insult back, somebody has given you trouble and you want to give trouble back. Shama, forgiveness is quite different, you try to be forgiving, it is a different school, it is not by getting more knowledge that you get more and more forgiveness. You have to learn in a different line of development, it is to develop your consciousness. As Buddha says, and this is a wonderful statement for anybody who wants to learn forgiveness: Revenge is never quieted by Revenge, never; you take it for granted. This is a statement he has made: "Revenge is never quieted by revenge". So if you want to stop revenge somewhere you have to do something else. What is that – forgiveness. You are hurt. That is why revenge starts, revenge comes in you. You are hurt. Now you go above being hurt.

There are many conditions under which you can overcome hurt. When you have a tremendous love for the person who has hurt you, you have normally a condition of forgiveness. So increase of love for the object who has given you trouble, it gives you a tremendous forgiveness. Sri Aurobindo says: "Who is my enemy?" That is his great statement, "Who is my enemy? One who took me to the embrace of my most beloved?" He says that one whom you may think is an enemy, remember, that really speaking, he is the one who takes you straight to your beloved. Now, one who takes you to your beloved can you ever think that is your enemy? This is the state of consciousness which Buddha wants to give. He says that, "When you feel revenge, remember, that revenge can never be quieted by revenge." In revenge you always have the sense of somebody who is your enemy. Then remember Sri Aurobindo who says, "Who is your enemy? The enemy is the one who takes you straight to the embrace of the beloved." And if that is so, where is the place for revenge, – there is automatically forgiveness. Even forgiveness does not exist. You are even beyond it; there is only love, and love, and love. That is the condition. 

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