Dharma is very often written in another word, "Swadharma". There is Dharma but there is also Swadharma. Dharma is something universal; all this I have told you is universal, but apart from that there is a special Dharma of each one. There is Dharma which is valid or true of everybody, but India has said that apart from this there is something special for everyone. I may be equipped with a certain quality, you may be equipped with another quality, therefore my dharma; what is right for me, will be quite different from what is right for you. Don't judge, in Dharma, or as if uniform. That is a wrong judgment. You ask a child to make a speech. Now he will make his speech at his best. His pronunciation may not be absolutely correct, his tonality will not be continuous and uniform, he will not be so fluent, he may not be so very articulate, and yet you will say, "Beautiful" When he finishes his speech you will say, "Wonderful, correct, right!" You don't expect from the child the kind of speech that you would expect from an orator. If the orator speaks like the child, you'll say, "Failed. He is not a good orator". You should not judge the child with the measurement of a big one, you should not measure the big one with the measurement of a small one. That is why India says that: when you speak of Dharma; if you have good patience at a very high level – it is good. Children are normally impatient. But even if he shows some patience, bravo, it is very good. Even some patience in a child is a great quality, but if an adult shows only small patience, that is not good. The big one should show tremendous patience, in fact infinite patience. As Sri Aurobindo says, "God has infinite patience towards us". If he had not infinite patience for us, he would be punishing everybody, because everybody – how imperfect we are! But he is very patient; he allows each one to develop in his own way, his own rhythm, extremely patient. So first point about Swadharma is that you take each individual, take his quality, his condition, his station, his age, his ability, his potentiality and then see how much he is expressing. All those dharma's conditions which I have shown, and then judge whether it is right or not right for him, what is good for one is not good for another. There is a proverb, isn't it. What is food for one is a poison for another. It could be. You should be quite careful, do not apply the same yardstick for everybody. So, while speaking of Dharma you should not be rigid. There are many people who are very rigid about Dharma.
There are many pundits, who take good bath in the morning in the Ganges, and even if one of them meet somebody who has not taken bath, and his shadow falls upon him, he feels as if he is polluted, because he feels "I have become impure". Only by the shadow of somebody who had not taken a bath! This is a rigid application of Dharma. Cleanliness is good, quite all right, but don't be rigid. That man who has not taken bath, you have taken bath, it is all right. There is a distinction between the two, what is Dharma for you it is not Dharma for him. Apply the condition of cleanliness to one who has taken a bath, but one who has not taken bath, do not apply to him the same condition, be very careful, be very tender, be very discriminative.
Now this is a small explanation of Swadharma. Sri Krishna says in one of the verses of the Bhagavad Gita: "You should always find out your Swadharma, every individual has not only to find out what is Dharma but he should also find out his Swadharma, and each one should be careful not to imitate the other one. Another may have his own Dharma." So he says: "You discover your Dharma and be true to your Dharma and do not imitate the Dharma of another. Very often, the human mind compels and judges and puts people together and competes. In the case of Dharma, no competition! Everyone should find out his Dharma, should not be required to follow the Dharma of somebody else. Let everyone follow on his own line. Many parents, for example, of five six children... We are five brothers, and my mother always used to make a mistake; what my elder bother wanted to do, I should also be wanting to do, without realizing that I am the fourth one, and my eldest is the eldest one. It is a mistake. He may succeed in something, I may fail in it, and I will be punished because my elder brother has passed, and I have not passed. So punishment for the younger one, this is wrong. Many teachers also make the same mistake; that is why some good teachers like Deepti always say: "We should allow each one to move on his own line of development". This is very correct. Everyone should be allowed to move at his own rhythm, some may be fast, some may be slow. One who is fast allow him to move fast, one who is slow, allow him to go slow. Do not impose one law upon the other. Not one Dharma on the other Dharma. Be very patient.