Dharma 20th August 1999 (Auroville) - Session-II

What I said last time was only an introduction, because the subject is very vast. Maybe I may need one day, not now, to give twenty talks on this subject. One day, after some time. But I thought I will give at least one more talk, so that you enter into the subject more properly. So let us first revise what we said last time. Basically I told you about the meaning of Dharma, which is: That which holds; that which makes for stability. Secondly, I told you how people have aspired for stability, that is, what is the relevance of Dharma. Why do people look for stability, how and why? Then, I gave you the example of Buddha. He had lived a life of luxury for many, many years, three decades nearly and suddenly he saw four sights: the sight of a sick man, of the old man, of the dead man and of a hermit; four sights. And all these sights gave him the experience of impermanence: the healthy man becomes sick, the young man becomes old, the living man becomes dead and a man, who is attached to the world suddenly, turns to a hermitage to become a hermit to wander about in search. As a result, there was awakened in the heart of Buddha the real pursuit of Permanence. And Permanence is that which stabilizes. It is the pursuit of Dharma.

Then I spoke of Descartes, and we said that lie was gripped with doubt, and doubt always makes you unstable, and there is a tremendous urge in human beings to overcome this instability, and therefore there is a search for certainty. Certainty is a resting place; your mind, your thoughts rest in certainty. The third thing I spoke to you about was Immortality. And I said that the Vedic search—if you read the Vedas you will find there is a constant search for Immortality. The experience of mortality is an experience of instability. It gives you a feeling that something is missing. Suddenly something is snapped, arrested, and you feel uncomfortable about it. I gave you the examples of Ruru and Priyamvada—Love and Death; the story of Savitri: the death occurs and then there is a tremendous movement towards immortality. And I said how Sri Aurobindo has given to the story of Savitri a tremendous dimension. The whole of Savitri is a cry of Immortality. I spoke of Dharma, pursuit of Dharma, as pursuit of Immortality, pursuit of Certainty, and pursuit of Permanence. In a sense all the three are interchangeable.

Then I told you the difference between animals and men, and I said that the main difference is that animals have no pursuit, they may have many other pursuits, but they have no pursuit for Dharma. They do not look for these three things. Human beings have this pursuit. So, one distinguishing feature of human beings from all other animals or creatures is the pursuit of Dharma.

And the third thing I told you was that this pursuit of Dharma begins with the distinction between two words: "Is" and "Ought". Every human being at a certain stage feels the stirring of ought – transcends what is presented and feels that there is something else, which is not here, but which should be brought out, should be brought down, should be manifested. I gave you the example of a short story of a small girl who was rescued and a fat lady who comes to visit that house and criticises this small girl and the small girl says: "How would you feel if I had to tell you what you have told about me". This is the starting point of 'ought'. Meaning: you ought not to do this. The starting point of Dharma is this basic point. You know Jesus Christ has given a very short formula: Do unto others what you want others to do unto you. Do to others what you want others to do for you. It is a very simple but very powerful statement. And that is the starting point of 'ought'. Normally human beings want the best things for themselves from others, but not necessarily from ourselves to others. But when you begin to experience that we should do unto others what you want others to do unto yourselves, this will be the sign that now you have started the movement towards Dharma, automatically. This is the starting point. There is something which you want to happen which is not happening.

And then, fourthly, I told you the concept of rita. There was a discovery in the most ancient times that if you make a progression from what you are to what ought to be, it is a long process of progression. As you move forward, what you ought to find out now and when it is realized, you again find that this is not enough, there is still a further 'ought', and when that is realized, you find there is a still a further 'ought', and when you go there you find a further 'ought', and if you go on, and you reach up to the climax. The climax of course is: Certainty, Immortality, Permanence. That is the climax. As you move forward, there is as it were a kind of a guiding line, some string that all the time pulls you upwards. That string which pulls you upwards, upwards and upwards was discovered by the Vedic Rishis and they gave it the name: Rita.

Dharma: Satyam-Ritam-Brihat

All those who have studied the Veda find this concept, this idea of Rita, to be one of the most important discoveries. They find that Rita is not only something that is at the highest, but is also something that has a dynamic capacity to pull you, pull you upwards. It is like a pulley, it takes you upwards all the time. In other words, Dharma is not static, it is dynamic in character. Rita is dynamic, it constantly pulls you upwards. Now, this Rita was expressed in the Vedic time through three words: Satyam, Ritam, Brihat. All the three are Sanskrit words. One day I am sure you will learn Sanskrit, it will be easier for you to understand. But Satyam is the expression of reality. Sat is reality; Satya is the exact expression of reality. You must have seen that one of the most difficult things for any student is to express accurately. Many of you are artists and you want to draw a picture, and one of the most difficult things is that what you feel inwardly; most accurately, and you want to bring that out in the picture, in the image, most accurately, – it is very difficult. Now this exercise, if you do in life, whatever you feel to be true, to be real, you try to express accurately: that is Satya. But what you feel to be real today is your present experience of 'real' today. Tomorrow, as you expand, you have another view of True, of the Real. There is an image given in the Veda; if you climb a hill, at a certain stage of climbing you have one view, and if you climb farther you have still a farther view. Same thing: the background remains the same, and yet the vision changes, and then when you reach to the peak, you have an overall view, overview: everything as it were changes. All remains the same, and yet all changes. And then the Veda says, "There is no end of peaks, there are peaks, and peaks, and peaks of reality. Reality is such a Vast! Therefore Satya is connected with Brihat. Brihat means Vast. So the Vedas said, "Whatever you speak of the Truth, be sure you are Vast at the same time. Because if you are not Vast and yet you speak of the Truth it may be a narrow truth, it is simply your present perception. You are really able to express the reality only when you are vast. In fact Sri Aurobindo has given the word, "all comprehensiveness", that is the word Sri Aurobindo uses for vast. When you are Vast, everything is comprehended. And when you have expressed reality and when that reality is seen in an all comprehensive way, then there is Rita.

Satyam, Ritam, Brihat, words. Expression of reality accurately, expression of reality in all its comprehensiveness, when that happens, then whatever is done in action, is right. You must very often have found that we constantly have a question: is it a right action or a wrong action? How many People are quarrelling on this question? Is it right or wrong? And in the Vedas the answer is that you are both right and wrong until you reach a point where you have seen the reality in all comprehensiveness, and in that perception of comprehensive reality the action proceeds. When action proceeds without this comprehensive reality it is not necessarily the right action. So, right action is Rita. Only he can perform the right action, who has gone to the reality and to the comprehensive reality and attained to the vision of the comprehensive reality and from there proceeded into action like an arrow.

Straight Rays of the Sun

The image that is given in the Vedas is like the ray of the sun. You know the rays of the sun are straight rays, absolutely. You know the word right comes from: recht, that which is straight. The right action is always the straight action. There is no crookedness. All human beings somehow try to manipulate to arrive at their end, little ends, because we are so ignorant, we want to achieve this thing, that thing, whatever we see we want to possess. We don't know why. We are so small in our normal condition, we are like small children, you see a toy, you want to have a toy with you, you see another kind of thing, you want to put in your mouth. We are like small children. As you rise into adulthood, as you become bigger and bigger, you find that all these movements are crooked actions. You are obliged to take some kind of winding path to achieve what you want. The right action is a straight action. There is no debate about it. It is straight, coming right from the vision of the truth, everything is straight.

Dharma: To Discover Oneself as the Perfect Bow

Sri Aurobindo gives the example of the bow: bow and the arrow. He said you should become like a bow, a perfect bow. When that happens, then automatically there is an archer, which is not you. This is the one secret that is given in the Bhagavad Gita. When you read the Bhagavad Gita – one day you should read it – this is the basic teaching of the Bhagavad Gita. That really speaking, as long as you think you are doing, you are not doing. When you know you are not doing, then you will cease to be you, and you will really be something other than you. And the one which is the real Doer, he will be seen by you to be doing, straight, whatever has to be done. There is a secret to be discovered: There is an archer, we are only a bow. Sri Aurobindo said, "You only become a bow that is what you are". Become a bow. When you really become a bow, you will discover there is an Archer. That Archer is the sunlight itself; it is supreme Light, the Truth Light: the Truth–Consciousness, vast, comprehensive. And you will find that he is the real Archer and the moment you become the bow, the arrow will fly through your bow, straight towards the target–that is the right action.

When we reach that point, when the archer himself takes possession of you and shoots exactly at the target, straight, that is the right action, – that is Rita. So Rita is an action proceeding from the archer, who is satyam and Brihat. Who is both the vision of reality and the comprehensive vision of the reality. And an action proceeds from this archer, which is straight. And when you simply become a perfect bow, and the action proceeds, that is the right action until you reach it, do not debate whether you are right or wrong. You take it for granted you are both right and wrong, until we reach that point. So why should we spend time unnecessarily? Most of the people go on debating saying I am right, this is right, that is right. This is the Vedic truth. It had been discovered. When you reach the highest, the right action will automatically be, you will not debate about it; it is a straight action starting from the sunrays. And it will not be only one action. The sun never casts only one ray. There are multiple rays at the same time. The right actions are simultaneously varied, many. In our narrow thinking we always say the right action must be one action. When you go to the Supreme there are thousand things which are right at the same time, all of them harmonious.

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 expressions 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 will you 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.

Dharma in the Manusmriti

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 subject 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.

Dharma: It’s Ten 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 of 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 normally have a condition of forgiveness. So an 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.

3. Then the third is Dama. Dama is self–control, Dama is purity. Now it is very difficult to define purity, but a simple definition of purity is absence of mixtures. There are many states of consciousness in which you find too many mixtures. Your mind is clouded by desires; that is a mixture. The thought is clouded by desires; that is a mixture. Thought and desire, the two are mixed together, if the two are separated from each other, thought becomes clear. If desire is freed, you will see desire clearly, "Oh this is desire", otherwise you will give a lot of 'coating' to the desires. When a child says, "Oh I like to see television." Why? "I get a lot of information out of it; I get a lot of knowledge out of it." He does not confess to you that he gets a lot of excitement also out of it. And that he sees television not because he gets a lot of information primarily, but because there is a lot of excitement in it. Getting information is a part of thought, getting excitement is a part of desires, and the two are mixed together, so there is a mixture. If your mind becomes pure, it is free from mixture.

4. There is another condition of your Dharma: Asteyam which means, non–stealing. Human beings are constantly in search of things, and whenever they find something, they want to put it into their pocket. That is called Steyam, that is the cause of the state of theft. These things in the world, they do not belong to us. Nothing belongs to us in the world, this whole vast world. These pebbles are here, whether I exist or not they will be there, they do not belong to me. But when I see and like them I put them into my pocket, and say, they are mine, and then I quarrel with the others, "These are mine, you cannot take them." This is Adharma. Dharma is: Everything belongs to the whole world, and even if I take it, it is not mine. I take it for a small use if I want, but nothing more than that. In fact Sri Krishna said: "Whoever takes without offering is a thief '. In the Bhagavad Gita, this is a very great definition he has given of theft: "Whoever takes without offering is a thief." Now you understand the meaning of theft. As long as you take but do not give back anything, do not offer, you should realize that you are in a state of Adharma. The state of Dharma is when you take, and you offer. You should be in the state of offering. And then Sri Krishna said even further: "After offering, something is left, that is all that you should use. Go on offering, what is just left: Uchistham; that, which is left, has to be used by you. But even by using, you again offer. In other words, life should be a constant offering.

That is why in Auroville's Charter, you know Mother has given: "You should be a willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness". Willingly servitor means offering to be a servant means, you offer yourself. A servant is always in a state of offering. So if you are a constant servitor of the Divine Consciousness you can never be a thief. You have achieved Asteyam, you are already in a state of non-stealing. In fact Mother wants that all of us should constantly be in a state of non-stealing, and that is Dharma.

5. Then, Saucham. Saucham is what? Cleanliness. There should be physical cleanliness; there should be vital cleanliness, mental cleanliness, psychic cleanliness, spiritual cleanliness. In all manners we should be clean, transparent. When you are not transparent, it is Adharma. When you become transparent, that is Dharma.

6. Indriyanigraha – this is one of the most important things to be remembered: control of senses. There is a great Upanishad called Katho Upanishad. One day I would like you to learn the Upanishads. I am giving you a long program of studies: learning of Sanskrit, learning of Bhagavad Gita, learning of the Vedas, learning of Katho Upanishad. But this is a life-long program. It is not necessary you should read in twenty years, it does not matter. It is a life-long program. So we shall learn many, many things. But one day you will learn Katho Upanishad in which it is said that our body is so constituted that all our senses, senses means eyes, ears, nose, mouth, tongue, everything, our skin, naturally open outward. Your eyes are closed, the moment you open, you see the outer world. Your ears hear something that is coming from outside. Your tongue tastes only when something from outside comes and you have tasted. Every sense that you have opens outwards, and most of the difficulties of the world arise, because once you open outward, you run outwards. They are like horses, our senses are like horses. And horses want to run. Similarly our senses, the moment they are open outside, they simply want to run. You eat ice cream, one cup, and you want to eat another cup of ice cream. The senses immediately demand more, and more, and more. They are like wild horses. But the reality of which we spoke is called Satyam. The reality, is inward, not outward. Outward is only an external expression of the internal. So if you want to see internally, how will you see inward? So the answer that is given is: Indriyanigraha; your senses should be controlled. They are like horses, not that you should stop them running, allow them to run, but under control. You should be able to say no, whenever you want. One ice-cream cup is all right. You should be able to say, "Now, no more". That is called Nigraha. That is control of senses. You should not be a slave of your senses. You should be the master of the senses. So the moment you are able to control the senses, you understand that you are moving towards Dharma.

7. Dhi is clarity of intelligence. Intelligence is of many kinds: there is the intelligence of the elephant, there is the intelligence of the horse, there is the intelligence of the cow, there is the intelligence of the dog, there is the intelligence of the cat. There are many kinds of intelligence, and remember all these intelligences are in the human being. We have all kinds of intelligences, if you examine your intelligence you will find; horse intelligence, elephant intelligence, cow intelligence, dog intelligence, cat intelligence. Our intelligence is composed of every kind of intelligence. It has many, many kinds of intelligences. These intelligences are all partial intelligence. They are of mixed intelligences. Dhi is pure intelligence. Pure intelligence is like a polished mirror. Whatever is real, or inner or outer, if your intelligence is fully polished you will see, if you turn outside, outside things will be absolutely, accurately seen, if you turn inward you will see the inner reality, absolutely clearly. There will be no reflections, no shadows. That is called Dhi purified intelligence, and clear intelligence.

8. Then Vidya. Vidya is knowledge and states of consciousness. But now you are told also that when Vidya, when knowledge is attained, then possession of knowledge also creates a state of consciousness. You compare two states: when you do not know a thing, examine your state of consciousness, when you know a thing fully then examine your state of consciousness. There will be a difference. If you have to give a test there will be so much of anxiety, so much of worry, when you are not prepared. At the last moment you want to take in all of the book, you want to read three, four lines, suddenly whenever you eyes fall, per chance you will be asked some such question for which an answer is lying there; it is a wavering mind, a wavering state of consciousness. We are not sure, full of worry, full of anxiety, but when you know a thing very well, then you are sure whatever question is asked, – I am ready. And actually you like to be asked any questions from any corner, it is a new state of consciousness. When the knowledge is attained then there is "I fullness of consciousness. In one of the Upanishad it is said: "Chit Ghana". When you have full knowledge, then your consciousness becomes solid. When your knowledge is not perfect, it is fluid. But when your knowledge is perfect it becomes absolutely solidity. It is ghana. You can experience peace also. In fact Sri Aurobindo says, "When you experience peace if it is true peace, you will feel as if a pillar, a strong pillar is thrust into your mind. Peace will come as a strong pillar, stable pillar in which, thought cannot take place at all; it is completely peace, absolutely peace that is a state of knowledge. Knowledge always gives you peace; this is the mark of knowledge. If you are looking for peace, then have true knowledge, it gives you peace.

9. Satyam is an accurate expression of reality, which I have told you already. So that is also a mark of Dharma.

10. Akrodha: absence of anger. Just as I spoke of Shama: forgiveness, forgiveness and absence of anger are correlated. When there is no anger, forgiveness becomes easy. So you should be free from anger, the more you are free from anger, the greater you are in Dharma. These are the ten – Dashakam Dharma lakshanam. These ten are the characteristics of Dharma. This is what Manusmrti says, and Manusmrti gives you a kind of a summary of hundreds of books on Dharma. He says, "Without reading hundreds of books, I tell you very simply, the sum and substance of Dharma is only these ten characteristics.”

Dharma in the Mahabharata

Now in Mahabharata, – I told you I'll give three sentences, one was this one, (later on I will give these to Deepti, she will photocopy and give you the papers) so that in brief you will remember these for all your life, that is ten characteristics which give you Dharma. Now, there is another one which is taken from Mahabharata. It speaks of a smaller number. An even smaller definition of Dharma is given. It repeats many of the things which are already told here: "Ahimsa: non-violence; Satyam: truth; Akroda: absence of anger; Anrushamsyam: absence of cruelty; Dama: self-restraint; and, Arjvam: straightforward. Now you will find that these five words are in a sense contained in those ten words. So if you remember those ten words you don't need to remember these five words. This is only a smaller definition. In fact these five words are much subtler. So, non-violence, truth, absence of anger, absence of cruelty, self-restraint and straightforwardness.

Now the third one is also taken from the Mahabharata. You know the Mahabharata is the greatest epic in world history. It is said that what is not in the Mahabharata is not anywhere else. This is the claim. It is an exaggerated claim, but it gives you the extent of the dignity of the Mahabharata. It is said that what is not in the Mahabharata, it is not anywhere else. And all that is, is already in Mahabharata. So Mahabharata is supposed to give you answers to all kinds of questions. And Dharma is one of the most important questions. Therefore there was a dialogue between the king and the teacher, and then the teacher tells him that the following are the words which give you Dharma: kindness; benevolence; non-violence, in action, words and thought; this is Dharma. This is even a shorter definition of Dharma.

I will give you all the three; you keep them with you because they will help you in deciding whenever you do any actions, whether it is Dharma or Adharma. Even before you reach Rita, the highest, it will give you guidance. But keep them only as guides, not something binding.

Dharma is a progressive development. Therefore if anybody says: this is Dharma in the final word, until you reach Rita, do not take it to be final, because it is constantly developing.

Now I shall come to the final part of my talk. Shall I stop here; if you are tired I can stop here. Do I continue? Yes? It is not long but I am coming to the final term because it is the most important thing in our life.


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 the 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 a good bath in the morning in the Ganges, and even if one of them meets 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 a bath, you have taken a 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 or six children... We are five brothers, and my mother always used to make a mistake; what my elder brother 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.


Now comes the deepest concept of Swadharma, and that is connected with Swabhava. This is the last point I want to make nothing more: Swadharma is Dharma which flows from oneself. What is oneself – is one's becoming. You are constantly becoming, growing, isn't it? Everyone is growing. Now, what is “growing"? What is the source of growing? We are all growing because there is source in us, which is in us like a reservoir of water – which is there in us. In each one of us, there is this reservoir, without the reservoir we would never be able to grow. So remember that each one of us has a reservoir. That reservoir is your real Self, your true being, not the outer being; outer being is not your reservoir, there is an inner being, or inmost being, which is your reservoir. Now that reservoir has a very special way of 'flow'. It flows, but it has its own special way of flowing, its own rhythm of flowing. You will mark it. Every individual, you will see has a reservoir and out of that something is flowing, and if you observe very correctly, you will find that this flow has its own rhythm. To discover the real rhythm of everyone requires your knowledge of the becoming of his self; that is called Swabhava. Swabhava is two words swa and bhava. Bhava is becoming, Swa is self. Self which is becoming, Self which is shaping. This shaping has a rhythm and the law of rhythm. This law of rhythm is Dharma. This is the final definition of Dharma that I am giving you. Dharma is the law of the rhythm of becoming, the way in which each one is becoming. That rhythm is Swadharma coming from Swabhava.

So the deepest truth of our being is this: discover your real reservoir. You cannot have Dharma, you cannot reach Satya, you cannot reach Brihat, you cannot reach Rita, you cannot reach Certainty, you cannot reach Immortality, you cannot reach Permanence, you cannot reach these ten characteristics of Dharma, unless you start from here, you start from yourself, from your reservoir. Usually this reservoir is not even seen. We do not even know that there is a reservoir. So our first task is to find our reservoir, it is a huge and vast reservoir.

As Mother herself has said, you know Mother has said the characteristics of becoming a true Aurovilian: "A true Aurovilian has to realise that there is in him a being, or a reservoir, which is vast and free and quiet and all knowing". This is all a reservoir; it is in us, already within us. What we are supposed to do in the world is nothing else but to discover it and to allow it to flow. So we are all in the process of becoming. Now this becoming is Swabhava, we are constantly becoming, that which is the reservoir is flowing, but you cannot truly become in the right way unless you find out the real flow and the rhythm of the flow. This idea of the rhythm is very important. You will find, take sulphur for example and burn it, it will burn immediately. Take a piece of cotton and burn it; it will burn immediately, but take a piece of pebble and burn it; heat will not touch it at all. Similarly, you take a piece of wood, if it is dry wood, it will burn immediately, if it is wet wood it will not burn immediately. Now this is called the rhythm, whether something is fast or slow, and the mode of it. The way in which sulphur will burn will be different from the way in which cotton will burn; will be different from the way in which the wood will burn. Each movement has its own mode. This rhythm, this mode is what is called 'law'. The word 'law' you must have heard very often. Basically the meaning of law is very simple: regularity of the speed, rhythm, and the manner in which it acts is law. Everything falls from top to the bottom; it is the law which is called gravitation. Gravitation is a law because it forces everything from top to bottom, that is a law, it is a rhythm, but it is not a law everywhere. You go beyond a certain point, you can walk in space, you will not fall, and gravitation works only up to a certain point, but not beyond it. So laws are not absolutely absolute, it is not as if everywhere it is the same thing.

Therefore I told you that Dharma is a limited concept, never be rigid about it. You have to reach a point where you reach the maximum of your Dharma. You draw out from your nature, the rhythms of your being, find out whether you are slow or you are fast. Find out, everybody can find out. In this matter I am slow; in that matter I am very fast. In the things in which you are fast, move fast, in the things in which you are slow, do not worry, even if the competitors are moving fast do not worry, you are slow, accept you are slow, your rhythm is different. Once you have started this kind of movement you will find your own individuality, your own personality, what you are, you will shine out. You know Mother has said that, "Each one of us is like an unpolished, unchiselled diamond", each one of us. We are all diamonds, but unchiselled. If you chisel the diamond, it shines out brightly, isn't it? Similarly, we are like diamonds, but unchiselled, we do not know how to chisel them. The right way of chiselling is to know our Swabhava and our Swadharma, and if you do it properly, ultimately your shining will come out. When you will shine out, you will find that you will be like the rays of sunlight, straight, everything will be straight. That is the mark of your shining out. What I told you at the beginning: Rita is the shining out of the sunlight from where all the rays are spread out all straight, no crookedness.

Similarly in your being, Satyam, Ritam, Brihat are already present in you, allow them to move out of you, according to your Swabhava, according to your nature, according to your becoming, self-becoming, according to the rhythm of your becoming, that is all that is meant by chiselling. You will be chiselled, and when you will be chiselled, the sun there and the sun here will be one; it will be the same sunlight, shining through you. And then you will find that you have gone beyond Dharma. Dharma is keeping you on a particular line of development, but when you have crossed, you become vast then you can change with anything, when you want to be slow, you can be slow, when you want to be fast, you can be fast. There will be no rhythm which now stops you. You have learned every method.

That is why it is said, when there is perfection, you have an infinity of qualities, Anantaguna. That is given in India; the concept of the perfect person is Anantaguna, that is, infinite qualities. It is not one simple duality by which it can be defined. If you study Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, perfect personalities that ever walked on the earth, you must study Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's personalities from this point of view. What chiselling they have done of their personality, they can manifest any aspect at any given time. All the aspects are present behind. Sri Aurobindo has described the Mother, and said the Mother is Maheshwari, Mother is Mahakali, Mother is Mahalakshmi, Mother is Mahasaraswati. You know there is a small book, The Mother, you should all read. It is a very small book, which you can read anytime. But it will give a tremendous idea what the Mother is.

Many of us have seen the Mother working. Roger used to meet her day after day and had the great privilege of meeting her, finding in her great personalities, tremendous knowledge, and foresight of a tremendous kind. She could see things hundreds of years in advance, no limitations because she was Maheswari. Maheswari is all knowledge, and there is nothing, which is denied to that consciousness. It is the consciousness of rita. The highest Dharma leads you to the liberation from Dharma. You go above all limitations, all rhythms, all laws of development. In fact you make a law, if you want to make a law you can make a new law. It's a power of freedom to make law, a new rhythm you can create. It is like a pianist. You know, if you are a real pianist, when you are learning to play, you are told that you should have this kind of notes, and your musical pieces which are written down before you and you practice according to the notes which are given. But when you really become a pianist you freely compose any kind of music and hundreds of music’s you can play. In fact Mother wanted an orchestra of thousand people playing together; what kind of music can be produced? It will be like sunlight throwing out millions of rays of light on the earth, Isn't it?

So this is what I have told you. Now, to briefly summarise: Dharma is the pursuit of Certainty, Permanence and Immortality. Dharma is what ought to be, has to be brought down. Dharma at the highest is Rita, which is straight rays of light issuing from truth and wideness: perception of truth, and perception of comprehensive truth. This is the highest definition of Dharma, the highest level. But from where we are, we proceed from, we move from the low to the higher. In this progressive movement, I have told you of ten states of consciousness which I read out to you. One can read out many more, but these ten are very good. I have selected these ten because they are very comprehensive descriptions. So develop these ten states of consciousness. Apart from learning chemistry and physics and so on, you learn the states of consciousness, develop these states of consciousness. While developing you will discover that there is in you a law, a rhythm of development: Dharma; Swadharma which flows from Swabhava from your nature, and behind your nature there is your great reservoir. So discover that reservoir, which is within yourself, observe it, and see how it manifests and follow it out, and develop those states of consciousness and go on chiselling, chiselling all the time. It is an infinite labour, and undertake that labour, because we are here only for that in the world.

Last time I told you why I don't like certificates, because certificates tell you that you are here to earn, you are here to learn to earn, and you are living here to earn and you are earning for living. What I am telling now is, you are here for chiselling your Swabhava, your Swadharma that is all what we are here for. Earning, eating, living are all subordinate; it is incidental. But our fundamental purpose – even if you have earned tremendously, ultimately you go to the wealthiest man and say: "What are you still looking for?" He will tell you, (I have met the wealthiest people of the world myself, and I tell you they are only busy with one thing – “chiselling” their personality). When they have the highest amount of wealth they want to be good orators, they want to be good musicians, they want to be good companions, they want to measure their relationship with others, they want to mend their relationships with other people. They have got all the wealth they want, what else should be done? It is this: it is Dharma. Chiselling, chiselling, of your being, and when this chiselling will be perfect then you go beyond Dharma and you will be Anantaguna. This is our whole journey, set out before us.

I am happy that you gave me time to speak twice, and I feel very happy that I could tell you something which I really wanted to tell you with my heart, with my soul, and I got a chance to tell you this. And this, l would like in Auroville, all education to follow: Swabhava, Swadharma, and complete perfection; chiselling. That is what Mother said: Education in Auroville is constant progress, continuing education, unending education and the youth that never ages. Thank you.