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Showing posts from May 10, 2009

Swami Nikhilananda Thoughts on Svadharma

In the Gita, Sri Krishna emphasizes Svadharma, one’s own dharma. The word ‘dharma’ is really untranslatable. ‘Religion,’ ‘duty,’ ‘righteousness,’ and the other English equivalents give only a partial meaning. Dharma is derived from the root ‘dhri’, meaning to hold or sustain. The word signifies the attitude behind a man’s action or duty that sustains him in his present stage of evolution and also helps him to realize his ultimate destiny. The dharma of a man is determined by his past experiences and tendencies. The beginningless Soul assumes different forms in different births for the gaining of experience. The works performed in every birth leave impressions, which are stored up in the subconscious mind and are not destroyed with the death of the body. When the Soul assumes a new body, these impressions begin to operate. Thus they form his ‘svabhava’, or character; they determine his dharma – his duty, his religion, his sense of right and wrong. Education and environment only help a …