Episode # 183 – Common principles of “Dharma” that all of us should adhere – Sage Sukhaachaarya lists out!!!

Little Krishna

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the commencement of the eighth “Skandha” of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana, wherein Sage Sukhaachaarya starts explaining to King Parikshit, the various aspects of “Dharma” that every category of people should follow in this world. Of course, there are specific sets of “Dharma” for Braahmachaaris (Unmarried people), Gruhastas (Married people), men, women, etc. and finally a common set of principles that all people across categories should follow. This is going to be an important section for all of us to pay our full attention and we shall take this discussion in detail step by step in the coming episodes.

Yesterday, we had commenced with a brief discussion on the two categories of “Dharma” according to Sage Sukhaachaarya”, wherein he talks about the “External Dharma” and the “Internal Dharma”. While the “External Dharma” pertains to our outside appearance such as wearing our traditional costumes like Dhoti, Saree, etc. along with wearing Vibhuti, or “Naama” or sandalwood paste, etc. on our forehead, the “Internal Dharma” pertains to our personal character, such as talking the truth everytime, not harming others both physically and verbally, food habits, etc. At the end of yesterday’s discussion, we had also witnessed how both the “External” and “Internal” components of “Dharma” are equally important for a person to be called “Dhaarmika” and how both these components complement each other too. We witnessed an example to illustrate this point as well.

Moving on thus, Sage Sukhaachaarya now illustrates each of the “Dharma” principles according to the various categories. He first begins thus:

“Satyam dayaa Tapaha shoucham tithikshekshaa shamaha damaha!”

As we might be knowing many of these already, we shall just have a glance as we move ahead further. “Satyam” means “speaking the truth all the time”. We should ensure that our mouth only talks the truth, but in a way that it would be pleasing for others to listen. Of course, when we say that we should be truthful, it doesn’t mean that we should be too blunt in whatever we communicate. While we communicate the truth, we should make sure that we do not harm anybody with that as well. “Dayaa” means “Compassion”. We should make sure that we are compassionate, kind and loving towards all living beings in this world. Again, this characteristic is in-built within us, when it comes to our immediate family members like our spouse, children, parents, etc. But this compassion should not be limited only within this circle. We should make sure that we extend our compassion to other people, other animals, plants, trees, insects, etc. around us as well and this is called real compassion.

“Tapah” means “Ability to restrict ourselves and perform penance”. By saying thus, Sage Sukhaachaarya explains that we should be able to abstain from “knee-jerk reactions” towards any situation, and thus develop the patience to analyze things before coming to conclusions. This itself is an incredible outcome of deep penance. If we’re performing penance, it only implies that we’re bringing our mind under control. Readers can recollect few of our episodes in the past, wherein we had spoken in detail about Sage Kapilaachaarya’s advice on how to control our mind. “Shoucham” means “Cleanliness”. Of course, this term cleanliness refers to both external and internal cleanliness. External cleanliness can be attained by taking a shower everyday, wherein our physical body gets cleaned up. If required, we shall even take a shower twice a day too, to ensure physical or external cleanliness. However, when it comes to “internal cleanliness”, we should be able to talk what we think and do what we talk. Our thoughts should be pure. Our actions and attitude should reflect the purity of our mind. This is real “Shoucham”. Thus, when we talk about cleanliness, it pertains more towards our internal cleanliness, that constitutes our thoughts, words and actions.

Tithiksha” means “Patience”. We should constantly ask this question within us – Are we getting provoked if somebody tries to induce us with some harsh behavior? Or, are we able to resist ourselves from reacting angrily to that person? If we’re able to find an answer in such a way that we’re not getting disturbed by whatever others are trying to do to us, it means we’re scoring high on patience. This is what is required if we’ve to follow the path of “Dharma”. Hurting or abusing someone at that very moment is extremely easy and is tempting too. However, if one can resist that temptation and avoid the abusing, lot of problems can be avoided in life. We can learn a lot from one person, who is resisting all of our bad actions that we keep performing every day of our life. That person is none other than Bhagawan Himself! Thus, we should understand that Bhagawan is an epitome of patience, wherein He is refraining Himself all these years and decades from giving us the punishment that we should experience! All what Bhagawan thinks within Himself is whether we would mend our ways some day or the other and patiently waits for us to do so!

“Eksha” means referring and recollecting the various aspects of spirituality and “Dharma” again and again. This itself is “Dharma”! This is why I always keep saying at the end of every episode that we present – All of us should reflect upon the points that we are discussing every day. If we have clarifications with any of the points, we should refer to some books, discourses by eminent people on these topics, or discuss the clarifications with some experts who have the knowledge. It is only with repeated discussions, debates and referring will our knowledge improve. Thus we need to make sure that we follow this meticulously and continuously.

So for today, let us stop at this point and let us ponder over the points that we’ve discussed so far. We shall wait for the next episode to continue further. Stay tuned! 😊

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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