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Dharma to Karma

Both ‘Karma’ and ‘Dharma’ are Sanskrit terms inherited from Vedic philosophy, India’s most incredible wisdom in the field of spiritualism dating back over 5,000 years. According to that concept, ‘karma’ is a path of activity in thoughts, words, motives, and acts, implying that cause equals effect, action equals response, and opposites are equal as one and the same, being two sides of the same coin. ‘Dharma’ refers to a universal rule of conduct for living in harmony with nature and the universe.

According to the Vedas, there is no need to give up anything in life to progress, transcend, and transform. You don’t have to live in a remote location to live a moral life. You can live a righteous life no matter where you are. Our sages established four ‘purusharthas’ of life – Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha, which interprets as the goals of human existence. These are the four human life goals that everyone must strive to thrive.

Artha means economic success, Kama is for sensual pleasures, Dharma relates to morality and righteousness, and finally, Moksha is to liberate your mind after you are content with the previous three goals of the mind. All four are essential for wholesome life.  A person is mentally ready for Moksha only after one experience and realizes in contentment, the first three purusharthas. A simple comparison may be used to demonstrate this. If you cut the cloth into four pieces, the fourth is automatically ready after you slit the first, second, and third pieces.  

According to the Vedas, the creator and creation are the same. The four purusharthas are to awaken that divine residing within the soul, which we are unaware of. There is no such thing as duality from which the limited human mind operates. The substratum of all that exists in the Universe is the absolute, eternal, infinite Brahman/energy on which all subset energies superimpose that are interchangeable as solids, liquids, and gases, or we can say as matter and consciousness. From the universal or spiritual point of view, God is that supreme ability of the absolute energy referred to as Parabrahman, Parmashewar, or as Paramatma. It is that formless God, which is the absolute, non-dual, everlasting, unlimited, boundless, and unchanging ability of energy, also present within the soul of every individual self. Therefore, physical, chemical, mental, nuclear, and electrical subset energies all arise and vanish into the absolute nothingness of the cosmos.

When the above-mentioned supreme ability enters the individual mind, it settles in the mind’s quiet zone, the unconscious mind, which is the mind’s thoughtless zone. Spiritually, we refer to this as the superconscious section or the soul. Practicing- the four purusharthas, the mind transforms into higher consciousness to experience and realize its limitless potentiality via the soul. However, in today’s environment, no one is concerned with the authentic methods provided by spirituality or leading a soulful life. This is most likely why many individuals suffer from rage, anxiety, despair, and stress.

So, how can we put these four purusharthas into practice?

Being aware of your thoughts, words, motives, and actions is the first step. This is because the mind mechanically operates in a subconscious mode (lower consciousness) 98 percent of the time. It is mostly unaware of what it is doing and thinking. We require the soul to check and guide the mind. This is made possible only if we are constantly alert, attentive, and aware. Further, we require to watch and witness our mind chattering in its thoughts, feelings, and motives. The moment we watch and witness our mind without it responding, justifying, or with any prejudice; the mind becomes conscious of all its acts – positive and negative. Thereafter, we leave the mechanical mind to decide what it wishes to select, one out of the two in dual opposites of good/bad, truth/lie, or positive/negative. As a result, the mind becomes aware and sensitive to all that is around. This shall assist in reawakening the soul lying dormant within. Hence, once you become a constant witness-er to your own body and mind, life transforms making you more conscious and stable. It will help you discover ‘who you actually are outside of your body and thoughts.

The soul will lead your mind to discover that truth within. It is that unique inert individual intelligence, which discovers all that we know from the stars to the subatomic particles, which also distinguishes you from the world’s other seven and a half billion individuals. The intellect on other hand is borrowed knowledge obtained via every media from others’ experiences.  

Therefore, in a dharmic (righteous) manner, earn money (Artha) to satisfy your sensual needs (kama). Only after being content, the mind begins the journey towards emancipation (Moksha). The mind otherwise becomes self-destructive if you do not carry out your goal/responsibilities properly. It is evident seeing the absence of the mind from being spiritual that we see anger, anxiety, and anguish all around.

Let us now discuss Moksha. There are different ways to realize Moksha. The first is about breaking free from the cycle of birth and death. We are not concerned with that. In the life in which we exist, our concern should be more towards breaking free from the mind’s never-ending chatter. Instead of using our mind, we are being used by it. Liberate our true self from the clutches of our own mind by being alert, attentive, and aware – watching and witnessing without the mind responding in any way all that it does.

Learn from the past, live in the present, and prepare your mind for the future. Please keep in mind that dharma and karma are critical aspects of your existence. They educate you on how to live a moral life and save you from going down the path of self-destruction.

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