Living Your Dharma is the Heart of the Alchemy of Yoga
Dharma is the first word in the Bhagavad-Gita.
“The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling.”
― Fabienne Fredrickson
What is Dharma?
Sreyan svadharmo vigunah paradharmat svanusthitat;
Svadharme nidhanam sreyah paradharmo bhayavahah — (Chapter 3. Verse 35)
The Sanskrit word “dharma” has joined “yoga” and “karma” in common English usage. Dharma is often taken to mean “duty.” However, it is a whole lot more than this.
The Sanskrit word Dharma comes from the root “dhri” which means to uplift or uphold. Dharma literally refers to “that which upholds righteousness.” A sense of righteousness, of purpose and inspiration is extremely significant on the spiritual path.
Dharma can mean “law of the universe,” and/or one’s own individual mission or purpose. On the individual level, it can also mean a number of things. For example, in the Gita, Krishna points out to Arjuna that his Dharma is to be a warrior whether he likes it or not. He cannot escape his Dharma and he must fulfill it. Arjuna is a warrior for what is right and just. He is not just a warrior for fighting’s sake. His Dharma must be grounded in a proper purpose.
Dharma might be considered to have two distinct, yet mutually supportive components: our personal or individual dharma (sva-dharma) of unique qualities (traits, gifts, talents and abilities) that help to define our life’s path and our Sat Dharma or “true” dharma – that path of Self-Realization which is the birthright of everyone and shared by all beings.
When your life purpose is connected to your sva-dharma and sat dharma, it brings you joy and fulfilment. When disconnected from dharma, your purpose may feel confused and your efforts to be your happiest may feel thwarted.
“One could argue that dharma is a truth, a teaching, a practice and enlightenment itself.
Everything is expressing itself fully according to its nature, and thusly there are no duplicates and no failure. All that is created is unique. As individuals in this perfect whole, we are all ingredients that perfectly express themselves – every nuance and character contributes to the overall manifestation.” – David Starlyte
“It is better to do your own dharma even imperfectly,
than someone else’s dharma perfectly.”