Nature of religion (Dharma)
What is the definition of dharma (religion)?
That which reverts to its original nature (dharma) and then brings forth the result, is called religion. That means it takes hold within and decreases the kashaya (anger, pride, deceit and greed) within.
The nature of anger, pride, deceit and greed (kashaya bhaav) is such that they will not decrease. Rather, they keep increasing within. They will not decrease by one's own efforts. They will decrease through religion (dharma) as defined above. Where will one attain such a religion? From a Gnani Purush. It should be a religion certified by the Gnani. Thereafter, use of just two words of the Gnani Purush, words that are laden with the energy that brings exact results (vachanbad), words that awaken and maintain awakened awareness (jagruti), will shatter the veils of ignorance to release tremendous energies from within.
That which brings forth results is religion (dharma). That which does not bring forth a result is not religion (adharma).
What is the result? Religion decreases one's kashays. They become lighter, lesser and ultimately they leave. As they decrease and lessen, one's inner energy and bliss increases. One becomes aware of the amazing inner energies that express. Where did all these energies come from? That is dharma (religion). If not, the spinning toy (term Dadashri uses for the plight of the human being who enters one life after the other by creating karmas through ignorance, the analogy being the spinning top which stops spinning at death) remains the same until the time of death (nanami). How can one call that religion?
What does it mean 'to become the religion and then bring forth result'? What result is to be expected? Is it to learn how to take a vow, discipline, penance? No, none of these. It means to be rid of anger, pride, illusionary attachment, deceit and greed (kashays). To be rid of these kashays is called dharma (religion). Then some say, what about these daily introspective periods (samayiks), meditation sessions (dhyan), listening to discourses (pravachans)? Is that not religion? The Lord says, no that is not religion. The Lord advises you to ask these teachers of religion if they experience kashays with their disciples. The master will then reply that none of the disciples follow their instructions to do samayik and therefore they get very upset from within. Now, is that dharma? Are they following religion? No, on the contrary they are only increasing the kashays.
Religion does not exist in samayiks (introspection) etc. Religion exists in the expression of meaningful results. Religion means that which eradicate kashays and their intents. These kashaya bhaavs cannot be killed even if one tries to; they cannot be peeled away no matter how much one tries to do so. They are very resistant to eradication.
When the religion attains its final and full result, then one becomes the embodiment of religion (dharma swaroop).
Real Dharma : Relative Dharma
There are two types of dharma: relative and real.
Relative dharma encompasses workings of the mind, the speech, the body and all other activities of the non-self. Chanting mantras (japa) is the dharma of speech. Meditation is dharma of the mind. Bathing, performing religious rituals are the dharma of the body.
Everything remains within the parameter of its own dharma. The mind remains in the dharma of the mind, the intellect remains within its own dharma, the chit remains in the dharma of the chit, the ego remains in the dharma of the ego, the ears remain in the dharma of the ears. Ears do the work of listening; they are not involved in the action of seeing. The eyes perform the action of seeing and not listening. The nose is involved in the action of smelling, the tongue plays its role by tasting and the tactile sense is involved in the feeling of touch. Every sense is always involved in the function of its own subject matter (dharma).
When the mind is involved in its dharma, the mind may have good thoughts or bad thoughts but nonetheless, it is in its own dharma. When thoughts are good, one says, "My thoughts are good," because of the illusion (bhranti). Here one becomes one with the thoughts (tanmayakar). When thoughts are negative, he remains separate from the thoughts saying, "I have these terrible thoughts even when I do not want to." The function (dharma) of each component of the antah-karan (the internal functioning mechanism in every human being composed of the mind, the intellect, chit and ego) is separate. The function of the mind is separate, function of the chit is separate, function of the intellect is separate and function of the ego is separate. But one interferes in their functioning and creates a mess! To become one with thoughts is the illusion. When interference of becoming the owner of the thought ceases? It is when the Gnani Purush bestows the knowledge of the Soul; the knowledge of one's real Self, one ceases to become one with everything that takes place within and without. As the Self, one becomes impartial. Then there will be no support for the mind, the chit, the intellect, the ego or the body. You become one with them because of the false projection (aropit bhaav) 'I am the body'. Once you attain the Self, you remain separate as the knower and the seer.
Everyone in the world is practicing relative dharma. They are engaged in the dharma of the body, the speech and the mind. They believe the dharma of the mind to be their own dharma. True dharma is where one believes the Self to be the only dharma. All others are relative dharmas. Dharma of the Self is the only real dharma; that is the dharma of the Self (swadharma) and that is liberation (moksha). One needs to know dharma of the Self. All others are the dharmas of the non-self