Shades of Dharma: Exploring the Nuances of Righteousness and Purpose

Dharma has various dimensions, at least it seems to be connecting that way. This is a very sensitive and complicated topic if not given enough attention, so I suggest you not read this blog if you’re currently not in the mood or in an apt situation to read it completely. However, please continue if you’re up for a strong dose of clarity and ready to read this entire blog for that sake.


Dharma as Righteousness

If we consider Dharma as righteousness, then it leads to the question – what is right? Some right is subjective and some right is objective. Swadharma is subjective to your situation, influences, etc. That subjective right becomes/connects to your purpose/”your thing”. Objective right is what has been proved time and time again throughout history.

But wait even the ‘subjective right’ merges with the ‘objective right’ because almost all possibilities have a similar instance in history. May be different in specifics. But you get to relate and learn. And don’t you think there is subjectivity in objectivity too?

Why do we have this overlap? Because life is that way. It’s not just black and white, it lies even in between.

Aligning our Swadharma (subjective Dharma) with objective one is our duty. The circles may not perfectly overlap but we’ll have to try our best.

When you lean towards the “me” side (i.e., subjective side) of Dharma extremely, it can lead out of Dharma, wow what a design! Ex: The great Bheeshma went extremely towards the subjective side that he forgot the objective side and sat still when Draupadi was being abused. The same applies to Karna, Duryodhana, even Pandavas, and almost everyone. From Duryadhana’s perspective, isn’t it Dharma for the eldest prince of the King to become the heir of the kingdom? But he did not have the ability to see objectively. Almost most of the scenarios throughout history, we find more and more instances like these.

Diving deeper, we get this.

Here you can see the correlation between truth and Dharma. Though they are essentially the same, the only difference between truth and Dharma is in action. Truth can be known but not be or be unable to act accordingly. Dharma is choosing to act accordingly. Dharma is bringing/making truth into our Karma. [Speaking of Karma, you can think of the beautiful correlation between Karma and Dharma here. I’m not elaborating on it because that’s not the scope of this blog. But to say in short, Karma influences our Swadharma, choosing to act according to our Karma is Dharma].


Who is an Adharmi?

One who chooses Adharma, or one who chooses not to act on the known truth? Both right? So essentially, we all are Adharmis.

But again, like life, like Dharma, we too are grey lines, not distinct black or white. We are beings who are aligned with Dharma in most instances and sometimes not. [ I’m speaking of people who think we belong to the group called “Sajjanas” ]


Swadharma vs Dharma

Swadharma is the embodiment of truths that you’ve realized & that you act upon. It implies that you’ve realized the truths that are driving your actions. Dharma comprises Swadharma but beyond that too, there are truths you have an idea or clue about but you haven’t realized them yet. And hence they are the truths that are not within your actions.

  1. Making our subjective Dharma’s scope larger and merging with the objective Dharma is just one key takeaway. And to do that, we need to realize more and more truths. Or in other words, we need to grow in terms of awareness. Then we’ll be able to see objectively while acting upon our Swadharma. But I want you to notice another key takeaway too.
  2. And that is, believing in your Swadharma. You’ve got to completely believe in it and move along. Without believing enough, nothing works. Or we can say, put intensity into your actions. Because usually, if you’ve realized the truth that you like to act upon, belief is obvious & immediate. But sometimes due to external influences, you may forget what you realized and get into the same loop you just broke. Then, you need to remind yourselves of this point. You need to remind yourself of the fundamental/core truth you realized which drove you to the current action. And act with strong intent!


I’d like to leave you this – Dharma is acting upon your Awareness. Seeking Awareness is everyone’s Dharma. If you got confused or didn’t understand any part of the blog or the entire blog itself, I suggest you read this blog again. If still not convinced, and if you’re interested, let’s schedule a meeting and talk.


Thank You

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

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