Wherever you are on your path there are common threads that link us all, one being, we are all subject to law of karma. Karma operates in the universe as the continuous chain reaction of cause and effect that in a sense is a moral law.
Human beings are constantly giving off physical and spiritual forces in all directions. In physics we learn that no energy is ever lost; it only changes form which is the common law of conservation of energy. Similarly, spiritual and mental action is never lost. It is transformed. Thus Karma is the law of the conservation of moral energy.
By actions, thoughts and words you are releasing spiritual energy to the universe which affects the influences you too receive. Man therefore is the sender and receiver of these influences. Your entire circumstances surrounding you are your karma.
As karma is in a constant cycle between giving and receiving of this influential energy the only way that you can transform your karma is by transformation of the self. As you change so to does your karma.
Dharma is one which elevates us to a higher plane. The word ‘Dharma’ is used with different meanings in different ancient texts. In order to understand the scope of the word, some of its important origins, definitions and meanings are given here;
- Mahabharat, Shantiparva, Adhyaya 109, Shloka 10 : The sole aim with which Dharma is advocated is to bring about the evolution of individuals. A doctrine preaches, ‘that which is able to bring about evolution is Dharma.
- In the Brahmangranth (A Holy text), the meaning of the word ‘Dharma’ is Ashramdharma as is understood from the quote ‘त्रयो धर्मस्कन्धाः …’ from the Upanishads. It also means the duties allotted to, or accepted by, an individual according to the Varnashram.
It is said that until we attain the state of Turyavastha, we will not understand the true meaning of Dharma. Turyavastha is the fourth state beyond the three states of wakefulness, deep sleep and dream, that is, the state of meditation.
The teachings of the Buddha are often referred to as the “Dharma.” This word is closely associated with “truth”—a truth that one can know for oneself. When he taught the essence of his Dharma, the Buddha consistently avoided metaphysical and speculative ideas in favour of practical teachings that serve the path of liberation. In being practical, he emphasised perspectives and practices that lead to the end of suffering.
Your Karma & Dharma
Your path is your karma, created by you for your highest evolution. The teachings and practices you explore along the way are the tools that support your transformation in any moment.
As you transform the spiritual energy you give out, this in turn will change the circumstances you find yourself in and moves you towards liberation.
Your dharma therefore poses the question “what is the most evolutionary thing I can be doing right now?”, “Am I living true in each moment?”.
If karma is the totality of your thoughts, words and actions then Dharma is your soul guiding you to think, speak and act in a way that is evolutionary to yourself and society.