[Advaita-l] Teachings on the Vijaya Yatra: Clarifications on Dharma

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 1 11:37:42 CDT 2016

Orvakallu: NOVEMBER 17-18, 2012
Clarifications on Dharma
Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji arrived at the town of Orvakallu from Srisailam late in the
evening of 17th November. After Dhuli Pada Puja was performed and the Swagata Patrika was read, the Jagadguru said in His
Anugraha Bhashanam that He was gracing Orvakallu for the first time as the devotees had expressed great desire to welcome
the Jagadguru. 
The Jagadguru said “Sanatana Dharma” is called “Sanatana” as it is the most ancient one. It has existed from the time of
creation. Bhagavan Himself says in the Bhagavad Gita about the instruction of Vaidika Dharma at the beginning of creation: 
 सहयज्ञाः प्रजाः सृष्ट्वा पुरोवाच प्रजापतिः ।
 अनेन प्रसविष्यध्वमेष वोऽस्त्विष्टकामधुक् ॥
By adhering to Dharma, we get Shreyas in this lifetime and the next. We have been through many lifetimes as per our Vaidika
Siddhanta. It is natural for us to desire and seek happiness in every lifetime. All pursuits for education, career, welfare
of the family are driven by this desire for happiness. We must realize that this happiness is obtained by adherence to
Dharma. Even in our present lifetime, our happiness is the result of our adherence to Dharma in previous lifetimes,
and our suffering now is a result of our Adharma from the past. Some people have doubts in the correlation between
Dharma and happiness. They question what is the guarantee that happiness is obtained from Dharma? If one starts doubting,
there is no end to these doubts. One must remember such guarantees are not to be seen even in day-to-day life. What is the
guarantee that you will get a job if you get a degree? Even if you do get a job, what is the guarantee that it will be
permanent? However, the Shastras, for our welfare, have prescribed the adherence of Dharma as a means to happiness.
There is nothing to be gained or lost by the Shastras if we adhere to Dharma. So if we desire our welfare, we must follow
Dharma. Dharma is utmost essential for us because the Shastras have instructed us thus, because our elders lived their
lives accordingly and attained Shreyas, and because Bhagavan Himself has instructed that Dharma be followed.
Bhagavan Himself incarnates to protect Dharma in every Yuga – such is the importance of Dharma. 
Many question the essence of Dharma. Even though Dharma has been discussed elaborately in the Shastras, our ancestors have
laid down certain kinds of conduct that will make you Dharmic. 
Do Not Cause Harm
The first one is to ensure that you do not cause any kind of harm or inconvenience to anyone. Some harm others for their
own benefit: तेऽमी मानुषराक्षसाः परहितं स्वार्थाय निघ्नन्ति ये They are termed as Manusha Rakshasas – demons in human form.
Everyone needs to take care that he does not get counted in this group. Even if you cannot help others, never harm others.
Speak the Truth
The second is that one must give paramount importance to speaking truth. We see from the story of Harishchandra that come
what may, truth must not be forsaken. Sage Vishwamitra tried hard to make Harischandra lie. The king had lost everything
and yet was asked to pay a hefty sum to the sage, as per his promise made when he was a king. Vishwamitra asked the king
to lie that he had not made the promise. But Harischandra would not swerve from the truth even in the most testing of
circumstances. Why do we hear the story of Harishchandra? Why do we hear the story of Sri Rama, why build temples for Him,
why worship Him? Sri Rama strove for Dharma even in the most dire situations. We hence revere Him as the ideal. 
Today people feel Dharma, Nyaya and Satya are to be kept aside and one has to resort to Adharma, Anyaya, and Asatya to
rise in life. However, we must remember that even when such people, who resort to such wrong means, do rise in life,
they inevitably lose everything. This is what we learn from the lives of Ravana and Duryodhana. People even feel that
Dharma cannot be given a high priority in this fast-paced 21st century. However, Dharma is unaffected by time.
There can be no time when Asatya (lie) and Himsa (violence) can be classified as Dharma. Hence Dharma needs to be given
its rightful place.
Do Not Desire the Wealth of Others
The third conduct laid down is that one must not desire the wealth of others. The Shastras say –
 न्यायोपार्जितवित्तेन कर्तव्यं ह्यात्मरक्षणम् – Sustain your livelihood by just means, and अन्यायेन अर्जितं वित्तम् अन्यायेन विनश्यति –
Wealth earned by unjust means is lost by unexpected means. When one is not satisfied, one will never get peace.
When one has no satisfaction, he is still classified as poor even if he is wealthy. If he has satisfaction,
he can be termed wealthy even if he is actually not. Some give the excuse that they earn through unjust means to
engage in charity or in noble activities such as constructing a temple. This is not necessary at all – you do not
need to earn by unjust means. Such a temple need not be built at all. If you donate from what you have earned
through rightful means, that charity is far bigger than performing an Ati Rudra Mahayaga or Sahasrachandi Mahayaga,
or building a temple from money earned illegally. One must not swerve from the path of Dharma just because
one has to undergo suffering to upkeep Dharma. 
The Jagadguru pointed out the stunning example of Kunti who asked for suffering when Bhagavan told her to ask for a boon:
 विपदः सन्तु नः शश्वत् तत्र तत्र जगद्गुरो ।
भवतो दर्शनं यत्स्यादपुनर्भवदर्शनम्॥
 Let me be in the midst of suffering always, for then I would get your Darshan and by your Darshan, I would be lifted from the ocean of Samsara
Hence do not swerve from the path of Dharma. Suffering experienced during the upkeep of Dharma helps to purify the mind.
At the same time, it is by God’s Grace that we will get the inspiration to follow Dharma. Hence it is essential to seek
His Grace for adhering to the path of Dharma and staying away from the path of Adharma. 
The Jagadguru conveyed His blessings for the young Sri Phani Shashanka Sharma, who had studied in the
Sadvidya Sanjeevini Samskrita Pathashala at Sringeri and was instrumental in arranging the Yatra of the Jagadguru
to grace the town. The Jagadguru then blessed the residents of Orvakallu and ended the Anugraha Bhashanam. 
The following day, at the request of the devotees, the Jagadguru performed the Kumbhabhisheka of Jeeveshwara Swamy temple
in Orvakallu.

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