Author Topic: Does swadharma differ to person to person  (Read 6899 times)

ramanaduli

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Does swadharma differ to person to person
« on: October 22, 2008, 09:43:41 PM »
Dear sir,

Bhagavan was very keen in advising about swadharma?  What is swadharma to a common householder.Does each one
has different swadhara.  I feel every soul should have the realisation, is the most swadharma.



Ramanaduli


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Re: Does swadharma differ to person to person
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2008, 10:01:48 PM »
Dear Ramanaduli,
                      Swadharma varies according to which asram we belong ex.Brahmacharya,Grihastha,Vanaprastha,Sanyas.
In Grihasta it varies according to work alloted to us by God.Bhagawan belongs to Atiyasram,he is beyond dharma and adharma.
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Subramanian.R

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Re: Does swadharma differ to person to person
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2008, 11:29:19 AM »
Dear Ramanaduli,

Swadharma varies from person to person, depending on his life
situation.  Once Mahavishnu was praising a farmer in a village.
Narada asked him:  "How come you praise that farmer?  He has
been telling Rama..Rama.. only a couple of times every day. Whereas,
I am always saying Narayana...Narayana, all the time."  Mahavishnu
told Narada to take a spoon full of oil, and go around the world and
come back.  Narada took a spoonful of oil and started walking.  He
was so concerned about not spilling the oil that he did not even
utter once Narayana's name.  He came back and on seeing him,
Vishnu laughed and asked: "How many times, did you chant my
name?"  Narada said: "Where is the time? I was looking only at
the spoon!"  Vishnu said: "Oh!  You have no time even to utter my
name once.  See that farmer, in spite of hard labour in the fileds
throughout the day, he says twice in the morning and twice in the
evening my name!"  So there is no wonder, that you fellow, who
has no work in the Vaikunta, if you chat my name all the time.
When you were given a work, you did not even chant once!"

That is Swadharma.  Each according to their own inclination and
ability, as prescribed in the scriptures.  A Brahmin should chant
Gayatri and do sandhya vandana, three times a day.  He should take
bath in the early morning and do Agnihotra.  He should teach scriptures
to others. Whereas others have no his duty but some other duty.

An ati-asrami, like Bhagavan Ramana who was beyond all the three
asramas, had no duty at all!  He used to smilingly say:  I am a
pani-ledhu vadu.  A workless person.

Arunachala Siva.   

S.Subramanian

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Re: Does swadharma differ to person to person
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2008, 10:32:38 PM »
Swadharma means own duty.  As such, it is different from person to person.  Even one person has different duties - as a son, as a husband, as a father, etc.  One will incur sin by casting away own duty (Bhagavad Gita 2-33).  Duties of a householder are explained in detail by Swami Vivekananda in his book 'Karma Yoga'.  But duty is a means and not an end.  Like the pole in pole vault, duty is to be dropped when one has completely surrendered to Him.  "Giving up all duties, take refuge in Me alone.  I will liberate you from all sins, do not grieve" (Bhagavad Gita 18-66).

gangajal

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Re: Does swadharma differ to person to person
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2008, 11:16:44 PM »
I have found the Ramakrishna Order Swami Tapasyananda's explanation of swadharma to be helpful.
I am posting here excerpts from his commentary on the Gita 18.47:

"One's own duty, even if without excellence (i.e. inferior in the scale of
worldy values), is more meritorious spiritually than the apparently
well-performed duty of another. For no sin is incurred by one doing works
ordained according to one's nature, (that is, in consonance with one's own
natural evolution.)"

Excerpts from Swami T's commentary:

This verse, which was easy for our ancients to understand, pose great
difficulty for us today. So long as Varna was identified with endogamous
caste, and valid texts ascribed particular works to each caste (18.41-45),
it was easy to find one's Svadharma. But, as already pointed out, the wording
of the Gita about Caturvanya, except as interpreted by old commentators, does
not by itself mean endogamous castes, but the four psychological types. If
this is accepted, Svadharma would mean only work that springs out of one's
nature and therefore adopted to one's natural development.

The Swami T also says in his commentary on Gita 18.45

"By being devoted to one's own natural duty, man attains to spiritual
competency. Now hear how devotion to one's own natural duty generates
spiritual competency."

 the following:

This great verse of the Gita links man's social duties with spiritual
discipline. By cultivating a special attitude towards work, work is turned
into worship, and the distance between the shrine room and the work-spot
disappears. This philosophy is based upon a fundamental faith that this world
and the progress of life in it are all under the guidance of Supreme
Intelligence, who is the master of it all, and whose will is expressed in all
its movements. If man has got this faith, man ceases to be self-centered. He
comes to view himself as a worker of God, and all that he does comes to be
done with a sense of dedication to Him. Such work, as accrues to one according
to one's nature and is done with a spirit of dedication, is called Svadharma,
one's natural duty. This outlook on one's work makes a man free from
corruption and negligence, and induces him to put his best effort into his
work. If an attitude of this type were accepted in a society as a whole, it
will be the best social philosophy, besides being a spiritual doctrine. It
will secure the social good as also bring about the individual's spiritual
evolution.

A natural objection to this way of understanding chaturvarna is that all
commentators understand the four Varnas as endogamous groups called castes,
and their natural duty (swadharma) of theirs as the profession that was
traditionally and scripturally alloted to those groups under the four
distinctive names. Such interpretations of the Gita were given at a time
when these endogamous caste groups were a recognized feature of Indian
society, and thinkers considered birth in a group as tantamount to character
type. The mistake of such identification was obvious to many thinkers of the
past. So some of them have made some kinds of amends for it by admitting that
if great disparity in quality is found in the actual quality of a Kshatriya
with the traditionally ascribed qualities, he can become a Brahmana. But all
rationality seems to have been neutralised by the very strong prejudice in
favour of endogamy.

What the Lord speaks of here as chaturvarna should never be identified with
castes, because the Varna is said to be solely dependent on character formed
by the Gunas of Prakriti. It is only an ideal grouping based on psychological
principle and not on rigid hereditary basis.

Besides the Gita is a universal Gospel addressed to all mankind, for all
time, and not merely to the Indian society of a particular age. In no part
of the world except in India, caste system strictly based on birth seems to
have existed. Loose castes there have been but not rigid castes. So the old
commentators have done great injustice to Sri Krishna in watering down the
significance of his message as relevant only to members of the rigid Indian
social system.

The only practical way of applying the Gita teaching in this respect today is
to consider the duty to which one is called, as one's swadharma. Strictly
Swadharma is work according to one's nature. But until an ideal and efficient
social system comes into vogue, it may not be possible to give every one a
work for which he is suited by his character type. What could be done for
today, if one's duty is not according to one's nature, is to change it for
a more suitable one, considering the former as Paradharma, the duty of
another type of character. But today most men are found seeking not a duty
temperamentally suitable for them, but what will bring them maximum income.
When a duty is valued solely for the income it fetches, it ceases to be a
pursuit of a Dharma or spiritual value. Receiving remuneration for services
is unavoidable for man in the world, but what is unspiritual is to value
the work only for its remuneration, forgetting that the work he does is an
offering to God, irrespective of the remuneration he gets.




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Re: Does swadharma differ to person to person
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2008, 09:37:50 AM »
Dear gangajal,
                    Thank you for the post on swadharma.It is one of the best i have read in my life on this subject.
pvssnraju

Subramanian.R

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Re: Does swadharma differ to person to person
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2008, 12:15:33 PM »
Dear Gangajal,

Excellent post on swadharma.  Why don't you start a serial on
Gita thoughts?  srkudai, promised one on Ashtavakra Gita, but did
not proceed much with it.

The Varnasrama Dharmam of Vedic Indians was mainly aimed
at alllocation of duties and not to create upper and lower echleons
of society and interse fighting amongst them.   In due course,
the Brahmins and the Kshkatriyas during the medieval periods,
because of their fattened egos started feeling higher than the others
and the class war started. 

But today, after all the eradication of caste system and making it
punishable under Law, what have we achieved?  We have created
new systems in plalces of old ones.  We have got politicians, cinema
actors, giant traders and industrialists like Ambanis, a powerful
unionised working class, who can go on strike at their will, taking
public interest to ransom.  We have got a Tata to build car factory but
we have got a politician to create problem in Singur!  We have got
new class systems of IT professionals who can spend Rs 10000/-
in a bar during every week ends, and we have got a government clerk
who do not even earn Rs 10000/- in a month!  Where are we going?

Arunachala Siva.   

ramanaduli

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Re: Does swadharma differ to person to person
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2008, 06:05:27 PM »
Dear sirs,

Our swadhara also depends on yuga dharma. We cannot change the world, only we can change our attitude.
We can ask ourselfves in Vichara marga. like to whom it is happenings. If it is to me. Then once again we have to
come to Bhagavan's golden words. Who I Am. 
Otherwise there is no end.  like.... Chicken came or Hen came....



Ramanaduli







Subramanian.R

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Re: Does swadharma differ to person to person
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2008, 06:45:33 PM »
Dear Ramanaduli,

Let us only bother about Swadharma for the present?  Why are
you bothered about yuga dharma now?  As Bhagavan said to
someone:  "Why are you bothered about previous birth and the next
birth.  Please investigate who are you now, in the present birth?"

Let us pursue our Swadharma.  Yuga Dharma may be left where
it is, if it is.

Arunachala Siva.

ushanpri

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Re: Does swadharma differ to person to person
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2008, 09:07:24 PM »
Swadharma differs from one person to another. I agree with your thought. The difference in our varna dharma was done only to help us to lead an uncomplicated life with a clear vision of our duties and large scope for improvement in our own virtues and explore new areas in our work thru study about the intricacies in our work leaving unnecessary thought about another person's jobs.

 A vedic scholars son will essentially be a vedic scholar and he will be his own competitor. Perhaps he may be better in chanting mantras better than his own earlier stages. There was no cross module competition. A vyapari will only produce a better vyapari in his tradition and that will continue, a kshatriya will ensure a more valiant warrior for his country thru him. Now, doing their assigned duties with out envying others was a wonderful system of living.
 The society was divided into 4 classes on whole. A culture class, a business class, a political class and a helping class. Later in the blanket on innovation and new ideas this society got new THINKERS who made us not THINK. That has fetched way to the present system of all sorts of confusion. Now a carpenter's son learns medicine, and a priests son becomes engineer.

Krishna in Bagavat Gita says even if little is done that will suffice. (alpamapi), but there is utter cinfusion in what is that swadharma now. What I feel is swadharma is doing bhagavataradhana and daily duties with diligent care and without attachement. With lot of responsiblity but without even a little expectation.

Sivoham

Dear Gangajal,

Excellent post on swadharma.  Why don't you start a serial on
Gita thoughts?  srkudai, promised one on Ashtavakra Gita, but did
not proceed much with it.

The Varnasrama Dharmam of Vedic Indians was mainly aimed
at alllocation of duties and not to create upper and lower echleons
of society and interse fighting amongst them.   In due course,
the Brahmins and the Kshkatriyas during the medieval periods,
because of their fattened egos started feeling higher than the others
and the class war started. 

But today, after all the eradication of caste system and making it
punishable under Law, what have we achieved?  We have created
new systems in plalces of old ones.  We have got politicians, cinema
actors, giant traders and industrialists like Ambanis, a powerful
unionised working class, who can go on strike at their will, taking
public interest to ransom.  We have got a Tata to build car factory but
we have got a politician to create problem in Singur!  We have got
new class systems of IT professionals who can spend Rs 10000/-
in a bar during every week ends, and we have got a government clerk
who do not even earn Rs 10000/- in a month!  Where are we going?

Arunachala Siva.   

ramanaduli

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Re: Does swadharma differ to person to person
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2008, 09:54:51 PM »
Dear sirs,

Thank all of you. I am very much confused to day to day life. Being from a very very orthodex famlily, I cannot do any nithyakarma in my present condition of life in U.S. I am living with my children. I have to stop my abishekam to idols and japa which put me into consusion. Every time I pray to Bhagavan to give me strength. This vichara marga showed, taught me lot. I have not come to those devotee's level who lived with Bhagavan and got self realisation. Everything is God's leela still I feel guilty for not doing my routine puja. This is the reason I asked about dharma and swadharma from learned members.


Ramanaduli

gangajal

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Re: Does swadharma differ to person to person
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2008, 11:56:30 PM »
Dear ramanaduli,
     Why don't you do mental worship and japa?

Gangajal

ramanaduli

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Re: Does swadharma differ to person to person
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2008, 12:44:03 AM »
Dear Gangajal

The same thing only I am doing. Bhagavan showed this forum where I learn many things. Still I feel something I am missing. I do not know what it is.



Ramanaduli

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Re: Does swadharma differ to person to person
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2008, 12:51:41 PM »
Dear Ramanaduli,

Mental Japa alone is sufficient.  Wherever we are, we are carrying
our body.  Is it not?  We have a mouth to chant.  Again to say
that you are in US and cannot do idol worship.  Why?  Are you
not finding your own type of food in US to eat?  Why not then, a little
water and a few flowers?  If jasmine, bhilva and tulsi are not
available, you may have roses in US.  You may have, instead of
usual dry grapes and plantains as in India, apples and berries.
These will do.  Please pursue.  If you have gone past such idol
worships, mental japa, then,  is adequate.

Arunachala Siva.