Dharma

Baba Cesare has left his ashram near our village of Longoio, Italy for his ashram in Hampi, India. The winter chill was already beginning to have its feel upon him and, like a swallow, he has flown south.

I’ve already written about Baba in my post at https://longoio2.wordpress.com/2016/08/27/baba/ .

Together with his friends, disciplines and acolytes we wish Baba a safe journey back to his spiritual homeland. At the same time I feel that Baba has left a great spiritual strength for us to nurture in our hills. Rarely have I met someone so much in pursuit of that which is higher than any of us – that o so multifariously difficult-to translate-word of eastern philosophy known as Dharma.

Simply put Dharma is the right way of doing things and the carrying out of duties according to this right way. What is the right way?  Once Baba said to me ‘I know that I don’t know’. And sometimes it comes to me that perhaps I don’t know that I do know. Rightness is, above all, liberty from attachment and from anything that weighs one down with material preoccupations. Are my worries a matter of life and death? Only thinking about Dharma should put me right about that.

There are many books dating back to the most ancient of sages which lay down the right way of doing things but only by carrying out one’s life in a veracious manner will convince and, above all, feel upon the pulse, the greatness of Dharma.

To harmonise oneself with the universal law of Dharma one has to understand the rule of Karma, which is equally universal in mankind. It’s inherent in such biblical statements like ‘as you sow so shall you reap’, from Galatians 6.7, from such scientific statements as cause and effect and from such human interfaces as action and reaction. Cutting a cluster of grapes from the vineyard will cause it to fall into a basket. Good actions will develop one, bad ones can only destroy one in the end. Virtue and sin in the Christian eschatology – heaven and hell both internally and externally are all there for one to see, feel, believe and practise.

Without the third Hindu concept of Artha it would be impossible for most people to practise good Karma and thereby enable one’s own Karma to draw closer and harmonise with Dharma. For Artha is the means of life, the actions which enable one to survive in the world whether it is undertaking powerful take-over business bids or street-begging. It also means clarity, the ability to be able to look after oneself without harming others.

Without the proper conduct of Artha, Karma and Dharma one will constantly be an anguished soul suffering pererenially in a Dantean hell with no means of escape at any time .

The ‘Itness’ of it is both very simple and very complex. The simplicity is in the clarity and apparent obviousness of it. The difficulty is in the deviousness and obfuscation of the human psyche. There are so many ways to be evil but only one way to be good.

Lies have to be remembered. The truth has no need to be remembered. It just is. Nothing is hidden – not even the most devious falsehood. Good action heals, bad action hurts. No action disappears without trace. It is kept in the memory of the Godhead.  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Dharma is truly the Golden rule.

The Dhammapada is a Buddhist text translated into Pali from ancient Sanskrit sources. There can be no better expression of Dharma than these opening verses:

What we are is the result of what we have thought,
is built by our thoughts, and is made up of our thoughts.
If one speaks or acts with an impure thought,
suffering follows one,
like the wheel of the cart follows the foot of the ox.

What we are is the result of what we have thought,
is built by our thoughts, and is made up of our thoughts.
If one speaks or acts with a pure thought,
happiness follows one,
like a shadow that never leaves.

“They insulted me; they hurt me;
they defeated me; they cheated me.”
In those who harbour such thoughts,
hate will never cease.

“They insulted me; they hurt me;
they defeated me; they cheated me.”
In those who do not harbour such thoughts,
hate will cease.

For hate is never conquered by hate.
Hate is conquered by love.
This is an eternal law.
Many do not realize that we must all come to an end here;
but those who do realize this, end their quarrels at once.

 

We all hope so much to see you next year Baba Cesare (or maybe before in India?). You have both brought me down to earth and into heaven by your presence, your all-seeing eye, your calmness and your words. God bless!

 

 

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Dharma

  1. The principles are good, but the practice is difficult. If only it were easier to forgive! Thanks for sharing these thoughts. I’m afraid I as a typical Englishwoman find it difficult to write about me deepest feelings and beliefs, and I’m always grateful when others do so.

  2. Francis it was Socrates Plato who first stated I know that I do not know and know thyself was his motto over the Platonic Socratic school if I remember correctly. Also to forgive is Divine as the saying goes so that seems to indicate the difficulty that we may be faced with in forgiving. I was taught at a very young age never to lie and this dictat was reinforced within my being with the tale of Matilada do you remember she who told such terrible lies that in the end these lies overpowered her and she was consumed by fire such a terrible lesson that was inculcated into our very souls and minds at primary school and we had to learn it by rote and even performed this. Well lying does not agree with me at all and I can generally know if people are lying. Well Baba looks in some ways quite frail and in others so so fit as he is doing a lotus position with his crossed legs amazing. I do look forward to reading his teachings and I do hope to meet him some time in the future. I have to say that I too would feel very cold indeed if I just wore that cotton clothing out there but it could be a case of mind over matter. Certainly as we are made of electromagnetic energy fields we all leave behind us traces of every single movement and I have often thought that these are the ghosts that we think that we see. Spooky or what!

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