Dharma-Finding Purpose

As human beings we are part of something much greater than ourselves. When we practice yoga or meditation we are creating connections. Not just to ourselves but to the world around us and the cosmos- that which extends beyond this physical world. We are part of the ‘universe’ and that concept challenges the comprehension of most of us. In being part of this universe we are subject to the laws of nature. And in Indian Philosophy, Hinduism and Buddhism the describe these laws of nature through the word ‘Dharma’.

Dharma has multiple meanings and no direct translation to English. But in a broad sense it describes an inner wisdom or deep cosmic guidance system that exists within everyone and everything. Confused yet?
Think of ‘Dharma’ as the forces that ensure balance and progression. These forces exist to keep us breathing, to keep the world spinning and to keep the universe expanding. They are known as the truth. Part of our role as human beings is to realise our individual truth (or purpose) and live it out fully. I like to think of Dharma as a finger print. None of us carry the same intricate details and it is not something we can mimic from someone else. Your Dharma is as you unique as you.

The Bhagavad Gita (an ancient Indian text) states “It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.”

The meaning of this concept runs much deeper than a simple definition. It describes a pathway to realising why we have been chosen to live this life, what we were meant to contribute and how we were to fulfil this role to ensure the delicate balance of nature is maintained. It is a series of teachings that encourage us to understand and perform our ‘Sacred Duty’ over a lifetime.

These teachings or Laws of Dharma have three facets:

Firstly, seek self-understanding. Through the knowledge of a higher self we are able to realise our own spirituality and connectedness to all things. By understanding your essential nature you can open the gateway for realising your true course.

Secondly, find your gift. It can take a great deal of time but through self- inquiry and understanding we are able to fully identify with our raw talents. The Laws of Dharma believe we all have a gift. The thing we are the best at. The thing that brings us the greatest joy. The thing that we can do with a sense of effortlessness. It is our job to learn what that is and focus on its development.

Lastly, make a contribution. This involves much greater thought than the previous two facets. The law of Dharma requires us to ACT in a way the best serves humanity. Naturally when our creative and spiritual expression is serving someone other than our self there is deep fulfilment. This final facet means we can understand ourselves and find our gift but if we don’t act on that we are not living our Dharma.

The universe always has an interesting way of restoring balance. If we are not living our truth and completing our piece in this giant puzzle it will try to send us signs. We call this synchronicity, encountering people or circumstances repeatedly. These serve as little reminders of the path we are meant to be taking. They are trying to point us in the right direction- what if we took time to listen?
That ‘direction’ is not always linear either. We often fall into the trap of being discouraged because the path wasn’t straightforward but sometimes we have to move backwards or sideways for things to reveal themselves. Not everything is commonsensical or logical and not everything can be explained. Make peace with not knowing. By regularly reminding ourselves to trust and embrace the mysterious we might find we are a lot closer to connecting with our ‘dharma’ than we had ever thought.
Vedic Sage- “I am the immeasurable potential of all that was, is, and will be, and my desires are like seeds left in the ground: they wait for the right season and then spontaneously manifest into beautiful flowers and might trees, into enchanted gardens and majestic forests.”