When asked about themselves, many people may mention this one thing they identify with, their religion. Like, I’m a Christian. I’m a Muslim, I’m a Buddhist etc. Our religion has become something we identify with. Let’s say if you tell a Christian that he isn’t really a Christian than the question that will pop up is, then ‘Who Am I’ ?. The question is, is this my correct identity? Is it true? If yes, to what extent?
We have understood the ‘I’ is the soul and not the body. The soul is nothing but conscient energy. We are eternal beings taking up these costumes which we call as our bodies. As we wear different costumes during the course of our lifetimes, what are the chances that we have always taken birth in one particular religion? One may be a Christian now but maybe in the previous birth, he or she may have been a Hindu or a Buddhist or anything for that matter. These religions are for the body, i.e, one may have taken birth in a Christian family, but that doesn’t become one’s eternal identity, the same way as one has taken birth in a male body, but that too is not his eternal identity. It is the characteristic of the body. This is a world of labels and we live as per that, that’s fine, he won’t go around wearing female clothes saying that, “I don’t identify myself as a male”, that will be ridiculous. The point is I needn’t identify with these. I shouldn’t limit myself with these.
The ‘I’, is beyond all these labels. The ‘I’, is prior to every label. The ‘I’ is the one we attaching the label too. These labels are not eternally true. These labels are temporary. One birth I can be born as a male in another born as a female. Likewise, in one birth one can be a Christian, but could be born into some another religion is another birth. Hence it is not eternally true but ‘I’ am. This not to say one shan’t study it. One can always reference religious studies to understand the deeper aspects of it that will help in the process of self-realization but one needn’t identify with it. Just because we identify ourselves with our religion, there have been countless wars just fought in the name of religion. Identifying ourselves with our religion separates us, it has divided us into these fragments leading us to believe we are all separate when in fact we are all a family.
Religion in Sanskrit is called as ‘Dharma’. As per Oxford dictionary, dharma means ‘The eternal and inherent nature of reality, regarded in Hinduism as a cosmic law underlying right behavior and social order‘. So what is our Dharma? What is that cosmic law which will render right behavior? We here learn at the Brahmakumaris World Spiritual University, “Elevated Dharma will lead to Elevated Karma”. What does that mean? To perform elevated Karma one needs to understand what is elevated Dharma – the true religion of the soul. One can get this answer when one looks within. Even as you read this, reflect what is the state of mind you really like to be in. You will find that we all long for peace, love, happiness, power, purity and bliss. The soul yearns to stabilize itself in its original dharma but doesn’t know how to and it tries to fill that gap by seeking outside.
When one stabilizes itself in its dharma, i.e. acts out of those qualities mentioned above then the karma performed is elevated. For example, I can either do something seeking happiness thinking that this particular event or act will make me happy. Or I can be in my true state of happiness and perform that task. In the latter case, that karma will be more creative and beautiful since there was nothing we were seeking out of it. It was out of joy and happiness that karma was performed. There is no seeking in it. It isn’t a means to an end. This shift makes us Human Beings from Human Doings. There is ‘being’ before the ‘doing’.
It is our karma that determines our destiny. So to create an elevated destiny, we need to perform elevated karma. To perform elevated karma we need to stabilize in our true elevated dharma. We need to be soul conscious. Be the ‘self’. Have these moments of self-awareness where the mental activity is silenced and allow those moments to expand. It is then our true original sanskaras emerge.
The true eternal nature of the soul is love, peace, purity, happiness, joy, power and bliss. When we are stabilized in this original dharma, our ego dissolves. Where there is no ego then we are not separated. Our ego is the wall that separates you and I. When the ego is dissolved, love flourishes and that is our true original nature. It is this love which is the cosmic law which when adhered to will render right behavior. Where there is love, care, compassion and gentleness become natural, towards the self, with one another and also with nature. Don’t confuse this love with what people nowadays think love is. This love is a result of the dissolution of the ego. It is a state of complete detachment. (We will discuss more on this later) When our actions come out of love, those actions are embellished with divine grace. The simplest of karma becomes elevated, even if the karma is something as trivial as cleaning the floor.
Let us have these moments of self-awareness where the mental activity is silenced and allow those moments to expand. Let us stabilize ourselves in our original dharma and allow our Karma to reveal our true dharma.