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  Special Articles on Hindu Dharma ~ Level - 3  
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HR 311.08 - 08
Dharma is a Way of Life, a Theology and also a Spiritual Discipline
~ Level - 3 ~
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Lesson:
8- 08: Our Sages explain Hindu Dharma as the way of life
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Religious Practice is also our commitment to the welfare of the Society
 
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Hindus have great reverence to the Sages and the Gurus who gave us the messages and they are respected and worshipped as teachers for their guidance and blessings. They are our guide to follow the Dharma, worthy of our prayers but are not considered as the Supreme God. Even with all the books and other learning media, everyone still needs the help of a teacher, a Guru, as the proper guide to take us in the right path.

This is like the best car engine with fuel still needs the spark plugs and sparks to make it run. While explaining the relationship of the Paramãthma to the individual Ãtma, our sages gave us three or more paths explaining the truth according to our capacity to understand and digest in our faith. Thus we have the Adhvaitha of Sri Sankara, and then, we have Visishtãdhvaitha of Sri Rãmanuja. We also have Dvaitha of Sri Mãdhva and also several combinations of these theories. All these paths are complementary to each other to reach our goal of seeking the truth.

In Ramayana, Sri Ãnjaneya asks Sri Rãma that if he can get full Realization about who Sri Rãma is. Sri Rãma asks Hanuman if he has a realization of who he [Hanuman] really is. Sri Ãnajanèya replies "when I consider that "I" am this Body, I feel I am your dear servant at your feet. When I consider that "I" am this Life with my Consciousness, I am your dear friend embracing you and when I consider that "I" am this Ãthma, then I am you, yourself, all-in-one". This perfectly explains the unity of the three major theories that run parallel and complementary to each other. So, the three paths of Dharma explained by our sages are for people with varying understanding for their way of life.

Paramacharya Pujyasri Chandrasekhara Saraswathi of Kanchi Srimatam says: "Dharma is the Root. Rituals and Prayers are its leaves and flowers". Yes, with flowers and fruits, the trees regenerate with more roots. Sri Paramacharya also says: "Rituals, prayers and mythology are important vehicles to hold the faith strong, to support and carry our thoughts, as fire, utensil and water are all needed to cook rice suitable as food, though rice is the only essential nutrient material". So, performances of the Nithya Karma and Karma Yoga as also practicing Devotional paths of Bhakthi become essential without looking for their fruits or benefits.

Studying the holy texts to understand the inner meaning and philosophy in the Vedanta and Dharma Shastras and practicing Raja Yoga become essential part of this tradition. These need to be done as our Dharma, just to preserve and protect this Dharma. When we preserve and follow this Dharma, Dharma Itself will protect us all. But, we should not rely on just getting the benefit from Dharma. Of course, this is with the blessings of the Supreme God. We should rather surrender to the Supreme. Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah:

 

 

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Sri Bhagavaan Uvaacha :-
mayya veshyo-mano ye' maam - nithya yuktha upaasathe' |
shraddhhayaa-parayo' paethaas-the'-me'yuktha thamaamathaah: ||--XII-2

Srimad Bhagavad Giitha: Chapter XII -2

-- The Supreme Lord said: I consider them to be the Yogis who, fixing their mind
on Me and ever steadfast worship Me, the Manifest, with supreme faith.

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Chapter - 8: Realization of the Supreme with Rituals & Prayers ~Lesson - 08~
 
Lessons: - :~: 8- 01 :~: 8- 02 :~: 8- 03 :~: 8- 04 :~: 8- 05 :~: 8- 06 :~: 8- 07 :~: 8- 08 :~: 8- 09 :~:
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