Immortality and Dharma

As a mother, you take on the dharma of motherhood. It is your responsibility to care for and nurture your children. As a grandmother, you take on the dharma of caring for your grandchildren, and filling in the spaces where you are needed. As a teacher, you take on the dharma of caring for your students. As you get older, you begin to question more deeply the philosophical questions of life and immortality. Respect, courtesy and good old-fashioned niceness is required for all generations to grow, learn, harmonise and move forward in love.

Our natures determine our destiny

We learn that: ‘The seer’s duty, ordained by his nature, is to be tranquil in mind and in spirit, self-controlled, austere and stainless, upright, forbearing; to follow wisdom, to know the Atman, firm of faith in the truth that is Brahman. The leader’s duty, ordained by his nature, is to be bold, unflinching and fearless, subtle of skill and open-handed, great-hearted in battle, a resolute ruler. Others are born to the task of providing: these are the traders, the cultivators, the breeders of cattle. To work for all men, such is the duty ordained for the servers: this is their nature. All mankind is born for perfection and each shall attain it will he but follow his nature’s duty.’

This concept is explained by the word ‘Dharma’, which is duty, cosmic order, correct living and right conduct. Yoga practice promotes clarity of thought and understanding, so that we can align with our dharma.

Do your own duty

Krishna teaches us, in the Gita, that it is better to do your own duty, however imperfectly, than to assume the duties of another person, however successfully.

Krishna advises Arjuna that he is born to be a leader, a warrior. This is his duty, his dharma. He must go out on to the battle-field and fight. He must trust in the Atman within (the divine spark) and trust in Brahman (the Supreme being).

Each one of us must find and follow our own path in life. We need to listen to our guru within, and not be swayed by external pressure and misgivings.