Translations from one language to other is not always accurate. Many a time such inaccuracies result in changing the actual meaning. One such example is the word ‘Dharma’, commonly it is translated as religion in English and now most of the people believe it means religion. Even if we check Google Translate, the Hindi translation of the word religion is dharma.
Religion means ‘the belief in and worship of superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods’ (according to the Oxford Dictionary), on the other hand, dharma means ‘the eternal and inherent nature of reality, regarded as a cosmic law underlying right behavior and social order’. If we compare both definitions we see that they are 2 very different concepts. Religion deals with the worship of a superhuman; on the other hand, dharma deals with the science of laws which govern this universe and the people in it. One is the reason we use to kill our own species; with the other, we can obtain the reality of our universe.
In simpler terms, Dharma means the nature of things the way they are. For example, heat is the dharma of fire. So if it doesn’t produce heat then it cannot be considered as fire. The word dharma has its roots in the word ‘dhr’ which means to uphold and to sustain. The rule which uplifts humanity and ensures the welfare of humans is considered being dharma. Dharma is often related to Hinduism, but dharma is not related to any religion it’s above them all. It’s a philosophy created by the same geniuses who created zero and discussed infinity when the rest of the world was just learning how to count.
Nature is always built upon rules and laws, which are the same everywhere and are the foundation of modern-day physics. For example the law of gravitation and the laws of electromagnetism. We being a part of this nature, all the rules apply to us too. But these laws apply on different species in different ways. Like the dharma of water and fire are not the same and can’t be same. Dharma is different for each species because of the difference in the cranial capacity of species. Some organisms are not evolved to understand and are just driven by the fear of hunger.
The dharma of animals is based on fear. For example, the lion doesn’t care whether he kills fawn or a pregnant deer he just wants food. Lion doesn’t have the power to imagine himself in the place of the deer hence he cannot feel the pain of the deer. The lion fears if he doesn’t get food he will die, lose his territory and his mate; hence he is driven by fear. This is the jungle law where the stronger feeds on the weaker this is also called the Matsya Nyaya which means the law of the fish and can be compared with Herbert Spencer’s theory of survival of the fittest where the stronger survive and the weaker perishes. We, humans, have the power to imagine; hence we can imagine infinite hunger and infinite thirst. We have the power to imagine, hence we can imagine ourselves in the place of others and hence we have an understanding of others pain and hence we are above Matsya Nyaya or the jungle law. Humans beings are animals too, we have evolved to follow Matsya Nyaya hence in our society the weak are oppressed and the strong are celebrated. The fear of losing power and authority makes us behave like animals.
We are different from animals we have the gift of imagination using which we can imagine from the singularity at the heart of a black hole to the core of an atom. The dharma for humans is to liberate from the Matsya Nyaya and uplift the ones below us. Dharma describes that for liberation from the Matsya Nyaya one should learn love. Love which holds the power to bind the inanimate and the animate. When you learn to love, you break free from the shackles of fear and rise above the Matsya Nyaya. The greatest dharma for humans is to love and rise above the jungle law.
Our society is losing human Dharma, losing love and we are heading towards establishing Matsya Nyaya in our society. History has witnessed whenever Matsya Nyaya is established in the society then the society decays and ends up in an endless loop of a vicious cycle which ends in doom.
When all communities become one large tribe of love, then we conclude that humanity achieved something great in their existence. When dharma is established in society then we all will be equal and we all will be loved and that is the day I dream of.