Dharma, the Code of Virtue in Hindus’ Daily Life

Dharma is the Code of Virtue in Hindus’ daily life. The most widely used word “Dharma” is not exactly definable. But broadly, it can be said to connote righteous duties, Divine ordinances, customary usage, certain ideals before mankind, justice, equity, good conduct or morality.

It is commonly understood that those who follow it are bound to be protected by God. But those who had zealously upheld it were found to be thrown amidst severe tests operating and exerting its influence, even the most balanced persons may falter and land themselves in trouble. Their faculty of thinking may suddenly fail to function.

The Mahabharata illustrates this theme by the manner in which the five brothers who were wedded to Dharma were made to suffer despite their patience and perseverance and their keenness to adhere to the Code of virtue. The emphasis in the epic is to help people develop their character and maintain integrity.

The classic’s main lesson is about the ruinous consequences of resorting to gambling, in any form. Those caught in its grip cannot escape because of the temptation that it holds – that success awaits round the corner. A person may continuously lose, but still there will be a lurking hope in him that had game of dice, he ought to have thought of his constant mentor Lord Krishna. But as destiny would have it, he meekly yielded to his weakness.

In a discourse, Pandit V.Natesan explained the grief that befell the blind king because of his deep affection to his sons who, he was fully aware, were unscrupulous, jealous, conceited and power-mad. Yet, he could not overcome attachment and supported their move to harm the Pandavas.

Transgression of Dharma led to destruction because the path was not one of expediency but a necessity.

On behalf of the Pandavas, Lord Krishna went on a peace mission but the haughty Duryodhana attempted to insult Him and even harm Him. That the Lord stayed with a devotee who displayed humility ignoring the requests of even wealthy persons reveals His sympathetic preference to devotees.

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