Dharma Means Duty. Dharma is described as a bull who stands on 4 legs. The four legs of Dharma are
The First Leg – Austerity
Austerity means hard work. To achieve a goal, we need to go through some trouble, in other words we need to go through some hard work. It is that hard work that gives trouble to the human mind and body. Hard work also means, denying a pleasure in short term to achieve pleasure in long term.
Many a times, when we get a difficult task on hand, we generally say, ill start from Monday or next month or from tomorrow. And most of the times, this tomorrow/next Monday never comes. It so happens because people are driven by short term thinking like: Let me enjoy for today, I’ll think about the future tomorrow. All these thinking, analysis, decision making is actually done by the moods and fantasies of the body and mind and your soul has nothing to do with the moods of body and mind.
Austerity is possible only once when one is convinced that Soul is eternal. You achieve your goal only when you go against your moods ie when you get into action and your body is not ready to get into those actions. To achieve goal you need to start long term planning and sacrificing your short term needs. You get this only when you have a strong will power.
Austerity is the act of using the will power to discover that you have will power, so that you can use it even more in the future, until you have complete mastery over the body and the mind.
Austerity therefore doesn’t mean eternal suffering. It means temporary sacrifice for eternal happiness.
The Second Leg – Cleanliness
Cleanliness is a wider concept. I would like to divide it into two segments.
Often it is misunderstood that, Cleanliness includes only personal hygiene or making room or home or office clean and organized. We would like to take you to the next level of understanding. Assume, there is an important meeting at 9AM in the office. Due to traffic, you have reached office by 10AM. When you are entering into the room you also carry some guilt. And you continue that meeting with that feeling guilty on going late. Assume the same has repeated for 5-6 times. It may so happen that you end up being resigned about it. You no longer want to participate in that meeting anymore. That is also a mess you created. An unworkability in your life and in the lives of others. You are responsible to clean this as well.
Coming to the point of view of society, you are responsible for the cleanliness of the society. cleanliness in the society doesnt not just mean swachh Bharath but it also involvis corruption free economy, maintaining peace and harmony in the society etc.
Where there is lack of cleanliness you end up being demotivated. In the initial days it may not effect you, but in the further moments of life, you end up being nowhere.
Also read: 3 Debts You Must Repay
The Third Leg – Kindness
To be kind is to be unselfish and being co operative. Many people live in the fear of losing. Have you ever observed, husband may not like his wife talking to another male. They call it possessiveness. But when we look in the deeper aspect of it, it is basically fear of losing. It may not appear to be that, but in reality it is Fear, I can also say, it’s selfishness. Not just in relationships anywhere in the aspect of life, when we see there is lack of kindness, there exists selfishness.
With kidness comes confidence. It’s a bonus part 😉 With kindness and confidence put together there exists no ego or less ego. You wull be able to handle criticism and consider criticism as the area of improvement rather than ranting on the person who criticised.
Nobody is perfect and no relationship is perfect. Relationship also includes parent-children; employer-employee, wife-husband; brother-sister etc. In order to move our relations, we need to willing to alter, to change, to fix the problems. It doesn’t mean to compromise, but it means to gain partnership with the other person.
The Fourth Leg – Truth
Truth is hard it is bitter thus, truthfulness is painful. I lie to my parents/spouse and get things done. It is for short term gratification. It is much harder to tell the truth that enlightens a person about their real long-term happiness, while challenging a person to fix their personality problems as the primary purpose of having a relationship with the others.
When we start uttering only truth we may end up facing problems, criticisms. To continue speaking truth one must have the power of kindness and cleaniliness, which inturn depends on the former legs of Dharma.
Most of the people are afraid to speak truth. It is so because it makes life uncomfortable.
Take a challenge of speaking only truth for one week and only one week.
You don’t speak truth because you want don’t want to end up hurting others. My personal example is, I hate my sister making fun of my bald head. That’s the truth when I share it, I feel like I may offend her but in the long term a kind of hatred and hesitation is built up, whenever topic of hair comes into picture I either run away from that situation or criticise her or asks her to shut up. Can you see, lack of being truthful in the beginning and asking her to stop criticising, I created lack of cleanliness in my relationship and ended up with fighting in that relationship and also there is no kindness.
All this is because of lack of Austerity. My mind didn’t want to communicate with her, thinking what will she feel like if I say so! This fight is also because lack of truthfulness. So all 4 Legs of Dharmas are needed for one’s salvation.
Also read: Which Dharma You Should Hold in Kaliyug