“It is better to strive in one’s own dharma than to succeed in the dharma of another. Nothing is ever lost in following one’s own dharma. But competition in another’s dharma breeds fear and insecurity.”

~ Lord Krishna in The Bhagavad Gita

The content of the Bhagavad Gita consists of a conversation between Krishna, the  manifestation of the Lord, and the warrior prince Arjuna before the start of the Kurukshetra war. Krishna is advising Arjuna as he hesitates and is full of doubt about going to war against his cousins. Krishna reveals to Arjuna that his dharma is being a Warrior. The Gita points the way to following the yogic path of living in harmony with universal laws as we strive to live our highest truths.

Middle ground
Photo by Joshua Earle

Dharma comes from the Sanskrit dhri, which means “to support, hold up or bear.”

The word means many things, but according to Eknath Easwaran, dharma “implies support from within: the essence of a thing, its virtue, that which makes it what it is.”

On a larger scale, dharma means “the essential order of things, an integrity and harmony in the universe and the affairs of life that cannot be disturbed without courting chaos. Thus it means rightness, justice, goodness, purpose rather than chance.”

In essence, we all have our own “dharma” or purpose and reason for being alive. As Krishna states in the Gita, following someone else’s dharma brings insecurity. If you live your life trying to impress others and not fulfilling what you’re here to do, you will suffer.

In yoga teacher training, we were asked to contemplate what our personal dharma was. For me, it took some time for the wisdom to be come to the light of day.  I journalled and asked myself what was it that I have always lived by. What was beyond the roles I played in life and the jobs I had had. What gave my life meaning and purpose….

I discovered that my dharma was to “learn, grow and share”. This is what I have always done, and will always do. Yep – if I was on the TV series Survivor I would be doing it. It fills me with joy and gives my life meaning. It is my authentic path.

Have you considered what your dharma is in this life? Take time to let this question settle in to the deepest part of your being.

Then consider – Are you living your dharma? Or struggling to fulfill someone else’s ideas about who you should be and what you should do?


38 comments on “Living your Dharma

  1. I love learning more about mindfulness. It is so centering and who couldn’t benefit from that?? Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very wise words to start my day. Thank you, Val.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great questions, Val. I appreciate the context of the Gita for these essential questions. Thank you. I’ll be contemplating these today. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m still imagining you on Survivor! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks so much, Val, for this thought-provoking and gentle insight.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very wise, Val 🙂
    Still thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love this so much 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Peace Light Love
    The Bodhisattva Path
    Gratefully yours, Val

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Enjoying all your posts.
    Namaste 🦋🦋

    Liked by 1 person

  10. tune2lyfe

    Very nice read

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Good points from one of my favorite reads. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We know we are on the right path for us when each footfall echoes with certainty.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Beautiful question. Your dharma doesn’t surprise me. I FEEL like I’m living my dharma, but not sure I can express what that is yet. Working on it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree, Pam. I’m not sure I can encapsulate my purpose/dharma for others . . . but my life feels “right” so I’m sure I’m on the right path.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Wonderful Val, and I can now answer that question.. Perhaps a few years ago I would not.. The older I am, the more content I become.. Seeing all the years I rushed around at others beck and call.. I now only answer the call of Self.. At one time I would think this too selfish..
    Yet the more one heeds the call the more fulfilled one becomes..
    Seeing and Trusting in those Universal laws.. Allowing All to flow.. Brings Peace..

    Loved reading this dear Val.. And I would now say the answer is Yes! I am living my dharma 🙂 ❤ 💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I am reading Bhagvadgita these days and every phrase makes me think a lot..good read.thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Siddharth bhati

    There is a quote you will like.
    Gita: 2: 62, 63: “While contemplating the objects of senses (People, money, power, etc.) a person develops (excessive) attachment for them, and from such attachment selfish desire develops, and from it arises anger (perhaps out of frustration). From anger arises delusion (grandiosity, paranoia), and from delusion bewilderment of memory (cognitive functions deteriorate). When memory is bewildered, intelligence (wisdom) is lost (we begin to make stupid mistakes). When this happens, one falls into degradation (one becomes totally stressed-out).”

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Harshita Gupta

    very nice!! I loved it!!

    Liked by 1 person

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