“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.
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.”
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?