So how do you find your dharma? It’s not exactly easy to do, right? The ancient sage Manu prescribed 10 essential rules for observance of dharma:
- Patience (dhriti) – Staying secure in your own inner peace.
- Forgiveness (kshama) – Letting go of things that don’t necessarily serve you.
- Piety or self-control (dama) – Knowing that the best things come to those that wait.
- Honesty (asteya) – This is really more about non-stealing; don’t take that which does not belong to you.
- Sanctity (shauch) – Cleanliness in mind, body, and soul.
- Control of senses (indraiya-nigrah) – Meditation and life force control.
- Reason (dhi) – Guiding your life with calm reason leads to great success.
- Knowledge or learning (vidya) – Gaining skills that significantly add to your ability to offer value is a huge step towards well-rounded success.
- Truthfulness (satya) -Realizing that truthfulness brings about the highest outcome for you and others.
- Absence of anger (krodha) – Anger poisons our ability to lead our lives in a positive and powerful way.
These are guidelines that will help you find the right track, and turn your life into something truly fulfilling.
The easiest example of seeing dharma in action is through work and how people serve others. In the world of work, there is no such thing as a “bad job”, even for the most hated of professions. People serve in their job to put food on the table and keep the roof over their heads. They do not become bad people just because the job requires them to do unpopular things. Naturally, if one such person decides to do these unpopular things for their own gain (i.e. steal), this affects their karma in a negative way, which in turn affects how they reach their end goal – their dharma.
On the opposite side of the coin, if you have good motivation and good heart despite making many mistakes, you are practicing dharma, and automatically, you are engaging in virtuous activities. (Although that doesn’t mean you get a free pass for being a bad employee!)