Dedicated to the lotus feet of the divine guru Shivabalayogi Maharaj


Dharma – online Q&A, No.175

Recorded on 13 April 2024 with worldwide participants

0:00 Introduction from Babaji
1:58 What is meant by the word dharma?
3:22 When we talk about someone being obliged to do something, it implies that someone is being forced to do it?
12:38 Regards the moral aspect of dharma, is it better for the individual or for society?
17:17 A scholarly application of the root of the word dharma gives the meaning ‘to hold’ or ‘to support’.
19:52 Does following dharma help us in our worldly life?
22:24 Is dharma different for householders or monks?
26:28 The great stories of India like the Mahabharata seem to recall events and not say if anything is right or wrong, but shows that if you do this, this happens, is that correct?
36:23 What does the phrase ‘don’t define your dharma’ mean?
47:05 If there is a conflict, is it better to walk away from it to protect my mind, or is that selfish?
47:58 In Bhagavad Gita it says ‘it is better to do one’s own dharma even though you do it imperfectly, that to do another person’s dharma even though perfectly.’
50:05 The incident of Ahalya in the Ramayana
52:03 What is the meaning sanatana dharma?
53:30 How could it happen that Mirabai merged with the idol of Lord Krishna?
55:28 What happened to Mirabai’s latent tendencies?
55:49 Babaji’s closing words

Discourse: Thus Spake Babaji No.  175 – Dharma
You tube Link:  
Recorded: 13 April 2024 with worldwide participants

Start of Session

Babaji Maharaj Commences

   Surrendering at the Lotus Feet of beloved Master, I greet you all with my love and blessings.  So wonderful to be here with you all once again.  Another opportunity that you pick up the thread to silence your mind.  When your mind is silenced means then only actually you silence yourself.  Until the mind’s silence is not achieved, you are not silent.  You become silent then secrets of the mind and the Self are revealed.  Keep it that simple as possible.  Do not go into book terminologies of this, that and so many, round, round, round, round, round, no need! Simply that is in front of you – you silence your mind, rest are revealed automatically.  Your job; silencing your mind.  For that you have to put in effort so that you just practice watching and gradually give up thinking. 

Start of Questions and Answers

Facilitator:   Pranam’s Baba. On behalf of everybody if I could just thank Baba again for setting aside this time during His routine.  It’s a large commitment for Baba every week and we appreciate the time. 

Babaji Maharaj:   Thank you all also for helping me to conduct these sessions; always wonderful questions. 

Question:   Baba, this week we were going to consider the subject of Dharma.  So, I was wondering if Babaji could please describe what is meant by that word, Dharma?

Babaji Maharaj:   Dharma is a word used for your duty, obligation; so that is the basic meaning to tell this one. And further if you need to understand, now if you want to call “This is dharma”, means “what is your dharma?”, then you have to understand what your duties are, what are your obligations, so that is what is known as dharma.  Though generally dharma is synonymous for the word religion…  In fact, religion also, through you only Bruce I think if we remember, we tried to find out the word from the Latin, that which came the meaning of ‘obligation’, so that is the religion word that has been used.  So, this is the basic meaning.  Further in these discussions we might be able to try and understand the real meaning of what a religion or dharma means, what we need to understand. 

Question:   Baba, when we talk about somebody being obliged to do something, it carries the implication that someone is being forced to do that, it’s against the natural tendency to do it, is that what it means?

Babaji Maharaj:   I understand, one tends to think like this, but in other words, if we try to understand what is that obligation, then we will be able to understand better that in this world, when we possess a couple of things, maintenance or respect the tools of the trade or respect the health, needs and all these things if we understand, then we will definitely understand that it is not a thing to be forced or being forced.  It is recommended so that you take care of your health.  Like, for example if we simply try to understand, religion means here, dharma means taking care of the health of your physical body, physical health, mental health and upholding moral values.   

Further we need to understand, like taking care of the health of the body, everybody understands how essential it is; nobody has to impose it on you.  Somebody has to recommend probably or advise at the most.  We are holding this body, we are the dweller in the body, this body is so important for us in this world to move, to communicate, to talk to.  Say, suppose Babaji’s body loses health, then I won’t be able to communicate to you all, hold these types of sessions or travel around the world; it becomes so difficult.  So how important it is.  People even advise me also, “Baba please take care of Your health.  We need You, we need Your body”, like that.  So everybody will understand, this is an obligation, this is not a thing that is imposed or forced; a recommended, an advised thing.  It is an advice of the elders, experts in the field.  If you go to a medical expert who would advise, “Please take care of the health of the body, then these problems would not occur”, so like that.

Now, the next one is mental health.  We all have mind, everybody understands, recognizes, but they may not understand what the mind itself is – at least everybody understands that they have a mind. And how much necessary for the mind to have peace is the first thing.  If it has peace, then that is real health; it is a healthy mind.  And also, if the thinking of the mind rises above selfishness and narrowness, is able to think of a larger cause, welfare of the entire world, entire universe; like the prayers have been taught, “lokah samasta sukhino bhavantu” – “we do not have how many worlds there is in the creation, but may there be peace for all beings, all, everyone”.  

So, like that, we need to understand these two things, upholding moral values, and keeping the mind healthy.  If the mind is not healthy, that means such a person’s mind is corrupted, is very selfish, narrow-minded. A selfish and narrow-minded person will always try to harm others for his or her own comforts, for her own, his own well-being, doesn’t mind harming others, so this is what is the illness of the mind.  If the mind is healthy means it has peace, it is under one’s own control.  Like if you have a mind, you should have control over the mind, you should be able to think and decide what you want to think, what you want to be creative. When you don’t need, you should be able to keep the mind quiet, yourself quiet.  

So, all these points we try to understand is the health of the mind.  If we practice such exercises and are able to keep the mind healthier to this level, then we will be able to uphold the third; moral values, upholding moral values, consider about each other.  We all need to live in this world, but that doesn’t mean that we have to cut somebody’s head or pick somebody else’s pocket, grab somebody else’s land or property, or any such thing.  Earth has so much of resources, if we all try to understand that everybody could have lived peacefully, happily.  All that a human being needs is, whether a billionaire or a trillionaire or a middle-class person, all that he needs is a piece of bread to eat to sustain the physical body.  Simply he’s a billionaire, he cannot eat gold or any such things, he cannot be eating a hundred breads or a hundred ice creams, not possible, whatever it is.  So, that’s what Swamiji used to tell “If you have twelve bananas, give some to others and hold some to you.”  So, these are all the moral values, when we are able to consider about others.  If I am happy, all of you have a right to want to be happy, if I am hungry, all of you may be hungry.

So, now that is how I hope you all understand health of the body, health of the mind and moral health, we are able to uphold moral health.  If all human beings were keeping these moral values up, there wouldn’t have been any conflict, any trouble; everybody would have been living, all humans, living for each other. The happiness would have been there for everybody.  So, these three are the obligations that is originally recommended, what dharma means, religion means.  That is, the ancient teachers recommended some exercises, so that you can uphold these health of the physical body, mental health.  All exercises that are taught in religions, things like prayers, worship, or any sadhana like meditation, and music therapies, these things are all helpful to keep the mind healthier and at peace, under control.  

So, this is what is the obligation or dharma, religion we need to understand.  It’s another thing today, it might be misinterpreted, misunderstood, misused for different purposes, a word religion.  That’s why many people are averse to this word of religion.  Even my own Guru used to tell, “We are not religious teachers.”  Means here religious teacher, what He meant was teaching a particular doctrine and recommending only that doctrine as the real thing and belittling all others.  Whereas a yogi never does that one.  All religions are equal and honorable, like Swamiji used to tell.  He respected all religions, means all methods of exercises to go towards the Ultimate Truth – even if it is scientist wanting to use his own terminologies, just wants to call it Truth, not even Divinity is no problem, at least he wants to look into the truth, what it is.  So that is the greatness.  So, we respect that aspect also.  Like each, all fields of people, like scientists respect spirituality, spiritualists respect the science; both go together, and all religions respect each other and just keep doing in their own way.  So, then there wouldn’t have been any conflict.  

So, that’s what we need to understand.  There is nothing to impose or force.  We only recommend or advise.  Like meditation also, I try to explain why meditation is recommended so that everybody can understand, then they can decide whether they need this or don’t need this.  It is up to them, the choice.  We hold these Zoom classes; everybody is welcome.  We send links to whoever is in the list.  If they don’t come, we don’t mind, we don’t complain to them, we don’t try to punish them, there is nothing such.  It’s up to them, it is their choice.  Whoever is here, it is their choice, they are all here.  So, this is what we try to do. 

Question:   Thank You Baba.  Babaji, for that moral aspect of dharma, is it better for the individual or is it better for the society?

Babaji Maharaj:   Betterment of the society. Means we need to overcome the selfishness, narrow-mindedness. Means, if the entire home is happy, everybody will be happy.  Even if one member of the family becomes unhappy for some reason; unhealthy or any trouble, all others’ mood will also go off, they will all become unhappy.  In the same way in the society, if everybody is happy, everybody is happy.  If they all feel that “We are all one”, then if one member of the society is unhappy, all others should become unhappy, “Why is that?  Let us try to help that person also.  Let him also live like us peacefully, happily.  Let him get educated.”  So, that’s what we have to think.  If we want to help somebody to get educated, we don’t see whether it is our son or our blood relation or not.  Simply, that person is talented, we should give an opportunity if that is possible for us, “Let him get educated, he can live a better life perhaps”; like that we have to think.  

In the same way we have to think about our own whole country, whole world, rise above that thing. How many worlds? Everybody in the space.  That covers the entire space.  We don’t know ourselves today when we are talking who are all in the space, but still we pray that our own minds get purified, “May all beings in all the worlds, be happy”.  Like the old example since twenty-three years ago I am trying to give – if you are asked where you are from in the city, you will tell your home address and street name.  But from the town you go out of the city, you will tell “I am from a certain city”.  When you go out of your state, you will mention the name of the state.  When you go out of the country, you will mention the name of your country; you are from Australia, you are from America, you are from India – like that you will mention.  So, from a small street and house you belong to a larger area.  That means, another thing, all people belonging to that country, you feel as if they are your own blood relation type, your brothers and sisters, your own people – you will be happy when you meet them in some other country.  

So, in the same way if we get a chance to go out of the world to some other planet, if we meet somebody from planet Earth, we will also tell “I am also from planet Earth.”  We won’t be telling “No, I am from such a city, I belong to that city, I belong only to that.  I am not bothered if you belong to planet Earth.”  We won’t tell like that.  We feel so happy.  See, consciousness expanding here.  That’s what you all have to note – your consciousness expanding that you belong to such a larger area, anybody belonging to that area, you feel as if it is your own people.  

Like when you realize one day that we all belong to one space.  There can be two countries, there can be two different worlds, two universes, two Milky Ways, anything can be, but there can never be two different spaces, only one single space.  That is what is recognized as the Ultimate Truth – one single Self that exists everywhere.  When we realize that we all belong to one space, there will be no conflict.  That day when humanity realizes, there will be no conflict and there will be peace, there will be harmony, but that’s what since ages saints have come, yogis have come and tried to advise, advocate, but humans have not realized this very fact.  That’s what is so important.  So, this is what we need to understand about religion, about the dharma, about duties, obligations. 

Question:   Thank You, Babaji.  When Babaji talks about consciousness expanding, is He meaning that the sense of identity is expanding?

Babaji Maharaj:   Yes, yes, exactly, sense of identity, belonging.  

Question:   When I was looking into ideas about dharma on the internet, there’s a scholarly application; they were saying that the Sanskrit word, the root of the word dharma means ‘to hold or support’.  Would Babaji speak about that, please?

Babaji Maharaj:   It is the same thing.  See, now here, this is the secondary explanation actually.  There is a particular culture.  That culture we call it in a name like this dharma, like Sanatana Dharma, like any other name, so many.  If we sustain that culture, that culture will sustain us.  There is an old saying – if we hold, if we support our own country, our country will support us.  So, this we have heard since childhood also, if you protect your dharma, your dharma will protect you.  But now before that, we need to understand what our dharma is.  This is what I have understood in my life.  Scholars might give; this is the secondary explanation, but many people stop there where so many people would have misinterpreted, “This is our dharma, this is what you have to uphold, this is what you have to do.”  Means, “Drinking alcohol is your dharma” somebody will tell you. “You have to uphold, you have to protect that one so that we don’t lose drinking it, alcohol. Somebody should not destroy our habits.” So that becomes a dharma for them.  They don’t try to verify whether it is helpful, whether it is a healthy habit, whether it is really needed or not.  That is what is important about dharma that we have to understand.  So, this is what the meaning of what you are talking of hold, support, anything.  So, once we know what it is that we have to support, then the supporting thing comes – not before understanding.   If we are unable to understand what is it that we have to hold or support, then we might end up doing  wrong things.  We need to understand whether it is the nectar or the poison that we have to support or hold.  This thing needs to be understood. 

Question:   And Baba, just following dharma therefore help us in our worldly life?

Babaji Maharaj:   Definitely!  You see, we live in this world with the help of the physical body.  If it is healthier, it is helpful; if it is not healthier, it won’t be able to sustain us, help us.  Now, mind also, if the mind is healthier; if it is a matured person who has achieved peace, then can recommend peace to others.  If that one person himself doesn’t have peace, how can he give peace to others?  So, that is what is important.  So, then they can help others also.  So it is so helpful in our day to day life.  Like many things tell “Don’t do such a thing to others which you yourself wouldn’t like to happen to you.”  If somebody treats you harshly, rudely, how bad you might feel, so you don’t treat others rudely and harshly.  So, that is what is day-to-day life, it is so supportive, so important.  It is such a principle necessary for all human beings, all of us.  

See, today there is conflict between animals and human beings.  Every day we look into the news in India that a leopard entering the house, a tiger coming to a village, because their natural habit is being destroyed, forests are being destroyed.  We build only the cement concrete jungles.  We think that only as the development, means, that is what it is. Means their interpretation for development is so wrong.  For long time we were hearing, one time we were arguing. So, we have to sustain all round – we need a house also, but we need a tree also at the same time. We need oxygen also, we need water also, we need food also, everything we need.  All these things are equally supportive for our life in this world.  In the same way we need physical health, mental health and moral health also to support ourselves in this world.  Without these, how can we live possibly?  This is what we need to understand, that it is so useful in our day-to-day life. 

Question:   And Baba, is dharma different for householders and monks?

Babaji Maharaj:   No, not at all.  Simply, a way of life might appear different.  For all it is the same.  Like, simply by becoming a monk, nobody will become Self-realized. One has to meditate, one has to do sadhana.  Simply that person has adopted a particular way of life, and another person has adopted another way of life; one has become a householder, another has become a monk. But to meditate, both have to take out time every day.  That thing doesn’t ask you whether you are a householder or a monk.  It will tell but you have to take out time.  God will not ask, “O, you have become monk? So you are Self-realized.  You don’t have to do meditation.”  There is no such concession or discount, nothing. You have to meditate, you have to remain non-corrupted, you must take care of your physical health, mental health.  

See, we are yogi, but the body will not listen if we don’t look after, it will have its own illness.  If I don’t take care a little bit, become careless, if I become attentive to somebody else, my body gets affected. It doesn’t say that “O, you are a yogi, you don’t have to take care”, it doesn’t happen.  The rule is the same for everyone.  Knowledge has no shortcuts – only a way of life.  

You see, in earlier days this monkhood was recommended so that a person can dedicate totally to the need of the society.  See, if I have a wife and children, my first thought will go to my wife and children, I will give time to them.  I may not be able to take out time for society, but if I don’t have any such obligation, I can give time to society.  I was able to live in the Ashram because I didn’t have any wife or children.  All those people who have wife and children, they will have to find a home because they need their own things – not that it is bad, it is simply a way of life.  I told them I wanted to live this type of life.  It is a way of life.  We don’t look down on householders.  Swamiji treated everybody equally.  He used to tell “Everybody has to do sadhana.”  It is up to you, you want to become a householder, no problem, still you can achieve Self-realization – you have to take out time.  So, that is what is important.  For anything; you want to get through a high qualification academically or a great examination, anybody has to read, study well, prepare well, appear and do it well.  

Like many times I have told, if you want to become the president of a country, anybody can become.  A monk has become a chief minister in India; a monk can become a president of a country, but you have to give that much of time, you have to do such work.  Simply sitting under a tree, if I am repeating the name of God, I cannot become the president of a country.  I will have to work out for that one.  So, everybody will have to work out.  That knowledge, that truth doesn’t ask whether you are a monk or a householder.  Everybody has to be a human being first.  That is important.  If he is a monk, he is not a good human being, he is very harsh and rude to others, and he is unable to understand the society needs, unable to give love and care to each and every one, what is the use of such monkhood?  It’s useless.  So, that is what is important, one needs to understand.  So, to become Self-realized, anybody can become Self-realized who is ready to do sadhana.  

Question:   Thank You Baba.  Babaji, coming back to the moral aspects of things.  I was speaking with a friend during the week and it seemed that with Western morality, there is a very strong emphasis on right and wrong, black and white, a set of rules, but when we read the great stories of India like Mahabharata, it just seems to recall events, it doesn’t say it’s right or wrong; it just shows “If you do this, this happens” – is that correct, Baba?

Babaji Maharaj:   Yes, you see, many times these types of questions come to us also.  What is right and what is wrong is the most difficult, almost impossible.  One man’s food is another man’s poison.  If we try to go in this way arguing, they can be never ending, and often human beings, they might be setting a set of justice for themselves and another set of justice for others.  Humans can be selfish.  This is what happens.  When somebody attacks their country, they will tell, “This is unacceptable terrorism.”  When the same terrorism is happening in another country, the particular government might tell, “O, it is a freedom fight.”  See, the terminology changes – that same thing is happening.  So, like this, humans have always been selfish, narrow-minded, so it really doesn’t work properly.  The whole world doesn’t get justification.  

So, if a certain thing is imposed, you have to work it out.  That’s what Mahabharata teaches.  It doesn’t teach any violence.  Bhagavad Gita doesn’t teach us violence, but if it is imposed, you have to defend to find peace.  You allow one tree to be cut, then tomorrow they will cut the second tree, then third tree, they will cut all the trees and then they will destroy your building also.  They will ask you to get out.  You keep quiet, you keep quiet. They will hit on one cheek, and you keep quiet, they will hit on another cheek, you keep quiet, they will break your teeth, you keep quiet.  So, that’s what the Indian philosophy particularly Lord Krishna, that’s what we learned.  He teaches peace.  He teaches that you have to know yourself, Self-realization, and try to behave properly in this world.  Say if you and your neighbor are there, if your neighbor is not behaving properly, how can you sit peacefully.  Justice should be for both equally; the rule should be equal.  Like for example, we keep discussing about world wars, conflicts, wars, many questions have been asked.  The League of Nations was there; that got broken, then the United Nations came.  In 1945, everybody hoped – our parents used to tell “We all thought that there is not going to be any more conflict; United Nations will not allow.”  But the wars and conflicts have continued.  Nobody has been able to stop the wars.  Why?  Who is in the United Nations?  All the world is there – unable to stop, because there must be something wrong amongst human beings. Some set of justice, some set of justice – right and wrong definition is not proper.  If the right and wrong definition can be proper… that can never be proper for human beings.  Human beings will never behave in that way.  

So, that’s why it is taught, “First you meditate and purify your mind”, then you will be able to see a larger cause always.  Only then you will do it, but if you are selfish…  See, in Mahabharata, one person named Duryodhana appears to be a villain for people who read that, but with him, so many noble people also sided and supported him to do that one.  First his own father and his own guru and his own grand sire – everybody sided with him.  If they had taken a stick and given him beatings, “You are not going to behave like this.  What you are doing is wrong.  This is not justice.  You give them back their kingdom; it is their kingdom.  We all elders decided”; if they had asked him, everybody could have been saved, the war would not have happened, but they all kept quiet in the name of something else.

 That’s where, again, they defined their dharma, their duty as something different, other than the larger cause.  They did not see, “Our duty is to stop the war.”  Nobody thought that one except Sri Krishna.  He thought, “It is duty to stop the war so that everybody can be saved. From both sides there will be dead bodies”, Sri Krishna said. “Both sides there will be crying, mothers will be crying, wives will be crying.  Why do we need this war?  If only this one person is made to accept, just give them their due.”  If only you stop cutting down our trees, we all can live peacefully.  You don’t bother to do that one – you do meditation, allow us to do meditation.  Why do we need to fight unnecessarily? But no, they don’t agree to stop cutting down the trees, conflict happens.  This is what is the world’s story, the entire world’s history, present stories, like this it goes on.  From a small home, small ashram, small place to the country’s conflict, this is the story we need to understand.  

So, that is why the right and wrong doesn’t work easily like this.  Human beings are the most cunning and most clever people, always.  They think in this way wrongly.  They tell “No, this is wrong.”  The other person: “No, it is right.  If I can snatch your property, it is right. I have taken it; I have taken it.  I decided to cut the tree, I cut the tree, but you don’t do that one, you just keep quiet.” “Why should I keep quiet?”, then the conflict comes; if I resist, if I protest. That’s why countries go into conflict.  If terrorism is happening in one country, they say “It is unacceptable and we will deal with it”; another country is also facing terrorism, they will also have a right to deal with it.  

So, that’s why in this world, this type of right and wrong doesn’t work.  It can work only provided everybody purifies their minds through spiritual practices.  I’m not talking only meditation, there might be other path, prayers, music, devotional, so many things could be there, exercises.  Through all these spiritual practices, if only humans can purify their minds first without bothering the other one; everybody cleans their mind.  Everybody carries a glass of milk; don’t bother whether the other is bringing it or not.  Like the king asked to fill the drum with one glass of milk.  One person thought, “If I quietly take one glass of water, who will notice?  All others will be bringing milk.”  The next day when they saw, the drum was full of water.  Everybody had thought so.  That’s why there is conflict in this world.  So, if everybody can carry that milk, if all of us understand that we have to purify our mind, then everybody will be able to think in the right direction.  That will become possible.  Only then the dharma can be upheld, the right and wrong can be decided.

 Otherwise, until now humans have failed to decide what is right and what is wrong.  If you ask Dhritarashtra, he said “My children are correct.”  If you ask the other side, they are correct, but who will decide who is correct?  That’s so difficult.  So, simply, practically it has happened.  Also, I have said, if you remember from the earlier days of my talking, “People of this world talk about peace, but do not practice peace, that is why there is no peace”.  If we simply talk of dharma, there is no dharma.  We have to practice – larger cause.  If this was not an ashram, it was my house, I could have allowed all the trees to be cut and them to take the entire property; I can go and sit under the tree.  But I am sorry, I am only a caretaker of this ashram of my Guru.  I cannot allow such a thing to happen.  I will have to defend; I am a soldier.  So, that’s what happens.  We pray, may humanity be inspired to do sadhana, to purify their own minds, find the truth about their own existence, and learn to respect others’ knowledge also, learn to respect each other, love and honor, is necessary. 

Question:   Thank You, Baba.  Babaji often uses an expression, a phrase, “Don’t define your dharma”, but I have trouble understanding that Baba, because the dharma has to be defined to be able to follow it.  I’m not quite understanding properly, Baba.  

Babaji Maharaj:   You see, a while ago we were discussing two aspects of dharma, one, the first definition I told, the basic definition, and you try to tell by reading the internet what dharma means.  If we try to understand these things, when I spoke, it was particular, and everybody could understand what the dharma means – keeping healthier of your body, your mind and moral values.  So, everybody can understand these three things are important, but now to understand what the moral values are is the most difficult thing.  That’s what when they say, “Uphold the dharma, uphold something, looking after something is the dharma.”  What is it that you have to look after?  Is it not necessary that we look after our own character, our own culture, our own human values?  All this we forget, but we try to give a shape, “This is your dharma, drinking alcohol is your dharma, drinking milk is your dharma – you have to look after that one”, means people will do wrong things.  So, that’s what is the thing we are trying – what Krishna said,  “Don’t define.”  

Now we try to take the example of Mahabharata’s situation.  The situation was both the cousins played the dice game.  They kept such conditions, and they went on agreeing with each other; the elders did not interfere.  First, they had set certain rules, but the youngsters went on playing and they overlooked such set of rules and went on adding more and more and more.  They went on changing their own rules and regulations which were not proper, but yet the elders kept quiet.  They did not say anything.  Finally, it came to the status when one Yudhisthira had lost all his kingdom, his brothers, his wife also.  Everything he had put at stake, which was totally wrong.  The elders should have stopped it.  “You should not go up to this level of dice game or any lottery or any such thing.  You must not put your stake to that level that you are going to lose everything that doesn’t belong to you.”  

Then the other person who had won, Duryodhana, ordered that Draupadi be disrobed in the court.  At that time also she pleaded with everyone.  She did not plead with Duryodhana, the wicked, but she pleaded with Bhisma, the grand sire, the noblest personality.  But he said no; he kept quiet.  If he wanted, he could have protected, he had the power.  If he had taken up the bows and arrows, nobody could have challenged him there.  If only he had thought, “It is necessary to protect the chastity and character of this woman first, it is important, then I will be protecting the entire clan”, but instead he said, “I am sorry, my duty, my dharma is to listen to the order of the king.  Without his instructions, I cannot do anything.”  He kept quiet.  Then Dronacharya, he was the guru who taught weapons systems to both the princes, both the clans there.  He also kept quiet, “I have eaten the salt of this king.  Without his orders, I cannot do anything.”  He also had the power; with his bows and arrows he could have stopped that thing to happen, but he kept quiet – he did not do it.  Dhritarashtra of course, was totally carried away by his own son.  He did not think “This is wrong.”  

So, like everybody, let alone these people, her own husbands kept quiet – Yudhisthira and other people also kept quiet in the name of dharma.  In our thinking today, if we think, if in that day if they had thought, at least Yudhisthira could have protested; “You cannot disrobe this woman, this was not in the contract.  Okay, we lost her, she can mop, she can dust your home, but you have to take care of the chastity of this lady.  You cannot disrobe her.  This is not in that.  We will protect her as a woman, if not as my wife, at least as a woman, we will protect her first.”  They should have told this, but they all failed.  So, here, the failure happened.  If we try to think today, she was left alone in the court to get disrobed by all her own people, all the elders in the name of dharma, because they defined dharma, “This is my dharma, this is not my dharma.”  So, that’s what, since ages, perhaps we human beings have misunderstood dharma, misused dharma, did not execute our duties properly.  That’s what Sri Krishna tried to teach.  

One person, He was a great national asset.  We learned so much from Him.  He came and protected Draupadi, whichever way He protected that one, that the story says.  He did not think, “Do I have the permission of the king, do I have the permission of her husbands?”  They could have asked “Who are you Krishna to intervene like this?  It is our wife.  We have lost her.  Let her go.”  He didn’t bother for anything.  He straight away got into the job of protecting her.  That was what He showed – set a priority, do not define what is your dharma.  You never know in which situation you will be forced to take action.  Say, I am a soldier of one country, I am friendly with the soldier of another country, we both are very good friends, we are like brothers.  If that other country invades my country, will I see the friendship of my personal or will I defend my country? So, that’s what happened when somebody attacked our Ashram trees and our Ashram’s existence.  The other person was our best friend, like a brother for us, but as a soldier, I needed to take care of the safety of our Ashram.  That was very important.  So, that’s what happens in dharma.  That’s what we have tried to tell – never define what your dharma is.  Means, never define in a particular picture, never tell “Protecting this pen is my dharma” [shows pen]. That should not be.  If necessary, you may have to give way to this if you are going to protect the larger cause.  So, protecting the friendship is not my dharma.  I never define.  We were great friends, we were brothers, but that was not my dharma.  I had to see a larger cause.  I had protected, that’s why today people are able to come and sit here peacefully, do meditation also.  If we had not taken such steps, nobody would have been able to come and sit here.  They would have driven away everybody; that would have happened.  

So, that is what it means.  That’s what Sri Krishna taught everywhere; you never know where you have to take up a sword and defend your larger cause.  If your country gets attacked, you have to defend your country; you have to go to the borders, the soldiers need to defend.  That becomes important.  Otherwise, the other country may invade.  When they invade, they will destroy the entire culture of another country and destroy the people also, everywhere.  Such destructions we are watching, even after second world war also, we are watching this thing.  We didn’t get to see the second world war, we were born afterwards, but after we were born also these wars are continuing because humans are cunning; they have not purified their minds properly.  

Even today in society, everywhere we just try to see, every other day we get to see, they praise their own children very much, but they don’t want to appreciate others’ children if they are doing very well also.  Such narrow-mindedness I have seen. [Babaji laughs] I have laughed at myself for what this world is.  It is natural for anybody to have attachment to their children and praise them, they are good, but if others’ children are also performing well, praise them also, appreciate them also.  Not to that extent that “I don’t want to appreciate anybody else’s child except mine”.  To such an extent I have seen human beings, I think “O my God.”  That is why when my Master dropped His physical body, people were all pretending, “I have been possessed by Shivabalayogi.”  One thing, standing in front of my Guru’s photo I said, “If at all you want to come, please come on any animal.  Do not come on a human being who are the most unreliable creatures.”  Sorry, some of these things came out in answering these questions.  So much to understand and discuss about this human nature and dharma, right and wrong things in this world.  That is the most difficult and complicated thing – human minds. 

Question:   Thank You, Babaji.  We’ve got some question that have been sent in, Babaji. The first one is, if there is a conflict, is it better to walk away from it?  At least that way I can protect my mind.  Is that selfish to think that way?

Babaji Maharaj:   It depends on the situation.  If it is your home, you cannot afford to walk away.  If it is somebody else’s home, you might think of walking away for a while, if you are not concerned.  So, that is what the world is, complicated.  It is very difficult to answer these questions.  Staying away from conflicts is definitely advisable, remaining peaceful as much as possible, but if anything is imposed on you, you cannot walk away.  So, this is very difficult to answer this question.  It is inconclusive, whatever we are talking.

Question:   In the Gita, there is a line Krishna speaks.  It is sometimes translated as, “It is better to do one’s own dharma even though you do it imperfectly than to do another one’s dharma, even though perfectly.”  Could Babaji comment on that line please?

Babaji Maharaj:   Here we have to take it as; you do your duty. First you try to purify your mind. The other may not be doing that in the world.  Somebody should not complain, “So many human beings are not meditating and purifying, why should I bother, Babaji?” Let them do it.  At least you purify your mind, you do meditation and as long as you do it, you might be able to influence one or two at least, if we may not be able to influence the whole world.  So many great sages and saints and Self-realized Masters have come from time-to-time in different parts of the world, but if we try to see a whole picture, nobody has been able to change the whole world, all humanity, not possible.  Yet, they all did their part of work, little, little.

We are all doing a little, little work; at least a hundred people are here whom I will try to influence to the best of my ability.  I may not be able to change a hundred thousand people. They may not be listening; all hundred thousand will not come to Zoom, will not consider me an intelligent or right person.  At least if these hundred people, in these hundred also fifty think about what Babaji is talking makes sense, then I will be happy: that’s my Mission work.  So, like that you work.  You do your duty first.  That’s what Swamiji said, “You meditate and know yourself then everything will be sorted out.”  Don’t keep simply bothering “Why the world is fighting, why the world is fighting?” but if you become a better human being, you might be able to influence somebody.  That’s what we need to understand. 

Facilitator:   Thank You, Babaji. 

Question:   Pranaams Babaji!  Babaji, please comment on Ahalya in Ramayana.  Sri Rama came to the ashram, and she was like a stone, and He touched her and then she became a lady.  She had become a stone and after the coming of Lord Rama, she had become a lady again.

Babaji Maharaj:   See, it’s very difficult to comment on this which happened hundreds and thousands of years ago, one thing.  Another thing, just an opinion – maybe as a woman, Ahalya was outcasted, rejected by her husband, rejected by the society for some mistake that she perhaps unknowingly committed, so everybody had rejected her.  She used to sit in a corner like a stone.  She never participated, not allowed to participate in anything, the society did not forgive her.  But Sri Rama’s magnanimity, He was such a great Self-realized, great equivalent to God. He touched her by telling, “She is not untouchable,  we need to forgive and give her a chance to come to the society.”  He advised her husband also, “Forgive her.  Any such mistake was made unknown to her, so it is not her fault.  It is not proper to totally outcast her from the society.”  That’s what Sri Rama advised for the welfare of the entire society.  Right?

Question:   Hari Om Baba.  Today, in this forum we are discussing about dharma.  As we know Hinduism is more than religion, it is described as Sanatana Dharma.  Would Baba please explain the term, Sanatana.  What is the meaning of Sanatana Dharma?  Thank You.

Babaji Maharaj:   Sanatana is the most ancient, from time immemorial.  Since then this is coming; these things have been advised, that is what Sanatana Dharma means.  There was no name given.  This was practiced as a way of life.  Like every day you get up, you have a shower, you have breakfast and go to the office; that becomes your duty.  In that way, these things were taught,

kausalya supraja rāma pūrvāsandhyā pravartatē
ṣṭha naraśārdūla kartavyam daivamāhnikam

means, this was taught as a duty –

O Kausalya’s son who is the lion amongst human beings, it is early morning.  After sunset, it is early morning hours, it is time to wake up and try to remember the Ultimate Truth, the Divinity which is your first duty.

Like that it was taught as a duty, so that is what is Sanatana Dharma.

Same Questioner:    I have another question; it is regarding bhakti marga.  In the story it is said that when Mirabai, she was dancing before the idol, Lord Krishna’s idol and then she finally merged with that idol.  So, how could that happen, Baba?  Probably that consciousness…

Babaji Maharaj:   This, lot of mythical things gets built up.  In olden days, communication, news was not possible to transmit immediately.  Today, if Babaji drops his physical body, immediately it will be livestreamed, “This is Babaji’s dead body.  He has dropped His body.”  But in olden days this was not possible. They would have taken leave of the body and told, “She merged.”  She merged means your mind merging with that Divinity.  Infinity merges with the infinite thing, that is what happens.  The physical body belongs to the matter.  Matter will go back in its own way; it will not simply disappear and merge in the space, it will not happen.  So that is the truth of science, even in spirituality also.  That is what happens.  Like when our own Guru dropped His physical body, His body was taken leave with due honors by placing it in the ground, in the Samadhi, but Shivabalayogi, Swamiji, as a yogi who was infinite, whose mind was already merged with the Divinity when He did tapas, He merged, He became one with the Divine.  So, this is what one needs to understand.  You got it?

Same Questioner:   One final question Baba.  So, what happened to her latent tendencies?  Were there no impurities in her mind at that point of time?

Babaji Maharaj:   If there is any impurity there, a merger will never happen.  They will be reborn again in this world.  

End of Questions and Answers

Babaji Maharaj now concludes

   Wonderful Bruce.  Thank you so much for asking some lovely questions and giving me an opportunity to tell my opinion, my experience and everything.  I hope everybody has tried to understand what I have tried to convey.  That is very important to understand.  These are all very complicated, tricky things, dharma is always if we do not understand – we can misunderstand by reading books.  If we meditate only, we can understand things in their right sense.  Mind is different, body is different.  We must not combine the body with the mind.  The mind’s curing, it becoming purified is different; the body will have to be taken care with the medicine, is different.  This is very important.  Like that we have to understand.

End of Session

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