Bharathiya – Non-Translatable words: 2. Dharma (& other)

This is series of Bharathiya words that are non translatable. First part talking about Sathya & Mithya of this series can be found here: https://saarthaksamvaad.in/bharathiya-non-translatable-words-1-intro/

3. Dharma (धर्म): This word is very wrongly translated as religion or way of life. Dharma is from the “Dhar” root actually meaning “Upholding or Holding Up” and “ma” meaning “My Nature” the philosophical concept means “That which supports in upholding my very nature.” Dharma can also be called the law of the universe. In practice it seems to be a very complicated and confusing concept, but what we have to understand is that our nature itself is simple and easy to understand. So Dharma is very simple – it stands on 24 values or principles of life. This is depicted by the 24 spokes of the Ashoka Chakra which is also called as Dharma Chakra. Anybody practising these principles or values becomes Dharmik. Let us also understand that Dharma is not “A way of life” like some would like to believe it is. If it comes close to something it can be said 
“Dharma consists of values or principles of life (which are part of your own nature) for internalising, living, practising and helping others to do the same.” Even this falls short of the actual meaning. 

Dharma is not Religion. As religion means the following:

4) Religion: The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or Gods.
My fervent appeal to all is please don’t use Dharma in place of religion or say “We follow Sanaathana Dharma which is a way of life.” The simple usage would be “We follow a Dharma which is Sanatana (Eternal)” as in “Easha Dharma Sanatanaha which means “This Dharma is Eternal”. Thing to be noted here is it says ‘This Dharma is eternal’ and not ‘This is called The Eternal Dharma’.
I shall come up with more on Dharma later.

5) Karma (कर्म): This word again is translated as right action or wrong action. Karma is from the root “Karman”, “Kriya” which is doing anything with or without intention. ‘Good Karma’ and ‘Bad Karma’ are loosely translated terms. The actual terms may be very close to (again I am not telling they are, but they are very close to)

6) Sadh Karma (Ethical)- (सत्कर्म): Karma done in accordance to Dharma. This may sometimes be referred to as good Karma.

7) Dush Karma (Unethical)- (दुष्कर्म): Karma done in contradiction to Dharma. This may sometimes be referred to as bad Karma. 

8) Nithya Karma (नित्य कर्म): Daily natural activities like Bath, Puja, Japa, Eating Food etc.

9) Sanchitha Karma (संचित कर्म): The sum total of all Karmas of all the past life times which have not been redeemed.

10) Prarabdha Karma (प्रारब्ध कर्म): What we choose at the birth. ‘What we chose’ as Prarabdha  Karma comes attached depending on what we did in our past lives.

11) Aagami Karma (आगामी कर्म): The Karma that arises with the actions that happen in the present moment. 

12. Gjnyana (ज्ञान): This word is usually translated as Knowledge. Knowledge is information, understanding and skill that one has gained through learning and experience. Gjnyana is the knowledge of the Self or Soul or The Supreme Brahman. Gjnyana refers to only spiritual knowledge and rest of it is not Gjnyana.

13. Agjnyana (अज्ञान): This word is usually translated as ignorance but is not ignorance. Agjnyana is lack of Gjnyana that is, not even acknowledging the existence of the Supreme Divinity.

14. Vigjnyana (विज्ञान): This is wrongly translated as science . Vigjnyana is actually very close to “Pragmatism” which is acquired by serving the seniors / elders / old people with years of experience. Chanakya in the introduction to his Chanakya Sutras says Vruddhopasevaya Vijnanam “Through devotion and service to the old / senior and the wise, one achieves proficiency, efficiency and perfection in action which is Vigjnanam (Pragmatic Wisdom). The next Sutra is “Vijnanena Atmanaam Sampadyet” which means “One who achieves proficiency, efficiency and perfection in action Vijnanam (Wisdom) can attain to the Divine Self (Moksha).”

Now let us see the definition of science. Science is the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. This comes close to the word Bhootha Shastrahere Bhootha Shastra actually is the study of everything that is made up of the Pancha Bhoothasor the five elements, whereas Modern Science doesn’t accept the Bharathiya concept of Pancha Bhoothas. Bhootha Shastra is the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world which is made up of the Pancha Bhoothas through Aalochana (Observation), Prayoga (experimentation), Upadhi (postulation) and Parinama (conclusive proof). Hence, Vigjnanam, Science and Bhootha Shastra cannot be compared.



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