yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
tadatmanam srjamy aham
yada–whenever; yada–wherever; hi–certainly; dharmasya–of religion; glanih–discrepancies; bhavati–manifested, becomes; bharata–O descendant of Bharata; abhyutthanam–predominance; adharmasya–of irreligion; tada–at that time; atmanam–self; srjami–manifest; aham–I.
Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion–at that time I Myself descend into the world.
I have been contemplative lately, and consciously pushed into reposting this blog. The questions about ethics and morality, appropriate and inappriate, right and wrong, just and unjust – they all resurface in my life again. Religion in the above verse, to me, doesn’t necessarily mean organized religion of any kind. I see the above as a general prophecy – whenever and wherever there is a decline in moral and ethical standards, a new kind of consciousness unfolds itself in human psyche, always, for the psyche is but a process of becoming. One has just to look at the history and the birth of all religions to experience this truth. Or one can to look at our own past to experience this truth.
The applications of this verse from Bhagvad Gita stun me sometimes, and Karmic Justice becomes an act of nature that I can witness, and experience in my own life and in the lives (and deaths) of those around me.
This isn’t so much about my feelings on the Karmic outcome, or my belief in religion (I am irreligious!), or any high moral ground that I claim to tread. Its simply the feeling, a firm belief in the laws of the universe, that seem to repeatedly unfold in front of my eyes. A simple rule of cause and effect. Whenever the tension created by the burdens of adharma (which encompasses lack of ethics, compassion, empathy, morality) becomes too great for the external and internal structures of the psyche and thus the universe, whenever there is a deviation from the rules that the universe has set for its continuence, whenever such infractions occur there arises a fracture in the core of materiality. Something cracks open, something breaks. The so called wrath of the gods is nothing but the inability of the system to bear additional loads of injustice. Something cracks under the excessive stress of unfairness, something breaks in the fabric of the universe. Often such a fissure manifests itself in the load bearing pillar that had previously supported the very structure, for it is the job of the pillar to support the structure. That is its dharma. In Bhagvad Gita Dhratrashtra was the pillar of society, and the family structure. Dhratrashtra, the load bearing column, one of the most prominent member of the society at the time, crumbled due to stress created by his own actions (or lack thereof). He broke the laws of the universe when he allowed an innocent woman to be harmed in his kingdom. The psyche of the universe was unable to bear this additional trauma – this seemingly irrelevant last straw broke the camel’s back. The system collapsed under itself, and from the ashes, what unfolded, my friends, was Karmic Justice.
The body and mind are the universe unto themselves. The moral compass of our ancestors, of our culture, our society, and eventually the moral compass within us provides the rules that create a structure which ensures our continuity as individuals and as a species. They are our internal pillars upon which our existence is contingent. When that compass fails, or breaks, the structure that supports our mind, body and hence our society is threatened with a breakdown. And a series of such individual breakdowns lead to an overall breakdown of social code.
I conclude this new post with Esther Harding‘s quote pertaining to individual neurosis, psychosis and physical illnesses. And what is true of individual psyche, is also true at a collective level for the society. Harding explains diagnostically, providing just another way of looking at the above quote from Bhagvad Gita, for in essence, the psyche is god, and what else is god if not the psyche ? The quote below has validated my own feelings on the subject, and it guides me in the choice of my behaviors in the pathway of life which is littered with temptations of unethical and immoral behaviors.
“Persons who are deliberately immoral, either by conscious choice or because of an innate lack of discrimination do not as a rule become insane. If, however, a conflict arises within an individual because certain of his actions or attitudes do not accord with the rest of his psychology, his realization of his lack of integrity may be sufficiently disturbing to cause a neurosis; on the other hand if the conflict remains relatively unconscious, so that its effects all occur below the surface, [a] more serious illness. . .may result.” (Psychic Energy, pg 286).
All the above is in service of an earlier post that was sparked by another death, of someone who held me dear once, but changed his colors into exploitation and deceit: My earlier blog on Karmic Justice