Dharmika Jivana Vidhana (धार्मिकजीवनविधानम्)

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Dharmika jivana vidhana (Samskrit : धार्मिकजीवनविधानम् । Dharmika life style) comprises of different jivana vidhanas or lifestyle approaches to lead a holistic life as prescribed by ancient texts of Sanatana Dharma. Our present society is witness to immense changes in upbringing our newer generations with distorted moral and ethical values, disharmony in relationships within and outside communities, insensitivity towards others needs, national strife and international conflicts apart from the many other 'diseases of the society'. Mahopanishad, one of the minor upanishad, drives home the concept of unity by the establishment of harmonious relations between all the Jivatmas.

अयं बन्धुरयं नेति गणना लघुचेतसाम् । उदारचरितानां तु वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् ॥ ७१॥[1]

While our rishis promulgated शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥ Shanti Shanti Shanti for the वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् ॥ vasudaiva kutumbakam, at present our global society is व्याधिग्रस्थ वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् ॥ vyadhigrastha vasudaiva kutumbakam. This diseased state stems from the mind

Dharmika Jeevana Dristhi

Some elements of the dharmik perspective of life that are based on a dharmic paradigm[2]

  • Satya (Truth) : The famous words of Taittiriya Upanishad may be recollected where at the end of the student's education the teacher places Truth in the forefront of his exhotation and dharma next.

    वेदमनूच्याचार्योऽन्तेवासिनमनुशास्ति । सत्यं वद । धर्मं चर ।

    Satya has 13 aspects and shloka 21 says that non-injury to all beings in thought, word and deed, good will and charity are the eternal dharma of the good.

    अद्रोहः सर्वभूतेषु कर्मणा मनसा गिरा। अनुग्रहश्च दानं च सतां धर्मः सनातनः॥ (Maha. Sant. 12.162.21)

  • आत्मा ॥ Soul : The Gautama Dharmasutras (8.24-26) expound the eight qualities of the Soul.

    अथाष्टाव् आत्मगुणाः ॥ दया सर्वभूतेषु क्षान्तिर् अनसूया शौचम् अनायासोमङ्गलम् अकार्पण्यम् अस्पृहेति ॥ (Gaut. Grhy. Sutr. 8.23)

    dayā (दया ) kṣānti (क्षान्ति) anasūyā (अनसूया) śaucam (शौचम्) anāyāsaḥ (अनायासः) maṅgalam (मङ्गलम्) akārpaṇyam (अकार्पण्यम्) aspr̥heti (अस्पृहेति)

  • Sarvavyapakatva : Consciousness is all pervading. Thus life is unlimited in space.
  • Punarjanma : Rebirth as a means to fulfill the missed opportunity of self-fulfillment, in earlier lives, with no achievement made at any stage lost. It is an assurance that life shall not fail. It is not aimless or endless transmigration of life as pessimists understand or fatalists believe. It is positive way of life-fulfillment. In line with this eternity, creation and destruction are cyclic and mutually complementary. [example of seed that grows into tree, gives rise to more seed that fall to the ground again and each seed, in its destruction gives rise to more trees]
  • Moksha

Code of conduct (Dharmik vyavahar sutra)

Some elements of the dharmik codes of conduct that (dharmik vyavahar sutra) that are aligned with such a dharmik perspective of life.

  1. Sarve bhavantu sukhinaha [Somebody may think this is impractical. Swami Vivekananda however said. It is unfortunate when man tries to idealize reality instead of realizing ideals]
  2. Vasudaiva Kutumbakam
  3. Aatmavat sarva bhuteshu [Chanakya niti: matravat para daresu, para dravyesu lostravat]
  4. Ahimsa: Non-violence to any aspect of the law of life, and not merely avoidance of blood-shed or cruder forms of violence in terms of war, racial conquests, human suppression or infringement of human dignity. [ahimsa paramo dharmo, himsa dharma tathaiva ca]
  5. Shraddha: Not merely faith in the wisdom and comfort of cosmic forces that lead to this evolution, but development of human personality in terms of the stuff suitable for the mind and speech in such a way as suits the path of perfection. It is implicit faith in something sublime. Man and his essential ‘stuff’ are identical from this angle. Body, mind and intelligence are ‘made’ and we can so feed them with food, thought and expression, appropriately in gradual steps to achieve this purpose. Conviction, courage, wisdom, right choices, the desire for self-improvement, love, cooperation, harmony and right vision – are all products shraddha. Trust in God’s elevating Grace, and the faith that good will triumph over Evil, also form this shraddha.

Lifestyle based on Purushartha

  1. Krunvanto vishvam Aaryam
  2. Pancha yajna: Brahma yajna, pitru yajna, deva yajna, bhuta yajna, atithi yajna
  3. Runavimuktih: deva runa, pitru runa, rushi and guru runa, samaaj runa, bhuta runa

Elements of dharmik vyavastha (dharmik structures)

Some elements of the dharmik structures (dharmik vyavastha) that are meant to support and facilitate the dharmik codes of conduct.

  1. Varna and Ashrama: The grouping of life-sustaining professions, giving them a place, a meaning and divine ordainment, as steps appropriate for the law of evolution. It is not caste in its corrupt form and grasp: This is ‘varna’ – a minimum description of units in society and its dignified vocations such as discovery of knowledge, dissemination and preservation. It also include protection of social and national integrity, smooth functioning of vocations, preservation from internal or external aggressions or grabbings and confusions, vocation of circulation of essential commodities, their production, preservation and distribution; and the varieties of labor involved in all this inter-related smooth running of society. ‘Ashram’ is the concept of human evolution from bachelorship, devoted earning of knowledge or proficient in vocation through householdership, asceticism and renunciation in gradually evolving steps.
  2. Yajna: The law or principle of self-offering, self-causation, the law of life’s self-preservation, the law of self-continuity, and the law of Becoming leading to Beinghood or Immortality
  3. Tapas: Hard efforts to integrate faculties of bodily potencies with those of mind and speech and yoking them to achieve unity of personality. Tapas can be dharmik or adharmik. When engaged favourably (such as Bhagavad Gita yada samharate chayam …Kurma), such integrated effort can help one can visualize God, achieve immortality and eternal service to cosmos, subjectively as well as objectively. It is complete tuning of body, mind and speech to the total evolution of the spirit to its fullness. Self-control comes as a first step in an eight-fold path called yoga.
  4. परित्यागः Sannyasa: Renunciation of all that is not conducive to this evolution, and not merely ‘asceticism’, for its own sake; or abandonment of unavoidable duties appropriate to contexts, professions, and personalities upholding society manifoldly; it is not a negation of life or unhealthy withdrawal from life which tantamounts to escapism. Positively it means giving more to the society than taking. And depositing one’s all in God, and worshipping as His agent, refraining from selfishness or attachment to fruits of appointed duties. It is an attitude of life for all and throughout life.
  5. Three-fold Yoga: Man can attain God by a Yoga in three steps of Action, Knowledge and Devotion, while in this life, and practice his vocation in his own field of action and stage of spiritual evolution. Yoga is not an abnormal activity away from outside its legitimate scheme or sphere. The three-fold yoga consists of
    1. Activity (profession) supported by knowledge and inspired by Devotion (Karmayoga)
    2. Knowledge of the self, sustained by life and activity, and filled with Devotion (Jnanayoga)
    3. Devotion sustained on activity and inspired by this knowledge and of the relation between self and God (Bhaktiyoga)

In the table below, we contrast some basic differences in the paradigms, perspective of life and the world between the dharmik and the adharmik paradigms.


  1. Mahopanishad
  2. Sanatana Dharma : An Advanced Textbook of Hindu Religion and Ethics. (1903) Benares : The Board of Trustees, Central Hindu College