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DHARMA

by V S Grewal

There is only one faith/religion/Dharma on this earth and i.e. honestly and truthfully obeying the Eternal Laws of Mother Nature. It represents the individual's internal "law," to which obedience must be given if that individual life is to live in accordance with a Divine Will called righteousness.

ਅਮੁਲੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਅਮੁਲੁ ਦੀਬਾਣੁ ॥

Amul Dharam Amul Deebaan.

Priceless is the Divine Law of Dharma, Priceless is the Divine Court of Justice.

– Guru Nanak, Japji, AGGS, Page, 5-17

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Dharma broadly refers to a universal value system.

– Web Dictionary.

A person with faith does not need an explanation but the one without faith any explanation is not enough? The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of happiness.

Guru Nanak expressed in Raag Basant that there is only one faith for humanity;

ਏਕੋ ਧਰਮੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜੈ ਸਚੁ ਕੋਈ ॥ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਪੂਰਾ ਜੁਗਿ ਜੁਗਿ ਸੋਈ ॥

Ayko Dharam Dirrhai Such Koyee, Gurmat Pooraa Jug Jug So-ee.

There is only one religion of Dharma; let everyone grasp this truth. Through the Guru's Teachings, one becomes perfect, all the ages through.

– Guru Nanak, Raag Basant, AGGS, Page, 1188-15

Guru Arjan in Raag Gauri expresses that the chanting the name of the Lord with maintaining ethical conduct is the best faith;

ਸਰਬ ਧਰਮ ਮਹਿ ਸ੍ਰੇਸਟ ਧਰਮੁ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਿ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਕਰਮੁ ॥

Sarab Dharam Meh Srayst Dharam, Har Ko Naam Jup Nirmal Karam.

Of all religions, the best religion is to chant the Name of the Lord and maintain pure conduct.

– Gur Arjan, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 266-13

ਸਗਲ ਮਤਾਂਤ ਕੇਵਲ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮ ॥ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਭਗਤ ਕੈ ਮਨਿ ਬਿਸ੍ਰਾਮ ॥

Sagal MataaNt Kayval Har Naam, Gobind Bhagat Kai Man Bisraam.

The essence of all religion/doctrine/principle is the Lord's Name alone. It abides in the minds of the devotees of God.

– Guru Arjan, Raag Gauri Sukhmani, AGGS, Page, 296-4

Dharma is one of the Sikh virtues, which requires an individual’s active participation to obey the universal eternal laws of Mother Nature. "Dharma" derives from the verbal root dhri, a Sanskrit word meaning to support which simply means "manner of being." The term must therefore be understood in its original (i.e. metaphysical) context that ofâ€conformity†to a Divine or Creative Principle at works in an individual. It represents the individual's internal "law," to which obedience must be given if that individual life is to live in accordance with a Divine Will. Dharma broadly refers to a universal value system.

Dharma is the essential character or nature of all that is, of the universe and of each of us. It is the natural and rightful order and foundation of everyone and everything. It is both why things are as they are and the path to spiritual awakening and as such, dharma is the underlying Truth of all spiritual traditions. Truth is God to Sikhs as described by Guru Nanak. The whole Sikh philosophy revolves around Truth, truthful conduct, and righteousness minus rituals, religious ceremonies (Akhand Path in absentia) as expressed by Guru Nanak in Siri Raag;

ਤੀਰਥ ਵਰਤ ਸੁਚਿ ਸੰਜਮੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਕਰਮੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਨਹੀ ਪੂਜਾ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਭਾਇ ਭਗਤਿ ਨਿਸਤਾਰਾ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਵਿਆਪੈ ਦੂਜਾ ॥

Ŧirath varaṯ sucẖ sanjam nāhī karam ḏẖaram nahī pūjā, Nānak bẖā­ė bẖagaṯ nisṯārā ḏubiḏẖā vi­āpai ḏūjā.

Pilgrimages, fasts, purification and self-discipline are of no use, nor are rituals, religious ceremonies or empty worship. O Nanak, emancipation comes only by loving devotional worship; through duality, people are engrossed in duality.

– Guru Nanak, Siri Raag, AGGS, Page, 75- 17 & 18

Webster dictionary defines it cosmic order or law, including the natural and moral principles that apply to all beings and things with dutiful observance of this law in one’s life with right conduct, while faith is a religion or system of religious beliefs that does not require proof or evidence but to Guru Nanak truth was above all and above that was living of the truth;

ਸਚਹੁ ਓਰੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਉਪਰਿ ਸਚੁ ਆਚਾਰੁ ॥

Sachoh Oorai Sabh Ko Ouper Such Aachaar.

Truth is above all and above Truth is Truthful conduct.

– Guru Nanak, Raag Sri, AGGS, Page, 62-11

Sikh Faith’s basic values are belief in equality of humans and human rights and believing in the Spirit of God. It believes in a householder’s life with accountability, honesty, sharing, and accepting the will of God. Faith... must be enforced by reason.... When faith becomes blind it dies.

ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸੇਇ ॥

Ghaal Khaa-ay Kichh Hathahu Day-ay, Nanak Raahu Pachhaaneh Say-ay.

One who works for what he eats, and gives some of what he has- O Nanak, he knows the Path.

– Guru Nanak, Raag Sarang, AGGS, Page, 1245-19

It further stresses the subjugation of lower instincts and development of higher instincts. The other characteristics of this faith and being faithful to it are free service (Seva), meditation, prayer, and honest earnings with labor, sharing the food with others especially the needy.

ਮੰਨੈ ਮਗੁ ਨ ਚਲੈ ਪੰਥੁ ॥ ਮੰਨੈ ਧਰਮ ਸੇਤੀ ਸਨਬੰਧੁ ॥

Mannai Mag Na Chalai Panth, Mannai Dharam Saytee Sanbandh.

By acting on Lord’s Will, one follows the path of righteousness and is not led astray. The faithful are firmly bound to the Dharma.

– Guru Nanak, Japji, AGGS, Page, 3-9

ਨਾ ਜਾਣਾ ਕਰਮ ਕੇਵਡ ਤੇਰੀ ਦਾਤਿ ॥ ਕਰਮੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਤੇਰੇ ਨਾਮ ਕੀ ਜਾਤਿ ॥

Naa Jaanaa Karam Kayvad Tayree Daat, Karm Dharam Tayray Naam Ki Jaat.

I do not know about karma, or how great Your gifts are. The karma of actions, the Dharma of righteousness, social class and status, are contained within Your Name.

– Guru Nanak, AGGS, Page, 154-2

Weave in faith and God will find the thread. A little faith will bring your soul to heaven, but a lot of faith will bring heaven to your soul.

Faith can move mountains, but don't be surprised if God hands you a shovel. ~Author Unknown

ਕਬੀਰਾ ਜਹਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਤਹ ਧਰਮੁ ਹੈ ਜਹਾ ਝੂਠੁ ਤਹ ਪਾਪੁ ॥ ਜਹਾ ਲੋਭੁ ਤਹ ਕਾਲੁ ਹੈ ਜਹਾ ਖਿਮਾ ਤਹ ਆਪਿ ॥

Kabir Jhaa Giaan Teh Dharam Hai Jhaa Jhooth Teh Paap, Jhaa Loabh Teh Kaal Hai Jhaa Khima Teh Aap.

Kabir, where there is spiritual wisdom, there is righteousness and Dharma. Where there is falsehood, there is sin. Where there is greed, there is death. Where there is forgiveness, there is God Himself.

– Kabir Sloke 155, AGGS, Page, 1372

Equal importance is given to cultivations of values. These values include universal principles of self-control, decent and dignified behavior to men and women, honesty, earn livelihood in right way, performing ones duty at work, to the family and the society, not harm others, keep environment clean and not abuse nature, study AGGS, meditate to Naam, prayer, austerity and work towards self-realization as advised by Guru Nanak in Raag Malar;

ਸਰਮੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਦੁਇ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਜੇ ਧਨੁ ਪਲੈ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਸੋ ਧਨੁ ਮਿਤ੍ਰੁ ਨ ਕਾਂਢੀਐ ਜਿਤੁ ਸਿਰਿ ਚੋਟਾਂ ਖਾਇ ॥

Saram Dharam Doey Nanaka Jay Dhan Palai Paa-ey, So Dhan Mitar Na KaaNdhee-ai Jit Sir ChotaaN Khaa-ay.

Modesty and righteousness both, O Nanak, are qualities of those who are blessed with the true wealth. Do not refer to that wealth as your friend, which leads you to get your head beaten.

– Guru Nanak, Raag Malar, AGGS, Page 1287-11

As One’s faith is strengthened things will flow easily and one flows with it ease and delight. It is the optimism in the faith that leads to achievement as nothing can be accomplished with out hope and confidence. He who has faith has... an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness, and assuring trust that all will come out well. Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.

Conclusion;

The basic principles of Sikh faith are Truth, Living the Truth, rigorous honesty, compassion, contentment, righteousness, and fortitude. Truth and rigorous honesty are the only tonics to invigorate the mind towards right thought. Truth is discovered, recognized and then lived and realized by mind. Truth is the only source of all Cosmic and mundane riches. Truth is its own reward. It builds him, who builds on it. A well-trained mind, trained to Truth concentrated on living and realizing is the need of every individual. For the truly faithful, no miracle is necessary, but for those who doubt, no miracle is sufficient. In short banish pride, worldly love, and envy. Bear not ill- will to others, so shall others bear not ill will to you. Walk humbly and speak civilly to all. Bhai Gurdas illustrate these values in his 11th Vaar;

ਕਾਮੁ ਕਰੋਧ ਵਿਰੋਧੁ ਹਰਿ ਲੋਭੁ ਮੋਹੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ਤਜਾਇਆ ॥ ਸਤਿ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਦਇਆ ਧਰਮੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਦਾਨੁ ਇਸਨਾਨ ਦਿ੍ੜਾਇਆ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਸਿਖ ਲੈ ਗੁਰਸਿਖੁ ਸਦਾਇਆ ॥

Kaam Krodh Virodh Har Lobh Moh Ahankar Taja-e-aa, Sat Santokh Daya Dharam Naam Daan Isnaan Dirrhaa-e-aa, Gur Sikh Lai Gursikh Sada-e-aa.

God (Guru) eradicates his lust, anger, resistance, greed, infatuation and ego erased and makes him practice truth, contentment, dharma, name, charity and ablution. Adopting the teachings of the Guru, the individual is called a Sikh of the Guru.

– Bhai Gurdas, Vaar 11, Pauri, 3

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ਏਕੋ ਧਰਮੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜੈ ਸਚੁ ਕੋਈ ॥ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਪੂਰਾ ਜੁਗਿ ਜੁਗਿ ਸੋਈ ॥

Ayko Dharam Dirrhai Such Koyee, Gurmat Pooraa Jug Jug So-ee.

There is only one religion of Dharma; let everyone grasp this truth. Through the Guru's Teachings, one becomes perfect, all the ages through.

what is the meaning of this shabad? what is this one dharam that is being reffered to?

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ਏਕੋ ਧਰਮੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜੈ ਸਚੁ ਕੋਈ ॥ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਪੂਰਾ ਜੁਗਿ ਜੁਗਿ ਸੋਈ ॥

Ayko Dharam Dirrhai Such Koyee, Gurmat Pooraa Jug Jug So-ee.

There is only one religion of Dharma; let everyone grasp this truth. Through the Guru's Teachings, one becomes perfect, all the ages through.

what is the meaning of this shabad? what is this one dharam that is being reffered to?

Meaning in reality theres only one dharam. All texts have similar messages about God. Each text is taking about the same God. If you see the one God in different texts you've grasped the ultimate reality or truth.

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the term "Sanatana Dharm" was never used by ancient Indians. This is a recent term that started during the colonial British period. Recently this term has been high jacked by Hindutva movement types. But it is still a good term use though even though the wrong people have started using it.

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