Sunday, November 1, 2009


The yuga dharma makes it difficult for any one to comply with the dharmas as enshrined in the scriptures. To-day no one including the renowned sanYAsis are strictly able to follow the dharma in letter and spirit. Day by day there are many distractions and onslaughts which weaken the dharma. There are many who are not concerned with following the path of dharma. They have almost given up every thing and have become a human robot for all practical purposes. But there are some who would like to abide by the dharma but are conditioned by the constraints of desa, kAla and vartamAna. It is only those people who want a dynamic approach to SAstras so that there is an assurance that whatever they do is as per the Scriptures.

The moot question now is whether in such a deteriorating situation we should also revise the SAstras to fit in the modern trends so that it makes every one happy and does not give a guilty feeling regarding non-compliance. In the past, all attempts to rationalize dharma SAstras to make them adaptable to modern times have been condemned by learned scholars as no one has the authority to do so.

Notwithstanding the above, there is always the demand to look at dharma SAstras more practically. Now who would categorically say that a particular aspect is as per dharma or not? The knowledge available is limited and anything said by one person can be easily questioned by others based on each one’s level of understanding. We would be spending time in asking and answering but without any definite conclusion.

The solution to all these questions concerning dharma should be addressed by a dharma sadas consisting of learned Srotriyas who are experts in dharma sAstras constituted by the respective Mutt Heads. It shall be the responsibility of the dharma Sadas to determine what is according to dharma in the prevailing circumstances. Even here, considering the force of kali yuga, we need to follow the three-fold classification of dharma viz., uttama. madhyama and adhama. In the ultimate analysis it would end up that even following the adhama paksha of dharma would be difficult for most of us in the modern context.

In my humble view, on-line Forums can only ask questions but cannot conclude any thing convincingly because of the divergent views. My suggestion is that the esteemed members of the Forums can prepare a set of pointed questions which affect the practice of dharma and leave it to the experts of the dharma Sadas to analyze and resolve based on scriptural authority.

What we have to keep in view is that there are certain prAyascittas prescribed in the dharma SAstras which would mitigate the effects for non-conformance to dharma. Even those would be difficult to follow in the current context. It shall be the endeavor of the dharma Sadas to explore the dharma sAstras in depth and recommend ways and means of compliance which are practicable.

To start with, one can take the initiative in approaching one reputed Mutt to constitute the dharma Sadas. This can then be extended.

In the ultimate analysis:

prAyascittanyaSeshANi tapah karmAtmakAni vai !
yani teshamaSeshANam krishNanusmaraNam param !!

hare krishNa hare krishNa krishNa krishNa hare hare !
hare rAma hare rAma rAma rAma hare hare !!