Listen to this post:

It may come as a surprise to Westerners to learn that Indic languages do not have a word for “Religion.” The term coming closest in meaning to religion in Sanskrit is “Dharma,” but dharma means so much more than the word religion could ever encompass.

Originally Indic traditions used the word dharma when referring to the cosmic order of all things as well as the fundamental principles of nature, law, and religion that govern all reality and our moral and ethical duty to uphold those laws as part of our spiritual path. In fact dharma literally means “that which is established firmly,” referring to the laws of nature.  These same traditions held that by practicing dharmic living (living in harmony with those laws) we could free ourselves from the karmic cycles of death and rebirth.

However over the millennia the word dharma evolved into several other meanings that include our social, familial and political behaviors. In the Buddhist tradition it has come to mean the teachings of Buddha himself.

Now, when we use the word dharma in the west, we usually mean right or righteous living or right duty. More specifically, we speak of dharma as finding our purpose or true calling in life.

If we accept this more modern interpretation of the word dharma, the question becomes how do I find and follow my true calling, my dharma?

The Small Still Quiet Voice Within

This has become more difficult in the 20th and 21st centuries because we are still suffering from the myths of mind and logic that evolved out of the age of reason. Western man has placed more emphasis on information based on objective observation and become dismissive of information derived from subjective revelation.

In other words, we have forgotten how to listen to the God indwelling.

To follow our dharmic path, we must once again learn how to listen inwardly and not dismiss what we “hear” no matter how contrary to modern sensibilities it may seem. The small still voice whispering in the silence is not interested in how rich we get or if we acquire the perfect spouse or house or if we have the 2.2 kids or the BMW in the driveway.  The voice speaking to us when we are quiet enough to listen is only interested in our “highest good.”

It is this soundless voice which directs us to take action. If we follow it, it will provide, all we need to thrive and flourish and be successful in all ways.

One of biggest New Thought myths or what I refer to as New Thought mythinformation is that our dharmic path is “following our bliss.”  Following the leadings of spirit may be feel blissful to some, but often it is a duty that, rather than bringing us bliss, brings us a profound sense of being in our right place and time no matter how difficult circumstances may seem.

Growth is often difficult and painful, but it is always worthwhile. Your dharma and the dharma of us all is to wake up and fully realize the truth of our being. To be spirit led by listening to the small still voice within is to know and follow our dharma.