Daily nectar of word meaning Day 19

நாள்தோறும் சொற்பொருள் அமிர்தம்

The ideals of varna dharmā may not be practical in these days; yet the spirit of dharmā should underpin our role in the society. In every role that we perform, we should abide by the visesha dharmā specified for the role in our scripture. Veda as well as the supporting texts in the form smriti, itihāsa and purāna gives both direct and indirect knowledge about the visesha-dharmā for every role in the society, such as being a perfect teacher, student, soldier, priest etc. The learned, who study and live by the values of the scriptures should be our guides as leading lights.

With the pace of changes in the world and the movement of people across different cultures with the need for multiple occupations and roles, the ideal varna dharmā may sound impractical, but the spirit of dharmā can still be our armour in how we, as individuals, lead our life.

According to Veda, there are two ways to live or two forms of life-style.

One is being part of this world and engaged in the pursuit of prosperity, seeking progress upon progress, in search of fulfilment. This life-style is termed as ’pravritti-mārga’. The term ‘vritti’ means recurrence and growth; ‘pravritti’ is ceaseless acquisition. It is perfectly all right to seek more and more for our arthā and kāma, in the righteous ways of dharmā . After all, we all seek fulfilment and therefore why not go all the way, ceaselessly, and of course, following the path of righteousness. If that is what the ‘pravrtti-mārga’, then it is a great choice for our life-style. Well, without knowing this, 99% of all human-beings are only leading this life-style, may be not always in the path of righteousness.

Veda provides another life-style, which is completely opposite; It is known as ‘nivritti-mārga’ , which is about leading a life of renunciation, giving up the world and the objects therein, in pursuit of fulfilment.

How can these two diametrically opposite life-styles lead to the same outcome? Vedānta always throws seemingly riddled answers to our questions, such as this, but when we earnestly inquire, the revelation is refreshingly rewarding and greatly inspiring.

Where are we, with this ideal division of labour?

(to be continued – Mee. Rajagopalan – 28/05/2017)


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(தொடரும் – மீ. ராஜகோபாலன், 28/05/2017)

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