Search & Read
Dharma Is Built-In
Eric: Hi, James. I am just reading your piece on Tattva Bodha of which the wisdom is presently eating its way into my brain and settling on a comfortable seat to talk to the rest of my brain and discuss which of them may stay in the room and take charge and which will voluntarily leave.
I got very excited about the statement that the gunas mean “ropes” and identification with them can bind the individual to the world. This is where I would walk into a very big, predictable trap and go for sattva in my life as a goal, therefore forgetting that a sattvic mind is needed for inquiry and is not the goal itself. The goal is to dispel ignorance and the mind is the means to an end. If you get through with it, actually everything on the existential plane is made up of the three gunas, at least that’s what I know at the moment of what scripture says. And because everything in the world is made up of the three gunas they can only bind what is in the world, which is themselves, and then the circle is complete again because I (the self) am not touched by the gunas. I (as a person) may still be tempted by tamasic food nevertheless, for example, doomed to suffer tamasic moods and in this way be “tied to the world” but still, then I (the self) am still the silent witnessing factor and not bound in any way. I guess this writing is useless though because this is speaking from two apparent perspectives and trying to blend them into a correct bundeling of words. I will stop now.
James: It is essential to understand the relationship between the real and the apparent and know which is bound and which isn’t.
Eric: I have a question though. Does the hard and fast knowledge “I am limitless awareness” mean eradication of every identification with thoughts and feelings that present themselves eventually? Is it so in your case, for example?
James: No. It means only eradication of binding vasanas. It should render binding vasanas non-binding. Because I am the self, I don’t identify with the vasanas. If I was a person, I would have one binding vasana – Vedanta.
Eric: Do you advise living by dharmic principles alone, that is to say, purely deciding on the hierarchy of dharmic “rules,” or should feelings and personal preferences be considered in making decisions? (I understand if this is not a one-answer topic.)
James: Feelings and personal preferences are unreliable as a basis for one’s life but in the context of a dharmic life, they are fine. Dharma is not opposed to desire. You can want what you want and pursue it as long as you don’t injure yourself or others, lie to yourself or others, cheat yourself or others, avoid doing what needs to be done, etc.
Eric: And do you have texts or links on the internet to texts for me that speak on the topic of dharma and applying the principles in daily life?
James: The best text is the Ramayana. Actually, dharma is built-in. But if you are too full of fear and desire, you will not listen to it. There is a small voice inside that tells you what is right and what isn’t in every situation. In the Ramayana, Ram does what is right irrespective of his personal preferences. And he enjoys doing it. He has a passion for dharma, not his own desires.
~ Love, James