The Laws of Dharma during the lockdown

I could complain about the new lockdown … But aren’t we bored with all the complaining that goes absolutely nowhere because those in control are not listening to us, and which thus make us feel so totally powerless? And so I won’t complain for now about the new enforced regulations. I will reach down instead to a much older law, a natural law that even those in government, however powerful they think they are, cannot avoid in the ultimate analysis.

The Law of Dharma is otherwise known as natural law because it governs every single thing that is alive in this universe. The Law of Dharma is blind, which is why you often see artworks of a blindfolded goddess of justice. Justice was considered to be blind by the hermeticists of old because they had studied the processes of nature and found that its outcomes are governed not by the changing beliefs or fashions of man, but by the blueprint contained in the seed of the soul inside each one of us which dictates the trajectory of the pilgrimage of our existence here on this Earth. It is the DNA of the soul, and this is why another word for dharma is destiny.

We are currently going through great trials – as do all heroes in ancient myths – and are feeling an enormous affront to our libertyies with our peace of mind and our sense of natural justice being shaken to the core. But I believe the Laws of Dharma, if we adhere to them, can guide us through. They are helping me, anyway, so I’d thought I should share them. Some of them might sound familiar because Moses’s 10 Commandments came from this much older, Vedic source, as did the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi.

If they all feel a bit too much, right now, you could try practising just one a day? I doubt anyone gets all of them right all of the time. It’s more about an aspirational spiritual practice to get you through turbulent and chaotic times. Over the course of the next 10 days, beginning tomorrow with Patience (dhriti), I will write an article about what each of these laws means to me in my life, and would welcome comments from you too, on the subject.

The Ten Laws of Dharma

1. Patience (dhriti) – Patience is truly a virtue; it’s not just a saying. Having patience is the ultimate in stress-relief and it also helps others around us to feel better.

2. Forgiveness (kshama) – We have to forgive our adversaries, because without them we’d have no challenges and so could not evolve spiritually. However, forgiving them does not mean letting them off.

3. Piety or self-control (dama) – No panic buying!

4. Honesty (asteya) – Don’t take that which does not belong to you.

5. Sanctity (shauch) – Honouring the soul seeds in all life.

6. Control of the senses (indraiya-nigrah) – Control of the senses comes from focussing the mind through meditation and other spiritual practices. What better time to take up this practice than during the quiet days of lockdown?

7. Reason (dhi) – Use reason – not emotion – as a guide.

8. Knowledge (vidya) – Employing the time of the lockdown to learn a new skill can help us to feel that it all had some worth, no matter how unjust it all felt, and it may even lead to greater opportunities afterwards.

9. Truthfulness (satya) – Whatever the trial we are undergoing, the only way out is through, and the trail to follow is the pathway of truth, even when it leads us into temporary problems and setbacks.

10. Absence of anger (krodha) – Sometimes we feel temporarily relieved by an outburst of justified anger. But if there’s too much of it, too often, this energetic force poisons our path forwards and all the people around us.