Indian philosophy thought is often heavily scrutinized in the modern world for being outdated with regards to social issues. Discriminatory on the basis of gender, caste, economic position and so on but does this the only world view? The Mahabharata and many other texts display another view which has a very different focus, one that is dedicated to the spiritual nature of every living being. In this world view sectarian walls come down in the face of common identity, class, race, and gender are all to be regarded as temporary. This then becomes the base motive for change; there are many examples in the modern world with very Dharmic individuals utilizing these beliefs to legitimate opposition to colonial, social, sexual and economic oppression.
Seeing the divine within every living being coupled with the Bhagavad Gita’s call to act for the welfare of the world one can decide where to start. There are not strict commandments for what you should do; however there are Meta-ethics which are promoted. The Gita lists the following at the beginning of chapter 16.
Fearlessness, purification of one’s heart, cultivation of spiritual knowledge, charity, self-control, sacrifice, study of the Vedas, austerity and simplicity; nonviolence, truthfulness, freedom from anger; renunciation, tranquillity, aversion to fault-finding, compassion and freedom from covetousness; gentleness, modesty and steady determination; vigour, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, freedom from envy and the passion for honour
These kind of inner values are not just for a certain religious group or private club, they are largely secular in nature and acting with them in mind, with the divinity of every living being in mind. Like the Gita say’s to act for the benefit of the world, this is what Dharma is to me.
Peace and Love,