What is Manav Dharam
Dharma is the practical experience of God. When a dumb man tastes candy, he experiences its sweetness, but he is incapable of describing it. Similarly, someone who has the divine experience forgets himself totally and is silent – this state of silence is ‘dharma’. So, dharma is the experience of the Self which is within each one of us. Swami Vivekananda said, “Religion means realisation”. When people preserve this experience in their lives, it is dharma. In other words, dharma is not book-knowledge but the practical experience of the Self and this experience is called atma-gyan or self-realisation. Real dharma is self-realisation.
So self-realisation is the soul of dharma. It is the basis of all religions; it is religion in its purest form. By bringing it into our lives we are not only evolving ourselves, but helping the human race to evolve. That is the true religion of mankind, and that is manav dharma. Nowadays, we have restricted ourselves, we have encased ourselves in the walls of religions and call ourselves Muslims, Christians, Sikhs or Buddhists, but before being Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, etc. we are human beings. So what is the religion of all human beings, what is “human religion” (manav dharma)? This is what we must consider and understand.
After Lord Buddha’s departure, we started believing in Buddhism. After Mahavir Swami we believed in Jainism. After Lord Rama and Lord Krishna we called ourselves Hindus. After Jesus Christ we became followers of Christianity. Since the time of Guru Nanak and the other Gurus we believed in Sikhism. But what religion existed before all these Masters? Before Christ, Buddha, Rama, Krishna, Mahavir and Mohammed came along, what religion did people believe in? We should know that eternal religion which has existed since time immemorial and will continue to exist even after the end of this world.
We have to know that human religion which was part of us even before we were born and will remain so even after we leave this world. Our various rites and rituals performed after death are limited to the grave or the crematorium, but what is that religion which goes with us beyond the grave? That is man’s true religion, which we call ‘manav dharma’ (human religion). So religion is not merely a pastime, it is not merely a set of social rules and customs. It is to know the way, the truth of where we came from and where we will go and also our true compostion.
Nowadays many religious ideas are being spread but the need of the hour is for the religion which will unite us, not divide us. In this day and age we need something like a spiritual revolution, a religion which can encompass all human beings; a power which can combine and unify all the various beliefs. We need a unifying factor which can thread all the flowers of different sects and religions into a single garland and with this in mind we organise Manav Dharam Sammelans (spiritual conferences) all over India. Spiritual programs are held overseas as well.
In these congregations, people see delegates of different religions speaking from the same stage; we can listen to people talk about the Gita, the Ramayana, the Koran, the Bible and the Guru Granth Sahab from the same stage and setting all prejudice aside, offer the public the quintessential truth.
We all want brotherly love, we all want peace and stability in our communities, we want to have unity, but what we actually see is mankind running in the other direction. Instead of oneness there is division, there is fighting everywhere, mankind suffers dreadfully from the disease of rivalry, consumed by the flames of envy and hate. Mankind has abandoned the power of love. In such disastrous times when people are crying out for help, there is a great need of ‘manav dharma’. So we hold programs (Manav Dharam Sammelans and Sadbhawana Sammelans) all over India and abroad, so that people may learn to love each other again, experience their inborn and natural dharma and become harbingers of love, peace and unity.
Wars have been fought for many reasons and religion is one of them. To bring an end to all this there have been great souls who came into this world to break the shackles of religion, who swept aside the narrow-mindedness and taught in such a way that it enhanced the feelings of universal love within people.
Our objective is to promote spirituality, which is the basis of all religions. It is the essence of everything. If religion is a story, spirituality (the experience of spirit) is its gist; if religion is a flower then spirituality is its fragrance. A flower has dimensions but its fragrance is dimensionless. When a person has the spiritual experience he no longer differentiates between people -all he sees is spirit. He rises above the dimensions of so-called religions and loves all mankind. He sees no difference in an ant, a dog, an elephant or a human being.
He sees all human beings alike. God is one and the same for all humanity, for all Hindus, for all Muslims, for all Buddhists, for all Christian brothers and sisters. The same earth, sun, water and air are there for everyone. The same power of God makes us all breathe, so the knowledge of that divine power must be one and the same for us all. The religion which is the same for all of us is ‘manav dharma’, which does not build up walls of caste and creed. So, we promote ‘manav dharma’ because it transcends the limitations of caste, creed and religion.
We see suspicion and prejudice everywhere and only spirituality can eradicate it. A bee visits different kinds of flowers and extracts their nectar, from which it makes honey. In the same way, spirituality is the nectar, the essence of all religions. Putting it into practice in our own lives and propagating it is the true religion of mankind. This is the ‘manav dharma’ described by all saints and scriptures since time immemorial.
Dharma (Religion) has been and will be around as long as human beings exist, because it is our true nature; it is the essence of what we really are. Experiencing the soul, which is our true form and following the path of self-realisation and let it manifest in our life is maanv dharma’, the true Dharma, the true religion.