Hierarchy In Nature – Order In Dharma

“Power” is considered an ability, the exercise of which can influence or control behaviour, in our context, of people. The term “authority” is often used for power perceived as legitimate by the social structure. The exercise of power is accepted as fundamental to humans as social beings.

The importance of power in a dharmic sense can be observed in –

atidharmad balam manye balaad dharmah pravartate

bale pratishthito dharmo dharanyamiva jangamam

Shanti Parvam 134.6

Power is considered superior even to dharma; for it is through power that dharma is sustained. But power must be exercised in accordance with the dharma, and not arbitrarily, since the objective is to establish order and not to accumulate wealth, which anyhow is secondary, as stated –

vibhajya dandah kartavyo dharmena na yadruchhaya

drusthanaa nigahodando hiranyam bahyatah kriya

Shanti Parvam 122.40

An analysis of “power” ‘can start with the statement that the origin of power is in biological evolution. All natural beings exist in hierarchies; there is no equality in Nature.

Within the dharmic belief system, with the group as the unit of society, hierarchy takes the form of structured cooperation, both within and between groups. However, the modern framework of political economy, with the individual as the unit of society, even as it disavows hierarchy fosters it through unstructured winner-take-all competition.

The quest for mundane power since ancient times finds cultural expression through many forms (e.g., birth / wealth / knowledge / physical strength). The world has always witnessed apparent shifts in power structures, and some striking instances are:

Political missions (like Alexander’s invasion)
Missions with the support base of faith and religion ( like Islamic invasions)
Religio-politico-economic expansions (like missionary-colonialism and imperialism)
Multi-dynamic power struggles (like the World Wars and the Cold War)
Modern geopolitical and politico-economic struggles via institutions of global governance (like the UN and the Bretton Woods system)
Identity assertion via universal claims aiming at global intellectual hegemony, rooted in the deracinated individual as the unit of society, irrespective of context (like the so-called ”liberal” hegemony over the American intellectual space)

In very recent time, conventionally-accepted powerholders are so badly shaken by the elections of Narendra Modi and Donald Trump and the referendum for Brexit they still cannot fathom the cause and are finding fault with everyone except themselves, and they label it the rise of the Far Right. .

Let us try generally to explore this as follows-

Left Wing and Right Wing
Game of Identity
Denial versus Transcendence
Dharmic perspective – dharma and the order: no wings, right or left

1. Left Wing and Right Wing – The French Revolution is the genesis for most modern political jargon and discourse like liberty, democratic rights, and so on. The terms Right and Left were first used in the French Parliament, post-French Revolution. Essentially, those seated to the right of the chair were cultured, rich and not odorous as they could afford perfumes, whereas those seated to the left were the opposite. Cosmopolitan versus vulgarian today, forgetting that democracy is about the vulgus, the praja.

This ritualized arrangement has gained a central role in narratives today, which cuts across the political margins of disciplines. However, these terms are used absolutely out of context in civilizations like that of India, because –

i. Dharmic civilisation is dynamic and evolving and over thousands of years older to the modern concept of the nation-state. Dharmic tradition already has a profound and rich collection of literature and terminology, which can be drawn on to suit contemporary contexts appropriately.

ii. Dharmic civilisation institutionalised a system of checks and balances, including the hierarchy of the purusharthas and the dynamics between the ruler (power) and the renunciate (dharma) to ensure the ruler’s rajdharma (a word the import of which has been recognised more than once by our Supreme Court).

Therefore, there need be no conflict of “wings”, as there is space for all hues of belief and this is why, for example, we recognise communism as a legitimate electoral option, whereas in the USA the communists are devils incarnate.

dhaaranaad dharmamityahudharmena vidhrutaah prajaah

yah syaad dhaaransamyuktah sa dharma iti nishchayah

Shanti Parvam109.11

Whatever has the characteristic of dharana, that is, upholding, bringing together and sustaining all the praja, certainly is dharma.

iii. Dharmic tradition believes that there is no right or wrong, but only appropriateness to the context, i.e, desha, kaal, patra, towards harmony within the entire cosmos. It is through vivekbuddhi (the discriminative intellect) that the distinction between dharma and adharma must be investigated, which essentially depends on the context, with the best interest of the cosmos (sarva bhuta) as an overarching guideline –

tasmat kaunteya vidushaa dharmaadharmavinishchaye

buddhimaasthaya lokeasmin vartitavyam krutatmana

Shanti Parvam 141.102

By using the discriminative intellect one should discriminate between dharma and adharma and act accordingly in this world.

advaidhagyah pathi dvaidhe samshayam praptumharti

budhhidvaidham veditavyam purstadev bharata

Shanti Parvam 142.8

Depending upon the context, the same act can be dharma in one instance and adharma in another. One encounters the dilemma by not understanding this essential yet fundamental relativity. This dilemma can be overcome only by using vivekbuddhi and understanding the relativity.

manasam sarvabhutanam dharmamaahurmaniishinah

tasmaat sarveshu bhuteshu manasa shivamaachareta

Shanti Parvam 193.31

Learned ones are of the opinion that dharma is whatever is done keeping in view all the beings. Therefore, let one do with conscience what is in the best interest of all beings.

iv. Dominant perspectives in dharmic traditions have an essential character of the spiritual. All endeavours, be it artha or kama, essentially must lead to the realisation of the ultimate self, i.e., moksha. However, in asuric civilisations both the Left and the Right are materialist i.e., confine themselves to artha and kama, thus having no spiritual character in their socio-political narratives.

Today, the so-called RW and LW have morphed into positions contrary to the original ones. The Left believes itself to be civilised, learned, and claims to be the saviour of socio-politico-economic rights of the people. The Left trashes the Right as being regressive, obscurantist, and generally moneygrubbing for itself. Yet both operate within the overarching hegemony of asuric materialism – kama and artha as the goals of human existence.

2. Game of Identity – The recent so-called RW populism is widely seen as an economic and political phenomenon; however, there lies a deeper psycho-cultural phenomenon, which seems to be the real driver in this game of identity.

Identity is the sense of one’s own understanding of self, and it is constructed through psycho-socio-cultural factors. Therefore, when there is a multiplicity of identities, the most dominant identity has to be the one which an individual will not compromise because, in the absence of that dominant identity, the very existence of the psychological being becomes a question mark.

Identity in a dharmic sense is the self as Brahman. Therefore it transforms into all; and whoever among the gods realises it, also becomes that, and similarly the sages and men, as stated –

brahma va idamagra aasiit tadaatmanamevavet aham brahmasmiti

asmaatttsarvambhavat tadayo yon adevanaampratyabudhatyat

sa evatadbhavat tadashiirnaam tatha manushyanaam

Brihadaranyakopanisad 1.4.10

In order to be secure in our own psychological existence, humans as individuals strive to assert this identity with the means at our disposal. The pattern replicates itself at the macro level when the collective identities of individuals are in question. Communities strive to assert their identities through various means, soft and hard, available to them. So, for example, in the UK, India and the USA, it was the application of soft (democratic electoral) means that resulted in Brexit and the rise of Modi and Trump.

3. Denial versus Transcendence – Humans are animals. This is biology. Humans are culture-producing animals. Humans as sapient are the consequence of the interaction between our biology and our culture. Dharmic civilization perceives this consequence as arising from our transcending our biology and that all creation is interconnected; asuric civilizations perceive this consequence as arising from our denying our biology, and that the animal is to be subjugated to the human. Power in the former is to be sought ultimately over oneself; in the latter, over others. In the most basic terms, dharmic civilization sees kama and artha as being our animal nature and dharma and moksha being the endeavour to transcend this; asuric civilizations see kama and artha as human ends sufficient unto themselves.

4.Dharmic view – Dharmic tradition believes that the entire creation itself is the transformation of energy (which is power) into manifest and un-manifest forms.

Adi Shakti – The energy which powers adi (beginning, creation) by transforming itself into bhootas (panchabhoot- agni, prithvi, aap, vayu. akash) and thus the cosmos.

yaa devi sarvabhuteshu shaktirupena samsthita
Aparajita Stuti 12

Omkaar – The whole cosmos is a manifestation of OM, which is vibrations or energy. Therefore, all beings and non-beings too are a manifestation of the vibrating energy called OM –

omityetadaksharamidam sarvam tasyopvyakhyanam bhootam bhavad vishyaditi

sarvamomkaar eva yaccaanyatratrikaalatitam tadapi omkaar eva

Mandukyopanisad 1

Brahman – The entire cosmos is Brahman. The universe is an expression of Brahman; human and other beings are a manifestation of Brahman –

sarvam hyetad brahmaayamatma brahma

Mandukyopnisad 2

The adhyaksha is assumed to have ordered (i.e., arranged) the cosmic play (leela) of creation, preservation and destruction in an endless cycle. This is the macrocosm. In the microcosm, this cyclical play finds its expression through the yugas and the dharma appropriate to each yuga in the maintenance of order, that is, harmony, shanti.

aum dyauh shantirantariksham shantih

prithvi shantirapah shantiroshadhyah shantih

vanaspatayah shantirvishvedevah shantirbrahma shantih

sarvam shantih shantireva shantih

sa ma shantiredhi

aum shantih shantih shantih

Yajurveda 36.17

May there be harmony in antariksha; on earth, in water bodies, in herbs, in vegetation, among devas, in the cosmos, harmony within and among all realms [which in turn reflect hierarchy].

Perceivable order can be understood to be that which relates human beings to other aspects of srishti. So, in the political realm, in order to overcome the state of anarchy (matsyanyaya) the concept of the rajya, as the highest mundane organisation of the group, came into the picture. The rajya, which replicates the cosmic order, is for the best interest of all, even those who are left a little behind (in our perception) in the dharmic cycle.

prabhavarya bhootanam dharmapravachanam krutam

yah syatprbhavasamyukta sa dhrama iti nishchaya

Shanti Parvam109.10

Whatever has the characteristic of securing the prabhava (nurturing, sustaining, bringing together, and prospering) of all beings, certainly is dharma.

Therefore, power in the dharmic perspective is about transcending our biology, not denying it, and for working towards the best interest of the world and the cosmos. In the macrocosmic realm, the order governing the universe is rta. In the microcosmic, i.e., the mundane realm, rta finds expression as dharma. Thus, dharma is but a worldly arrangement derived from the cosmic one, aiming for harmony in the world, which otherwise would exist amidst conflicting identities as in the asuric civilisations.

Artificial equality is imposed to overshadow fundamental natural differences. It is actually fatally destructive to human nature. Artificial constructs to deny the fundamental nature of structured cooperation and the asuric urge to subordinate others leads to conflict when the powerful exploit the weak, whereas the dharmic conception agrees that, while at the physical level we are all different, this difference is merely superficial, since all the diversity is merely an illusory manifestation of the unity. This creates natural space for transcending the differences to realise unity in all diversity and thus avoid conflicts to claim superiority. And it is for the citizen to understand and for the ruler, with the check and balance of the renunciate, to foster it. This is rajdharma.

The choice is between contrasting lenses. One claims universalism, which is artificially constructed to suit the wants of the few. It proceeds only in a linear fashion with inherent core rigidity. The other is flexible and adaptive, believes in real equity and not artificial equality, and proceeds in a non-linear multi-dynamic setup.

As we reflect on the situation of and within our own country in a world dominated by adversarialism derived from an asuric ethos that rived us apart some 70 years ago – and that is designed to continue to rive us – we need to understand that White solutions to Brown problems will not work for us. We need to learn from and draw on the best from within our own brown-ness to sustain ourselves in the evolving Brave New World.
Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. IndiaFacts does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article.

Sabhar From
Milind K Sharma with Krishen K Kak


How life evloves to a prewritten script.

Yesterday it was a busy day , a lot of things were planned well in the office , like some meetings etc and out side being a township residents of the BARC anushaktinagar , it is normally possibleto have hectic days.

Parked my bike outside of the parking lot at office , went in-out a couple of times , at around 16:30 hrs when I was taking my bike to Dispensary just to get attended an Inj. of Vitamin B12 to my wife over there , noticed that the rear left indicator of bike is half broken.

went to dispensary, put registration to known Doctor, went to near by shop purchased a Fevi Kwik to set right the broken indicator,   in the mean time wife came and attended the OPD. I put up the Fevikwik , and left over pauch was hidden in the fender of bike, being Gum I thought I will take it out latter on.

Went to buy inj outside as it was not available here , came nicely , it was administered to her, nurse was admant to get the history of the earlier injections to her , any way it was resolved latter on by Dr hemself . latter I went back to office .

reached back home around 18:00 hrs. took dinner by 10:00 , were out for stroll with my wife as usual after dinner and came back to home.

I recalled that bike is not covered now, let me do it , so I went to downstairs put cover on bike and , remembered that Fevi is still here, so took it out and holding in left hand and rushed to lift, it was 11: 15 PM or so.

being in lift I noticed that cap of fevi kwik is missing and god only know what happened a spurt of gum reached to my left eye and I was in pain. lift was moving up, reached 7th floor opened the door and started washing the eyes like anything.

Daughter a Medico student cleaned some stuff , Son a MS-CSE from USA is here , He also assisted along with his mother as well. Lastly  some relief and I was rushed to casualty of BARC Hospital by children as I surrendered to the situation.

45 minutes waiting , in pain , number came , Dr on call was called, another 15 minutes, eye was cleaned and an appointment was given to eye OPD next morning. Eye was banded and I left to home by 12:00 night.

Morning went to eye OPD with bike and helmet and one eye closed inspection done to both eyes , all was well, no eye drops etc were given although eye was red  & a bit etchy, Drs asked me to clean by water.

joined office today went to my First aid center at NPCIL HQ. Dr on duty wrote a prescription for ocurest eye drop, Sister on duty told only one set is available Dr, she just put few drops in my eye, a great relief . Medicine not given to me  by her . She checked with dispansary and told that pl. go their and get one.

waiting to go to Known Dr at BARC Dispensary to get a drop at 16:30 Hrs.Feeling better now, let me see if I may be able to get any drop to expedite my healing process with ease.

A govt servant with 27 yrs of service and so called additional chief Engineer , son MS-CSE USA, Daughter Medical student from KEM, wife MA-history housewife.

The above episode reminds me that every moment is planned.

A medical CHSS facility, appears like all recipes with no curry !












Not much changed Since we arrived 1967

During all these years in my life I have observed that We are still at the same level of education,maturity general well being etc from where We started our trip 47 years back in this great country. Whenever We visit our native place a small village at Uttar pradesh all these memories crop up just like a film being re-winded very fast without skipping even minor details of events.

Waking up early,rushing to jungle for answering natures call, Doing Datun ,taking Bath in Pond and changing clothes, having a fast break-fast of  Roti Sabzi if available , No chappal , No cycle , No good bag, A Bora for siting in class and of course cleaning the School with this whenever asked by the Guru Ji.

The primary life style and the primary education has not much changed in our country. We are so lucky to become an Engineer in our life and most of the contributions to this is to the society and the people who always encouraged us and supported with all that what they have. I remember days when I was walking on road while coming from School in my middle school education days the teacher offer the cycle ride and ask me to take rear seat ( carrier or in front) . They never allowed me to drive the cycle while my age was 11-12-13 and they were 30-31-32 like that.

We do not know if our children had such experiences. The English like education has changed end to end of our country including our thought process. Now it has become very difficult for parents  to make understand the negatives of life or to explain it to the new generation even if we know that the individual is not on right path of his journey.

We have to change this mind set by inculcating Sanatan Dharma once again in our life as well as to our family. The Hindu Dharma has shown the righteous way of life to each one of us when we were at cross roads. Our Rishies and Sages have documented their experiences and their hard earned knowledge  in some form or other to help man kind across the world.