The Qualities of Dharma
In order to truly follow dharma, four qualities need to be cultivated. They are Vistara, or the expansiveness of vision; Rasa, flow, to be saturated with blissful awareness and movement towards your eternal essence; Seva, service, and Tatsthiti, divine union, wholeness.
If you are to follow dharma, you need to have a vision of what your Source looks like. A meditation practice on the nature of divinity is essential for this. It assists you to expand your mind beyond your limitations and beliefs, to have a willingness to look afresh and move beyond all of the stale constructs that you have built.
If those constructs were true and promoted spiritual growth, then surely you would be enlightened by now. But the constructs in your mind, your beliefs and your opinions hold you back. They limit you by saying “I am this” or “I am that.” You confine yourself in a little box. “I am a teacher.” “I am a doctor.” “I have a certain prestige.” You confine and constrain yourself into very finite boxes. You box yourself in, so to speak. The call of your internal longing ever counters this tendency, saying to you “Look beyond the box,” “See outside the box.” “Think outside the box.” You are far more than the boxes you have made. Your truth comes from deep within, and its calling is dharma. Following this call is known as the way of dharma.
So, to follow the way of dharma, you first need a sense of expanded awareness known as vistara. This is a widening of your inner sense of vision that comes from deep meditation and contact with your Divine source. “Ahh, I have felt the bliss so sweet, have beheld the unity of all beings. I have watched the sunset and felt love wash over me. I have seen the trees and smelled the freshness of the forest, felt that I am one with the forest, am one with all its little creatures. And I am one with my brothers and sisters and all the people of the world.” This is the experience of vistara.
To follow dharma, you must not only have an expanded vision of the One, but also the passion to stay connected to essential being. This quality is called rasa. Rasa is the taste of a thing. It means to be saturated with awareness of Divine presence, to feel alive with the joy of Divine connection.
Dharma is not only your individual path to follow, but it is also a collective or universal path. It has enormous social implications.
A society may move towards dharma or away from dharma. For dharma to be expressed within a society there must be expanded awareness, vistara, as well as dynamic flow towards Divine love and truth, rasa. People need the opportunity to perceive the interconnected wholeness of life and the love underlying all things. Then they can make all and every effort to move towards that beatitude.
There is another quality that is also essential to the path of dharma and that is seva, actions in the world which reflect your expanded vision of the wholeness of life and your deeply felt connection to wholeness. Seva is service, but it is a special kind of service in which you serve all beings as manifestations of the One.
Seeing God in all, you offer service to God in the form of living beings. And, in the offering of service, you realize that it is in fact the power of the infinite that provides the service through your form. This is seva. Once seva is enacted, the three components of expansion, blissful connected experience of the whole and service to livings beings are all in play. The result is tatsthiti or Divine union, the fulfillment of dharma.
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Maetreyii Ma: a teacher of yogic wisdom & practices