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”. Dharma is embodying this experience in one’s life. 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. It is the heart and 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. 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 what is the “human religion”?
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? We should know that eternal religion which has existed since time immemorial and will continue to exist even after the end of this world.
It is the spiritual experience 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? Religion should not be merely a pastime, a set of social rules and customs. It is to know the way, the truth of where we came from, where we will go and who we really are.
Nowadays any religious ideas are being spread but the need of the hour is for the religion which will unite us, not divide us. We need something like a spiritual revolution, which can encompass all human beings; a power which can combine and unify all the various beliefs, a unifying factor which can thread all the flowers of different sects and religions into a single garland.
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 has abandoned the power of love. Wars have been fought for many reasons and religion is one of them. On the other hand, the great Masters and saints of all lands and times taught in a way that enhanced 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 or discriminates – 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 just as the earth, sun, water and air exist equally for all. 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.
Spirituality 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, following the path of self-realisation and manifesting it in our life is ‘manav dharam’.