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Chapter VI

The principles of Dharma will not change to suit the convenience of man. Dharma is immutable. Dharma persists as Dharma, then, now and forever. Of course, the practices and rules of applied Dharma might change according to changing causes; but, even then, those practices have to be tested on the basis of the Sastras, not on the basis of advantage. There should be no such calculation. The Sastras may not always support rules which yield tangible visible advantage, nor can the Vedas etc. be expected to indicate only such acts. Dharma cannot be tested on those lines; direct or ocular proof is impossible. The Mimamsakas state that Dharma can be known only through the Vedic Manthras and that the Vedas attempt to elucidate only such truths as are beyond ocular demonstration.

If Dharma is followed with an eye on the consequences, it might even be neglected when the advantage is not patent or immediate. Every one will not have the same motive; every one will not have the same standard. For example, each will have a different idea of the fruits of Snana, Sandhya, Japa and Dhyana, which are prescribed. Some persons cancel the Gayathri Japam in the evenings and instead recite the Vishnu Sahasranama or the Sivasahasranama. "Kaale Sandhyaa Samaachareth": "Perform Sandhyavandanam in proper time"; that is the prescription. But, inspite of such directions, is it not a breach of Dharma when they cancel the evening Sandhya like this? Similarly there are prescriptions for every Varna.

"Chaathurvarnyam mayaa srishtam gunaa karma Vibhaagasah", says the Gita; the meaning is quite clear, "I have created the four varnas dividing them on the basis of quality and activities", that is the teaching. But relying on all kinds of paltry arguments and dry reasoning, many men follow the Dharma which appeals to them and without any fear of God or of sin, they drag the innocent, ignorant people also into the wrong path. That is the reason why the Lord comes down now and then in order to uplift the downtrodden and in order to re-establish Dharma. That causes the incarnation of the Lord; this has been said in ringing tones in the Gita. Next