"I am Dharma"; a brief thought from the Anugita Parva (Mahabharata; Aswamedhika Parva)


A quotation;

" Then I thought that I have no dominion, or that everything is my dominion. Even this body is not mine, or the whole Earth is mine. At the same time, O best of regenerate persons, I think that that is as much mine as it is of others....

Janaka said, 'All conditions here, in all affairs, have been understood by me to be terminable. Hence, I could not find that which should be called mine. (Considering) whose is this, I thought of the Vedic text about anybody's property, I could not, therefore, find, by my understanding, what should be (called) mine. Depending upon this notion, I got rid of idea of mineness. Hear now what that notion is depending upon which I came to the conclusion that I have dominion everywhere. I do not desire for my own self those smells that are even in my nose. Therefore, the earth, subjugated by me, is always subject to me. I do not desire for my own self those tastes that exist in contact with even my tongue. Therefore, water, subjugated by me, is always subject to me. I do not desire for my own self the colour or light that appertains to my eye. Therefore, light subjugated by me, is always subject to me. I do not desire for my own self those sensations of touch which are in contact with even my skin. Therefore, the wind, subjugated by me, is always subject to me. I do not desire for my own self those sounds which are in contact with even my ear. Therefore sounds, subjugated by me, are always subject to me. I do not desire for my own self the mind that is always in my mind. Therefore the mind, subjugated by me, is subject to me. All these acts of mine are for the sake of the deities, the Pitris, the Bhutas, together with guests.--The Brahmana then, smiling, once more said unto Janaka,--Know that I am Dharma, who have come here today for examining thee. Thou art verily the one person for setting this wheel in motion, this wheel that has the quality of Goodness for its circumference, Brahmin for its nave, and the understanding for its spokes, and which never turns back!'"

[ for footnotes check; http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m14/m14032.htm ]


In interesting phrase, "...The Brahmana then, smiling, once more said unto Janaka,--Know that I am Dharma, who have come here today for examining thee. Thou art verily the one person for setting this wheel in motion..."

The word Dharma is often translated by many to denote some sense of duty or vow; which is commonly understood as some sort of method or path done by and agent of personal individuality.  This is probably correct on some level, but seeing how we are students of the Esoteric Wisdom Tradition, let us develop some thoughts to a deeper impersonal meaning of Dharma.  Here, the Brahmana is Dharma personified, much like Krsna in the Bhagavadgita, appearing earlier in the Mahabharata.

If one were to keep Dharma untranslated, that is, not fixed to any conception of duty that the personality it aware of, but rather to an Impersonal Cosmic Law; an eternal impulse that is embedded within the Seven Rays of the Cosmos, one might tend to think of Dharma as an electro-spiritual current emanating from "star whose ray thou art, the flaming star that shines within the lightless depths of ever-being, the boundless fields of the Unknown" (Voice. 34).

Each member of Humanity is said to belong to a particular Ray.  We can find this in the writings of HP. Blavatsky and T. Subba Rao (amongst others).  Thus, each member of Humanity has their own svadharma (per collective), initiated by philosophical system corresponding with a Rays vibration.  

Janaka realized the subtle Presence embedded within himself as that same subtle Presence embedded in the Cosmos.  He recognized his body to the be cosmos, complete with "the deities, the Pitris, the Bhutas," etc, and began to see that he can no longer claim ownership of what is not "his."  Thinking so, Dharma (the Brahmana) examines Janaka, and states "Thou art verily the one person for setting this wheel in motion.."

T. Subba Row in his commentary of the great text, "Idyll of the White Lotus,"  comments on this topic perhaps in a very mystical sense.  Please try to find the connection, I am certain it can be made;

"This current of cosmic life is but the light and the aura of the Logos. Besides the Logos, there are innumerable other existences, both spiritual and astral, partaking of this life and living in it. These beings have special affinities with particular emotions of the human soul and particular characteristics of the human mind. They have of course a definite individual existence of their own which lasts up to the end of the Manwantara.

This light of the Logos...is the bond of union and brotherhood which maintains the chain of spiritual intercourse and sympathy running through the long succession of the great hierophants of Egypt, and extending to all the great adepts of this world who derive their influx of spiritual life from the same source.

Every Buddha meets at his last initiation all the great adepts who reached Buddhaship daring the preceding ages : and similarly every class of adepts has its own bond of spiritual communion which knits them together into a properly Organised fraternity. The only possible and effectual way of entering into any such brotherhood, or partaking of the holy communion, is by bringing oneself within the influence of the spiritual light which radiates from one's own Logos.... such communion is only possible between persons whose souls derive their life and sustenance from the same divine ray, and that, as seven distinct rays radiate from the " Central Spiritual Sun," all adepts and Dhyan Chohans are divisible into seven classes, each of which is guided, controlled and overshadowed by one of seven forms or manifestations of the divine wisdom."

Perhaps this might make the quote from the Mahabharata, and wisely adopted by the Theosophist; सत्यात् नास्ति परो धर्मः - satyāt nāsti paro dharmaḥ- There is no Dharma higher than Truth, all the more special.

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An interesting quotation by R. Iyer;

"Owing to the limitations of sectarian ideologies and organizational structures, and especially due to the difficulty of distinguishing between the impersonal immortal individuality and the changing personal mask, ardent votaries fall prey to self-righetousness, an outburst of exaggerated emotion mistaken for deep feeling."

Is this not what one can witness even within a Great Lodge?  It has been seen in Egypt, India, and so many Theosophical Traditions.  What is one to learn?


Regarding the Anugita and this topic, HPB mentions this text numerous times in the SD.  Amongst the references, a very sacred Ṛṣi is mentioned; Nārada.

Nārada, to my knowledge, can be seen extensively in the Bhagavata Purāṇam and Mahābhārata, though I am certain other texts as well.  Perhaps very dimly hinted at in the Bhagavadgita; first sloka of the 4th discourse.

The following is a link to Theosophical Movement Magazine giving the student some brief, yet very important information regarding this "active and ever incarnating logos"- Nārada, The Strife-Maker.