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सर्वे जनाः सुखिनो भवन्तु

सत्यं वद । धर्मं चर

Dharma Sastras – 16 & 17 Oct Lecture Notes

Date and topic of the Webinar : 16 and 17 Oct 2022 Transcripted by : PIN 273 Ms.Vanka Naga Priya INDEX
  1. Introduction …………………………………2
  2. What is Dharma? ………………………………2
2.1  Varna Dharma ………………………………2
2.2 Ashrama Dharma ……………………………2
2.3 Varnashrama Dharma………………………3
2.4  Guna Dharma ………………………………3
2.5 Nimittha dharma …………………………….3
2.6 Saadhaarana Dharma…………………………….………..…….4
  • What i sshastra? ………………………………………..4
  • Conclusion……………… ……… ……….6
DHARMA SHASTRAS As we all know the Creation and the Creator are not separate from each other, similarly Vedas and Veda Purusha are not separate. In order to understand Vedas properly Vedangas got created. They are Chhandas, kalpam, Jyotisham, niruktham,Shiksha and Vyakaranam. Kalpam is considered hands of the Veda Purusha. Kalpam is the set of instructions for performing rituals. There are four types of rituals that we need to perform, ‘Dharma Sutras’ being one of them. Whatis Dharma? The common code that needs to be followed by all human  beings is called Dharma. The purpose of Dharma is to attain salvation or liberation from birth-death cycles. There are  six types of Dharma. They are Varna Dharma, Ashrama Dharma, Varnaashram Dharna,  Guna Dharma, Nimittha  Dharma, Sadharana Dharma 1. Varna Dharma  According to the Vedas there are four Varnas. They are Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. Varna Dharma guides an individual as to how  to perform his duties according to the properties that he carries forward by means of the Varna he is born into.
  • Brahmins must do Adhyayana, Adhyapana , Yajana, Yaajana, Daana, Pratigrahana.
  • Kshatriyas must do Prajaa rakshanam, Daanam, Nitya adhyayana , Vishaya vairagya etc
  • Vaishya must take care of Krushi that is agriculture, trade, Pashupalana, etc.
  • Shudras must take care of service related tasks.
2.  Ashrama Dharma There are four ashramas according to scriptures. They are Brahmachari Ashram, grihstha aashram, vanaprastha Ashram and Sanyas Ashram. Dharm Sutra says that we have different ways of living according to the Ashrama that we belong.
  • A person after Upanayana is called Brahmachari. He must spend his time only in learning scriptures and following celibacy. He must be with his Guru in Gurukula and do service to his Guru, day and night. This is called Guru sushrusha (सुश्रूष). He must gather food items from  households by saying ‘bhiksham Dehi.’
  • A person after getting married is known as grihastha. He must spend his time in earning and taking care of his family and performing Pancha Yagyas.He must also take care of Brahmachari and Sanyasi by offering them food and sometimes shelter.
  • A person after experiencing grihasthashram then  gives up luxury and lives in Aranya. He eats fruits to fill his stomach. He must spend his time doing japam and Daivachinthana.
  • A person who never intends to have progeny and dedicates all his lifetime to the Welfare of the society is known as Sanyasi. He must always go from village to village preaching and doing devatharaaradhana. This movement is known as parivraja vritti. Only during monsoon, he takes up vratham and stays in any one village for 4 months. This is called Chathur Masa vratham. Sanyasi must have very limited sleep and food.
3.Varnashrama Dharma This is a chapter in which way we have to behave according to the Varna and Ashrama we fall under. A Brahman  maybe Brahmachari grihsth , vanaprastha   Sanyasi.  Kshatriya maybe a Brahmachari, grihastha, or vanaprastha. Vaishya maybe Brahmachari aur grihastha. A Shudra person becomes grihastha. All grihastha have many Sanskarasin common and a few specific Sanskaras. In our scriptures there are 16 Sanskar in this context. Also details given about how to begin our day, what and how much to eat, seasonal behaviour, social behaviour etc. 4.Guna Dharma This is a chapter that guides every individual about his tasks according to his guna. This tells about the general efficiency a person  that he inherits from his ancestors in  this birth. This therefore guides and leads  us to the occupation we will be good at. A Brahman person plays the  role of a  teacher or a priest because of knowledge. A king (raja) is the protector of his people. He is a continuous learner from situations. He is physically strong. He doesn’t consume food, water or clothes that are not examined. He needs to safeguard himself in order to protect his people. 5.Nimittha dharma While performing the rituals and also in daily living we tend to commit many sins. Our scriptures have categorized them into nine types. They are called Nava vidha paapaani. They are :
  • -mahapaathakam (महापातकम्)
  • -anupaathakam (अनुपातकम्)
  • -upapaathakam (उपपातकम्)
  • -athipaathakam (अतिपातकम्)
  • -jaathibhramsakarapaathakam (जातिभ्रंसकरपातकम्)
  • -sankarikaranapaathakam (संकरीकरणपातकम्)
  • -apaathrikaranpaathakam (अपात्रीकरणपातकम्)
  • -malinikaranapaathakam (मालिनीकरणपातकम्)
  • -prakeeranapaathakam (प्रकीरणपातकम्)
  • Therefore our rishis have suggested praayashchittha karma to purify our chittham which is considered as the storehouse of all the results of our deeds. Thapah, japah, homah, nithyasnaanam, theerthayatra, etc. must be performed to clear our chittham. These kind of rituals are known as praayashchittha karma. Praayah means to clear out.
Manah, buddhi, ahamkaarah and chittham are together known as antahkaranam. 6. Saadhaarana Dharma
  • This chapter contains the general guidelines for a human to follow.
  • Ahimsa, sathyapaalana, aparigraahaha, Shraddha, kshama, daanasheelata, aashritha rakshanam, bhoota daya, maathru bhakti, pitru bhakti, Guru bhakthi, athithi sammaananam, daivachinthana, etc. are some of the Saadhaarana Dharma
Manushyatva Dharma, Putra, sthree, snusha, dauhitra, shishya, Guru, sainika, Vaidya, sevaka, suhrud (friend), sahodara, powra(citizen) and many more Dharmas are elaborately described by our rishis in Dharma shastras. What is shastra? Shastra means ‘the one which orders.’ Therefore we ought to obey them. Sutra is like a formula. Rishis are the pioneers of the Vedic knowledge and all parts of Vedas. In fact they heard the Shabda Brahman , and also experienced  the Brahman in the form of  visuals. Thus each Devata is described and presented to their successive generations. This was done through their effort called as tapas and Brahman’sPrasad called ‘Ruthambhara Vidya’.This proves that rishis are the pillars of our Dharma, and therefore this Dharma is also called ‘Aarsha Dharma’. They further made easy the Vedic knowledge for common people to follow by preparing Granthas. It is said that, if we understand and perform the rituals, it is always better but even if we don’t understand them but still perform them in the proper manner(as told by the priests) , the result will still be the same. This shows the kind intent of our rishis who have formulated them. Here is a shloka from Manusmriti which mentions 10 properties or lakshanas of Dharma : “धृतिःक्षमादमोऽस्तेयंशौचमिन्द्रियनिग्रहः।धीर्विद्यासत्यमक्रोधोदशकंधर्मलक्षणम् “ 1.धृतिः = संतोष। 2.क्षमा = अपकारकरनेपरभीअपकारन  करना 3.दम =बिकारकाकारणहोनेपरभीमनमेंविकार  नहोना। 4.अस्तेयं=अन्यायसेपरधनादिकोनग्रहणकरना। 5.शौचम् =मृत्तिकाजलादिसेदेहशुद्धि| 6.इन्दियनिग्रह = विषयोंसेहिन्द्रियोंकानिवारण। 7.धीः=शास्त्रादिकेतत्त्वकाज्ञानम्। 8.विघा =आत्मज्ञानम् 9.सत्यम् = यर्थार्थकथमम् 10.अक्रोध: = क्रोधकाकारणहोनेपरभीक्रोधनकरना। What different rishis said about Dharma.
  1. “शौचसंतोषतपःस्वाध्यायप्रणिधारणनियमाःधर्मा:”
शौच-, संतोष = ज्योप्राप्तहैपर्याप्तहो।तपः, स्वाध्याय:- स्वस्यासौअध्यायःस्वाध्यायः The ways to purify , keep contended, and to keep studying are called dharmas”,  says mahabhashyakara Patanjali in Yoga Darshana. 2. “वेदेनप्रयोजनमउद्दिश्यविधीयमान: अर्थः ‘धर्म:”,  says Jaimini maharshi 3.  चोदनालक्षणोंसःधर्मः “, says Kumarila Bhattu 4.” वेदविहितःकर्मःसःधर्मः “”श्रुतिविहितम्योधर्म:”, says Rishi Vashishtha. 5.” वेद: स्मृतिःसदाचार: स्वस्थचप्रियमात्मनःयेतत्चतुर्विधमप्राहुःसाक्षातधर्मलक्षणम् “ “अभिवादनशीलस्यनित्यंवृद्धोपिसेविताचत्वारितस्यवर्धन्ते (आयु:, विद्या, यश:, बलम्) The one who is always obedient towards elders, will be able to increase his health and lifespan, wisdom, fame and prosperity and also strength. Therefore we have the tradition of saluting elders(वृद्धाः). 6. “येनवस्तुन:  प्राणिनः भारण-पोषण – धारणवाभवतितदवस्तुधर्मपद वाच्यम्। “, is what is said in Mahabharata. The thing that we rely upon and  that takes care of all living beings is the word called Dharma. This means Dharma is what supports our very existence in the world. 7 “ धारणात्धर्मइत्याहु:”, धर्मोधारयतेप्रजाःयस्यधारणसंयुक्तम् सधर्म : इतिनिश्चय:”, is said in karna Parva of Mahabharata. This means that, Dharma needs to be applied and followed, because it is not a tangible object rather it is abstract. Brahman says that, he who is Dharma follower will be taken care of by me. Intellectual people have the opportunity to study  Vedas, Dharma shastras and then flow Dharma. But non intellectual s cannot do that. Then what is the solution? Here comes the concept of ‘Shishtacharam’ 8. “वेदोक्त: परमोधर्म:, धर्मशास्त्रेषुचापरःशिष्टाचीर्णस्यशिष्टानां  त्रिविधमधर्मलक्षणम्”, is said in Aranyaka Parva. 9.” ग्रामानुकूलवचनान्कुरु”, is said by Katyayana Rishi. 10.“धर्मोनामयज्ञः, says Yagnavalkya. 11.”वेदप्रतिपाद्यप्रयोजनवदर्थोंसःधर्म:, is said in Meemansa. Here there are three concepts. Dharma should meaningful and beneficial. But it must be proposed by Vedas. Conclusion It must be understood that we as humans must follow Dharma in order to keep the whole of the creation hale and healthy, in harmony and also to liberate ourselves. Whereas the rest of the species, movable or immovable are already in the right path. It is not a person’s choice whether to follow or not to follow the proposed Dharma.  Every one has a designated share of duty, to keep the Dharma of the Creation intact. SUMMARY We have learnt that Dharma Sutras is an integral part of the Creation.We have also understood that with intense tapas and devotion, our Rishis have experienced and gifted to us,the structure of veda purusha, and dharma Shastras. After studying the scriptures, our ancestors have imbibed such ways  in our traditions, customs and lifestyle that help keep the Dharma of the Creation in place. We understood briefly about Varna, Ashrama Varnaashram, Guna, Nimitha and Saadhaarana Dharmas.