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Gita - Chapter 1, part 7 - Field of Karm and field of Dham by Swami Nikhilanand

Posted Apr 08 2012 1:47pm

http://swaminikhilanand.com/blog/2012/04/gita-chapter-1-part-7-the-field-of-karm

Gita Chapter 1, Part 7 - by Swami Nikhilanand, disciple of Jagadguru
Shree Kripaluji Maharaj and sanyasi teacher at JKP Radha Madhav Dham

Having understood the qualification for studying the Gita, we are now
ready to start learning the main topics of the first chapter of the
Gita, starting with the first verse.

The first word of the Gita (chapter 1, verse 1) is 'dharmakchetre',
which means 'in the field of dharm'. At the time Shree Krishn spoke
these words, He was in the Kurukchetra battlefield; so it might seem
obvious that He was referring to Kurukchetra, where a dharmic war was
about to take place, as the 'field of dharm'. However, the 'field of
dharm' refers not only to Kurukchetra, but also to the world as a
whole. The whole world being the field of dharm is an integral concept
of Hindu philosophy. You could also say that the whole world is the
field of karm - both ideas are interrelated.

The Field of Karm

The world we live in is the field of karm because as long as we are
here in this world, we are bound by the law of karm. The law of karm
means that whatever actions we perform, anywhere in this world, we
must receive the consequences. We are 'bound' by this law, because
there is no escape from it and no way to circumvent it. Wherever we go
in this world, the spiritual government (God) is watching our every
thought, word and deed, categorizing all of it as good or bad
(according to the intention behind it) and then arranging for us to
receive the consequences in the form of good or bad destiny (in our
future lives). Thus, this world is the field where we perform our
actions, and it is the field in which we receive the consequences, so
it is the field of karm.

The Field of Dharm

This whole world is also called the field of dharm, because not only
are we being held accountable for all our karm, but there is a
recommended course of action for us. That recommended course of action
is called dharm. If we follow dharm, then we move in a positive
direction - we improve ourselves. If we do not follow dharm, then we
move in a negative direction. So living in this world is an
opportunity to improve ourselves by following the path of dharm as
recommended in the Vedas. Thus, it is called the field of dharm (for
more information on the Vedas and dharm, see "The Gita Chapter 1, Part
1").

Dharm is of two kinds: the recommended actions for living a good life
in the world, and the recommended actions for attaining God. The first
kind of dharm is called apar dharm and leads to peace of mind in this
life and improved prosperity in the next life. The second kind of
dharm is called par dharm and leads to God realization, the attainment
of ultimate Bliss, and freedom from rebirth. While apar dharm is
limited to this transitory world and can only give temporary
happiness, it is nonetheless important because it regulates people's
behavior so there can be peace and harmony in the family and society.
Yet, it is still only a preliminary dharm. If someone wants
everlasting, perfect happiness, then they must graduate to the par
dharm. This is the path to God, also called bhakti. It is the supreme
dharm of all the souls, and it is the main topic of the Gita, which
will be discussed in detail in later chapters.

In the next article, I will discuss why Arjun was confused about what
his dharm was, and what the relationship is between duty and
attachment.

Note: The entire Bhagavad Gita series by Swami Nikhilanand will
continue, once or twice a week, for more than a year and will be an
incredible study aid in learning the deepest aspects of Bhagavad Gita
from one of the most profound and prolific speakers of Bhagavad Gita
in the English speaking world today.


Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat (JKP) was founded by Jagadguru Shree
Kripaluji Maharaj, our beloved Shree Maharajji, the fifth prime
Jagadguru in the last 5000 years.

Founded in 1990, Radha Madhav Dham Temple and ashram serves as the
national center of Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat in the United States and
is one of the largest Hindu Temples in North America.

JKP Radha Madhav Dham Official Website: http://www.RadhaMadhavDham.org
Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat Worldwide Mission: http://www.JKP.org
Swami Nikhilanandji's Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/SwamiNikhilanand
Official Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/RadhaMadhavDham

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