If there is one word in “Sanskrit” that pervades the entire physical & material universe on one side – and also the universe of Life & Spirit on the other side – it is “Dharma”. It is used very colloquially on one side by all and sundry – as much as with extreme poignancy and significance by the very learned to explain the esoteric truths of God’s creations.
Let us look at the Indian mythological connection to this word and I quote ….
Dharma: An ancient “Hindu Sage” – a Rishi, who married thirteen of Daksha‘s daughters. According to the Mahabharata, Daksha sprang from the right thumb of Brahma, and his wife from that god’s left thumb. Their numerous progeny, transparently personifications of virtues and religious rites, were married to – “Dharma” (meaning moral duty in Sanskrit); to Kashyapa – another ancient sage and the grandfather of Manu, the progenitor of mankind; and to Soma – the king of the Brahmins and the guardians of sacrifices. Dharma in Hindu religion is the doctrine of the duties and rights of each caste in the ideal society, and as such the mirror of all moral action.
Now we look at the religious interpretations and I quote ….
Historically – that is since the Vedic periods – India had been a very large group of monarchies, ranging in size from very small to very large, such as the size of a present small village of population of 500 to the size of an Empire with a population of 10 million or more … in those days. The ruling kings were benevolent dictators – highly educated in and self-governed by Dharma (Ethics). The rules of succession were laid down so clearly, that there were hardly any conflicts on that account. Competence to deliver good and impartial justice internally and ability to ward off threats externally were considered most important characteristics needed for a monarch – in the process of selection and election.
While the kings enjoyed the privilege and prerogative of nominating their successors while still functioning as kings – it was not automatic for confirmation. The ministers had the right to question the choice and selection of the king – about the track record of the nominee prince or the heir-apparent. Only after due deliberations on the choice of the successor, the new prince was confirmed for the crowning ceremony. The popularity of the king’s nominee with the common people of the kingdom was also a major factor in determining the suitability of the heir-apparent prior to the confirmation as the crown prince. Even a small blemish in following the ethics or morals by the individual will permanently disqualify him for future kinghood. He was to function as de facto king (king in probation) – under the supervision of the actual king – for fairly long time to prove his mettle before getting the final confirmation as the king by the governing council of ministers. The retired king was never powerless; he held the veto power to disqualify the newly crowned king – if he becomes unpopular later by virtue of his conduct and bad governance. There was no incentive to indulge in corruption, while there were all rewards for good governance. Read the rest of this entry