Dharma and Karma

David Rush

Some time before 6 Nov 2013

I’ll keep this short and sweet. I actually had been wrestling with these concepts for years (still do a bit, really) when, a short while after reading about dharma on YogaGlo, I cam to the realization:

Karma is what you get to work with in your life.

Dharma is what you choose to do with it.

These are simple observational things. It becomes more complex as you gain awareness, but at the end it is observation. People regularly use these words to refer to emotional states, but that is just manifestations of the ego. To do so is avidya, and so it is very confusing.

Now it can be useful to bring awareness of one’s dharma into the ego, but it is not a thing that the ego can find. Dharma is what remains when all the chattering of the ego has dropped away and a choice is made. That choice, beyond understanding, is the expression of dharma.

However, just as in asana practice, we work to find a place of ease, it takes work to unbind the layers of ego in our minds. So the unconscious choice should never be mistaken for the ineffable choices that arise from one’s dharma. Unless perhaps, one’s dharma is to not be conscious of one’s choices, but in that case you wouldn’t be here, now would you?

This document was translated from LATEX by HEVEA.