Tenets of a Dharmic Rashtra

In the last post i had contrasted two systems: the Western Secular system and the Dharmic one in India that worked so well for millenia with a plethora of different Sampradayas (‘religions’) in place. A point of contrast was that the Western secular concept freezes Sampradayas and doesn’t acknowledge the quest for free movement within and experimentation to find newer avenues for spiritual development and growth. Something that has always happened in India. The mental blocks may lie with concepts of final Prophets, Judgement days and the finality of the exclusive message doled out by Abrahmic Prophets.

When Abrahmic religions came into contact with Dharmic overlaid Sampradayic systems (Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, Vaishnavism etc) in India, many Sampradayas assumed that the foreign versions would have the same respect for Dharmic traditions and tenets as every Sampradayas in India held. It was not to be so, and friction between the Indian Sampradayas and the Western ones became manifest. These manifestations ultimately resulted in the loss of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The same reasons for friction are very much present still and the Western version of Secularism (that demands a Uniform Civil Code for all) was converted to one that pandered to Abrahmic minorities many times at the expense of the Indic Sampradayas.

This brand of secularism, now sometimes referred to as Nehruvian Secularism also disengaged from the basics of Dharma. This large scale disengagement created a major vacuum in moral guidance and thought that was filled in by high sounding socialist, communist morality that were sweeping in opposition to colonial capitalism and empires. But disengaging with Dharma also implied moving away from the kinship and abandoning leadership Indics always had towards other Dharmic nations like Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, SE Asia etc. That moving away meant we had left a vacuum and that started to get filled by China and other ideologies all imported from outside to our neighborhoods. Yet our Dharma blind Nehruvian Secularists looked away as blatant aggression was carried out against our Dharmic friends in the neighborhood and even within the country.

It is in that context we earlier analyzed why Dharmic systems can be superior and fairer than the Secular versions thrust upon our country. The question thus,  if the Western Classical Secularist model doesn’t work in India (not acceptable to Islamists for instance), and neither the Nehruvian Secularist one is acceptable to Islamists, then why should we not try our ancient Dharmic one. But the legitimate question is what is a Dharmic system? What would a Dharmic States premise be? Towards that I will try and raise a simple preamble of a Dharmic Constitution, and see how such a Dharmic Constitution could impact us. This below is a preamble:

To constitute Bharat into a Democratic REPUBLIC inspired by DHARMA, which for the purpose of this document is understood as the core universal ethical principle.

That this Dharma* is eternal and universal, it is the natural order underlying the universe, and it is what each human needs for their ultimate fulfillment.

That this Republic through it’s Institutions will strive to uphold, evolve to and encourage

1. Truth (Satya) and thus Honesty in it’s dealings.
2. Compassion in it’s dealings towards it’s Citizens, Flora, Fauna. 
3. Equality of Opportunity for all it’s citizenry.

In honoring the above the Dharmic Republic of Bharat/ India will strive in 

4. The Pursuit of Happiness for it’s citizenry.
5. The pursuit of Liberty of thought and expression for it’s citizenry.
6. The Pursuit of Justice for it’s citizenry.

In honoring the above the Dharmic Republic of Bharat/ India will strive to

7. Uphold the Prosperity and Enrichment of the Bharatiya Civilization.
8. Promote the unity, integrity, security and environmental health of the nation.

With these Principles the State emphasizes to endeavor to empower ALL its citizens to realize their intrinsic capacity to pursue happiness by facilitating their pursuit with freedom, knowledge, skills, opportunity and conducive environment and by encouraging and recognizing their merit.

The State also endeavours to provide those Dharmics that seek release through Recluse, the security and peace to pursue recluse and merger with with the Supreme.


Satyameva Jayate!

* Appendix to the Preamble: That this Dharma is to be understood as exemplified in 

1. Dhrti (patience)
2. Ks’ama (forgiveness)
3. Dhama (self-control)
4. Asteya (non-stealing)
5. Shaoca (cleanliness)
6. Indriyanigraha (control)
7. Dhii (intellect)
8. Vidya’ (knowledge)
9. Satyam (Truthfulness)

10. Akrodha (non-anger)

Compared to other preambles this is necessarily a little longer. Many may feel what is so special about this. But it commits the State, it’s Institutions and importantly individuals and Sampradaya’s to evolve to adhere to these basic Tenets.

Many seers comment that, that which Unites is Dharma and that which Divides is Adharma. Manifest in Daivam Manusha Rupena ( Godliness through Humans) This process is Dharma, on the contrary any action that doesn’t uphold the universality of Dharma Prudhaktvam Anyena Anyatvat (Separating one from the other) in to consideration, is Adharma. One cannot commit Adharma if one is aware of the universality of Dharma and upholds its institutionalized constitutionality.

Debating and discussing Dharma itself is a positively evolving venture, for example the Veda’s say Truth is ONE, sages call the Truth by different names: ekam sad vipra bahudha vadanti agnim yamam matariswanam ahuh. Sage Brihadraranyaka says Dharma is Truth and Truth is Dharma. Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists say the same thing. Christianity and the Wests’ liberal evolution is also largely rooted in decreasing the supremacy of the Vatican Sampradaya to Institutionalized respect for some of these Dharmic values enshrined in Indian thought for ages. Much of this happened after Western contact and perusal of ancient Sanskrit texts and literature.

The test of acceptability for such a constitution is simple. Ask oneself how many Humans that profess allegiance to any Sampradaya/ Religion will disagree with the tenets as mentioned above or Institutions that strive towards achieving those tenets. Better still is show them these values and ask if they disagree with these values. Any conflict within the Sampradaya and Dharma is always in favor of Dharma. The Sampradaya is under pressure to change or confirm. Much of that pressure is gentle, non violent and persistent. Yet Dharma is extremely well armed if one sticks to and attempts to uphold its values.

Today for example the sharpest and most potent weapon against Excluvist doctrines like Islamism are being fought with is TRUTH. Whether it is manifested through forums on the net, or comment sections of blogs, FB, Twitter, Ali Sina’s sites wherever, the best and most potent answer from the ‘unbeliever’ is coming through Truth about Islamism. It is shaking it’s doctrinal core like anything that has been attempted ever before. So one cannot underestimate the power that the Truth carries with it. Everyone of the Dharmic values/ tenets is a weapon in it’s own right. Constitutionalizing those Dharmic values arms Institutions, oneself from false doctrine (Adharma) in a way one cannot imagine. That is how a Dharmic Constitution and our commitment to it will arm us against divisive doctrine.

Dharmo rakshati rakshitaha


2 thoughts on “Tenets of a Dharmic Rashtra

  1. Saar, I think Bharat can be semi-Dharmic nation, but not in totality. At individual level when the gov tries to impose dharmic dictum, it will prove to be too intrusive. Sanatana dharma itself never imposed itself on anyone. One more often discussed is the case of LGBT and dharmic perspective. Dharma and LGBT are opposing concepts for the following reasons:
    1. Dharma proposes Griha-ashrama. Needed for 2 reasons:
    a. to make kaama dharmic
    b. to pay off pitru-runa.

    To satisfy (a), one cannot enjoy sensory pleasures at will till grihasta-ashrama. But in case of LGBT community, pitru-runa cannot be paid off through grihashrama. If one wants to beget kids through some other means, even then grihasta-ashrama is meaningless/not required for LGBT community. And since one cannot fulfill sensory pleasures till one enters grihasta-ashrama, LGBT community kaama will only fall outside the ashrama-dharma.

    This means that gov cannot be dharmic and impose its veda-pramaana based decrees on individuals if you want LGBT community to be happy. This can be possible only when gov is semi-dharmic only at macroscopic level.

    • Many thanks for your comment. I am in agreement with you on a lot of what you said. Please do go through my blog on Moral Absolutism. I have commented on the Dharmic perspective on LGBT issues. Moving up the Dharmic ladder is an evolutionary process. We hold the beacon of light and gently exhort humankind to evolve to it. That is the best we can do.

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