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  #1  
Old 12-10-2006, 03:43 PM
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Default relationship between Dharma, Karma and Moksha?

how would you define Dharma, Karma and Moksha, and how do these relate to each other? what are the origins of these beliefs and is a belief in reincarnation necessary?

are their any reliable internet sources for reference?

Edit: sorry, i should also have asked, are these three beliefs only part of the Hindu traditions, or are they also included in Buddhist, Jainist and Sikhist traditions as well? if so, are they defined/used differently? if so, how?

thanks in advance
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Last edited by Mike182; 12-10-2006 at 04:09 PM..
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Old 12-10-2006, 05:33 PM
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The Dharma is the Teaching, the body of Buddha's doctines and precepts especially as and when put into practice in everyday life: the Dharma for this reason is said to be a living thing.

Karma is explicable as the Cause-and-Effect dynamic of a Deterministic Cosmos: it is the operating principal by which Events occur in the flow of illusory time. It's like you will reap what you sow: good and evil deeds are done within its context, but to achieve enlightenment one must first expunge and extinguish ALL Karmic energy from oneself. Which brings us to...

Moshka is mostly a Hindu term, used only by some schools of Buddhism but common in Sikhism, and it means Liberation from the karmic cycle of Rebirth. Buddhist's distinguish karmic Rebirth from (Hindu) karmic Reincarnation because the two schools differ over whether the Self has a permanent abiding part which is transmitted from one life to the next.

But yes, if you believe (as I do) in Karma you must accept reincarnation or rebirth in some form, and indeed end any false distintion between them: for the karmic laws are such that one can never end and nothing truly ends, so whether it be the Atman (immaterial soul) or the psyche (thought-forms, emotional imprints etc) some part of Me (YOU) survives death to take another form @ some point thereafter.

Hope that helps, Mike.
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Old 12-10-2006, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Godlike
The Dharma is the Teaching, the body of Buddha's doctines and precepts especially as and when put into practice in everyday life: the Dharma for this reason is said to be a living thing.

Karma is explicable as the Cause-and-Effect dynamic of a Deterministic Cosmos: it is the operating principal by which Events occur in the flow of illusory time. It's like you will reap what you sow: good and evil deeds are done within its context, but to achieve enlightenment one must first expunge and extinguish ALL Karmic energy from oneself. Which brings us to...

Moshka is mostly a Hindu term, used only by some schools of Buddhism but common in Sikhism, and it means Liberation from the karmic cycle of Rebirth. Buddhist's distinguish karmic Rebirth from (Hindu) karmic Reincarnation because the two schools differ over whether the Self has a permanent abiding part which is transmitted from one life to the next.

But yes, if you believe (as I do) in Karma you must accept reincarnation or rebirth in some form, and indeed end any false distintion between them: for the karmic laws are such that one can never end and nothing truly ends, so whether it be the Atman (immaterial soul) or the psyche (thought-forms, emotional imprints etc) some part of Me (YOU) survives death to take another form @ some point thereafter.

Hope that helps, Mike.
thanks for this, do you know much about Dharma in a Hindu sense? or is it the same as in the Budhist sense?
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Old 12-10-2006, 06:44 PM
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thanks for this, do you know much about Dharma in a Hindu sense? or is it the same as in the Budhist sense?
Yeah, both Hinduism and Buddhism are Dharmic religions: that is they both adhere to the same (karmic) idea of Natural Law, and the underlying order in Nature.
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Old 12-10-2006, 08:08 PM
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Karma derives from the sanskrit for action, and in Hinduism, it also refers to the results of action.
The law of karma posits that one's actions lead to certain results, and that it is advantageous to perform those actions that lead to beneficial results, and disadvantageous to perform those actions that lead to harm, loss or spiritual retardation.

Unlike in the Abrahamic traditions, this is seen less as a right-wrong, good-bad, divinely approved-disapproved choice, than as a conformation to natural law. Eg: hold a large rock directly above your foot, release it -- and your foot will be crushed. This is simple physics. Herd Jews into a gas chamber and your spiritual progress will be harmed -- again, simple, impersonal physics, and bad karma both.

Right and wrong are not manifestations of divine approval or disapproval, but, rather, of physics; of celestial mechanics. Good = physically/spiritually beneficial. Bad = physically/spiritually harmful.

Dharma, strictly translated, means something like "duty." It is the action or lifestyle proper (ie: most beneficial) to your station in life, ie: your varna and jati -- in Western terms your 'Caste'.

Your dharma is your life's blueprint. You are born with it. It is the predetermined lifestyle, rulebook and outline of proper conduct -- dictated by your past actions (karma) -- that will result in the optimum benefit, (spiritual advancement), in this particular incarnation.

The dharma of one person may be completely different from the dharma of another. The duty of a soldier is not the duty of a pacifist. The duty of a deer is not the duty of a tiger is not the duty of an oak tree. Their birth has dictated different lifestyles for them, and attempting to follow the other's dharma -- however well managed -- is likely to be physically and spiritually budensome.

Moksha, in Hinduism, is usually described as release from the cycle of birth and rebirth.
Analogy: When you sleep, you experience successive stages of dreaming (REM) and deep (dreamless) sleep. In the morming you wake up and the cycle ceases and you realize it was all an illusion.
Hinduism believes that this life is, in fact, a dream, and that we cycle through successive dreams (lives), till we eventually 'wake up' ie: achieve nirvana/enlightenment, and realize that all our lives were, in fact, no less illusory than our dreams during sleep-state consciousness.
This waking we call Nirvana or Samadhi. The cessation of sequential life-dreams we call Moksha.

Last edited by Seyorni; 12-10-2006 at 08:17 PM..
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Old 12-10-2006, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seyorni
Karma derives from the sanskrit for action, and in Hinduism, it also refers to the results of action.
The law of karma posits that one's actions lead to certain results, and that it is advantageous to perform those actions that lead to beneficial results, and disadvantageous to perform those actions that lead to harm, loss or spiritual retardation.
Unlike in the Abrahamic traditions, this is seen less as a right-wrong, good-bad, divinely approved-disapproved choice, than as a conformation to natural law. Eg: hold a large rock directly above your foot, release it -- and your foot will be crushed. Herd Jews into a gas chamber and your spiritual progress will be harmed. Bad karma both.
Right and wrong are not manifestations of divine approval or disapproval, but, rather, of physics; of celestial mechanics. Good = physically/spiritually beneficial. Bad = physically/spiritually harmful.

Dharma, strictly translated, means something like "duty." It is the action or lifestyle proper (ie: most beneficial) to your station in life, ie: your varna and jati -- in Western terms your 'Caste'.

Your dharma is your life's blueprint. You are born with it. It is the predetermined lifestyle, rulebook and outline of proper conduct -- dictated by your past actions (karma) -- that will result in the optimum benefit, (spiritual advancement), in this particular incarnation.

The dharma of one person may be completely different from the dharma of another. The duty of a soldier is not the duty of a pacifist. The duty of a deer is not the duty of a tiger is not the duty of an oak tree. Their birth has dictated different lifestyles for them, and attempting to follow the other's dharma -- however well managed -- is likely to be physically and spiritually budensome.

Moksha, in Hinduism, is usually described as release from the cycle of birth and rebirth.
Analogy: When you sleep, you experience successive stages of dreaming (REM) and deep (dreamless) sleep. In the morming you wake up and the cycle ceases and you realize it was all an illusion.
Hinduism believes that this life is, in fact, a dream, and that we cycle through successive dreams (lives), till we eventually 'wake up' ie: achieve nirvana/enlightenment, and realize that all our lives were, in fact, no less illusory than our dreams during sleep-state consciousness.
This waking; and concomitant cessation of illusory lives, is Moksha.
should all who adhere to Dharma aim for becoming a renouncer? as i understand it, the renouncer ashrama is the life of meditation and prayer aim at revealing the veil of illusion to reach Moksha... but please correct me if i am wrong

or should each fulfill in their current life the Dharma (duty) given to them, so that their next incarnation will allow them a higher Ashrama-Dharma and a better Jita?

or have i just made that up entirely?
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Old 12-10-2006, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike182
should all who adhere to Dharma aim for becoming a renouncer? as i understand it, the renouncer ashrama is the life of meditation and prayer aim at revealing the veil of illusion to reach Moksha... but please correct me if i am wrong

or should each fulfill in their current life the Dharma (duty) given to them, so that their next incarnation will allow them a higher Ashrama-Dharma and a better Jita?

or have i just made that up entirely?
I'm not quite sure I'm following you correctly. " ...Aim for being a renouncer" -- sounds vaguely Buddhist, but I suspect Buddhists would be equally perplexed.

You are a boat floating in a river. You can do your dharma, ie: go with the current, or you can fight the current in an attempt to go a different direction. One is hard. One is easy.
Nature is benevolent. It usually patterns your life so that an easy paddle achieves good progress.
Of course, there are those who choose to make their lives an olympic challenge; who sacrifice everything to achieve the ultimate goal in the shortest possible time. For some, this is their dharma; to become monks devoted entirely to spiritual progress.

Moksha is not really a central theme in Hinduism. It is an add-on. Hindus seek enlightenment. Moksha is just one of the features of this awakening.
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Old 12-10-2006, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seyorni
I'm not quite sure I'm following you correctly. " ...Aim for being a renouncer" -- sounds vaguely Buddhist, but I suspect Buddhists would be equally perplexed.

You are a boat floating in a river. You can do your dharma, ie: go with the current, or you can fight the current in an attempt to go a different direction. One is hard. One is easy.
Nature is benevolent. It usually patterns your life so that an easy paddle achieves good progress.
Of course, there are those who choose to make their lives an olympic challenge; who sacrifice everything to achieve the ultimate goal in the shortest possible time. For some, this is their dharma; to become monks devoted entirely to spiritual progress.

Moksha is not really a central theme in Hinduism. It is an add-on. Hindus seek enlightenment. Moksha is just one of the features of this awakening.
so people in different castes aim in the same lifetime for the same goal?

sorry, i'm getting myself confused
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Old 12-10-2006, 09:27 PM
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No!
If you are born with aardvark-dharma it is best and most spiritually beneficial to spend your life clawing open termite mounds and eating termites.

All the casts/Varnas realize that Enlightenment is the ultimate goal of everyone, everything, everywhere, everywhen, but not all see it as an acheivement they can reasonably expect in their present incarnation.

Most choose to do their dharma as best they can, knowing they'll eventually merge with God.
Some seek to accelerate the process with various degrees of spirituality.
A few even take vows of Sanyas and completely erase their dharmas to concentrate exclusively on union'yoga with God.
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Old 12-10-2006, 09:31 PM
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No!
If you are born with aardvark-dharma it is best and most spiritually beneficial to spend your life clawing open termite mounds and eating termites.

All the casts/Varnas realize that Enlightenment is the ultimate goal of everyone, everything, everywhere, everywhen, but not all see it as an acheivement they can reasonably expect in their present incarnation.

Most choose to do their dharma as best they can, knowing they'll eventually merge with God.
Some seek to accelerate the process with various degrees of spirituality.
A few even take vows of Sanyas and completely erase their dharmas to concentrate exclusively on union'yoga with God.
thankyou! that was what i was trying to get at, but i suck with words
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