What is Manav Dharam
Dharma is the practical experience of God. When a dumb man tastes candy, he experiences
its sweetness, but he is incapable of describing it. Similarly, someone who has
the divine experience forgets himself totally and is silent – this state of silence
is ‘dharma’. So, dharma is the experience of the Self which is within each one of
us. Swami Vivekananda said, “Religion means realisation”. When people preserve this
experience in their lives, it is dharma. In other words, dharma is not book-knowledge
but the practical experience of the Self and this experience is called atma-gyan
or self-realisation. Real dharma is self-realisation.
So self-realisation is the soul of dharma. It is the basis of all religions; it
is religion in its purest form. By bringing it into our lives we are not only evolving
ourselves, but helping the human race to evolve. That is the true religion of mankind,
and that is manav dharma. Nowadays, we have restricted ourselves, we have encased
ourselves in the walls of religions and call ourselves Muslims, Christians, Sikhs
or Buddhists, but before being Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, etc. we are human
beings. So what is the religion of all human beings, what is “human religion” (manav
dharma)? This is what we must consider and understand.
After Lord Buddha’s departure, we started believing in Buddhism. After Mahavir Swami
we believed in Jainism. After Lord Rama and Lord Krishna we called ourselves Hindus.
After Jesus Christ we became followers of Christianity. Since the time of Guru Nanak
and the other Gurus we believed in Sikhism. But what religion existed before all
these Masters? Before Christ, Buddha, Rama, Krishna, Mahavir and Mohammed came along,
what religion did people believe in? We should know that eternal religion which
has existed since time immemorial and will continue to exist even after the end
of this world.
We have to know that human religion which was part of us even before we were born
and will remain so even after we leave this world. Our various rites and rituals
performed after death are limited to the grave or the crematorium, but what is that
religion which goes with us beyond the grave? That is man’s true religion, which
we call ‘manav dharma’ (human religion). So religion is not merely a pastime, it
is not merely a set of social rules and customs. It is to know the way, the truth
of where we came from and where we will go and also our true compostion.
Nowadays many religious ideas are being spread but the need of the hour is for the
religion which will unite us, not divide us. In this day and age we need something
like a spiritual revolution, a religion which can encompass all human beings; a
power which can combine and unify all the various beliefs. We need a unifying factor
which can thread all the flowers of different sects and religions into a single
garland and with this in mind we organise Manav Dharam Sammelans (spiritual conferences)
all over India. Spiritual programs are held overseas as well.
In these congregations, people see delegates of different religions speaking from
the same stage; we can listen to people talk about the Gita, the Ramayana, the Koran,
the Bible and the Guru Granth Sahab from the same stage and setting all prejudice
aside, offer the public the quintessential truth.