Nature’s Dharma

Studying historical texts across various disciplines – whether politics, economics, religion, or wealth – reveals that the common underlying principle of all these subjects is nothing but violence, deception, selfishness, and cruelty of the highest order.

Therefore, as the philosopher Voltaire stated, “History is mainly a collection of crimes, follies and the misfortunes of mankind.”

Will Durant writes in his book – Three Lessons of Biological History, “Life is competition; competition is not only the life of trade but the trade of life. Cooperation is real and increases with such development, but mostly it is a tool and form of competition to compete with other groups, nations, and other religious groups.”

He mentioned second lesson of biology is, “life is selection, in the competition for food, mates, or power, some organisms succeed while others fail.”

The third biological lesson, as Will Durant states is that, “life must breed. Nature harbors no organisms, variations, or groups that cannot reproduce abundantly. She possesses a passion for quantity as a prerequisite for the selection of quality. Nature is more interested in the species than in an individual and makes little distinction between civilization and barbarism.”

Survival of the fittest means that the fittest will flourish to create legacy. Nature doesn’t favor the good and kindhearted, but rather those who are fit to survive. Nature looks for fit and cultural civilisation looks for good.

Will Durant says, “Nature and history do not agree with our conceptions of good and bad; they define good as that which survives, and bad as that which goes under. The universe has no prejudice in favor of Christ as against Genghis Khan.” These assertions may sound very crude and materialistic, but they reflect reality as it is.

Sri Krishna through Gita and Sri Rama through Ramayana taught this principle with so many stories.

Dhenukasura had the opportunity to be charitable and offer some of the plentiful fruits from the lush garden of tala trees. However, not only did he refuse to share, but he also tried to attack the boys. The sweetest of the boys, Sri Krishna and Balarama, did not hesitate to defend themselves and gave back the punishment and chastisement that Dhenukasura deserved. Sweetness of Sri Krishna is not bereft of smartness.

Sri Rama, the most kind-hearted person, was willing to forgive Ravana for one of the greatest crimes, but Ravana, being brainless, was haughty and arrogant. As a consequence, he was punished.

Sri Krishna came as a peace-maker, but Duryodhana was unwilling to give even a piece of land so that the Pandavas could live peacefully. Blinded by stupidity, arrogance, and a sense of victimhood, Duryodhana met his demise along with his brothers. Dhritarashtra had to witness, hear, and feel the death of his hundred sons. Savages do not listen; they only come to attack. Duryodhana was no exception.

Even for that matter the religious wars, especially among the Abrahamic faiths, religious institutions often compete with each other for growth and control.

Yes certainly, there is a space for kindness, compassion and forgiveness but they should be from the perspective of dharma. Dharma makes them all meaningful, without dharma kindness and compassion are extremely dangerous.

Being dharmic is greater than being kind and forgiving. Dharma has the power to encompass everything and create a fruitful legacy, whether it be in times of war or peace.

– Govinda Das