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What is to be done is to be done

What is to be done is  to be done
October 05
08:57 2017


What is uparati, or as the author of the Tattvabodha calls it, uparama? He answers, svadharmänuñöhänameva. This is a very interesting meaning. Uparama is getting back to yourself. There is a tendency to omit what I have to do, and do what I need not do, do something else. This is the tendency that everybody has. A withdrawal from that, and doing what is to be done is uparama, svadharmaanuñöhänam- eva.

Svadharma: sva means one’s own; dharma, here, is what is to be done. What is to be done is to be done. We can’t say, “I don’t feel like doing it,” and not do it. This is a certain abuse of freedom.

Even though you don’t feel like doing it, sometimes it has to be done. So what is to be done, you do, even though you don’t feel like doing it, and what is not to be done, even if you feel like doing it, you don’t. That is what he calls uparama.

Uparama is also translated as sannyäsa, renunciation-taking to a life of renunciation for a dedicated pursuit. In fact, this is a more suitable meaning for all of us. But here, he says that it is svadharma-anuñöhänam eva, whatever is your dharma, whatever is to be done at a given place and in a given situation, that you do, whether you like it or not. That is how we gain a certain mastery over our own likes and dislikes. Otherwise they dictate our behavior all the time, and that is a meaningless life, really speaking.

As long as these likes and dislikes conform to dharma, they are fine. If what is to be done conforms to dharma and you like it, and it is good for you, and you do it, in fact, you will be spontaneous.

It is something like a doctor telling you that every day you must eat an apple, and you saying, “Oh, that’s wonderful, I love apples.” When you love apples and somebody advises you to eat an apple daily, you can enjoy that; there is no conflict. But then, if they say that you have to take this bitter gourd juice every day, then you have to take it, even though you don’t like it-and I don’t think anybody will ever like it.

Certain things you can learn to like after some time, like blue cheese, I suppose. But I don’t think anybody will learn to like bitter gourd juice. Still, you take it. Why? It has to be taken.

And so, what we like is not going to be what is to be done every time, and what we don’t like is not what is not to be done every time. If you go by what you like and don’t like, you’ll become a derelict, so what is to be done you do, and what is not to be done, you avoid.
Excerpted from

Swami Dayananda Saraswati



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