Counsellor December

Dharma is Duty

from: Hazrat Inayat Khan -

the Purpose of Life

(see also forum)

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In the language of the Hindus duty is called Dharma, which means religion. The more we study the nature and character of what we call duty, the more we begin to see that it is in the spirit of duty that the soul of religion is to be found. If duty was not so sacred as to play such an important part in our life, a form of religion would be nothing to a thoughtful soul. It was, therefore, wise on the part of the ancient people who called religion duty, or duty religion.

For religion is not in performing a ceremony or a ritual; the true religion is the feeling or the sense of duty. Duty is not necessarily the purpose of life, but it is as the lighthouse in the port, which shows us, ‘Here is the landing place, here you arrive, here is your destination.’ It may not be the final destination, but still in duty we find a road which leads us to the purpose of life.

It seems that, though the knowledge of duty is acquired after a child has come into the world, yet the child has also brought with him into the world the sense of duty. And according to the sense of duty which the child shows, he gives promise of a good future. A person may be most learned, capable, qualified, powerful, influential, and yet if he has no sense of duty, you cannot rely upon him. As soon as you find out that there is a living sense of duty in a person, you at once feel confidence; you feel you can depend upon that person.

And this feeling that you get is greater than any other impression a person could make upon you; in this is all virtue and strength and power and blessing. You value a friend whom you can trust; you value a relation in whom you can have confidence. Therefore, all the qualifications that a human being possesses seem to be on the surface, but beneath them there is one spirit which keeps them alive and makes them really valuable, and that spirit is the sense of duty. Those who have won the confidence of the whole nation, and there have been few in the history of the world who have won the trust of a multitude, those have proved to be really great; and it was accomplished by developing the sense of duty.


In the spirit of duty there is the soul of religion.

Vadan - Boulas


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